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Jeep unveils Easter Rally concept lineup

Concepts fashioned off Wrangler and Renegade; one is refurbished classic

Published: March 21, 2018, 1:15 AM
Updated: April 30, 2018, 5:22 PM

Jeep Sandstorm Concept teaser

Jeep has joined forces with Mopar to create seven customized and concept vehicles that will attend the annual gathering in Moab, Utah for the Moab Easter Jeep Safari that’s attended by thousands of off-road enthusiasts.

Jeep Jeepster Concept teaser

“When it comes to customization, no vehicle can match the Jeep Wrangler,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). “This is why we worked very closely with the Jeep brand to develop an exclusive line of more than 200 parts and accessories to enhance – even more – Jeep Wrangler’s off-road capability to fit any customer’s lifestyle. Almost all Wrangler vehicles sold are fitted with at least one Mopar accessory.”

This year, five of the concepts attending the event will revised Wranglers.

Jeep 4SPEED

Jeep 4SPEED Concept

Following up on previous concepts — 2011’s Pork Chop and the stitch from 2013 — the 4SPEED uses weight savings to enhance Wrangler’s off-road capabilities. Among the changes, carbon-fibre bodywork (hood, high-clearance fender flares and rear tub), perforated aluminum rear panels and footwells, shortened overall length, and rear seat removal.

Because of the reduction in weight, engineers were able to raise the ride height by 51 mm and increase the angle of approach and departure. The off-roader rides on the stock wheelbase and gets power from the 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder.

Jeep Jeepster

Jeep Jeepster Concept

Borrowing a name from the past (1948’s Jeepster from Willys Overland), the Jeepster features styling cues (such as the 2-tone paint scheme) similar to the production classic, though that vehicle was meant to be a boulevard cruiser and this one is meant to tackle trails.

It’s 51 mm shorter overall and 51 mm higher off the ground than the Wrangler Rubicon from which it’s derived, and features a windshield that’s raked back an additional 2.5 degrees (though it still folds flap forward). LED trail and fog lights are mounted on the front fenders and bumper, respectively. A tubular roll cage replaces the Wrangler sport bar and a full-size spare rides inside, replaced on the swing-out tailgate by custom storage packs.

Jeep Sandstorm

Jeep Sandstorm Concept

Inspired by Baja desert racers, Sandstorm features off-road hardware including an extreme-duty suspension system underneath a custom exterior made up of, among other items, a carbon-fibre hood, vented high-clearance fender flares front and rear, and a lay-down spare tire carrier in the pickup-bed-like rear of the vehicle, with easy access to it from the rear that has the swing tailgate removed.

Other desert racing equipment includes front and rear tube bumpers, modified rock rails, onboard air compressor, racing style refueler and auxiliary and chase lights. To create a more stable high-speed desert runner, the wheelbase was expanded by 152 mm by moving the front axle forward 101 mm and the rear axle back 51 mm. Power is supplied by a 6.4-litre V-8.

Nacho Jeep

Nacho Jeep Concept

The custom Nacho Jeep is also a blueprint for DIY off-roaders to create their own custom trail vehicles, fitted with items from the Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) catalogue, such as a muscular hood engineered to accommodate a cold air intake for the 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder, satin black grille with meshed-over openings to prevent large rocks from penetrating the radiator, and brawny steel bumpers (the front one fitted LED fog and brush lights). LED brush lights are also fitted to the A-pillars, and the rear lighting is colour coded to convey trail conditions Red for closed, yellow for low speed and green for higher speeds.

A 51-mm lift kit provides clearance for extreme off-road shocks and 17-inch wheels shod with 37-inch tires, and the off-roader has been fitted with sturdier rock rails (coated with the same material as Ram pickup bedliners for a non-slip, durable step).

Jeep J-Wagon

Jeep J-Wagon Concept

Based on the 4-door Wrangler Sahara, the J-Wagon is meant to be at home on the trails and off them, providing an upscale boulevard cruiser look through warm tinted glass and Brass Monkey trimmings (hood latches, wheels, fog lamp bezels, and other assorted points) on the exterior. The hood features a cutout to accommodate the left side snorkel air intake (for deep water fording).

The interior houses Katzkin leather seats and Brass Monkey trim and bezel accents on various touch points.

Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip

Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip Concept

J-Wagon can’t touch the sheer luxury and ride of the refurbished classic Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip, with modifications to the wheelbase (stretched by 127 mm) and track, and the body updated accordingly. The 1965 Wagoneer retains its steel body (with necessary modifications) though the powertrain and chassis are thoroughly modern. The bumpers and wheel wells have been revised and rock rails are integrated into the low body sides.

The interior features the original front and rear bench seats and door panels, done up in Oxblood leather, a wicker headliner to provide an air feel to the cabin, a custom cooler fashioned from period luggage, and a toolbox made from the original’s 230 Tornado 6-cylinder engine.

Jeep B-Ute

Jeep B-ute Concept

Fashioned from a Renegade, the B-Ute features unique front and rear fascias and a hood with heat extractors, among other items. A roof rack, rock rails and 38-mm lift kit have been fitted for better comfort on the trails.

The diminutive crossover is powered by the 2.4-litre Tigershark 4-cylinder engine.