A few days ago, Jeep teased us with two rendered photos of some of the concepts to be unveiled for the 49th annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. Now, those renders are realities with five other concepts joining the excitement at the trail head. Fitted with a suite of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts components, each concept has its own special style and purpose – some of which are more jaw dropping than others. From March 28 through April 5, the Jeeps will rub fenders (hopefully not literally) with off-the-shelf and DIY enthusiasts on eight of the most recognizable trails in the U.S.
Below is a quick run down of the seven Jeeps:
As we predicted earlier, this is one of the most radical concepts here simply in terms of design. A hat-tip to the original, FSJ Cherokee of the 1970s as well as the west coast surfer lifestyle, this Wrangler-based concept features an almost dead-on, old-school front end complete with a non-seven-slot, razor grill. Wide fenders and a two-inch lift complete with Fox shocks allow for presumably 35 inch mud tires while the rear Dana 44 is fitted with a locker to help with traction and durability. A surprising four door, the Chief lacks a c-pillar which gives it a much sportier profile.
Jeep Staff Car
Quite possibly one of the most lustful Jeep concepts in years, this Wrangler-based salute is a modern-day interpretation of the beyond legendary Jeep military service vehicles. Designed with “function over form”, according to Jeep, the Staff Car uses steel wheels, minimalist fenders, a “hungry horse” canvas roof, bench seats, no b-pillars, and no doors. Jeep’s J8 front and rear bumpers mean business while 35 inch NDT military tires should provide serious traction to aid the front and rear Dana 44 axles. Lifted 2 inches with Fox shocks and powered by the nearly 300 horsepower 3.6 liter V6 and six speed manual, the Staff Car is truly something of envy.
Jeep Wrangler Africa
Any off road enthusiast who has been on the website ExpeditionPortal.com will understand the importance of this concept. Coined as the ultimate Jeep Wrangler for back-country and overland expeditions, this 4-door concept features a completely closed body with full doors, windows, a raised roof, and rear access door. Power comes from a 2.8 liter diesel engine, which is presumably the CRD four cylinder from Jeep’s European spec Wrangler, and an automatic transmission (read: Mercedes-Benz sourced). Numerous auxiliary fuel tanks litter the exterior while the interior features medical and emergency kits and spray-in bed liner.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander
Another expedition ready concept, this rugged yet comfortable variety is designed to be a Jeep and a home base at the same time. The one-off front end features an integrated winch and tow hooks while front and rear skid plates, rock sliders and all-new BF Goodrich All-terrains add some legitimate off road prowess to the often underutilized Grand Cherokee. The EcoDiesel 3.0 V6 supplies motivation while a hopefully production ready roof mounted, two-person tent means the Overlander is a true, one-stop shop for exploring.
Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk
A concept based on Jeep’s newest model, the Renegade, this concept is substantially more tame than the above. Beside some rock sliders and a skid plate kit, the Desert Hawk features mostly cosmetic changes such as decals, a roof rack, Mopar seat covers, and body colored bezel accents. Power comes from the 2.4 liter Tigershark four cylinder and nine-speed automatic.
Jeep Cherokee Canyon Trail
A modified variant of the KL Cherokee, the Canyon Trail features similar aesthetic tweaks as the Desert Hawk such as a topographical hood decal showcasing a Moab trail (Hell’s Revenge) and special interior trim and leather. Unlike the Renegade, this concept gets a little more attention where it counts with Jeep Performance Parts rock sliders, a full underbelly skid plate system, and larger, BF Goodrich All Terrain tires. The Canyon Trail features the Cherokee’s 2.4 liter Tigershark four cylinder and TrailHawk four wheel drive system.
Jeep Wrangler Red Rock Responder
Jeep’s seventh concept just so happens to be the biggest and possibly, most robust. Designed to be a support vehicle for just about everywhere, the Red Rock Responder features side cargo boxes with a hi lift jack, fire extinguisher, road side accessory kit, first aid kit, Snap-on tool soft bags, and recovery kit. An on-board air system with dual compressor and reservoir is also featured.
Mechanically, the axles have been swapped for Dana 60 units front and rear with Jeep Performance Parts supplied 5.38 gears – something rare for a manufacturer to offer. A four inch lift kit is all that is needed to fit 37 inch BF Goodrich KM2s while rock sliders and a Warn winch add to the package. Motivation is provided by the Pentastar V6 and automatic transmission.