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by Patrick Rall
The Jeep Safari is based on the Wrangler Unlimited. This concept vehicle has been modified to offer family-friendly off-roading, giving those folks in the back seat the same great view as the driver and front passenger, but that may be incidental to the hints it drops about future directions.
The body of the Jeep Safari looks a great deal like the spy shots of the 2018 Wrangler, with a grille sporting headlights that push the outer grille slot a bit inwards; LED headlights and LED taillights, unique parking lights, and a raked windshield.
The design team, possibly hiding the 2018 clues in plain sight, then added flattened rocker panels, huge wheel flares, unique bumpers, and custom 18-inch wheels wrapped in 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tires.
To increase its off-roading abilities, the Jeep Safari Concept has front and rear Dana 44 axles with selectable differential lockers, a 2-inch lift kit with Fox dampers, full-length skid plates, huge Baer front and rear brakes, and an on-board air compressor system. The engine has a “concept” cold air intake to help the engine breathe a little better, while the usual 5-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels.
The most unique aspects of the Jeep Safari Concept are the rear seats, the translucent roof with a drone landing spot, and the clear plastic doors. While the transluscent roof allows in extra light and the drone landing spot is cool, the star of this concept vehicle is the unique door system. Seats appear to be taken from the Fiat 500 Abarth.
The Safari Concept has clear vinyl doors on lightweight aluminum frames, with the rear doors having a “suicide” opening style and zippers making the clear vinyl into windows that can open. These doors are designed to give everyone a great view of their surroundings, but particular care was paid to those folks sitting in the rear seats. These seats are elevated and angled slightly outward, making for easier viewing by smaller passengers (read: kids) during off-road fun.
The idea of including the drone and the parking area on the reinforced roof is that by using the iPad in the dash or their own devices (tablets, smartphones, etc), a kid sitting in the back of the Safari Concept can control the drone to investigate the area around the vehicle without leaving their seats.
While the front end upgrades, the big tires and the high performance suspension bits make this concept vehicle a more eye-catching concept vehicle, it is the vinyl-and-aluminum doors which will draw the most attention at Moab. These lightweight doors look great and offer incredible visibility, making them the perfect solution for a Wrangler owner who wants passengers to have the best view possible while playing in Moab.
The lightweight aluminum doors are a fine idea in a world without side-impact crash standards, but perhaps there are some elements of reality in this test. Would buyers want flexible clear plastic in case of standard windows, or a large, clear top, and can either one be done legally? Is the roofrack, similar to the one on the Switchback, a potential aftermarket part? This concept deserves a closer look.
See the Quicksand concept — the Wrangler based Hemi hot rod and the other Jeep concepts revealed for Moab 2017.
Other concept cars at allpar
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.
Concept cars • popular: Firepower • Tomahawk • ME412 • Mighty FC • Gladiator
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