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Seven bespoke concepts headline Jeep festival

Rock ‘n’ Roll: Of the seven models revealed, the Jeep Shortcut is a standout with its retro inspired aesthetics and bright red colour scheme.

Jeep celebrates 50th annual Moab Safari with seven modified mud-pluggers


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11 Mar 2016

AMERICAN SUV authority Jeep has shown-off seven bespoke concept vehicles – headlined by a demon 527kW 6.2-litre V8-powered Wrangler, which have bee commissioned to tackle this year’s annual Easter Jeep Safari held in Moab, Utah.

The seven concepts have been built using a combination of Jeep Performance Parts and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) Mopar brand and will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Jeep festival, which this year also coincides with Jeep’s 75th birthday.

The highlight of the seven is the insane Trailcat, a Wrangler powered by FCA’s 6.2-litre Hellcat V8 engine and paired with a meat-and-two-veg six-speed manual gearbox.

While the Wrangler's wheelbase has been extended by 305mm and the windshield shortened by two-inches to fit the monstrous engine, Jeep has also fitted the sports bucket seats from the Dodge Viper, along with steel front and rear bumpers, 17-inch wheels and off-road tyres.

Another standout example is the Jeep Shortcut, a cut down version of the Wrangler built to pay tribute to 1950s Americana. Jeep shortened the overall length by 305mm while lifting the body by 51mm and also fitting 17-inch red steel wheels wrapped in all-terrain tyres.

Slightly tweaked front and rear ends, plaid insert leather seats and a red ball shifterlend a retro vibe, while power comes courtesy of a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6.

Not to be outdone by the Wrangler, Jeep is also bringing a pair of modified Renegades to the party, a plain-looking Commander and an extensively reworked Comanche pick-up.

The tamest looking Renegade of the bunch, the Commander is painted in a Fluorescent Grey paint with custom decals along the bodywork and comes equipped with a 51mm lift kit, 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tyres, off-road rock rails, skid plates and a modified exhaust.

Jeep’s interpretation of a small-sized pick-up sees the Renegade wheelbase stretched an additional 152mm and the rear seats removed to make room for a 1524mm rear bed. Other modifications include a revised and lowered front fascia, lifting the suspension by 51mm, 16-inch wheels, off-road tyres and a beige paint scheme to reference Jeep’s military vehicle history.

The Commander crossover is powered by Jeep’s 2.4-litre Tigershark four-cylinder engine, while the Comanche is propelled by a 2.0-litre diesel four pot.

Also paying homage to the historical military service vehicles of Jeep’s yesteryear is the Crew Chief 715, a larger army themed pick-up truck based on the Wrangler Unlimited.

Jeep has installed steel front and rear bumpers, truck bed, 20-inch beadlock wheels with military-spec tyres and a 102mm lift kit with upgraded shocks to give the Crew Chief 715 a towering road presence.

Power comes from a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 with a cold air intake and tweaked exhaust for a little extra grunt.

Also built on a Wrangler Unlimited, the Trailstorm represents the most practical of the bespoke bunch, with additional space for extra gear and fuel tanks.

A 51mm lift kit, 17-inch off-road wheels, upgraded shocks, steel front and rear bumpers, an upgraded brake kit and foglights give the Trailstorm some serious off-road credentials, while power comes from a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6.

The most unique of the bunch, the FC 150 is actually the overhauled body of a mid-century CJ-5 sitting on the chassis of a newer Wrangler. Extensive modifications to the chassis include new front and rear axles and 17-inch steel wheels wrapped in mud-terrain tyres, while the interior receives vinyl seat covers and custom headliner. The FC 150 is powered by a 4.0-litre PowerTech inline six.

Jeep CEO Mike Manley said the annual Easter event is a great way for the brand to connect and celebrate with its customer base.

“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,” he said.

“This year is extra special, as together with our biggest fans, we celebrate Jeep’s 75th anniversary, as well as the 50th running of the Jeep Safari. We’re delighted to share seven of the most capable and eye-catching concept Jeep vehicles we’ve ever created at this year’s historic event.”

This year’s event kicks off from Sunday March 20 and will conclude a week later on March 27.

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