Since 1446 (estimated), Jeep has been gathering up Jeep-fetishists in Moab, Utah for a week-long Easter Jeep Safari. In keeping with the Easter theme (rebirth of saviors, rabbits, eggs) they usually take the opportunity in the Deseret desert to show off some concepts. This year they're showing six concepts, but sadly none are as exciting as the Forward Control concept (FC Mighty) they showed last year.
Alarmingly, Jeep didn't ask for my opinion, and while I'm hurt, confused, and angry, I'll be magnanimous and tell them what they should have done: A Forward Control van concept and a modernized Mighty Mite. But, they didn't ask me, so here's what we got instead:
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II
This diesel Cherokee has huge 35-inch tires, "blood-orange" paint, enlarged wheel openings with custom flares, skid plates, tow hooks, Grand Cherokee SRT hood and clearance-modified SRT front and rear fascias. They've also given it matte black grille and roof panels, and some custom roof rails.
The press release saves by far the most exciting parts for last: "Mopar slush mats and rear cargo liner." Aw, yeah. Slush mats.
Jeep Wrangler Mopar Recon
Looking like something that gets winched off the side of an aircraft carrier, this foggy grey Jeep makes 470 HP from a 6.4 L Hemi crate engine. It's got a number of custom and prototype parts along with the Mopar bolt-ons (Stinger bumpers, rock rails, winch, etc.) including a 4.5" long-arm lift kit, prototype LED headlights, and custom seats made from Navy blankets and Navy camouflage material.
Also, the slush mats.
Jeep Wrangler Stitch
This one seems the most interesting. It's a very lightened Jeep — down to about 3,000 lbs — which was achieved by taking out as much as they could get away with: heat, a/c, back seats, chunks of the body, doors, etc.
The most striking part is the design, though. The de-skinned body panels have been covered with a semi-transparent architectural fabric that becomes transparent at parts of the body, especially the rear. It's an interesting effect.
Jeep Wrangler Sand Trooper II from Mopar
Perfect for your next vacation to Tattooine or Arrakis, this beige beast rides on 40 inch tires, makes 375 HP/400 lb-ft from it's 5.7L Hemi, and has all the lift kits, stowage boxes, LED lights, grab handles, and yes, slush mats that Mopar could bolt on.
Jeep Wrangler Flattop
This one is the attempt to mix all the luxury-spec interior bits with genuinely capable off-roading abilities, but the real take-away here is the custom B-pillarless, windowless hard top, which is pretty sleek looking.
The press release also adds: "The interior features dark saddle Katzkin leather seating, copper accents on the steering wheel spokes, vent rings and passenger grab handle and Mopar slush mats."
Again with the slush mats! Am I out of the loop here? Is there something particularly exciting about slush mats that I'm not getting? Seriously, tell me, I want to know. I've never read a press release that makes so many mentions of the goddamn floor mats. They must be pretty amazing. I should head to a dealer and get the full slush mat experience myself.
Jeep Wrangler Slim
Slim, Flattop, Stitch — these sound like Dick Tracy villains more than concept Jeeps, but, whatever. This one's also a lightweight, as the name suggests, and is the only one powered by the 3.6 L V6. It's got Mopar's lightest rear bumper, and the press release tells us this, which is a terrific sentence, out of context: "Rolling on prototype 17-inch Jeep Performance Parts forged beadlock wheels with Rock Lobster beauty rings..."
"Rock Lobster beauty rings." That sort of sound like a weird sex toy or torrture device. More interesting is that it has a CB radio, which is clearly due for a comeback.
And yes, it has the goddamn slush mats, too.