In anticipation of the 50th Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, Jeep turned its best and brightest designers loose and created seven concept vehicles you’ll probably never drive.
But you can gaze, and you can dream.
These rolling showcases for Jeep and Mopar performance parts crop up annually in advance of the off-road love-in (March 19 – 27), but this year Jeep delved deep into the history file to celebrate its 75th birthday.
We’ll highlight the standouts after the break.
Jeep Crew Chief 715
With a Wrangler-based pickup already approved by FCA and on its way, the Jeep Crew Chief 715 is more than just a military-themed concept — it’s possibly a taste of what we can expect when the long-awaited pickup arrives.
Built on a four-door Wrangler Unlimited frame, the open-top Crew Chief has a five-foot bed, a slanted prow reminiscent of the original Wagoneer, and is motivated by the stock Wrangler’s Pentastar V6 and five-speed automatic. Suspension and brake upgrades, a winch, and intake and exhaust improvements round out the package.
An air system would be great for when you have to provide the balloons at your kid’s birthday. There’s likely better uses for that compressor, though.
The word “cat” is grafted onto this concept because, if you haven’t already guessed, Jeep shoehorned the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 from the Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat under its utilitarian hood.
Making 707 horsepower, the engine is more suited for running from border patrol or lawless biker gangs than for rock crawling, but you have to give credit to Jeep for building what people want to see.
Fitting the monster V8 into a space once reserved for a four cylinder meant stretching the frame by 12 inches, while a chopped-down windshield and seats borrowed from the Dodge Viper bolster its performance aspirations.
A familiar name last seen in 1992 returned on Jeep’s Renegade-based Comanche pickup concept.
A six-inch wheelbase stretch was needed to create the pint-sized pickup, which features a five-foot bed, rock rails, lift kit and winch — all of them must-have options, according to suburban Renegade owners.
Adding intrigue to the fairly vanilla Renegade was easy. A true soft top is something you’ll never get on the factory Renegade, and under the hood of the Comanche lies a 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder sourced from overseas markets (dream on, U.S. customers).
In Comanche form, this is about as butch as the Fiat 500L-based Renegade can get. But please, prove us wrong, Jeep.
Jeep Shortcut: proof that you can shorten a Wrangler by a foot in order to create a retro concept that emulates the classic CJ-5.
Jeep Renegade Commander: this concept is more of an off-road options package for the littlest Jeep.
Jeep FC 150: a retro cab-over design based on a 2005 Wrangler, complete with a 4.0-litre inline-six and state-of-the-art three-speed automatic.
Jeep Trailstorm: an extensive off-road parts dump onto the Wrangler Unlimited.
[Images courtesy of the manufacturer.]