A preview of an all-electric Jeep Wrangler and a stunning resto-mod of a 1968 Commando compact pickup lead the list of concepts the SUV brand will unveil at the upcoming Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.
The annual event takes place March 27-April 4. The Easter Safari draws brand fans to the rugged canyons and buttes around Moab to enjoy their vehicles and see what new concept vehicles and aftermarket parts Jeep has cooked up for them.
Electrification and pickups, a pair of major ongoing trends for Jeep, will be front and center. The Safari took 2020 off due to COVID-19, so brand fans are also looking forward to a first look at upcoming production models like the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid.
Engineers ripped the guts out of a 2020 two-door Wrangler, replacing the engine and fuel tank with an electric motor and batteries.
The motor’s power is exactly the same as the gasoline Wrangler’s V6: 285 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque. Four lithium-ion battery packs have 70 kWh of power, running an 800-volt system. The batteries are distributed around the Wrangler’s chassis so there’s an equal amount of weight on each wheel.
The batteries and their controls are fully water-proof to maintain the Wrangler’s 30-inch water fording capability.
The four-wheel-drive Magneto has a six-speed manual transmission and clutch pedal, a pair of anachronisms we’re not likely to see often in production electric vehicles.
Jeep has a number of partially electric vehicles coming, including the Wrangler 4xe and plug-in hybrid versions of the new Grand Cherokee, Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs debuting later this year.
The electric system can also power campsite accessories. A10-kw electric heater keeps the open-air passenger compartment toasty.
The Magneto has a two-inch lift kit, 17-in. wheels and 35-in. tires.
Modern Wrangler underpinnings and drivetrain combine with the body of a restored 1968 Jeepster Commando for a compact pickup that’s sure to get Jeep fans buzzing. The Jeepster was the brand’s middle vehicle for years, between the Wrangler-type CJ and the much bigger Wagoneer.
The beach-themed open-air pickup has the running gear of a 2020 Wrangler Rubicon under a “tequila gold” body.
Power comes from an upgraded version of the Wrangler’s turbocharged 2.0L engine that increases output about 25% to 340 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. The eight-speed automatic transmission is mated to a 4:1 transfer case.
The red interior has two retro low-back bucket seats. The rear seats were replaced by a chrome four-point safety cage. The bed has chrome accent strips. Jeep dispensed with carpets to make it easy to clean out beach sand.
Jeep Red Bare
Based on a 2020 Gladiator Rubicon midsize pickup, the Red Bare, Jeep’s 3.0L diesel V6 engine produces 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission was recalibrated for lower shift points to make use of the diesel’s low torque peak.
The Red Bare uses Dana 44 front and rear heavy duty axles and a transfer case with a 91:1 crawl ratio.
The Fire Cracker Red exterior is complemented by matte black graphics and gold accents. Small half doors — an accessory now available from Mopar — combine with a convertible soft top to maximize open-air driving.
The interior features Katzkin black leather seats with red and black flannel inserts on the seats and dash.
The Red Bare has a Gladiator two-inch lift kit and 37-in.mud-terrain tires.
Jeep Orange Peelz
Based on a two-door Wrangler, the Orange Peelz showcases some of the latest goodies from Jeep’s Mopar aftermarket parts business. The Orange Peelz features half doors, a Corning Gorilla Glass windshield and removable glass sunroof.
A two-inch lift kit and Fox shocks improve off-road ability. Concept high top steel fender flares make room for 37-in BF Goodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires.
The hood features black Mopar hood latches, with 4,800-lumen 5.0-inch LED spotlights mounted near the A-pillars.
Other features include a two-inch steel grille guard and 8,000-lb. Warn winch.
Hemi power and luxury camping
Jeep will also show some vehicles that would’ve been stars a year ago, had the 2020 Safari taken place.
The Wrangler Rubicon 392 has a 485-hp 6.4L Hemi V8, dual-mode performance exhaust, 37-in. tires, a one-touch power top, and two-inch lift.
The Gladiator Far Out cranks up the capability and luxury for extended off-road camping trips. Its popup tent sleeps four and has 7½ feet of headroom. A refrigerator and camp stove lurk underneath. Sun canopies can extend from both sides, and there’s a drop-down dining table.
Power comes from a 260-hp 3.0L V6 diesel that delivers more than 425 miles of range.