Hippity hoppity Jeep is on its way — to Utah with four new concepts for the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari.
Stellantis’ go-anywhere brand is a mainstay at the event, which it uses like a living laboratory. The rugged trails give the brand a chance to put products through their paces and the rugged aficionados of brand get a chance to pore over the concepts and offer feedback.
This year, the company will bring out four new concepts, a few of which it teased recently, as well as the three from last year that didn’t get to go due to the pandemic. As a result, the concepts are equipped with different powertrains and components giving attendees plenty to gawk at. The event runs from March 27 to April 4.
Getting real-world input
“The Moab Easter Jeep Safari has long been our testing ground for both our newest Jeep 4x4s and for showcasing new Jeep brand concepts, Jeep Performance Parts and ideas that truly resonate with our most passionate customers — the die-hard off-road enthusiasts who attend this event every year,” said Jim Morrison, vice president, Jeep Brand North America.
“This year’s Safari shines a spotlight on what makes Jeep vehicles unmistakably distinctive and undeniably capable, a variety of powertrains that deliver superior power, performance, torque and, above all, fun. Moab’s demanding trails are a worthy opponent for our Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator concept vehicles. Each is certain to prove that Jeep’s legendary 4×4 capability reigns supreme on any terrain.”
The company’s 2021 concepts include a pure electric model, an update of an beach classic, a pickup that’s equal parts capability and efficiency and some open air furn.
Electric vehicles are everywhere, including Moab courtesy of the Jeep Wrangler Magneto. The concept is based on a two-door 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. It uses a custom-built axial flux electric motor that operates up to 6,000 rpm.
Connected to a 6-speed manual transmission, it creates a unique manual-electric powertrain with a clutch — just like a gas-powered model. However, new tech means new advantages. In quick-shift scenarios, the e-motor engages regen upon clutch engagement to prevent rev-hang.
Comparable to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, Jeep says, the motor delivers 285 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Engineers calibrated the Magneto to deliver a driving experience that is nearly identical to the aforementioned 6 cylinder. Again, new tech means new advantages, like near-silent operation and the ability to spool up all 273 lb.-ft. of torque without the need to build up revolutions per minute. The Magneto concept runs 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds.
Crawling around the trails means Magneto’s batteries are important both size and location. Well, the four battery packs offer a combined power of 70 kW/h, running an 800-volt system. The lithium-ion batteries are distributed around the Wrangler to balance weight on the four wheels. An inverter derived from race cars converts DC power to AC for the high-tech motor. The batteries and the needed systems sit in waterproof enclosures to maintain the Wrangler’s 30-inch water-traversing capability.
Magneto features a Bright White color with Surf Blue accents, along with a heavy-duty performance hood with center scoop and custom decal, redesigned rear gate and dramatic full-width forward lighting.
Custom Royal Blue and Black leather seats with Sapphire-colored inserts and straps, Surf Blue truck bed liner and Mopar slush mats give the Magneto’s interior design an electrified appearance.
It also comes equipped with a JPP 2-inch lift kit, 17-inch Lights Out black metallic wheels with 35-inch mud-terrain tires, custom roll cage, Mopar Rock Rails, steel bumpers with a Warn winch and a steel belly pan for added off-road capability.
Just about each year of the Safari, Jeep reaches back into its long history to create a heritage model or resto-mod, and 2021 is no different with the Jeepster Beach. This is actually the second Jeepster the brand’s created, the original based off the 1968 Jeepster Commando. The originals were made for fun in the sun, and this beach-themed cruiser continues that tradition.
The body was modified and the exterior fuses original chrome trim with an updated, brightly colored two-tone paint scheme of Hazy IPA and Zinc Oxide. While the concept screams vintage, it relies on the underpinnings of the modern-day Jeep Wrangler — important when it comes to the powertrain. It features a high-tech 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a custom, concept calibration that increases the engine output about 25% above the production version to 340 hp and 369 lb.-ft. of torque.
The direct-injection engine uses a twin-scroll, low-inertia turbocharger mounted directly to the cylinder head, along with a dedicated cooling circuit for the turbocharger, intake air and throttle body for exceptional responsiveness, performance and fuel efficiency. An 8-speed automatic transmission mated to a 4:1 transfer case delivers power to 35-inch tires.
Jeepster Beach’s custom interior features low-back bucket seats trimmed in red leather. The rear seat was replaced with a chrome, four-point safety cage and the carpets were removed to make cleaning out sand a breeze.
Jeep Red Bare
If you want to take a pickup out to tackle the trails in Utah, the Jeep Red Bare is the vehicle you’d draw up. The Gladiator Rubicon-based concept, is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 putting out 260 hp and 442 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s mated to a TorqueFlite 8HP75 8-speed automatic transmission, which is calibrated for low RPM shifts and handle rough terrain.
The Red Bare features Dana 44 front and rear heavy-duty axles that have been upgraded with 4.88 axle ratios for optimum performance. The truck delivers an impressive 91:1 crawl ratio to tackle the toughest trails that Moab has, Jeep noted.
It boasts a Fire Cracker Red exterior with custom Matte Black graphics and gold accents, plus Mojave hood and cowl pieces and a Matte Black signature seven-slot grille insert. Passengers get a real feel for the outdoors with the black factory soft-top and half doors for ultimate open-air freedom.
The interior stands out with a custom Katzkin Black leather seats with red stitching and custom red flannel inserts, which also finds its way on to the instrument panel. Rounding out the interior accents are body-color matched truck-bed lined floors with Mopar slush mats. It also comes with a JPP 2-inch lift kit, 17-inch Matte Black wheels with 37-inch BFG mud-terrain tires, cargo bed-mounted sport bar, JPP Sand Slider rock rails, bed cover and rack system, factory
Jeep Orange Peelz
The last of the four new concepts is what Jeep mavens and casual fans think of when they think Jeep: a two-door Wrangler outfitted to climb over anything while giving driver and passengers alike the stereotypical open-air experience. The Jeep Orange Peelz looks the part, starting with the by removing side and rear windows, installing prototype JPP half doors and a custom removable one-piece Freedom Top glass sunroof.
Adding to the effect — aside from the tough-to-miss Orange Peelz exterior, the concept gets a JPP 2-inch lift kit with Fox shocks that increases ground clearance. Just below the concept steel “high-top” fender flares are 17-inch JPP beadlock-capable aluminum wheels riding on 37-inch BF Goodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires with Mopar valve stem caps carrying the Jeep logo.
The concept also features a Satin Black 360-degree custom beltline graphic and Satin Black vintage Jeep fender badges, which draws attention to the custom black Mopar hood latches with the Jeep Willys logo. That is flanked by JPP 5-inch off-road LED lights mounted at the base of the A-pillars, each providing 4,800 lumens of power to help light the trail ahead. For additional protection against windshield chips and cracks, it comes with a factory-backed Mopar windshield made with Corning Gorilla Glass.
A custom JPP Rubicon steel bumper includes a prototype 2-inch steel grille guard and the exclusive JPP 8,000-lb capacity Rubicon Warn winch. Custom rock rails provide superior protection and durability for serious off-roading. On the rear of the vehicle, the JPP Swing Gate Hinge Reinforcement allows for a larger spare tire. The reinforcement is powder-coated black and works with the production hinge for easy installation. Body-color tow hooks on the rear and front complete the exterior.
The interior gets a plaid treatment similar to the Red Bare’s flannel. Accent-orange stitching completes the steering wheel, shifter boots and the parking-brake handle. Mopar stainless steel pedal covers add a bold statement and feature rubber pads to provide plenty of positive traction for drivers. Door sills are protected by black sill guards that feature the vehicle’s logo.
Standard Mopar all-weather floor mats are injection molded and designed with deep rigid sidewalls and advanced reservoir systems that contain liquids, preventing them from leaking onto the floor. Front mats feature a patented drain plug that covers floor drain holes, which allow draining without mat removal for easy cleaning.
The Jeep Orange Peelz concept is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with 285 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. The proven powertrain is upgraded with a JPP cold-air intake and JPP cat-back exhaust system.
In addition to the four newbies, Jeep’s bringing the head to Moab for the first time, including the go-anywhere overlanding Jeep Gladiator Farout concept, the powerful, high-performance Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 concept and the Jeep Gladiator Top Dog concept aimed at hard-core mountain bike enthusiasts
The Rubicon 392 moved from concept to production vehicle. The concept is powered by a 6.4-liter (392-cubic-inch) V-8 engine, generating 485 hp and 475 lb.-ft. of torque. Nearly 75% of this naturally aspirated engine’s peak torque is available just above engine idle speed, enhancing its prowess off-road and on.
Despite not getting to make the trip to Moab, it did find its way out into the public consciousness later last July. The concept was the first Wrangler/CJ to use a V-8 since the 1981 CJ. That 5.0-liter V-8 put out a whopping 125 hp and 220 lb.-ft. of torque. The new model races from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.