Ultra-light 4Speed leads this year's 7 Jeep Easter Safari concepts
It's Easter Safari time again in Moab, and that means it's time for Jeep to roll out another seven terrific concept vehicles to titillate the crowd. And again, they deliver, with a diverse range of obtuse angles on the classic American off-roader. Each of the seven boasts a different mix of custom touches and bolt-on aftermarket bits, either from the Jeep Performance Parts catalog, or made by Mopar.
Let's take a look.
A Baja racer-inspired daily driver, the Sandstorm packs the meaty punch of a 6.4-liter V8, with a 6-speed manual shift. The custom suspension is long-travel (14" at the front, 18" at the rear), the bumpers and wheel arches are high, and the wheels themselves mean business: 17-inch beadlock rims with 39.5-inch BF Goodrich Krawler tires.
Aggressive venting on the carbon hood speaks to its performance potential, and the chopped rear gate with its lay-down spare tire complete the Baja race truck look. Practical touches include an integrated onboard air compressor, race-style fuel filler, offroad GPS and extra front lighting.
Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip
Whooo-eee, she's a pearler. The Wagoneer ran from '63 to '91 and Jeep credits it with introducing the idea that luxury and 4x4 could live in harmony. The Roadtrip is built on a '65 model - gutted, naturally, and powered by a 5.7-liter V8 with a 4-speed auto.
The original engine didn't go to waste; the valve cover has been converted into a toolbox. The body's been stretched five inches, and custom fender flares accommodate a wider track thanks to 17-inch steel wheels and 33-inch tires. The team has slapped a razor-style front grille on the front, and the bottle-green paint scheme reminds me of the kind of cars my grandad used to drive.
The interior kicks the nostalgia into an even higher gear. Beautiful original oxblood bench seats, the tidy dash with its old-school speedo, and that steering wheel with column shifter, you can just about smell it. Lovely job.
The 4Speed actually runs an eight speed auto transmission, but we'll give it a pass. It's all about weight reduction, removing and replacing the standard Wrangler bodywork with so much carbon fiber and perforated aluminum that it sits a full two inches higher on its suspension.
The look is absolutely badass, the blue/grey color scheme combining with bare carbon and a host of details to give it a super-technical feel, even if it also kinda looks like it should come with a free bunch of ridiculously goodlooking male models drinking orange mocha frappuccinos. The wheelbase is the same as standard, but the body's been chopped down a huge 22 inches so it's just about a wheel at each corner. This gives the 4Speed extreme approach angle capability when attacking steep gradients, but mainly makes it look as cool as anything I ever pulled out of my Matchbox car bucket as a kid.
The top's completely open, necessitating a custom electric blue roll cage and a very spiffy re-upholstering of the seats. It's not a roaring torque demon like many of the others, though – it showcases Jeep's new 2.0-liter inline four turbo engine instead. Makes sense, I guess, if you're focusing on light weight.
Now that sounds like a name a six-year-old would call himself in a backyard action movie. It is, as you can tell by the lurid red and white paint job, one of a number of homages Jeep has made to the 1966 Jeepster Commando. Lifted 2 inches and chopped another two at the hardtop, this is a Jeep Performance Parts special based around a bunch of bolt-ons.
There's 8,000 lumens of LED trail lighting, including LED fog lamps on the bumper above the winch. The hood's a JPP catalog job, but the roll cage is pure custom. The wheels are 37-inch BF Goodrich KO2s, on 17-inch beadlock capable rims with a nice red ring painted on them.
Instead of bolting onto the back door, the spare comes inside the cabin, obliterating all luggage space and necessitating a pair of storage canisters on the back where you can stick small amounts of food, tools and whatever else you need to lug along.
Damn right that's nacho jeep, it's Jeep's Jeep. Built on a standard Wrangler Rubicon, the Nacho is a rolling parts catalog for Mopar's Jeep Performance Parts. Mopar has worked alongside the Jeep team creating factory-authorized aftermarket parts for many years now, and this car is veritably festooned. Festooned, I say.
The nacho yellow paint job? That's standard. Hood's not, though, it's a Mopar jigger designed to accommodate a cold air intake for the 2.0-liter turbo engine. There's a fresh satin black grille, a winch kit and a buttload of LED lighting fore and aft – the latter of which can be used to communicate trail conditions to drivers behind you.
Ground clearance is up thanks to a 2-inch lift kit, and mud-grubbing will be easier due to oversized 37-inch tires. The doors are open tube designs, the rear tailgate hinges are beefed up to handle the extra weight of a very fat spare tire, and the wheels are satin/carbon finished. That's the only mod on the whole car that's not a straight Mopar bolt-on.
Though the name might evoke utility (as well as happy Australians), the B-Ute's looks speak more to comfort than rugged off-road action. Starting out from the Renegade platform, there are a few cosmetic changes to the bodywork, including custom front fascias and upper grille area and a hood with heat extractors in it and wider flares.
A 1.5-inch lift kit gives the B-Ute a bit more ground clearance, and a set of 30-millimeter offset 17-inch wheels and Baja champion tires assist with off-road capability. The interior is done up a bit with colored trim and inserts, and MOLLE systems on the backs of the front seats let you stick all sorts of stuff back there.
The name is perhaps a riff on the legendary Mercedes G-Wagen, but the similarly boxy J-Wagon starts life as a Wrangler Sahara, and gets a Warm Neutral Grey paint job that's a shade or two darker than the Granite Crystal Metallic of the standard model.
People seemed to like the Brass Monkey color wheels when Jeep showed them at SEMA in 2017, so there's Brass Monkey details all over this thing. The wheels, the hood latches, trim accents inside ... If Brass Monkey is your thing, there's plenty to enjoy here.
The JPP hood has been modified to allow a nice high intake snorkel out, the wheels are 35-inch KM3s from BF Goodrich, and the interior is done up in premium style with camel-color Katzkin leather seats.
There are a ton of photos in the gallery, and if that's not enough for you, you can check out last year's concepts, or the ones from 2016, or 2015, or 2013 ... Enjoy, and let us know which ones speak to you!