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50th Jeep Safari: 6 radical 4x4s (and a bakkie) unveiled

2016-03-14 14:01

BUILT FOR EXTREME TRAILS: The Jeep Trailstorm concept is based on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and is fitted with a 2" lift kit, 37-inch tires and Dana 44 axles for tackling hectic trails. Image: Supplied


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Auburn Hills, Michigan - Seven new concept vehicles, featuring an array of Mopar and Jeep performance parts are set to conquer the famous and challenging trails of Moab, Utah, at the 2016 Easter Jeep Safari (March 19-27).

Thousands of off-road enthusiasts are expected to descend upon Moab as the 50th annual event coincides with the 75th anniversary of Jeep.

Mike Manley, head of Jeep - FCA Global, said: "Every year, the Jeep team looks forward to pushing the limits with new, exciting and capable concept vehicles for our most loyal enthusiasts at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, where we receive a tremendous amount of valuable feedback.

“This year is extra special, as together with our biggest fans, we celebrate Jeep’s 75th anniversary, as well as the 50th running of the Jeep Safari. We’re delighted to share seven of the most capable and eye-catching concept Jeep vehicles we’ve ever created at this year’s historic event.”

Concept Jeeps on show

The 2016 crop of Easter Jeep Safari concept vehicles utilizes both production and prototype Jeep Performance Parts. The Mopar brand is responsible for developing, building and ensuring that all Jeep Performance Parts meet rigorous specifications and with 4x4 capabilities in mind, allowing Jeep owners to further enhance their stock vehicle.

The seven new Jeep concept vehicles were created by a team of engineers, designers and fabricators that have been customising vehicles since 2002 and have introduced more than 50 concept vehicles for the enthusiasts who attend the popular Easter Jeep Safari.

The 2016 Easter Jeep Safari concept vehicles include:

1. Jeep Crew Chief 715

The Crew Chief 715 concept vehicle is a tribute to legendary Jeep military vehicles, in particular the Kaiser M715. This open-air Wrangler Unlimited-based concept vehicle showcases a burly design with heritage styling cues. It's powered by the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine and is mated to a five-speed auto transmission.

It has steel front and rear bumpers, 20" beadlock wheels and 40" NDT military tyres. The Crew Chief 715 utilizes an on-board air system with a hard-mounted quick-disconnect fitting for airing-up or lending assistance to other vehicles. Other features include a master cylinder brake upgrade, cold air intake and a modified exhaust.

It has off-road rock rails, winch system (front and rear), Dana 60 front and rear axles and a 4" lift kit. It has a military themed 5-foot cargo bed. Inside it has leather bucket seats with canvas inserts, aircraft-inspired control switches and Mopar all-weather mats.

A photo posted by Jeep (@jeepofficial) on

2. Jeep Shortcut

According to Jeep: "A carefully crafted take on the beloved Jeep CJ-5, this Wrangler-based concept vehicle invokes the spirit of 1950s Americana with a shortened body and functional simplicity."

Exterior styling includes a unique grille, bonnet, tailgate, front and rear wheel flares and custom chromed front and rear bumpers. A modified exhaust, 17" red steel wheels and 35" BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tyres.

Overall body length has been reduced compared to a standard Wrangler. Inside, it has low-back leather bucket seats with plaid inserts, a red-ball gear shift, four-point safety cage and Mopar all-weather mats.

The Jeep Shortcut is powered by the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine mated to a 5-speed auto.

A photo posted by Jeep (@jeepofficial) on

3. Jeep Renegade Commander

The Jeep Renegade Commander concept is equipped with an assortment of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts for the ultimate off-road adventure. A 2-inch lift kit and 17-inch Rubicon aluminum wheels with 29.5-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires increase the off-road capabilities of the Jeep Renegade Commander.

The “Fluorescent Gray” exterior features Renegade’s MySky open-air roof with removable panels, custom body decal, Mopar off-road rock rails, skid plates and a modified exhaust. Also featured are the Mopar brand’s trailer hitch receiver and front and rear auxiliary lights.

Inside, the Renegade Commander includes Katzkin seat covers, body color bezel accents, a pedal kit, Mopar off-road kit and Mopar all-weather floor mats.

The Jeep Renegade Commander is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with MultiAir2 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with Jeep Active Drive Low.

4. Jeep Comanche

Based on the Jeep Renegade, the Comanche concept takes styling cues from the automaker's military and civilian .

The Comanche’s “Beige Against the Machine” exterior paint is accented with a black hood, a concept lower front fascia, winch, steel rear bumper, soft top and spare tyre in the load bay, The wheelbase has been stretched.

Inside, the Comanche has custom seat and pedal covers, door sill guards and Mopar all-weather mats. Jeep Performance Parts like off-road rock rails, a 2" lift kit and a winch bolster the Comanche’s off-road capability. The Comanche rolls on 16" painted wheels and 32" BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A tyres.

The Jeep Comanche is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel I-4 engine and mated to a 9-speed auto with Jeep Active Drive Lock, which includes low range and a locking rear differential.

A photo posted by Jeep (@jeepofficial) on

5. Jeep FC 150

According to Jeep: "This  1960 Jeep FC 150 concept vehicle is rich with heritage and built to tackle both challenging rocky trails and the harshness of a western cattle ranch. Originally built from 1956 to 1965, the FC 150 is based on the CJ-5 and offers a clever packaging solution by keeping overall length to a minimum for maneuverability, but maintaining a full-length cargo box for utility."

This heritage vehicle continues to utilize its original steel body that proudly bears battle scars while components underneath have been revamped. The FC 150’s off-road prowess has been enhanced by a 2005 Jeep Wrangler chassis modified with Dana 44 front axle, Dana 60 rear axle and 17" white steel wheels wrapped in 33" BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tyres.

Inside, the FC 150 features vinyl seat covers, a custom headliner wrapped in a vintage duck hunting pattern, CB radio, analog compass and Mopar all-weather mats.

The Jeep FC 150 heritage vehicle is powered by a 4.0-litre PowerTech I-6 and is mated to a 3-speed auto.

A photo posted by Jeep (@jeepofficial) on

6. Jeep Trailcat

The Jeep Trailcat concept is powered by a supercharged 6.2-litre HEMI Hellcat V8 and mated to a six-speed manual with a custom gear-shift with an embossed Hellcat logo.

According to Jeep: "To get the 527kW Hellcat engine into the Trailcat, designers stretched the wheelbase an additional 12 inches while chopping the windshield 2" for a sleeker look. Mopar exterior enhancements include a power-dome vented hood, black grille, LEDs and rock rails.

The robust off-road look is further aided by steel front and rear bumpers, 17" beadlock wheels and 39.5-inch BFGoodrich Krawler T/A KX tyres, front and rear Dana 60 axles and Fox shocks.

A photo posted by Jeep (@jeepofficial) on

7. Jeep Trailstorm

Accoridng to Jeep: "The Trailstorm concept vehicle is the ultimate Jeep Wrangler for exploring off the beaten path. Offering room for extra gear and fuel tanks, it is based on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and delivers elevated capability to conquer trails with ease."

Off-road capabilities are enhanced with several Jeep Performance Parts - 17" concept off-road wheels shod with 37" tyres, a 2" lift kit, Rubicon winch and Dana 44 front and rear axles. Half doors offer a clear view of obstacles ahead.

Mopar exterior enhancements include a winch guard, black grille, LEDs and fog lights, high-top fenders, power-dome vented hood, Mopar off-road rock rails with a step, Big Brake Kit, a concept fast-back soft top, tail light guards and a Mopar fuel-filler door.

The Jeep Trailstorm is powered by a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine and is mated to a 5-speed auto transmission.

A photo posted by Jeep (@jeepofficial) on

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