Every spring the off-roading world descends upon Moab, Utah to celebrate one of the most important brands in the global 4×4 segment––Jeep. Now in its 49th year, The Easter Jeep Safari event has a number of key events, the unveiling of Jeep’s latest concept trucks chief among them. This year Jeep’s designers pushed the envelope presenting trucks as forward thinking as we have seen in years. This fleet of seven Jeeps reach as far into the future as they do the past.
A visage of the past, the 1970s inspired Jeep Chief borrows heavily from the classic lines of the original Cherokee. Based on a Wrangler chassis the Ocean Blue exterior white top and chrome bumpers front and rear give the Chief a timeless presence. A subtle beach theme graces the interior with a Rosewood passenger grab handle and tiki-style shifter. A Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen media console keeps the vehicle up to date, but this truck is all about classic appeal.
Grand Cherokee Overlander
With a progressive nod to the future of off-roading, the Grand Cherokee Overlander confirms Jeeps appreciation for the direction of long-range travel. The most obvious callout is the color matched roof top tent. That tent is perched atop a heavily modified Grand Cherokee with a custom front fascia, larger wheels and fender flares, rock rails, and 18-inch wheels with BFG AT tires. The 3.0-liter V-6 Diesel makes this a highly desirable travel platform.
The connection between Jeep’s civilian and military service is unbreakable. Paying homage to that legacy is the Wrangler-based Staff Car. The Sandstorm color scheme, and open-air sides give the Staff Car a no-nonsense presence, befitting of a battle hardened veteran.
The 16-inch wheels and 35-inch military inspired tires give the Staff Car a burly stance and the J8 front and rear bumpers offer maximum utility.
Being overlanders and prone to gravitate towards the classic vehicles of the African bush, the aptly named Africa concept truck really resonated with many of us. The simple steel wheels paired to the humble Desert Tan exterior and white roof make it appear to be one more workhorse from the Serengeti, ready for a day on the job. The 2.8-liter diesel is mated to an automatic transmission driving power to the Dana 44 axles. It’s a thing of beauty.
Cherokee Canyon Trail
Although it came with considerable pushback, Four Wheeler Magazine’s 2015 Four Wheeler of the Year is none other than the Jeep Cherokee, a platform chastised as little more than a mall crawler. The Canyon Trail concept further assuages those opinions with a vehicle of impressive off-road aptitude. The Desert Tan paint looks ready for off-road travel and the rock rails, skid plates, and BFG AT tires prove its place in the backcountry.
Wrangler Red Rock Responder
If you find yourself in a jam on the trail, and in need of rescue, this is the vehicle you want to see trundling over the hill. Based on a 4-door Wrangler platform, the Red Rock Responder was designed to accommodate all the necessary rescue and recovery tools needed to save people from the world’s harshest terrain.
The 37-inch tires and BFG Mud Terrain tires make for an imposing presence as does the large cargo compartment on the aft end of the truck. Fitted with a series of drawers and compartments the Red Rock Responder is not just about trail proficiency, but utility. Riding on Fox shocks this truck also has a cold air intake, rock rails and a Warn winch.
Renegade Desert Hawk
The newest Jeep in the lineup, the Renegade is poised to bring Jeeps annual sales scores to all new highs. Aimed at the compact SUV market, the Renegade has been impressing critics and anyone who has been lucky enough to get behind the wheel. To further the off-road ambitions of the Renegade the Desert Hawk has been fitted with rock rails, skid plates, and exterior callouts that speak to the Renegade’s abilities in the dirt. The 2.4-liter Tigershark engine sips fuel and a Katzkin leather interior keeps the occupants in optimal comfort.