2015 Jeep Renegade Hard Steel Showcar
Jeep has always been good for showing off its designers’ talents with a slew of concept vehicles every year, and 2015 will be no different. Headed for the Geneva Motor Show floor is the Hard Steel concept – a bare-body Renegade fitted with tons of custom work, Mopar parts, and its own little mini-me trailer.
It’s hard to deny the coolness (and cuteness) of this ‘ute and its tag-along friend, especially when considering all the one-off design elements found hovering over all six wheels. The bodywork is perhaps the most eye-catching aspect of the pair. Looking something like the DMC DeLorean, the brushed bare metal look really adds some character. A nice suspension lift and upgraded tire package increase the Renegade’s off-road abilities while a skidplate engraved with “Trailhawk” protects all the vital greasy bits.
Of course, there’s plenty to tell about that Renegade rear end trailer. It houses a host of technology and a massive flatscreen TV for tailgating. During the Geneva show, it will showcase Jeep’s Uconnect Live system, complete with all the current streaming audio and navigation systems.
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0-60 time:10 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:115 mph (Est.)
Layout:Front Engine, 4WD
The outside of the Renegade Hard Steel concept is a large departure from anything normally seen on today’s concept vehicles. Harking back to the famed DMC DeLorean, the body is finished with a brushed metal look. Jeep calls it brushed steel, so we hope it’s either got a nice thick layer of clear coat or Jeep replaced with body panels with stainless steel, otherwise the concept would be a rusted pile of junk in short order.
Besides the finish, Jeep has added hood vents similar to those found on select Wrangler models, along with an extra bump in ground clearance. The matte black, 16-inch wheels are then wrapped in meaty BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A tires for a more menacing stance. A thick skidplate lurks under the front bumper with the “Trailhawk” name etched out.
Speaking of matte black, Jeep coated much of the Renegade’s trim pieces in the color, including the front grille, mirror caps, running boards, and trailer hitch.
The interior has also undergone a vast transformation. The same brushed-steel look is found on the HVAC vents, center console, glove comportment, and speaker surrounds. The seats have been recovered in a Frau Century leather and are finished in a lead-colored hue. The stitching matches the lighter brushed steel look for a nice contrast. That stitching continues in the door panels, along with the seat headrests with the Trailhawk logo embroidered.
Perhaps the biggest deal with this Renegade concept is its look-alike trailer. It features the same exterior coating, wheels, tires, and even fuel filler door as its tow vehicle. The trailer plays hosts to a bevy of tech equipment Jeep is showing off at Geneva. A massive touch screen display shows what the new Uconnect 5-inch and 6.5-inch infotainment screens show, allowing show-goers to see the new systems in action. A bank of speakers ensures audience members can hear what’s going on as well.
The upgraded software includes Deezer internet music, TuneIn internet radio, Reuters news, Tom Tom LIVE real-time traffic, along with Facebook and Twitter access.
Jeep has likely kept all the drivetrain components stock, meaning this Renegade is powered by one of its 16 powertrain combinations – yes, 16 combinations. They include four MultiAir gas options, two MultiJet II diesel options, the flex-fuel capable E.torQ engine, and a host of transmission options that include the nine-speed automatic, two manual options, and a dual-dry clutch option.
Now of course, which powertrain option is available is limited by region, meaning all the choices aren’t available everywhere. In the U.S., the Renegade is only offered with the 1.4-liter, turbocharged, gasoline four-cylinder and the 2.4-liter MultiAir Tiger Shark four-cylinder.
The 1.4-liter produces 160 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque while the larger 2.4-liter produces 184 horses and 177 pound-feet of torque.
There’s really no telling how much money Jeep put into this concept, though we do know that a standard Renegade in Trailhawk trim starts at $25,995. Add to that all the custom work and the trailer, and it’s easily assumed this one-off design cost more than $80,000.
The Mini Countryman is a comparable cute ‘ute that has a ton of character and not much off-roading abilities. Though even the stock Trailhawk Renegade is more capable in the dirt that many give it credit for, the Mini and its AWD system is more relegated to foul weather situations.
The Contryman comes in two versions: the standard and S models. The base is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 122 horsepower while the sportier S model comes with a turbocharged version of the 1.6-liter making 184 horsepower.
The Fiat 500X is the Jeep’s closest competitor mostly because they share the same platform. Much of the same architecture lives under the two separate body designs, giving the Fiat a upper hand. Power comes form the same lineup of engines as well, including the 1.4-liter gasoline engine and 1.3-liter turbodiesel. Of course, the same all-wheel-drive system found in the Jeep will be offered here as well.
The 500X is due out for 2016 and is slated to be a global vehicle like the Renegade.
This concept is one of the more fun we’ve seen Jeep release of the new Renegade. It’s cool body finish, lifted suspension, beefy tires, skidplate, and interior updates – not to mention the awesome trailer, really make it a bespoke vehicle. Don’t count on seeing this Hard Steel concept make it to production, but you can certainly count on all the upgraded technology finding its way into the Renegade’s dashboard. It’s also a possibility the suspension lift may someday be offered through Mopar as a dealer upgrade.
Regardless, the Renegade Hard Steel concept is one awesome off-roading machine. Now if we could only borrow it for tailgating during football season…