Jeep is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a brand, and the Moab Easter Jeep Safari is marking 50 years. That means we get seven awesome concepts that will appear at this year’s gathering.
Cutting to the part everyone wants to read about first, the Jeep Trailcat is a Wrangler with the 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat V-8 shoved under the hood, plus a six-speed manual. It’s gloriously stupid in every great way, so it’s sure to already be the wallpaper of choice for many enthusiasts. Jeep had to push out the Wrangler’s wheelbase by 12 inches and chop off two inches from the bottom of the windshield to fit the massive V-8.
There’s a Spartan interior with the front seats lifted out of a Dodge Viper. The exterior features steel bumpers, 17-inch beadlock wheels, massive 39.5-inch BF-Goodrich Krawler T/A KX tires, Fox shocks and front/rear Dana 60 axles.
Another vehicle that’s sure to fascinate everyone is a Jeep FC 150. Based on the CJ-5, the old pickup is a classic. Jeep modified the vehicle with a 2005 Wrangler chassis, a Dana 44 front axle, plus a Dana 60 rear axle, 17-inch white steel wheels (for that authentic feel) and 33-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires.
Jeep went with a retro interior, complete with an analog compass, CB radio, a duck hunting headliner pattern and vinyl seat covers.
The Jeep Comanche is a tiny off-road pickup truck that’s bristling with Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts. It’s based on the Renegade, plus a wheelbase that’s 6-inches longer and a cool soft top.
The “Beige Against the Machine” concept incorporates military and civilian Jeep styling elements and pulls off the look quite well. There’s also a 2.0-liter diesel engine under the hood, plus a 9-speed automatic.
The Jeep Trailstorm is a Wrangler Unlimited with extra space for fuel and gear. It also has half doors, bedliner throughout the interior for easy cleanup and a camouflaged exterior.
It’s not just a rugged-looking rig, the machine is configured for some serious off-roading with 37-inch tires, a 2-inch lift, a Jeep Performance Parts Rubicon winch and Dana 44 front/rear axles. There’s also a Big Brake Kit, rock rails, high top fenders, LED headlights and plenty of other goodies.
The Renegade Commander also proves that Jeep loves its littlest creation. Besides a ton of Jeep and Mopar accessories, it comes with Fluorescent Gray paint and body decals.
Under the hood is the 2.4-liter Tigershark with MultiAir2, plus a 9-speed automatic with Jeep Active Drive Low. We’ll see in Moab how well it does on the trail.
Patterned after the CJ-5, the Jeep Shortcut is a Wrangler that looks like it rolled out of the 1950s. The body is 12 inches shorter, a rear Dana 44 axles was added and a 2-inch lift with Fox shocks was also thrown in. The 3.6-liter Pentastar provides power.
The exterior features 17-inch red stainless steel wheels, 35-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires, plus a number of custom parts like the grille, tailgate, hood and bumpers.
The final concept is the Jeep Crew Chief 715. It’s a Wrangler-based pickup that will have everyone wondering if it previews the upcoming production model. Jeep says it’s a nod to military service models, especially the old Kaiser M715.
If the production model looks half as good, there will be lines of people wanting to buy it. This concept is a trail support vehicle, packing an onboard air system that can be quickly removed. The cargo bed is 5 feet long. The interior is simple, with aircraft-style switchgear, leather bucket seats and canvas inserts.
Just a reminder that Jeep makes all of these concepts to actually go off-roading, and then does just that at Moab.