2018 Moab Easter Jeep Safari - Concept 4x4 highlights

The 2018 Moab Easter Jeep Safari played host to seven magnificent Jeep/Mopar concepts.

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From humble beginnings as a one-day trail ride back in 1967, which wrapped up with a Boy Scout barbecue fundraiser, the Easter Jeep Safari has matured into a global phenomenon attracting tens of thousands each year, enticing the who's who of the off-road community.

While this year's event took place over iconic 4x4 routes and featured vendor shows that whetted the show goers' appetites for customisation, the headlining exhibit of the eight-day event was undoubtedly the seven unique Jeep and Mopar concept 4x4s that were built to captivate and inspire fans of the Jeep name.

These are the highlights of the seven Jeep-Mopar concepts at the 2018 Moab Easter Jeep Safari. 

4SPEED WRANGLER

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Door-off styling and shortened body serves as a fitting ode to the welterweight 2011 Pork Chop and 2013 Stitch Jeep concepts, but the 4SPEED concept features proper lightweight engineering that extends beyond the cosmetic. 

Besides having a shortened body, the 4SPEED also features extensive use of carbon fibre in the form of its bonnet, fender flares, and rear-tub. Put together, the 4SPEED is said to be 408kg lighter than stock. 

Engine: 2.0-litre turbo-charged four-cylinder
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Axles: Dana 44 w/ 4.1:1 gears
Fenders and hood: Custom carbon-fibre
Seats: Refitted with snowboard jacket material
Cage: Custom sweep-back
Wheelbase: Shortened 22 inches
Wheels/Tyres: Forgeline, BFGoodrich KM2
Favourite Feature: 408kg lighter than stock

SANDSTORM WRANGLER

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As its name implies, the Sandstorm is built with the full intention to kick up a storm as it blasts through desert terrain. For that the Sandstorm is fettled with a healthy dose of engineering and styling bits lifted from Baja desert racers.

Besides boasting heavy duty engineering underneath, the Sandstorm's front-axles have been moved 100mm forward, while its rears are pushed 50mm rearward to give it proper desert-storming capabilities. 

Engine: 6.4-litre HEMI V8
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Axles: Dynatrac Dana 60s, 5.68:1 gears
Lockers: ARB Air Lockers
Suspension: Off Road Evolution coil-over long-arm, King shocks
Cage/Spare tyre mount: Custom
Wheels/Tyres: Method monoblock alloy, BFGoodrich 39.5-inch Krawler
Extras: Stretched six inches, ARB twin compressor, Lowrance GPS
Favourite feature: 6.4-litres of HEMI fun

B-UTE RENEGADE

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Though it is based on a model that is more a soft- rather than an off-roader, the B-Ute is no shrinking violet amidst this year's company of Jeep/Mopar concepts. 

The Renegade is loaded to its roof with numerous accessories and cops a 1.5-inch lift with 30mm-offset, 17-inch wheels wrapped in proper all-terrain rubber, in an effort to toughen its diminutive stature. 

Engine: 2.4-litre Tigershark
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Suspension: 1.5-inch lift
Body armour, hood, and fenders: Jeep Performance Parts (JPP)
Rear deck: MOLLIE-attached emergency gear
Wheels/Tyres: 17-inch JPP alloy, BFGoodrich KO2
Favourite feature: Drives like a go-cart

ROADTRIP WAGONEER 

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Considering the undying adoration of Jeep aficionados for the Wagoneer, it comes as no surprise as the Wagoneer Roadtrip was the darling of the concept 4x4 line-up. 

Based on an original Wagoneer of 1965-vintage, the Roadtrip looks like a pristine original, though the more astute Wagoneer connoisseurs would have spotted that the Roadtrip sports a wheelbase (and body) that has been lengthened by 125mm, while its track has been widened and now sports Dana 44 front and rear axles with diff locks. 

Base vehicle: 1965 Jeep Wagoneer
Engine: 5.7-litre HEMI
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Axles: Dana 44, Rubicon locking differential
Suspension: Custom 4 link
Rear deck: Luggage icebox, Tornado 260cdi I6 valve cover toolbox
Wheels/tyres: OEM, BFGoodrich 33-inch KM2
Favourite feature: Cruising the backcountry

NACHO WRANGLER

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With a colour scheme as spunky as an orange fizz and a name of a snack, the Nacho Wrangler looks prepped for casual outdoors fun on weekend excursions rather than the hardened 4x4 enthusiast looking to go full-tilt through the wilderness. 

The Nacho Wrangler sports a number of parts from the Jeep Performance Parts catalogue, and rides 50mm higher thanks to a lift and large 37-inch tyres beneath. 

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Axles: Dana 44, electric locking differentials
Suspension: JPP two-inch lift
Armour: Rubicon bumpers, JPP rock rails, Warn winch
Extras: JPP tube doors, Katzkin leather seats, Magneti Marelli LED lights
Wheels/Tyres: 17-inch JPP alloy, BFGoodrich 37-inch KM2
Favourite feature: Carving turns in the sand

JEEPSTER WRANGLER

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Built as a tribute to the 1966 Jeepster, the Jeepster Wrangler features neat tweaks to its body styling in the form of a hardtop that has been chopped by 50mm and a custom windshield that is raked back by 2.5-degrees.

While it still looks recognisably like a stock Wrangler, the subtle – but crucial – adjustments to its roofline, together with its pumped up 37-inch BFGoodrich tyres and 50mm lift, gives the Jeepster a captivating appearance.  

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Axles: Dana 44, electric locking differentials
Suspension: two-inch JPP suspension, 2.5-inch shocks
Armour: Rubicon bumper, rock rails, and Warn winch
Extras: Half doors, custom seats, interior cage
Wheels/Tyres: JPP 17-inch alloys, BFGoodrich 37-inch KO2
Favourite feature: Retro chop top

J-WAGON WRANGLER

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Though built for the outdoors, Jeep recognises that many Wrangler owners will relegate their Wranglers to a life on the streets. The J-Wagon is built to inspire owners who want an off-road capable machine that isn't unapologetically raw for the streets. 

The J-Wagon is finished in stealthy Warm Neutral Gray paintwork and tinted windows with black metal concept rock sliders underneath, and a Jeep Performance Parts low-profile roof-rack on top equipping it to be suited for both street and 4x4 duties. 

Engine: 3.6-litre Pentastar V6
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Axles: Dana 44, electric locking differentials
Armour: JPP rock sliders, Sahara premium bumpers
Interior: Camel-coloured and Brass Monkey trim accents
Extras: Katzkin leather seats, JPP LED lights, snorkel, and roof rack
Wheels/Tyres: JPP 17-inch alloys, BFGoodrich KM3
Favourite feature: Perfect for extended overland travel

 

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