Brace yourselves: The Jeep Safari Concepts are coming!
Two Wranglers Teased Ahead of 51st Annual Easter Jeep Safariby Mark McNabb, on
Easter is quickly approaching, and Jeep is readying its usual barrage of concept vehicles for the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. The huge enthusiast club meet brings thousands of Jeep and off-road fans from across the country to the unforgiving deserts nestled in the lower Rocky Mountains. This is the last year Jeep will bring concepts based on the current Wrangler JK, and Jeep is expected to outdo itself with these one-off concept rigs. We’re getting a small taste of that now, thanks to these two teaser images Jeep released.
The concept Wranglers are called Quicksand and Switchback. Both are highly modified, but take a different theme with styling. Quicksand is based on the two-door, short-wheelbase Wrangler. The stylized painting of this concept is cropped down for mystery, but we can see the Jeep is running larger wheels and tires with almost no suspension lift, no fenders, and half-metal doors. What’s more, it seems its roofline and windshield have been chopped, creating a squatty, low-slung appearance similar to the Wrangler Flat Top concept from 2013.
The Switchback concept is based on the four-door Wrangler Unlimited. This shadowy picture clearly shows the half-metal doors have been hollowed out, creating an even more open-air experience. The hardtop roof has a roof rack bolted on, while A-pillar LED pods help light the trail ahead. A stubby front bumper with a mild stinger bar from Mopar protects the grille. Larger wheels and tires give this Wrangler concept more ground clearance and traction.
Aside from these two images and the concepts’ names, Jeep has not released any information. Thankfully, the wait will be short. The 2017 Easter Jeep Safari kicks off April 8, giving Jeep a mere week to showcase its full lineup of concept vehicles.
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Why It Matters
Jeep has one of the biggest cult followings in the automotive industry. Thankfully, Jeep knows this and chooses to interact with fans in several ways. First, Jeep offers hundreds of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts upgrades through FCA’s dealership network for everyday folks to modify their Jeeps. Second (among a long list), Jeep loves tapping into the “what if” imaginations by building outlandish concept vehicles. Not exclusive to the Wrangler, these concepts range from modestly modified with Mopar and JPP parts, to full works of engineering manpower only possible with Jeep’s in-house design, engineering, and fabrication teams.
These concepts help spur attention and attraction to the brand, bringing new customers and keeping current Jeep fans coming back. It’s a great model of business to customer relations, really.
As for the future, there’s no telling what concepts Jeep will bring next year. Undoubtedly they will help garner attention for the new Wrangler JL and Wrangler JT Pickup. This generation change has been a decade in the making, so the anticipation level is high. Jeep fans expect an increase in off-road capability matched by improved on-road driving dynamics and interior usability. It will be interesting to see how Jeep pulls this off, and even more interesting to see what direct the Wrangler JL concepts go. The next year should be a fantastic time for the Wrangler community.