At this year's Easter Jeep Safari, the annual culmination of Utah's off-roading holy week, Chrysler's again hauling out concept Jeeps to tempt the faithful, combining aftermarket gear with stuff from the Mopar catalog. Yesterday, you saw the "Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence." Today, there are more.
Jeep Cherokee Overland
Remember the Willy's Jeep, built by the Willys-Overland company? Sure you do. That last-century vibe runs through the safari-themed Jeep Cherokee Overland concept, which Jeep says reflects a small, light adventure platform alternative. The tease is in, however, as the concept is built on the export-only CRD diesel version. It also gets an ARB 3-inch suspension lift, Old Man Emu shocks, Mickey Thompson 265/75-R16 MTZ tires on retro-style steel wheels, an ARB air locker in the rear diff and on-board air compressor.
Jeep Compass Canyon
Sure, it's behind "brunch with Diane Von Furstenberg" on hardcore rock crawlers' bucket lists, but the Jeep Compass still got the concept treatment, with a 2-1/8-inch lift kit by Rocky Road Suspension, Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ 225/75-R16 tires with 16-inch alloy wheels from a Jeep Liberty. They also took out the sway bars for more off-road flexibility.
Jeep Wrangler Blue Crush
That this desert-race-inspired Wrangler has a baja-style rollcage goes without saying. But it also gets quite the racing drivetrain, including Hemi V8 producing 540 hp over a 545RFE performance transmission, custom driveshafts and gear-drive transfer case. The off-road suspension comprises internal bypass shocks, front stabilizer bar, full hydraulic steering and 39" tires.
Jeep Wrangler Renegade
The Jeep Wrangler Renegade concept makes a collect call to the 1972 Jeep Renegade — the first factory V8-powered Jeep. Power comes from an SRT-tweaked 6.4-liter Hemi V8 producing 475 hp, turning a six-speed manual and a ProRock 44 front axle by Dynatrac and a ProRock 60 rear axle. Both axles get ARB air lockers and crawly 4.10 gears. An AEV/Nth Degree four-inch suspension lift makes room for 35" Mickey Thompson Baja Claw radials on AEV Pintler wheels.
Mopar Ram Runner
Hey, who let a pickup in here? The Mopar Ram Runner's informed by desert racing, with trophy-truck conceits in the realm of tires, ground clearance and suspension. Gone are the steel front fenders and rear bed-sides, replaced with fiberglass. Power's from a 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Ram and Mopar will sponsor the 2011 TORC short-course off-road racing series, with Ram becoming the official vehicle of TORC. The Mopar Ram Runner will pace all the series' races.
Jeep Wrangler 'Pork Chop'
I admit it. I don't get the reference, unless Jeep's now dredging up mid-2000s Internet memes to name its concepts. Either way, the Pork Chop concept is all about weight reduction, and as such the 'Chop has no doors, top, tailgate, bumpers, carpet or sway bars. Lighter-weight components include aluminum bumpers and prototype QMC aluminum/carbon fiber hood. Inside are lightweight Sparco ‘Chrono Road' reclining buckets, and out back is a Gen-Right-fabricated, prototype fuel tank and aluminum skid plate.
The resulting weight bonus totals 850 lbs. That's a lot of sandwiches.