Jeep’s hot new concept vehicles break cover

Jeep’s 49th annual Easter Jeep Safari held at Moab, Utah, USA will see the unveiling of a number of new, and very tasty, Jeep concept vehicles.

The concept vehicles have been put together by a team of specialist engineers, designers and fabricators who have produced some 50 concept vehicles for the Easter Jeep Safari since 2002. The vehicles will showcase a range of production and prototype Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts. This year’s crop includes:

  • Jeep Chief: The Wrangler-based ‘Chief’ is an throwback to the original ‘full-size’ Cherokee, the SJ, which was produced from 1974 to 1983 and developed from the iconic Wagoneer. The concept is 1970’s California-surfer in style right down to the 17-inch slotted mags and chopped roofline. The Chief is powered by the 3.6-litre V6 mated to a six-speed manual and sports a range of Jeep Performance Parts including a two-inch lift kit, Fox Shocks, front and rear Dana 44s with lockers, modified Rubicon rock rails and a cold-air intake.
  • Jeep Staff Car: Based on a Wrangler, the ‘Staff Car’ pays homage to original military Jeep, the vehicle that started the whole Jeep thing and kicked started the world’s love of 4x4s. Military-style features include 16-inch steel wheels with 35-inch bar treads, a canvas roof, cut-back guards, an external jerry can, a guard-mounted blackout lamp, and an axe and spade. The Staff Car has no B-pillar and no doors, while the interior has bench seats front and back, no carpets, an integrated roll-cage, and an inbuilt cooler that looks like an ammunition box! The Staff Car runs a two-inch lift, Fox shocks, Dana 44s, all from the Mopar catalogue, and is powered by the 3.6-litre V6 mated to a manual gearbox.
  • Jeep Wrangler Africa: The ‘Africa’, powered by the Wrangler’s 2.8-litre diesel mated to an automatic transmission, is an expedition vehicle that wouldn’t be out of place in Outback Australia. Features include an extended, high-roof body for extra gear-carrying capacity, a high-clearance front steel bumper complete with winch, rock rails, two jerry cans mounted behind the front guards, and an underbody-mounted spare. The Africa has a two-inch lift, Fox Shocks, special sway-bar links, Dana 44s, and 17s with 35-inch muddies.
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander: The Overlander is a Grand Cherokee for the serious traveller. Powered by the 3.0-litre V6 diesel it has an integrated front-mounted winch, tow hooks larger wheel flares, rock rails, and 18-inch milled wheels with BF Goodrich all-terrains. The Overlander also as a roof-mounted two-person, hard-shell tent that easily deployable.
  • Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk: The ‘Desert Hawk’ is based on the Renegade Trailhawk, the most off-road capable of the new Renegade range, a ‘baby’ Jeep that will be released in Australia late 2015. The Desert Hawk is mainly a cosmetic exercise but it does have a few Mopar items including rock rails, a skid plate, trailer hitch and rood rack. The Desert Hawk is powered by the 2.4-litre ‘Tigershark petrol four-cylinder mated to a ZF nine-speed automatic gearbox.
  • Jeep Cherokee Canyon Trail: The ‘Canyon Trail’ is an adaption of the Cherokee Trailhawk, the off-road ‘hero’ in the new Cherokee range. Aside from a swag of cosmetic enhancements, the Canyon Trail has JPP rock rails, a two-piece fuel-tank skid plates, front suspension skid plates and two additional underbody skid plates. The Canyon Trail runs 17-inch wheels with BF Goodrich A/Ts and is powered by the 2.4-litre ‘Tigershark’ petrol four mated to the dual-range 4x4 system complete with rear locker.
  • Jeep Wrangler Red Rock Responder: The Wrangler-based ‘Red Rock’ is an off-road support and emergency vehicle, and the toughest of this year’s concepts. It comes 37-inch, bead-locked mud terrains on 17s, four-inch lift, Fox Shocks, 5.83:1 Dana 60 axles, Warn winch, prototype rock rails and cold-air intake. It also has Rubicon 10th Anniversary front and rear bumpers and guards, once concept parts that are now production-line. Special side stowage boxes have a compressor, a high-lift jack, a fire extinguisher, recovery gear and various tools. Plenty of luxury inside however with Mopar ‘Katzkin’ red leather seats. The Red Rock Responder is powered by the 3.6 V6 mated to an automatic transmission.

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