Taking the fight to the dunes

With the 2018 Moab Jeep Safari just around the corner, the legendary off-roading brand is introducing a total of seven new concept cars, including several intended to show off the upgradeable potential of the new JL-gen Wrangler. One such concept is the Jeep Sandstorm, which draws its inspiration from the world of Baja racing trucks with a thumping V-8 under the hood and upgraded suspension to match.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Sandstorm.

What Makes The Jeep Sandstorm Special

2018 Jeep Sandstorm
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The styling mods give the machine a streamlined purposeful appearance - exactly what you want for something inspired by a racing truck.

Like any proper build, the Jeep Sandstorm has a strong theme going for it, taking its inspiration from Baja racers with all the right parts to conquer the desert.

“The Jeep Sandstorm concept is all about blitzing long, sandy straightaways while still being capable of handling the daily driving duties,” says Jeep.

Let’s start outside, where we find the styling was updated with a carbon fiber hood, complete with a square intake and several rows of vents. More vents were added to the flared-out fenders in front, while a matte black roll cage and rear lay-down spare tire carrier were added up top. The body panels get a bright orange paint finish.

You’ll also notice that Jeep shaved the door handles in the rear, while simultaneously tossing the swing gate and chopping down the aft doors. The mods give the machine a cleaner, more streamlined, and more purposeful appearance - exactly what you want for something inspired by a racing truck.

Further Baja-esque additions include high-clearance tube bumpers in front and in back, which look ready to plow through all but the hardest of obstacles. The rock rails were also beefed up, and there’s a racing-style fuel filler in the rear to keep the go-juice flowing. The KC Carbon series was tapped for its auxiliary lights in front, not to mention the chase light.

In the corners, the Jeep Sandstorm mounts slick 17-inch beadlock wheels, which arrive with a copper-colored inner framework and get wrapped by 39.5-inch Krawler rubber from BG Goodrich.

2018 Jeep Sandstorm
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The Jeep Sandstorm gets an extended wheelbase, which should help with stability when traveling at a high rate of speed.

When viewed from the side, you’ll notice that the Jeep Sandstorm gets an extended wheelbase, a mod that should help to cement the vehicle’s stability when traveling at a high rate of speed. To accomplish this, the front axle was moved forward on the chassis by 4 inches, while the rear axle was moved aft by 2 inches, giving it a 6-inch extension overall. The suspension is composed of a heavy-duty longarm four-link suspension and track bar for the front, while the rear uses a triangulated trailing arm and four-link suspension.

The individual suspension components themselves were upgraded with custom coilovers and bypass shocks, which give the front wheels as much as 14 inches of travel and the rear wheels an impressive 18 inches of travel.

The drivetrain is rounded out with heavy-duty components front and rear, with both ends receiving Dynatrac 60 axles and a 5.68 gear ratio. To live up to its racing promises, the Jeep Sandstorm is even equipped with the 6.4-liter V-8 optioned straight out of the Mopar performance catalog. Jeep neglected to mention output figures, but it’s likely churning out around 485 horses and 475 pound-feet of torque. Routing it all is a six-speed manual transmission.

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Instrumentation includes a racing-spec gauge cluster and a 7-inch off-road GPS for navigation purposes.

Inside, there’s a custom cage that integrates directly with the chassis. The front seats get leather upholstery, while the rear gets low-back racing buckets. Instrumentation includes a racing-spec gauge cluster and a 7-inch off-road GPS for navigation purposes. There’s also an onboard air compressor if you need to perform some impromptu repairs.

Adding to the high-performance feel are independent rocker switches for the electronics, air compressor, and axle lockers. Finally, the various interior plastic bits and carpet were tossed, replaced with a tough bed liner material for the floor.

Funny enough, Jeep says this thing is still street legal, even with the engine swap and wild suspension pieces. And we’re always impressed when an off-roading monster can play double duty with the day-to-day grind.

References

Jeep Wrangler

2018 Jeep Wrangler Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

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Read more Jeep news.

Press release

Inspired by Baja desert racers, the Jeep Sandstorm concept is all about blitzing long, sandy straightaways while still being capable of handling the daily driving duties. To accomplish this, the Sandstorm features off-road hardware that will handle both with ease, including an extreme-duty suspension system and a powertrain with excess power on tap.

To fit the Baja look, the exterior features custom styling cues including a vented carbon fiber hood, vented high clearance front and rear fender flares and a cage that includes a rear mounted lay down style spare tire carrier. The exterior handles and swing gate have been removed while the rear doors have been chopped for a cleaner look.

Other custom Baja-inspired touches include high clearance front and rear tube bumpers, modified rock rails, an integrated on-board air compressor, race-style fuel filler, KC Carbon series front auxiliary lights and a chase light.

The front axle has been moved forward four inches and utilizes a heavy-duty longarm four-link suspension and track bar. The rear axle has been moved back two inches and utilizes a triangulated trailing arm four-link suspension. The longer wheelbase allows for increased high-speed stability. Custom coilovers and bypass shocks allow the front wheels to travel 14 inches while the rear wheels can travel up to 18 inches.

For even more capability, the Jeep Sandstorm concept includes heavy-duty front and rear Dynatrac 60 axles with a 5.68 gear ratio, 17-inch beadlock wheels and 39.5-inch BF Goodrich Krawler tires.

The Baja race truck theme continues throughout the interior, which features a custom cage that integrates the chassis, leather-trimmed front seats and unique low-back racing bucket seats in the rear. A racing-inspired cluster and 7-inch off-road GPS unit handle navigation while independent rocker switches control on-board electronics, air compressor and axle lockers. The Sandstorm concept sheds all plastic trim and carpet in favor of a bedlined floor.

The Jeep Sandstorm is powered by a 6.4-liter V-8 engine from the Mopar performance catalog and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

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