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Six concepts unveiled at Jeep festival

General Purpose: Jeep has thrown a load of Mopar upgrades at its already capable Wrangler, in preparation for the Easter Jeep Safari.

Half-dozen hardcore Mopar Jeeps take on America's toughest trails in Moab


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15 Apr 2014

JEEP has teamed up with high-performance tuning arm Mopar to celebrate the 48th Easter Jeep Safari in Utah with not one, but six extreme mud-plugging concepts.

The collection of hardcore Jeeps is on show at the Moab off-road enthusiasts festival, where the six specially built vehicles join hundreds of other heavily modified four-wheel drives, all of which have been honed to take on some of the United States' most renowned trails.

Each of the six concepts began life as a standard road-going Jeep model, but a variety of performance enhancing modifications with assistance from Jeep's performance branch – Mopar, have given the show-cars more trail ability and street appeal.

Three of the vehicles began life as Jeep's most competent off-roader – the Wrangler, while one is based on the strong-selling Grand Cherokee and two are versions of the eagerly awaited Cherokee.

Jeep commissioned the specially built fleet to impress its “most loyal customers” at one of the world's biggest and toughest off-road events, but also uses the festival to listen to feedback from the gathering of trail-enthusiasts.

The first of the Wrangler trio uses the short wheelbase two-door as its basis but boosts its rock-hopping ability with a two-inch lifted suspension kit, modified Dana 44 crate axles and a Rock-Trac transfer-case.

The Wrangler Level Red also ups the 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 output with a cold-air intake and free-flow exhaust, and if all that gear doesn't keep it out of trouble, a winch is also fitted.

Knobbly 35-inch BFGoodrich tyres on black and red 17-inch rims are not just for looks and cap off the list of exterior equipment, consisting of half-height doors and fat Rubicon 10th Anniversary bumpers, while red roll-over bars and body pin-stripes contrast the Pitch Black panels.

 center imageFrom top: Jeep Cherokee Adventurer, Wrangler Level Red, Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel Trail Warrior and Wrangler MOJO.

The red and black colour scheme carries over to the interior with Tuscany Katskin leather seats, matching seatbelts, with gloss-black steering-wheel spokes and dash grab-handles.

The second of the three Wranglers - named the MOJO - is based on the longer wheelbase four-door version and shares the same engine, transmission and suspension modifications as the Level Red but with a Bright Orange exterior theme and contrasting black interior.

Completing the trio of Wranglers is the Maximum Performance, which boosts the long wheelbase ride-height by four-inches, while electric-locking Dana 60 axles add more traction and the 4:1 Rock-Trac transfer case combines to lower the crawl-ratio to a snail-like 70:1.

Mopar Blue paintwork and a raft of Jeep Performance Parts body upgrades set the Maximum Performance apart from its mud-munching siblings, and the colour-scheme continues throughout the interior.

Jeep's Cherokee Adventurer is one of a pair based on the model that is set to arrive in Australia in June, and uses a series of body and underside protection modifications to toughen the Cherokee for serious off-road use.

A roof-mounted basket, luggage-net and Mopar off-road bag increase the kit-capacity of the Adventurer allowing owners to go further into the wilderness.

Jeep claims the other half of the Cherokee twins is the most extreme version of the vehicle ever. The Cherokee Dakar's wheel-arches went under the knife to accommodate fat 33-inch tyres, and suspension modifications have given it a very capable approach/departure angle of 32-degrees and 39-degrees respectively.

Satin Gunmetal exterior with Flame Red highlights and widened riveted arches hint at the Cherokee Dakar's rock-crawling ability, while Machined Gunmetal inserts and red stitching graces the interior.

A special version of the large Grand Cherokee SUV completes the half-dozen, offering a more environmentally focused concept with a diesel engine in place of the other five petrol-powered vehicles.

Sitting higher than the standard version thanks to Quadra-Lift air-suspension, the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel Trail Warrior features satin-black low-lights about its exterior and gets around on 20-inch wheels wearing super-knobbly tyres.

For those Jeep enthusiasts wanting to own an example of the special concepts, all of the components used to create them are available from Mopar suppliers. Although muddy trails will have to be sought by the owner.

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