Jeep is rolling into Moab, Utah, for the 48th annual Easter Jeep Safari with six new concept vehicles, including for the first time two Cherokees and a Grand Cherokee, for enthusiasts to pore over and give a thumbs up or down.
The three Wranglers, two Cherokees and one Grand Cherokee are laden with Jeep and Mopar accessories that are currently available as well as some that are in development.
The week-long event attracts Jeep enthusiasts across the country who spend their days crawling along several trails in the Red Rocks area of the southwest. The Jeep owners often modify their Jeep Wranglers extensively to meet their needs so it’s perfect spot for Jeep to get feedback on these developmental items.
“Since 2002, Jeep and Mopar have teamed to create more than 40 unique concept vehicles for enthusiasts who attend the popular Easter Jeep Safari,” said Pietro Gorlier, president and CEO — Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand.
The Mopar product catalog now features more than 1,000 accessories, with the Wrangler being the largest portion of those offerings with more than 300 products. The Moab event is really the final proving ground for many of those parts.
“Moab is the perfect proving ground for our parts,” Gorlier said. “Want to give everyone a chance to put in original Jeep parts.”
The event is heavily “Wrangler” and Jeep is bringing its Wrangler Level Red, Wrangler MOJO (the “OJ” in the name stands for “Orange Jeep”) and Wrangler Maximum Performance to the Safari.
The Level Red, which is a reference to the highest level of difficulty an off-road trail can be designated, features a two-inch lift kit to give it improved clearance. The lift kit is a new addition to the list of accessories available this spring. Additionally, it gets the developmental Jeep Cargo Management System, which comes with a tow-strap bag and first aid bag, on the rear swing gate.
Other modifications include the Mopar half-door kit, a prototype Jeep Performance Parts tire carrier, a locking gas cap, a hood prop kit and Jeep Performance Parts rock rails. Wrangler Level Red also sports badges for each of the five trails in Moab recognized by the Jeep brand as “Badge of Honor” trails.
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The MOJO perhaps evokes the strongest image of what people envision when they think of off-roading in a Wrangler. With a bikini top and Bright Orange paint, it screams take me out and beat me up…if you can.
It has prototype Jeep Performance Parts “Shorty” bumpers and prototype flat-top fenders, with 37-inch BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tires wrapped around prototype beadlock wheels, accented with Mopar Bronze on the beadlock ring. It also boasts prototype LED headlamps and fog lamps and the innovative Mopar lockable rear cargo tray keeps valuables safe.
The Maximum Performance is armed with new Jeep Performance Parts-exclusive push-button electric-locking Dana 60 axles at the front and rear, as well as 4.88 gearing and the 4:1 Rock-Trac transfer case to better hurdle any trail impediments. A prototype Jeep Performance Parts 4-inch lift kit also raises the vehicle. Wrangler Maximum Performance boasts a 70:1 crawl ratio.
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Other prototype accessories, include a Jeep Performance Parts “Stinger” front bumper, a flattop fender kit, a Jeep Performance Parts winch, and LED lights mounted to the top of the vehicle to shine bright during nighttime off-road maneuvers, as well as a graphics package signifying the Moab landscape adorns the hood.
The Cherokees aren’t quite a modded up as their Wrangler counterparts, but they feature a passel of equipment that add to their off road functionality.
The Cherokee Adventurer boasts Trailhawk 4×4 capability with prototype 17-inch wheels. It also uses a prototype matte black Mopar roof basket with a bungee net holding down cargo. Jeep Performance Parts rock rails provide formidable off-road defense, and further protection is added courtesy of a two-piece underbody skid plate, a front suspension skid plate, an oil tank skid plate and a two-piece fuel tank skid plate. Red tow hooks adorn the front.
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Described by Jeep as “the most extreme Cherokee ever,” Cherokee Dakar’s wheel openings have been modified in order to accommodate larger 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tires. It also features prototype wider fender flares with riveted bolts give a tougher appearance and to accommodate the wider track and larger tires. A prototype rear fascia allows for an even more aggressive departure angle and enhances the higher ride height. In fact, the exhaust pipes were cut shorter and re-routed to keep the look cleaner.
Belying its “eco” moniker, the Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel has an aggressive profile due to a Quadra-Lift air suspension and prototype 20-inch wheels. It’s a simple beast with a “Mojave Sand” exterior featuring all black accents on the wheels, door handles, grille and other accessories. It also gets the Mopar roof basket to haul additional cargo as needed.