The off-roader specialist has again gone a bit crazy for its hardcore fans – especially those who will attend the 51st running of the event, which runs in Moab, Utah, for nine days from 8th April.
The event is designed for fun but also to showcase the capability of its products, potential production ideas, as well as accessories and parts available through Jeep’s service, parts and customer care sub-brand Mopar.
Here’s WhichCar’s guide to Jeep’s six 2017 concepts:
JEEP GRAND ONE
A nod to the original ZJ Grand Cherokee that was released 25 years ago, in 1993. The Grand One is given a stretched wheelbase, 18-inch lace-style wheels encased in 33-inch mud-terrain tyres. For extra off-road capability, there’s a selectable locking differential on each axle and a 2-inch suspension lift kit.
Power comes from an unmodified 5.2-litre V8. A 1990s-inspired interior includes an old-school car phone for a period-correct touch.
At first glass, the Jeep Safari looks like a Wrangler in classic roof-off, doors-off guise. Yet the concept features a translucent roof panel and lightweight, aluminium ‘windoors’ with clear vinyl. The Safari aims to provide a great view out even for back-seat passengers. Jeep says the special doors are hinged like cabinets, while there are zipper openings for fresh-air access on the move.
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A two-level roof rack comes with a drone, and inside is an instrument-mounted iPad. Off-roading ability is enhanced by selectable locking differentials front and rear, 35-inch mud-terrain rubber (fitted over 18-inch rims), and a reduced body length that targets greater nimbleness on trails.
Hot-rod meets sand dunes for Jeep’s Wrangler-based Quicksand, which is visually dramatic thanks to its chopped roof, distinctive interpretation of the brand’s trademark trapezoidal wheel-arches, and its Mopar-modified Hemi V8 engine that pokes out of the bonnet to mimic an old-school carburettor set-up while using modern-day fuel injection.
That will make for some loud engine noise on the move, and Jeep has removed the roof panel and glass windows so occupants can fully appreciate it. Uniquely, even for a Jeep, the Quicksand sits on staggered wheel sizes – 32-inch at the front and 37-inches at the rear. To ensure it doesn’t get bogged – and look like a literal interpretation of its name – the Quicksand also features a winch and recovery rope.
This concept name plays on the Renegade Trailhawk and Compass names – respectively, the name of Jeep’s most off-road-focused variants and the name of its newest Jeep (arriving in Australia late 2017). Even a Compass Trailhawk edition won’t quite tackle tricky trails like this model, though. The suspension can be raised further with a 1.5-inch lift kit, there are all-terrain tyres, and a Mopar/Thule roof basket includes traction mats to help avoid getting stuck.
A black bonnet, black decals and tinted headlights and tail-lights add a suitably tough aesthetic, while driver and passengers get to sit on custom leather seats.
Based on a five-door Wrangler, the Switchback is equipped with an assortment of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts. Features include an aftermarket Dana 44 front and rear axle with a long associated with Jeep, a 4-inch suspension lift kit, Fox shock absorbers, Rubicon winch, mud-terrain tyres, cold-air intake, and tail-light guards.
The body is distinctive for its ‘half’ doors and white Safari hardtop. A special lighting system encompasses some more conceptual features, including a concept light bar above the windscreen and A-pillar lamps. Power comes from a standard 3.6-litre V6 ‘Pentastar’ engine.
Jeep’s Luminator concept, as its name suggests, is designed for ultimate trail visibility. It’s been co-developed with the Automotive Lighting division of renowned high-tech Italian specialist Magneti Marelli – a subsidiary of Jeep’s parent company FiatChrylser. The vast array of illuminating systems includes magnetic underbody rock lights, 7-inch LED projector headlights, LED tail-lights, windscreen pillar spotlights, and LED auxiliary lighting and cornering foglights on the upper bumper.
The stand-out lighting feature is a bonnet-mounted LED scanning module that can spot and follow wildlife and other potential hazards to keep Jeep drivers safe on the trail. The laminator can also serve as a scouting vehicle thanks to a multi-coloured rear, high-mount stoplight, with red (stop), amber (drive at 2-5km/h), green (5-40km/h) or white (to provide rear flood lighting). The Luminator’s roof includes a solar panel and a drone landing pad – for a drone that can also be used for supplementary lighting.
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