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In the NYC “Camp Jeep” ride

by David Zatz on

Before you step foot in the Jacob Javits Center on the west side of Manhattan — a few short blocks from Penn Station, and a subway-ride-and-walk from Grand Central or the Port Authority — the first thing you see is Camp Jeep.

camp jeep - axle

The event, with professional drivers taking on steel and gravel obstacles, puts show-goers into Jeeps tilting at crazy angles or climbing an 18-foot tall mesh peak at an angle of 35°.

This year, the ride includes the 2019 Jeep Wrangler 2929629and Cherokee, as well as the Grand Cherokee. The two unibody cars, one of which is FWD-based, tackle the same obstacles as the body-on-frame, beam-axle Wrangler, albeit in different ways (in the photo above, the Wrangler has full four-wheel attraction despite the highly angled ridge).

For passengers who were not too busy marveling at the steep ascent and descent angles, there were some chances to see new Jeep features on display — literally. In the photo above, the driver’s center gauge shows the Jeep Off-Road Pages, even as we come in for a landing (going from 35° to 0°); in the photo below, the same display is in the center screen.

offroad pages

The experience is just a little surreal, taking place in a busy part of the city, especially as it’s being transformed — ancient taxi garages and small shops are being replaced by skyscrapers right across the street.

Tilted Jeep offroad pages

The tilts get pretty severe, but Jeeps are made for this. Indeed, even the lowly Renegade can balance on one wheel without harm — don’t try that for long with a typical SUV (even a body-on-frame). It’s harder to make the Wrangler do that trick, with its superior suspension articulation, but the Jeeps all have tough bodies to handle a good deal of punishment.

New York City’s Camp Jeep is a rolling advertisement for the Wrangler, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee — and it’s not just advertising to show-goers, who can wait on a long line to experience it for themselves; it’s clearly visible to passers-by on the sidewalk. Yes, even hardened New Yorkers stopped to stare and photograph.

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