SEMA comes but once a year, so the off-road crazy folks at Mopar -- Chrysler’s performance parts and accessories division -- have regularly created some wild show cars for the annual Easter Jeep Safari. The tradition appears to continue, as the automaker released some teaser renderings before it actually unveils them in Moab, Utah.
Chrysler isn’t saying much about the vehicles, letting the concept renderings do most of the talking. The Jeep J7, based on the four-door Wrangler Unlimited, is styled to resemble the military-spec J8 offered overseas (and in limited numbers here in North America). The two-door Wrangler Trail Boss, supposedly built “for serious off-road duty,” appears to be a Rubicon equipped with giant wheels and tires and a sizable suspension lift.
A similar wheel/tire treatment also appears on the modified Dodge Power Wagon, but we think designers are really trying to subtly play the retro card. The blacked-out grille, cladding, and hood, coupled with the flared bedside and “POWERWAGON” side graphics, are eerily similar to the old “Macho” package offered from 1977-1980.
We wonder how capable the compact Patriot is on trails like Moab, but perhaps this modified version -- dubbed the “Extreme” -- will hold its own. Chrysler says it’s fitted a 2-inch lift, 16-inch wheels with BF Goodrich KM2 tires, and custom rock rails and skid plates.
We’ll know more come March 27, when Mopar publicly unwraps these vehicles for the crowds in Moab. Stay tuned for more information.