Every year, Jeep owners descend on the challenging trails of Moab, Utah for one big off-road festival. It’s called the Moab Safari, and it’s grown over the years into a huge nine-day event. Although it’s organised by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers club, there is a lot of involvement from Jeep itself.
It’s become a tradition for the manufacturer to bring along a range of concept vehicles made especially for the occasion, and this year - the Moab Safari’s 52nd running - is no different. Here’s what the company came up with for 2018…
This one’s all about weight reduction, bro. We have a bonnet, high-clearance arches, a rear tub all made from carbonfibre, and a chassis cut down by 56cm. As well as dropping the weight figure further, the latter modification also gives better approach and departure angles.
You’ll also find beefy Dana axles front and rear, plus 18-inch wheels wrapped in chunky 35-inch BF Goodrich tyres. It’s powered by Jeep’s all-new 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four.
The Baja inspired Sandstorm is a little more impressive in the powertrain department: it’s packing a 6.4-litre V8. The wheelbase has been extended to give better stability at higher speeds, and for when proceedings take a bumpy turn, the coilover suspension has 35cm of travel at the front and 46cm at the rear. Oh, and if your off-road excursion goes south, there’s an on-board air compressor.
The adorable B-Ute takes the Renegade crossover and chucks a load of Jeep Performance Parts to make it more hardy off road. The upgrade menu includes new front and rear fascias, a lift kit, rock rails, a roof rack and BF Goodrich T/A Baja Champion tyres. It’s powered by a 2.4-litre Tigershark inline-four hooked up to a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Perhaps our favourite car here. Rather specifically, Jeep says the car “stirs up nostalgic memories of going to Yellowstone National Park on a summer family vacation.” Right.
What you’re looking at is a 1965 Wagoneer with its wheelbase lengthened by 13cm and the body modified to suit. On the inside though, you’ll still find the original front and reach bench seats, plus wicker headlining.
To make sure it’s more than just a pretty restomod show car, Jeep has reinforced the frame and added Dana axles, a new four-link suspension setup and 33-inch BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain boots. Power comes from a 5.7-litre V8 hooked up to a four-speed automatic gearbox.
Named after the ‘Nacho yellow’ hue of its bodywork, this Wrangler Rubicon-based concept is shamelessly described by Jeep as a “rolling catalog” to plug yet more Jeep Performance Parts from Mopar. Upgrades include a cold-air intake for the 2.0-litre engine, a Warn Winch kit, a festooning of LED lights, a lift kit and oversized 37-inch tyres.
Another Wrangler Rubicon-based creation, this one riffs off the original 1966 Jeepster. It has a ‘Firecracker Red’ body, and a ‘Bright White’ hardtop that’s two inches shorter and joined up with a heavily raked Bright White custom windscreen. It’s a good look, no?
Other additions include an LED lighting upgrade, a lift kit and oversized 37-inch BF Goodrich tyres.
Finally, we have the J-Wagon, which has been enhanced with - you guessed it - Jeep Performance Parts, which Jeep says creates “a premium-styled vehicle equally at home on the trails and urban cityscapes.” In other words, it’s ideal for the sort of city-dwelling type that like people to think he or she is more adventurous than they actually are.
This Wrangler Sahara has been given various bits including a snorkel, LED lights that deliver “military grade illumination,” a Mopar black grille pinched from the Wrangler Rubicon and a JPP roof rack.
Which of Jeep’s latest Moab concepts is your favourite? Let us know in the comments.