Jeep brings out new concepts to Moab

Annual Easter Jeep Safari brings out thousands of off-road enthusiasts

Published: April 1, 2017, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:17 PM

Jeep Switchback

As has become tradition around Easter every year, Jeep and Mopar have announced the lineup of concepts and specialty vehicles that will be debuting at the Easter Jeep Safari gathering of marque enthusiasts in Moab, Utah over the week leading up to Easter.

This year (the 51st gathering) vehicles are a mix of tributes, recreational and functional demonstrations, and showcases for various parts and accessories.

“It’s truly a labor of love for the Jeep team to develop exciting, capable concept vehicles each year for Moab and the Easter Jeep Safari,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). “We look forward to the reaction and feedback from enthusiasts and our most loyal customers as these new Jeep concepts are put through their paces on the trails in Moab.”

“Jeep and Mopar have teamed up over 15 years to create unique, fun and highly capable concept vehicles for the popular Easter Jeep Safari in Moab,” added Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) for FCA “These concept vehicles are a perfect example of how off-road enthusiasts can use Jeep Performance Parts to personalize and enhance the already outstanding Jeep capability, allowing them to face the toughest trails in the world.”

Jeep Grand One

This year’s roster includes a 25th-anniversary spin on an original Grand Cherokee, which was introduced in April 1992 as a 1993 model. The exterior is highlighted by 18-inch wheels shod with 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tires, a 2-inch suspension lift that necessitates high-clearance fender flares, and front and rear axles fitted with selectable locking differentials. The wheelbase has been stretched and the body features a subtle body-colour woodgrain above the bumper line that runs the length of the side. The interior continues the retro look with throwback materials and presentation, including an installed old-fashioned car phone. For easy upkeep, the cabin’s carpeting is replaced by a rubberized bedliner.

Jeep Safari

This family focussed concept is about the illusion of driving a fully convertible Wrangler Unlimited (with a shortened length to make it more nimble) without taking off the roof and doors. The translucent hard top sits below an aluminum cargo rack with an incorporated drone. The “windoors” are made of lightweight aluminum and clear vinyl. They open up cabinet style (fronts are front hinged; rears are rear hinged) and feature zipper openings to let in fresh air. The custom interior features an instrument panel iPad, and rear seats slightly rotated outward to grant better visibility to their occupants.

Jeep Quicksand

A hot-rod concept of a 2-door Wrangler and a hot rod, Quicksand is powered by a Mopar 392 Crate Hemi V-8, with 8-stack injection and open headers popping up through a “peekaboo” hood. The chopped top provides the hot-rod feel, with the open roof and windows tying into the off-road freedom of Wrangler. It also features the first use of staggered tires (32-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tires in the front; 37 in rear). The minimalist interior is accented in red with two low-bucket seats, aluminum door panels and chrome roll-bars.

Jeep Trailpass

Based on the Compass Trailhawk, Trailpass goes one better a1.5-inch lift kit, and Continental TerrainContact all-terrain tires on 18-inch wheels. It’s fully accessorized in Jeep Performance Parts, including a roof basket, and cross and rock rails. The gloss black exterior features a custom hood graphic, and tinted headlamps and rear lamps.

Jeep Switchback

Another Wrangler derivative, Switchback features a 4-inch lift kit, heavy duty differential covers and other necessities for a natural off-roader, including steel bumpers, winch and 17-inch wheels with 37-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2s. It also features half-doors, roof rack system, a swing-gate with oversized spare tire carrier, and superior trail lighting system with LED windshield top light bar and A-pillar lamps, in addition to LED head, rear and fog lights.

Jeep CJ66

Based on a Wrangler TJ, the CJ tribute made its debut at last fall’s SEMA show. It uses a Mopar 345 Crate Hemi V-8 linked to a 6-speed manual. The rock crawler uses Mopar Dana 44 Crate axles front and rear, rides on 35-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires with a 2-way air up or air down system to quickly adjust tire air pressure, and features fender flares, bumper kits and undercarriage protection. It’s done up in a Copper Canyon exterior with matte black graphics, and houses two Viper seats under a bikini net to shelter occupants from the elements.

Jeep Luminator

As evidenced in the name, this concept is about off-road lighting performance, with a full complement of Magneti Marelli lighting solutions for superior visibility on the trail. Among them, underbody rock lights, 7-inch LED projector bi-function headlamps, unique LED tail lamps, A-pillar-mounted LED spot lights, upper bumper LED auxiliary lighting with cornering fog lamps controlled by the steering angle, low-profile integrated overhead LED auxiliary spot lights protected behind the windshield, a scanning LED light bar module on the hood, and a high-mount stop light that doubles as a scouting/trail lamp with four-color LEDs for trail rides — stop (red), 1-3 mph (amber), 3-25 mph (green) and rear flood lighting (white). Other features include a roof solar panel, lighted-drone landing pad, and a touch interactive display on the driver’s side rear window linked to GPS and internet services.