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story by Patrick Rall • photos by Marc Rozman
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Last but most certainly not least is another vehicle that wasn’t present in person. The Mopar Jeep Wrangler Sand Trooper is an open air sport utility vehicle, fitted with a lift kit and serious mudding tires wrapped around Mopar beadlock wheels to make it unstoppable in any offroad condition.
The 5.7L Hemi packed under the hood guarantees that you will also be one of the quickest and most powerful vehicles on the trail.
Unfortunately, this isn’t likely to see production (ever), but considering that the Sand Trooper is completed with Mopar accessories and a Mopar crate motor, a diehard offroading Jeep owner could build this vehicle.
What is perhaps the most impressive part of the 2012 SEMA Show preview by Mopar is that they showed us eight vehicles (either in person or in pictures) and this will one third of the cars in their Mopar display at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Based on what I saw today, 2012 should bring us an incredible SEMA Show with the Mopar area being one of the crown jewels.
The Dune-in-Matte color, four-door Jeep Wrangler is powered by the new 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 conversion kit, which gives owners 375 horsepower and 410 lb-ft. of torque. Front and rear portal axles add 5 inches of lift.
42-inch Super Swamper Bogger tires, with the oversize style of a tractor tire, give Sand Trooper a large, aggressive presence. Performance bead lock wheels are painted matte black. Fox Shox add ride traction and stability, while the full-length underbody skid plate prototype protects the Sand Trooper from off-road elements.
The tan paint is broken up by matte black front and rear off-road bumpers, grille, fuel-filler door, tail lamp guards and door-sill guards. The Jeep has no top for an open-concept feel, is amplified by Mopar half-doors. A vented hood helps the HEMI breathe. Other Mopar products include a skid plate, Warn winch, LED off-road lights, rock rails, and trailer-tow hitch receiver. The inevitable black Katzkin leather seats have tan stitching.
Interior Mopar accessories include a rearview camera, Mopar prototype CB radio, all-weather slush mats, hood lock, and locking trailside winch kit. The Mopar Add-a Trunk upgrades the Sand Trooper with secure storage, as does the under-seat and center-console locking storage and below-floor storage box.
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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