It’s spring in Utah and that means one thing for Jeep enthusiasts: Easter Jeep Safari. The 53rd annual extreme off-roading event in Moab brings out thousands of Jeep lovers to spend April 13-21 clambering over some of the toughest 4x4 terrain in the world.
As is tradition for some 16 years in a row, FCA’s Jeep division brings a handful of carefully crafted but fully functional concepts to the Safari to both pique and gauge interest from the faithful in future Jeep designs.
All of this year’s concepts are based on, or draw cues from, the brand’s all-new Gladiator 4-door midsize pickup truck, and many feature Mopar parts already available from the automaker.
This year’s concepts include:
- Jeep Wayout, a Gladiator that goes way beyond the traditional campsites. It’s equipped with a deck over the truck bed fitted with a two-person camping tent on the roof and a pull-out awning.
- Jeep Flatbill, as in the fashion of wearing flat-bill ballcaps, is a Gladiator designed to handle the twin motocross dirt bikes on built-in ramps in the truck bed.
- Jeep M-715 Five-Quarter, built on a ’68 M-715 military vehicle, the Five-Quarter (referring to its 1 1/4 -ton hauling capacity), gets a supercharged 707-hp 6.2L Hemi V-8 crate engine under the hood, linked to a 3-speed manual gearbox and Dana 60 and 80 axles, front and rear, respectively. It’s the only concept not powered by a stock 3.6L Pentastar V-6 and 8-speed automatic transmission.
- Jeep Gladiator Gravity is a Mopar parts tour de force, fitted with some $8,000 worth of off-the-shelf parts and accessories designed to meet the unique demands of extreme climbers.
- Jeep JT Scrambler harkens back to the 1980s CJ-8 Scrambler and sports heritage-inspired Punk’N Metallic Orange paint and Nacho striping, and a Katzkin leather interior.
- Jeep J6 is a perfectly proportioned, 2-door version of the Gladiator with a 6-ft. (1.8-m) truck bed (vs. 5-ft. (1.5-m) on the stock Gladiator). Built on a Wrangler 4-door chassis, the J6 is about 19 ins. (483 mm) shorter than a Gladiator.
- Bob Gritzinger