Mopar has just unveiled their latest line of trail-tackling concept vehicles for this year’s Easter Jeep Safari, and we couldn’t be more excited. While there are seven Jeeps ranging from mild to extreme, there are two in particular which peaked our interest: the Crew Chief 715 and the Comanche. Why these and not the Hellcat powered Trailcat? Well, because for some reason they feel a whole lot more like a preview of things to come instead of a petrol powered pipe dream.
Jeep Crew Chief 715
Don’t get us wrong, we don’t expect to see a modern Kaiser rolling down the assembly line anytime soon, but we know a four door Jeep truck is on the way and we ever so hope it looks like this. As is plainly obvious, the Crew Chief was designed as a salute to the legendary military service vehicles of the past. It pulls most of its styling cues from the Kaiser 715, with the exception that a second set of doors has been added to allow for additional passengers. It retains the 3.6 liter Pentastar V-6 engine instead of tempting us with the diesel like the Africa Concept, and it sports a 5-foot cargo bed behind the cab.
Mopar stays true to the classic look and feel of the Kaiser with a gorgeous dark green paint job, a grey canvas top, and 20″ beadlock wheels on NDT military tires. As usual the team nailed the perfect balance of stock styling with concept flare by utilizing actual Jeep parts along with custom body work and accessories. The front and rear of the vehicle each sport JK inspired steel bumpers with integrated winches, and the rocker panels have been tastefully protected with Jeep Performance Parts off-road rock rails. They also sought to increase trail capability by upgrading both axles to Dana 60s and installing a Jeep Performance 4″ lift with Fox 2.0 Remote Reservoir shocks.
They kept the interior simple and relatively stock, with the addition of some cool aircraft-inspired switches and a ridiculously large compass. We certainly wouldn’t miss this if they decided to take it out. Other modifications include a hard-mounted quick-disconnect fitting for airing up or lending assistance to other vehicles, a master cylinder brake upgrade, cold air intake, and modified exhaust system.
While we know the production model trucks won’t have half the equipment or looks the Chief has, we’re hopeful that the heavy-duty components and solid design aspects will remain true to concept.
Some MJ owner is about to walk away grumbling, but this new Comanche concept is pretty impressive. Besides the fact that they managed to make the Renegade look dare we say… cool, it would actually make a fantastic vehicle as spec’d. The little monstrosity includes a full five foot bed, a steel front bumper with winch, 32″ tires thanks to a 2″ lift, a low range gear box, and a rear locking differential. Oh, and for those of you who missed the tiny badge on the tailgate, it’s a diesel. We wonder what kind of MPG figures you could pull out of one of these with a bed rack or AT’s new Habitat mounted in the rear.
So why do we care about this tinker-truck as opposed to some of the other concepts? The Comanche was still in production up until 1992, and the recent revival of the Cherokee brand makes us wonder, or at least hope, that a replacement could be on the horizon. We grant it would be strange for Jeep to choose a renegade as the base for that model instead of its bigger brother, but it would certainly fit the look.
While the Crew Chief and Comanche pose interesting prospects for upcoming models, they are far from the only awesome vehicles in this release. We’ve included a few others below, including one of our new favorites, the Heritage FC-150.
A carefully crafted take on the beloved Jeep CJ-5, this Wrangler-based concept vehicle invokes the spirit of 1950s Americana with a shortened body and functional simplicity. Exterior styling cues include a unique grille, hood, tailgate, front and rear wheel flares and custom chrome front and rear bumpers. A modified exhaust, 17-inch red steel wheels and 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires help the Jeep Shortcut maintain the look of an icon.
Jeep Performance Parts featured on the Shortcut include a front and rear Dana 44 axle and a 2-inch lift with Fox shocks. Overall body length has been reduced by 26 inches including bumpers and spare tire to keep the Shortcut concept vehicle light and maneuverable on the trails.
Inside, the simple yet functional interior features low-back leather bucket seats with plaid inserts, a red ball shifter handle, four-point safety cage and Mopar all-weather mats.The Jeep Shortcut is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.
Jeep FC 150
A true American workhorse, this 1960 Jeep FC 150 concept vehicle is rich with heritage and built to tackle both challenging rocky trails and the harshness of a western cattle ranch. Originally built from 1956 to 1965, the FC 150 is based on the CJ-5 and offers a clever packaging solution by keeping overall length to a minimum for maneuverability, but maintaining a full-length cargo box for utility.
This heritage Jeep vehicle continues to utilize its original steel body that proudly bears battle scars while components underneath have been revamped. The FC 150’s off-road prowess has been enhanced courtesy of a 2005 Jeep Wrangler chassis modified to accept a Dana 44 front axle, Dana 60 rear axle and 17-inch white steel wheels wrapped in 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires.
Inside, the FC 150 features vinyl seat covers, a custom headliner wrapped in a vintage duck hunting pattern, CB radio, analog compass and Mopar all-weather mats. The Jeep FC 150 heritage vehicle is powered by a 4.0-liter PowerTech I-6 and is mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission.
Jeep Renegade Commander
The Jeep Renegade Commander concept vehicle is equipped with an assortment of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts for the ultimate off-road adventure. A 2-inch lift kit and 17-inch Rubicon aluminum wheels with 29.5-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires increase the off-road capabilities of the Jeep Renegade Commander. The “Fluorescent Gray” exterior features Renegade’s MySky open-air roof with removable panels, custom body decal, Mopar off-road rock rails, skid plates and a modified exhaust. Also featured are the Mopar brand’s trailer hitch receiver and front and rear auxiliary lights.
Inside, the Renegade Commander includes Katzkin seat covers, body color bezel accents, a pedal kit, Mopar off-road kit and Mopar all-weather floor mats.The Jeep Renegade Commander is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with MultiAir2 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with Jeep Active Drive Low.
The Jeep Trailcat concept vehicle is the ultimate off-road machine, equally at home on Moab’s rugged trails or a high-speed section. Utilizing the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine, and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with a custom shifter ball featuring an embossed Hellcat logo, the Trailcat concept vehicle leaves everything else in a cloud of dust.
To get the 707-horsepower Hellcat engine into the Trailcat, designers stretched the wheelbase an additional 12 inches while chopping the windshield two inches for a sleeker look. Mopar exterior enhancements include a power-dome vented hood, Satin Black grille, LED headlamps and fog lamps and rock rails.
The robust off-road look is further aided by steel front and rear bumpers, 17-inch beadlock wheels and 39.5-inch BFGoodrich Krawler T/A KX tires, front and rear Dana 60 axles and Fox shocks.
Subtle design cues, such as a Hellcat decal on the front quarter panels and a “Trailcat” decal on the side of the hood, hint at the horsepower that lurks beneath, making this much more than a typical production Wrangler. The Trailcat’s interior is simple yet functional and features sport bucket seats from the Dodge Viper, made from carbon fiber and featuring Katzkin leather seat covers with accent stitching.
The Trailstorm concept vehicle is the ultimate Jeep Wrangler for exploring off the beaten path. Offering room for extra gear and fuel tanks, it is based on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and delivers elevated capability to conquer trails with ease. Off-road capabilities are enhanced with several Jeep Performance Parts, including 17-inch concept off-road wheels wrapped in 37-inch tires, a 2-inch lift kit with Jeep Performance Parts/Fox shocks, a Jeep Performance Parts Rubicon winch, and Dana 44 front and rear axles. Half doors offer a clear view of obstacles ahead and a bedlined interior makes cleaning up after a day on the trails easy.
Mopar exterior enhancements include a winch guard, Satin Black grille, LED headlights and fog lights, high top fenders, power-dome vented hood, Mopar off-road rock rails with a step, Big Brake Kit, a concept fast-back soft top, tail light guards and a Mopar fuel filler door. Finishing the Trailstorm’s exterior upgrades are a steel front and rear Rubicon bumper and a Jeep Performance Parts tire carrier. The Trailstorm is wrapped in camouflage allowing it to blend into its surroundings in the Utah desert.
The Trailstorm’s bedlined interior also features Katzkin seat covers and Mopar all-weather floor mats. The Jeep Trailstorm is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.