Dodge / Ram
story by Patrick Rall • photos by Marc Rozman
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In addition to the four cars, the 2012 SEMA preview featured a Jeep Grand Cherokee that takes a very non-standard approach to showcasing Mopar accessories. On one side, we have a standard Grand Cherokee while on the other side, there is a long list of items straight out of the Mopar Jeep catalog – with a “zipper” running up across the middle of the SUV.
While this vehicle doesn’t feature any amazing go-fast goodies, it shows what a difference can be made strictly from the Mopar catalog. Items like Mopar wheels, a Mopar grille insert, a step bar, mirror caps, a bug deflector, unique fog light bezels, a Mopar trailer tow package and a luggage carrier (much of which has been cut in half for this unusual show vehicle) on one side of the vehicle while the other side remains stock is a gorgeous display of how much customization someone can do with help from Mopar.
A zipper graphic applied down the center of the vehicle, complete with an actual giant-size Mopar zipper attached to the front bumper, hints at the dual-identity of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Half & Half. One half is a stock 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo; the other, a highly “Moparized” Grand Cherokee that illustrates what the vehicle can be when you have hundreds of thousands of Mopar parts and accessories to choose from to personalize your ride.
The stock side carries standard 17-inch wheels, while the “Moparized” half of the vehicle is upgraded to 20-inch chrome wheels, with chrome on the mesh-grille insert, tube steps, mirror caps, hood air deflector and fog lamp bezels. A trailer hitch with wiring harness, front tow hooks, bright license plate frame, roof rack cross bows and luggage carrier complete the exterior.
Inside, the dividing line between stock and “Moparized” continues. The Mopar segment of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Half & Half is filled with Mopar accessories, including Grand Cherokee logo door-sill guards, a bright pedal kit, all-weather mats, cargo tray, cargo net, Katzkin Tuscany Leather interior, and remote starter.
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Concept cars are often made so a car’s feel can be evaluated, problems can be foreseen, and reactions of the public can be judged. Some concepts test specific ideas, colors, controls, or materials — either subtle or out of proportion, to hide what’s being tested. Some are created to help designers think “out of the box.” The Challenger, Prowler, PT Cruiser, and Viper were all tested as production-based concepts dressed up to hide the production intent.
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