I have to admit, I thought the Jeep 4SPEED concept would invoke the creaky, primitive four-on-the-floor experience I have in my ’75 International Scout but it’s really designed to be just the opposite. Jeep meant “For Speed” and we’re not mad I guess, because it has another cool party trick.
The 4SPEED supposedly sheds 950 pounds off a regular Wrangler, which gives the stock suspension so much breathing room it actually lifts the vehicle by about two inches.
Jeep claims that this vehicle is a follow-up on 2011’s Pork Chop concept and Stitch from 2013, both of which were also ultra-stripped lightweight interpretations of the then-current Jeep Wrangler.
Those, of course, were all stars at Jeep’s annual concept car corral it does to entertain Jeep fans at the Easter Jeep Safari event in Moab, Utah. If you haven’t heard about this, you will a lot this week as David and I convoy from Michigan to Utah to take part in it. Basically, every Jeep fan who can makes a pilgrimate to this little mountain town to see a whole bunch of modified Jeeps and play on the cool rocks out there.
As for what 4SPEED is all about, it’s basically ditched as many parts as possible and adopted a carbon fiber hood, fender flares and rear tub for an extreme diet.
The windshield’s been raked to make it look a little more aerodynamic, and the 4SPEED’s overall length is 22 inches shorter than a standard Wrangler but the wheelbase is unchanged, making it incredibly agile over extreme climb and drop angles.
It’s got Jeep’s 2.0-liter turbo with an eight-speed automatic pushing Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 4.10 gear ratio and 35-inch mud terrain tires.
As soon as I get over the idea of a car called 4SPEED having eight speeds, I think I could enjoy myself immensely in this thing.