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| 10:19 AM EST

Jeep Rolls Out 7 New Concept Models

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Jeep unit took the wraps off seven concept vehicles yesterday ahead of its annual “Easter Jeep Safari” off-road event in Moab, Utah.
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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Jeep unit unveiled seven concept vehicles yesterday ahead of its annual “Easter Jeep Safari” off-road event in Moab, Utah.

Jeep and FCA’s Mopar parts unit use the nine-day event, which kicks off next week, to gauge consumer interest in customized vehicles and new features. This year marks Jeep’s 75th anniversary and the 50th running of the Easter Safari, which is expected to attract thousands of off-road enthusiasts.

The seven concepts were created by a dedicated team of engineers, designers and fabricators using a combination of production and prototype performance parts. The list includes the:

  • Comanche utility truck
  • Crew Chief 715 military vehicle
  • FC 150 light commercial truck
  • Renegade Commander all-terrain model
  • Shortcut retro off-roader
  • Trailcat high-powered SUV
  • Trailstorm all-purpose vehicle

The Comanche concept, which is based on the Jeep Renegade, is reminiscent of past Jeep pickup trucks. The Renegade’s wheelbase is stretched six inches to accommodate a 5-ft cargo bed. The vehicle is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine mated with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The 4-wheel-drive system includes a low range and locking rear differential.

The Crew Chief is based on Jeep’s open-air Wrangler Unlimited. Key features include steel front and rear bumpers with integrated winches at both ends, off-road rock rails, Dana 60 front and rear axles, performance shocks, a 4-inch lift kit with 20-inch bead-lock wheels and 40-inch military tires. Power comes from a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine.

The heritage-laced FC 150 rides on a modified 2005 Jeep Wrangler chassis with styling cues from the 1950s/1960s-era FC 150. Highlights include Dana axles and 17-inch white steel wheels wrapped in 33-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain tires. Motivation comes from a 4.0-liter straight-six engine and a 3-speed automatic transmission.

The Renegade Commander concept is fitted with Mopar off-road rock rails, skid plates and a modified exhaust. Decked in a fluorescent gray color scheme, the concept also gets a performance trailer hitch receiver and front and rear auxiliary lights. The powertrain teams a 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

The Wrangler-based, lime-green Shortcut pays homage to the Jeep CJ-5 of the 1950s. Performance upgrades include a modified exhaust, 17-inch red steel wheels and 35-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain tires. Power comes from a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission.

The high-powered Trailcat features a supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat V-8 that makes 707 hp. The engine is teamed with a 6-speed manual transmission with a customized shifter. To accommodate the engine, Jeep says it stretched the Trailcat’s wheelbase by one foot and took two inches off the windshield. The interior borrows the Dodge Viper’s sport bucket seats, which are made of carbon fiber, and Katzkin leather seat covers with accent stitching.

The Trailstorm concept is a modified Wrangler that includes 17-inch off-road wheels wrapped in 37-inch tires and a 2-inch lift kit with performance shocks. Other goodies include a Jeep Rubicon winch, Dana 44 front and rear axles, high-top fenders, a power-dome vented hood and Mopar off-road rock rails. It’s powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission.