Two of our favorite brands, Jeep and Mopar, have again joined forces in developing a series of new vehicles that were debuted at the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, April 12 - 20, 2014. With what Chrysler calls "some of the country's most renowned trails", the 48th year of the Easter Jeep Safari is normally attended by thousands.
Mopar and Jeep incorporated both current and prototype parts into the line up of this year's new trucks and don't forget that Jeep Performance Parts must meet rigid 4x4 and craftsmanship standards. Their goal was to take production Jeep vehicles and ramp them up into even more effective, terrain-conquering machines.
"We look forward to putting these new Jeep Vehicles in their proper environment and receiving important feedback from our most loyal customers at their favorite annual off-road gathering," said Mike Manley, President and CEO of Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC, before the show.
Pietro Gorlier, Mopar President and CEO, added that Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts were intentionally combined to offer 4x4 enthusiasts a mix of options for customization to personalize their Jeeps.
Starting off, the first new Jeep is one of three Wrangler prototypes and is named after the most intense level of difficulty for an off-road trail. The Jeep Wrangler Level Red boasts an assortment of customizations. Sitting on a Jeep Performance Parts 2-inch lift kit, the prototype includes Dana 44 crate axles on the front and rear with a 4:10 ratio. The Jeep Performance Parts Rock-Trac transfer case gives a driver 4:1 low range and the 3.6-liter engine with a six-speed tranny features a cold-air intake and low-restriction exhaust system. The Pitch Black painted body is ornamented with a TorRed prototype graphic stripe.
Weighing in even more extreme is the Jeep Wrangler MOJO, the "OJ" standing for "Orange Jeep". This vehicle was designed for off-roaders looking for the roughest Jeep. It also sports a 2-inch lift with locking Dana 44 front and Rear axles. The Wrangler MOJO proudly provides a 59:1 crawl ratio from the 3.6-liter V-6. The orange body is protected by "Shorty" bumpers and prototype flat-top fenders. This Jeep sits on 37-inch BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tires with prototype headlock wheels. Newly designed LED headlights and fog lights make visible crucial night-time adventures.
Last of the new Wranglers unveiled is the Jeep Wrangler Maximum Performance. With new Jeep Performance Parts exclusive push-button electric-locking Dana 60 front and rear and the Rock-Trac transfer case, this Jeep brandishes the five Moab "Badge of Honor" badges for the trails it has successfully navigated. The prototype flattop fender kit is added to the Rubicon rock rails. The Maximum Performance also has its own series of custom LED lights, a Performance Parts winch, sits on 37-inch tires and wears a Mopar Blue exterior.
But Wranglers aren't the only model that Jeep and Mopar customized for the Easter show, three Cherokees were also revealed. First, is the Jeep Cherokee Adventurer. Trailhawk 4x4 capability on this Cherokee includes 48:1 crawl ratio, BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, a complex assortment of shielding skid plates and a decorated interior with black katzkin leather seats and maize-embroidered Jeep logos.
Next in the line-up and - as Chrysler calls it - the Jeep Cherokee Dakar is "the most extreme Cherokee ever." The exterior is painted with Silver Steel Satin Gloss and accented with Flame Red graphics, including the Cherokee nameplate. The Jeep features rock rails and a multitude of skid plates, but rides on 33-inch Mud Terrains. Wider prototype fender flares are riveted to the body to accompany the wide tires. With a 48:1 crawl ratio, the Dakar has aggressive departure angles, roughly 32 and 39 degrees. This is all added to the "Machined Gunmetal" inserts on the seat covers and all-weather Mopar floor mats.
Last for the more economy conscious off-roaders, Jeep and Mopar exhibited the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel Trail Warrior. This Mojave Sand painted Jeep floats on a Quadra-Lift air suspension and showcases a custom Mopar roof basket. Aluminum cast 20-inch wheels are colored Satin black and also wear the BFGoodrich All-Terrains. Also included are Jeep Performance Parts tow hooks and rock rails. The EcoDiesel rounds out its features with a Mopar pedal kit and the all-weather floor mats.
As always, the Easter Jeep Safari has been a hotspot for prototype Jeeps and cool accessories. These six jeeps all provide a driver with some interesting customizations and decorative additions; what kind of prototype Jeep would you design?