Check out Jeep's epic one-offs for the Moab, Utah's 2016 Easter Jeep Safari.
It’s March and as every blue-blooded off-roader knows, that means it’s time to start packing for Moab, Utah’s Easter Jeep Safari. But, not only does this year mark the 50th annual Safari, but this is also the 75th anniversary of the Jeep brand. To celebrate the occasion, the automaker has come up with several new concept vehicles to share with its’ fellow Jeeping enthusiasts.
It’s there in the heart of America’s desert playground, that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) can prove that these specially made brutes are more than mere delicate showcars, but capable 4×4’s that also give the company a place to show off it’s ‘house brand aftermarket’ parts as well. In preparation for the big event in Utah, FCA has recently released an early glimpse of its’ tantalizing cadre of experimental trucks at the company’s Auburn Hills, Michigan headquarters.
“Every year the Jeep team looks forward to pushing the limits” with its concepts for the Moab event, said Jeep brand chief Mike Manley.
“We receive a tremendous amount of valuable feedback” from enthusiasts, he said. “This year is extra special,” given the anniversary milestones. To rise to the occasion, he calls this group of concepts the most “capable and eye-catching concept Jeep vehicles we’ve ever created,”
Manley’s assertion that 2016 will prove to be the best ever Jeep concept year is really saying something because Jeep has a long standing tradition of introducing drool-worthy trucks at these events – totaling at least 50 concept vehicles released at the popular Easter event over the past several years. We applaud them for trying though…
Jeep Crew Chief 715
Easily one of the two showstoppers, this salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles (and the Kaiser M715 in particular), was shown in “Tactical Green.” FCA’s Jeep team used a 2016 open-air Wrangler Unlimited, which means extra doors and a rear seat in a civilian-friendly nod to the original vehicles. The truck’s military heritage is further evoked by steel front and rear bumpers, 20-inch beadlock wheels shod in traditional 40-inch military spec tires. To help others on the trail, the Crew Chief 715 has an onboard air system with a hard-mounted quick-disconnect fitting to air up. There is also a master cylinder brake upgrade, cold air intake, an inboard badass nautical analog compass, and a modified exhaust. There is a winch on the front and rear bumpers, rock rails, a Dana 60 front and rear axles, and a 4-inch lift kit, the truck is ready for heavy trail use. It’s also equipped with a 5-foot cargo bed, aircraft-style control switches, and a compass. Under the hood: Jeep’s modern 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. It’s dubbed “the beast” due to its 139-inch wheelbase.
“We’ve never done a Wrangler Unlimited crew cab pickup before.” Head of Jeep design Mike Allen
There is a Hellcat lurking inside between the fenderwells of this lime green Jeep and the decal on the front quarter-panels and the exhaust note should definitely tip you off. This outlandish off-roader is bursting at the seems with all 707 all the Hellcat’s horsepower with its’ supercharged, 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 and six-speed manual transmission. To fit the engine into the Wrangler, Jeep’s designers stretched the wheelbase by 12 inches. They also chopped the windshield 2 inches to improve aerodynamics (not really). The Trailcat has a “Power Dome” vented hood, Satin Black grille, LED headlamp and foglamps, rock rails, steel bumpers, 17-inch beadlock wheels, 39.5-inch BF-Goodrich Krawler T/A KX tires, front and rear Dana 60 axles, and Fox shocks. Inside, the Trailcat has the sport bucket seats from the Dodge Viper, complete with carbon fiber and Katzkin leather seat covers with accent stitching.
This more traditional version of the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited was designed to be less exotic and instead showcase Mopar’s aftermarket accessories. Wrapped in “digital” camouflage, the Trailstorm has room for extra gear, fuel tanks, is equipped with half doors and a full length soft top. It rides on 17-inch concept off-road wheels with 37-inch tires, has a 2-inch lift kit, numerous over-the-counter performance parts, a front mounted winch, and Dana 44 front and rear axles. It is covered in enhancements, including high-top fenders, power dome vented hood, rock rails with a step, taillight guards, and a fuel filler door.
Jeep FC 150
Out of all the trucks showcased here, Jeep’s Forward Control (FC) 150 is prepared to take you all the way back to 1960… because it’s an actual 1960 work truck found hiding in the Colorado backcountry. Jeep took painstaking steps to preserve the truck, which rides on a last-generation TJ type Wrangler chassis, and even kept the body’s original patina (but added power steering, brakes, and other modern conveniences to make it safe to drive). The unique truck is only 11 feet long and retains the original steel-body. The nimble vehicle is outfitted with a modified Wrangler TJ chassis to accommodate a Dana 44 front axle, Dana 60 rear axle, and 17-inch white steel wheels with 33-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires. As a cheeky bonus, Jeep tucked a fake bale of hay converted into a beer cooler. The FC 150 has vinyl seat covers, a custom headliner with vintage duck hunting pattern, CB radio, and an analog compass. Power comes from a 4.0-liter PowerTech I-6 mated to a three-speed automatic transmission.
Inspired by the classic CJ-5s of the 1950s, the Jeep Shortcut is a reimagined modern day Wrangler that has had its body shortened by a full 26 inches for old school dimensions. It sports a modified front facia, hood, tailgate, rear wheel flares, no rear seat, custom chrome bumpers, and a revived the old Jeep V-6 emblem from the days when the Wrangler had a Buick V-6. This Wrangler has a modified exhaust, 17-inch red steel wheels, and 35-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires as well as a front and rear Dana 44 axle and a 2-inch lift with Fox shocks. Check out the red ball shifter handle and four-point safety cage.