It's no secret, we love the annual Easter Jeep Safari. For the past several years, Jeep has used the occasion to introduce a bunch of rad one-off off-roaders. Most are simply fantastical concepts with no actual production intent, but others occasionally preview upcoming special editions, or show off new Mopar accessories. But the best part? They're all drivable. out among the Jeep faithful and had a total blast.
Given the importance of the totally new, it's obviously the star of this year's Easter Jeep show. But the 2018 lineup isn't all Wrangler all the time. There's a lot to love here, and a couple of awesome throwbacks to historic models. Let's take a closer look at all seven concepts.
Despite its name, the 4Speed has nothing to do with this Jeep's transmission. Instead, read that as "Jeep For Speed" -- this one's a lightweight concept powered by the Wrangler's new 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
To reduce weight, Jeep fits this Wrangler with a carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber fender flares and a carbon fiber rear tub with aluminum panels. Better aerodynamics are achieved thanks to a raked windshield and a heavily raked rear cage. Inside, the rear seats have been removed for even more weight savings, and the foot wells have been removed in favor of aluminum panels.
Of course, it's still poised to be an off-road monster. The 4Speed is 22 inches shorter than a standard Wrangler, though the wheelbase remains the same. This drastically increases approach and departure angles. The 4Speed also has Dana 44 front and rear axles with a 4.10 gear ratio, and 18-inch lightweight wheels wrapped in 35-inch BF Goodrich mud tires.
First thing's first: This concept has a 6.4-liter V8 -- available through the Mopar performance catalog -- mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. Excited? Thought so.
The Sandstorm is a conceptual take on a Jeep Baja runner, with a vented carbon fiber hood and high-clearance front and rear fender flares. The exterior handles and swing gate have been removed and the rear doors have been chopped. Continuing the Baja runner theme, the Sandstorm has tube bumpers, an onboard air compressor, race-style fuel filler, KC front aux lights and a rear chase light. It looks awesome.
There are a number of functional upgrades, of course, including a heavy-duty, four-link suspension up front. In fact, the front axle has been moved forward by four inches, and the longer wheelbase improves high-speed stability. New coilovers and bypass shocks allow the front wheels to travel up to 14 inches, and the rear wheels have 18 inches of travel. Incredibly heavy-duty Dynatrac 60 axles with a 5.68 gear ratio, and 39.5-inch Krawler tires with 17-inch beadlock wheels make this thing pretty much unstoppable.
A custom cage is the focal point of the interior, which fully integrates the chassis and racing seats. A restyled gauge cluster houses a new navigation system, and there are rocker switches for the air compressor and axle lockers. It's definitely ready for the desert.
What do you call a Jeep that isn't yours? Nacho Jeep! Okay, sorry. Couldn't resist. But anyway, get a load of this super yellowy-orange Wrangler.
The list of upgrades is extensive. For starters, we have a new hood with black Jeep Performance Parts badge, a satin black Mopar grille, a Warn winch kit, brush guard-mounted LED lights, rear scouting lights, a larger spare tire carrier and JPP fuel door. The Nacho has a 2-inch lift kit, 2.5-inch aluminum body shocks and 37-inch tires wrapping 17-inch wheels. Jeep's 2.0-liter turbo engine is found underhood, with a cold-air intake for better performance. Inside, black Katzkin leather seats are adorned with tungsten accent stitching.
That's a lot of kit, and that's intentional. The creators call this one a "rolling catalog" for Mopar's Jeep Performance Parts menu, and shows how buyers could customize their own 2018 Wranglers.
Check out this cute little guy. Much like the Nacho, the B-Ute showcases the myriad Jeep Performance Parts available, proving they aren't just for Wrangler owners.
The big things to note here are the unique front and rear fascias, revised hood with heat extractor and wider fender flares. A 1.5-inch lift kit and 17-inch wheels with 30-millimeter offset give it a bit more prowess for trail duty, as do to the BF Goodrich T/A Baja Champion tires.
The interior gets custom seats, a carbon finish on various trim pieces, piano black inserts, all-weather floor mats from Mopar and more.
The only place you wont find modifications is under the hood, where the Renegade's 2.4-liter Tigershark engine and 9-speed automatic transmission carry over unchanged.
Okay, this is technically a 2018 Wrangler Rubicon, but the visual upgrades scream Jeepster to us. The 1966 Jeepster was best known for its two-tone color palette and rakish roofline, both of which carry over beautifully to this modern interpretation.
The white hardtop has been chopped by two inches compared to a normal Wrangler, and is painted Bright White to contrast against the Firecracker Red body. The smaller, redesigned windshield even folds down, just like on the stock 2018 Wrangler.
Jeep Performance Parts are once again in great supply, with a JPP hood, cold-air intake and snorkel up front. LED off-road lights adorn the front, mounted to the A-pillar via unique brackets. A 2-inch lift kit leaves room for 37-inch BF Goodrich off-road tires with 17-inch beadlock wheels.
Despite the Katzkin leather interior, the Jeepster is a functional hauler. There's a spare tire carrier in back, capable of holding rollers up to 38 inches in diameter. Concept storage packs are mounted to the tailgate, which would, in theory, allow for the easy transport of food, water, fuel, tools and more.
No word about powertrain, but given the 2018 Wrangler bones, there's either turbo-four or Pentastar V6 power. Either of which should be more than enough -- certainly better than the original Jeepster's 75-horsepower "Hurricane" I4 engine, anyway.
This one actually starts as a lux-trim Wrangler Sahara, with warm-tinted glass and Brass Monkey interior accents, as well as Katzkin leather seats. But as much as this Jeep is about style and premium touches, it's still a Wrangler, ready for the dirt.
To that end, Jeep fits an optional snorkel, new hood and five-inch LED auxiliary lights. Unique 17-inch wheels are also finished in Fiat-Chrysler's awesome Brass Monkey color.
Jeep says the J-Wagon is intended to look "equally at home on the trails and urban cityscapes," and indeed, this is the least rugged of the bunch. Still rad, though.
We've saved the best for last. Sure, all these Jeeps are killer, but this one's just a bit cooler than the rest. That's because it's not based on any new model, it's actually got the same steel body as the original Wagoneer, just with an updated chassis and running gear.
The wheelbase is five inches longer than before, with an updated body that's both winder and longer, with custom fender flares. Reshaped wheel wells and bumpers round out the body changes, and a new grille gives the whole appearance a fresher look.
A boxed, reinforced frame makes this concept Wagoneer more off-road-capable than the original. Of course, Dana 44 front and rear axles, a four-link suspension and 33-inch BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain tires don't hurt, either. Neither does a 5.7-liter V8 and a 4-speed automatic transmission. Fun fact: Jeep says the original Wagoneer was the first four-wheel-drive vehicle to use an automatic transmission.
The Wagoneer's original front and rear bench seats remain, as do OG-spec door, kick and rear panels, trimmed in Oxblood leather. There's a wicker headliner up top (it'll match your patio furniture), and Jeep's fitted the interior with a custom cooler, fashioned from period-correct luggage. Speaking of period-correct, there's a tool box inside that's made from the valve cover of this specific Wagoneer's 230 Tornado OHC-6 engine.
Coolest Jeep? Maybe. Totally excellent smattering of concepts for this year's Easter Jeep Safari? Definitely.