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by Patrick Rall
The 2017 Easter Jeep Safari will be the 51st annual off-roading extravaganza in Moab, Utah. Mopar always brings a spread of customized Jeeps to show off aftermarket upgrades and concept parts, which may be sold in the future. They will debut on April 8 and will remain on display (and in action) through the end of the Easter Jeep Safari on April 16th, but we got a chance to check them out in advance at the FCA headquarters in Auburn Hills.
The Jeep Switchback showcases a spread of current Mopar and Jeep accessories, including a front and rear Dana 44 axle package, a four-inch suspension lift package from Fox with remote resevoirs, heavy duty differential covers, the tenth anniversary Rubicon bumpers, high top fender flares, a black fuel door, taillight guards, a cold air intake kit and axle-back exhaust system, an integrated winch, the Rubicon grille, and a heavy duty rear door hinge kit with an oversized spare tire carrier.
Next, the Jeep Switchback Concept has 17-inch concept wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tires, a concept hood, unique pass-through half doors and the concept “Safari” hood – which is not featured on the Jeep Safari Concept.
This unique rear roof treatment has a raised rear section with extra windows, giving the folks in the back a better look at what is going on around the vehicle while cruising through the wilderness. This Safari concept roof also has a large roof rack over the front seats, providing added cargo area for a trip to Moab.
Finally, the exterior of the Jeep Switchback Concept has tons of custom LED lighting, including the headlights, fog lights, taillights, a light bar across the top of the windshield and A-pillar spotlights. On the inside, the Switchback has Katzkin leather seats, body colored dash trim, concept sport grab handles, spray-in bedliner on the floorboards rather than carpeting and Mopar all-weather floor mats.
2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the Grand Cherokee “ZJ”, so for this year’s Easter Jeep Safari, the Mopar team has refurbished and upgraded one of the original 1993 Jeeps, found on Craigslist. It’s the least modified vehicle in the group.
The Jeep Grand One is powered by a near-stock 318 cubic inch V8 (5.2 liter) with a Mopar cold air intake and a loud exhaust system. While the engine hasn’t been beefed up, the suspension setup is heavily modified, with Fox Racing dampers and performance springs lifting the body up 2 inches and away from the 33 inch mud tires on 18-inch “lace style” gold wheels.
The Grand One also has a refurbished interior complete with a blue plaid headliner, but the most interesting changes to this big, old Jeep might have gone unnoticed when you first look at the images.
The body of this 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee has been cut, allowing the team to stretch the wheelbase by moving the front and rear axles, but the body colored wheel flares hide this unique body work. However, if you look closely at the side profile image, you can see how the rear door has been altered to accept the unique axle placement.
Finally, since most of the high end 1993 Grand Cherokee models came with wood grain running down the side, the Mopar team has a shadowed woodgrain affect under the metallic blue paint.
This old Grand Cherokee might not be as flashy as the other vehicles, but it will resonate well with Jeep owners who have owned and loved one of the full sized SUVs.
This vehicle started its life as a 2017 Compass Trailhawk, but the team added a 1.5-inch lift kit, uniquely painted 18-inch wheels wrapped in Continental TerrainContact all-terrain tires, a custom hood graphic, side stripes, tinted headlights, tinted taillights and gloss black exterior mirror caps.
Next, from the Jeep Performance Parts catalog, the Trailpass includes rock rails, cross rails, a roof basket and a Thule roof bag – all of which can be purchased by new Compass owners for use on their vehicles.
On the inside, the Jeep Trailpass Concept has a Katzkin leather seats and armrests, body colored dash trim, and all-weather floormats from the Jeep Performance Parts catalog.
Because of its unique nature, we’ve split out the Quicksand concept — the Wrangler based Hemi hot rod, as well as the Jeep Safari, which may have some hints on future looks and options.
The narrow-bodied Jeep CJ66 was launched at the SEMA show in November, and uses a 383 horsepower Hemi V8 with a six-speed manual; it has a cold air intake and catback exhaust, along with Dana 44 crate axles.
Not actually a new reveal, but here’s the Luminator again:
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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