At the annual off-road adventure in Moab Utah, these seven Jeep concepts were a sight to behold. Our favourite is the Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip, hands down
Even though the annual New York auto show is creeping up with manufacturers like Volkswagen (five-seater Atlas), Lincoln (Aviator revival), Kia (K900 flagship), Cadillac (XT4 crossover), Nissan (new Altima) and Toyota (new RAV4) all announcing premieres, Jeep is busy elsewhere. About 3,500km further west, in fact.
Over in Moab, the massive off-roading playground in the US state of Utah, Jeep has once again wowed its fans with its annual pilgrimage there, bringing along no less than seven new concept cars including five based on the latest Wrangler.
And yet the Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip might hit all the right notes with enthusiasts, inspired by the 1965 original and one of the pioneers of the luxury SUV genre. Except here there is no original six-cylinder engine — Jeep stuffed a 5.7-litre V8 in there, plus big 44-inch front and rear axles with 17-inch wheels and 33-inch tyres. With BF Goodrich all-terrain rubber it’s definitely got some meat on it.
Ignoring the Compass concept, we move straight onto the two most extreme creations, the Jeep 4Speed concept and the Sandstorm concept.
With minimal bodywork and for ultimate lightness, the 4Speed utilizes a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder in pursuit of its mission, while seeing as the Sandstorm is more inspired by Baja desert racing, it gets a 6.4-litre V8 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Then there’s the J-Wagon concept, which is a comparatively mild customisation of the factory Wrangler Sahara, featuring 17-inch wheels and 35-inch tyres.
The Jeep Nacho, too, is a rolling catalogue of available accessories and parts for the new off-roader, with lots of LEDs and a two-inch lift-kit thrown at it from the Mopar shelves.
Finally there’s the Jeep Jeepster concept, evoking the 1966 Jeepster and mimicking the original’s two-tone bodywork in Firecracker Red and Bright White. This fun Jeep really had fun with, going with massive 37-inch tyres, and adding storage packs to the tailgate.