Jeep’s Non-Hellcat Moab Concepts Are Rad, Too
Diesel-powered Comanche homage? Wrangler-based Chief tribute on actual Army tires? Yes, yes, and so much more.
The Hellcat-powered Wrangler, a.k.a the Trailcat, may be a scene-stealer, but it's only one of the seven concept vehicles the brand is bringing to this year's Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. Hell, it's not even the most outlandish of the seven. Jeep’s engineers pulled from the brand’s past and present to whip up a series of clever, kooky vehicles.
Jeep Crew Chief 715
The Crew Chief is based on the Wrangler Unlimited—not that you'd notice, considering how much work Jeep has done. The classic Wrangler front end is gone, replaced with a retro face that pays tribute to the Kaiser M715 of the Sixties. The body’s been hacked apart at the C-pillar, with a pickup-style, five-foot-long bed in place of the usual aft cargo compartment. The mesh bed walls are mega cool, as is the hard-mouted on-board air compressor. But the best part of this modern take of a golden oldie has to be the 40-inch NDT military tires.
Can you fell it? That's the gaping hole in your heart the shape of a Renegade-based pickup truck. With a five-foot-long bed, a soft top that resembles a jaunty newsboy cap, 32-inch off-road tires, a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine and a two-inch lift kit, the Comanche is the compact pickup the world deserves. Also, the paint color: “Beige Against The Machine.” So much want.
Jeep FC 150
While many of the other Easter Jeep Safari concepts dabble in the brand’s heritage, the FC 150 is a rolling chunk of it. That battle-scarred body comes from an actual 1960 Jeep FC 150, one that's been pulled from its original frame and installed on the chassis of a modified 2005 Wrangler. The restomod FC’s interior is every bit the match of its exterior, too, thanks to a CB radio, a compass, and best of all, a headliner wrapped in vintage duck hunting pattern trim.
The spirit of the plucky CJ-5 lives on in this trucklet, a Wrangler that’s been cut down 26 inches shorter than stock. The chop-job reduces both length and weight, giving the Shortcut increased maneuverability on the trails around Moab. But a simple hack isn’t enough to render a Jeep concept vehicle ready for the Easter Safari. So engineers and designers added a bevy of unique body panels—hood, grille, fenders, etcetera—then outfitted it with an old-school interior. The red plaid scheme is actually perfect.
The Trailstorm's fastback soft top gives it a sexier profile than the Wrangler Unlimited on which it's based; the 37-inch off-road tires, Fox shocks, half doors and winch all make off-roading even easier. Add LED fog lamps, an aftermarket tire carrier, steel bumpers front and rear, and high-top fenders, and you've got an appropriately tough-looking truck, too. And yet, let’s not lie: Nobody’s looking past the black-and-desert camo exterior treatment to appreciate any of it.
Jeep Renegade Commander
Okay, so Jeep kind of phoned it in here. It’s a Renegade with a two-inch lift kit, 29.5-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, and a shitload of Mopar accessories from the Jeep aftermarket catalog. Five bucks says the Renegade Commander was conceived shortly after somebody uttered the following statement: “Wait, we were supposed to make seven cars?”