Jeep has been holding its annual Easter Safari in Moab, Utah, for the last 50 years, with the brand’s designers participating in a legendary team building exercise that drives circles around the typical name badge and conference room setups of other company’s events.
“Every year, the Jeep team looks forward to pushing the limits with new, exciting and capable concept vehicles for our most loyal enthusiasts at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, where we receive a tremendous amount of valuable feedback,” says Jeep brand chief Mike Manley.
Besides the Jeep team, thousands of Jeep loyalists descend on Moab over the week-long event to put their cars to the test.
This year the brand is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the brand’s Easter Safari with seven new concept vehicles, featuring an array of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts available to consumers.
“Mopar’s mission is to provide all FCA US vehicle owners with unique performance parts and accessories to tailor vehicles to their individual lifestyles,” says Pietro Gorlier, Mopar’s Head of Parts and Service. “Nothing supports that more than demonstrating how we can equip Jeep owners to take on some of the more extreme trails in the world.”
A team of passionate engineers, designers and fabricators that have been customizing production vehicles since 2002, created the seven new Jeep concept vehicles built for Moab this year. Here are the concept vehicles they’ve devised:
Jeep Crew Chief 715
The Jeep Crew Chief 715 concept vehicle was built as a salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles, in particular the Kaiser M715. This open-air Wrangler Unlimited-based concept showcases heritage design cues, but utilizes modern-day construction and adds a rear seat and extra doors while staying close to its classic military roots.
The Crew Chief 715’s exterior, finished in a ‘Tactical Green’ hue, features a custom M715-inspired front-end as well as a military themed five-foot cargo bed, off-road rock rails and a winch mounted into the front and rear bumpers.
The interior features leather bucket seats with canvas inserts, aircraft-inspired control switches and Mopar all-weather mats. The media center features a centrally located navigational compass.
Original Jeep military service vehicles were legendary for getting troops through rugged terrain, and the Jeep Crew Chief 715 illustrates this legacy.
Powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic, the Crew Chief 715’s steel front and rear bumpers, 20-inch beadlock wheels and 40-inch NDT military tires pay homage to the original Jeep military vehicles.
Dana 60 front and rear axles and a four-inch lift kit with Jeep/Fox 2.0 remote reservoir shocks give the Crew Chief 715 increased capability while an on-board air system with a hard-mounted quick-disconnect fitting can be used for airing up or lending assistance to other vehicles on the trail. Other features include a master cylinder brake upgrade, cold air intake and a modified exhaust.
A carefully crafted take on the beloved Jeep CJ-5, this Wrangler-based concept vehicle invokes the spirit of 1950s Americana with a shortened body and functional simplicity.
Exterior design cues include a unique grille, hood, tailgate, front and rear wheel flares and custom chrome front and rear bumpers. A modified exhaust, 17-inch red steel wheels and 35-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires help the Jeep Shortcut maintain the look of an icon.
The Shortcut includes a front and rear Dana 44 axle and a two-inch lift with Fox shocks. Overall body length has been reduced by more than 12 inches to keep the Shortcut concept vehicle light and maneuverable on the trails.
Inside, the simple yet functional interior features low-back leather bucket seats with plaid inserts, a red ball shifter handle, four-point safety cage and Mopar all-weather mats.
The Jeep Shortcut is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
Jeep stopped building the Comanche a while ago, but this concept vehicle shows that the nameplate might just be ready for a comeback.
A nod to classic Jeep pickup trucks, the Comanche concept takes cues from military and civilian Jeep heritage. The ‘Beige Against the Machine’ exterior is accented with a satin black hood, a unique lower front fascia, winch, steel rear bumper, soft-top and spare tire in the bed. The wheelbase has been stretched an additional six inches versus a production Renegade to accommodate Comanche’s five-foot bed.
Inside, the Comanche features custom seat covers, pedal covers, sill guards and Mopar all-weather mats. Jeep Performance Parts like off-road rock rails, a two-inch lift kit and a winch bolster the Comanche’s off-road capability. The Comanche rolls on 16-inch painted wheels and 32-inch BF-Goodrich All Terrain T/A tires.
The Jeep Comanche is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, which includes low range and a locking rear differential.
Founded in 2012, Form Trends tirelessly covers the automotive design industry in all corners of the globe to bring you exclusive content about cars, design, and the people behind the products.