2023 Easter Jeep Safari Sees Electrified Cherokee Restomod Among 7 Concepts
2023 marks the 57th gathering of Jeeps in Moab, Utah for the annual Easter Jeep Safari. As usual, Jeep is attending along with upwards of 20,000 off-road enthusiasts. This year, the automaker has seven concept vehicles to show off. In a nod to its electrified future, three are plug-in hybrids and one is a fully electric concept we’ve seen before. Mostly, anyway.
These are all concept vehicles, so don’t expect to see them at dealerships. However, some are built to showcase the plethora of performance parts and accessories available to Jeep owners, making them somewhat attainable depending on how much you want to accessorize. Let’s take a look at the rock-crawling collection for this year’s festivities.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer Overland Concept
Easily the biggest concept of this bunch, the large-and-luxurious Grand Wagoneer certainly has plenty of room for stretching out. This concept adds a Skyloft pop-top roof with sleeping accommodations for two, accessible from the inside through a repositioned rear sunroof. As such, the three-row seating is ditched in favor of bean bags and a floor made from truck bed liner in the back. 35-inch tires sit in larger wheel arches with custom flares, and a 1.5-inch lift helps the full-size SUV tackle off-road obstacles.
1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe Concept
You couldn’t get a hybrid Jeep in 1978, but this restomod imagines an alternate reality where it could’ve happened. This classic SJ Cherokee uses the powertrain from the modern-day Wrangler Rubicon 4xe – a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors. An eight-speed automatic transmission handles gear changes, connected with a 4:1 transfer case. It rides on 37-inch tires mounted to 17-inch wheels with proper old-school mag styling. The original 1978 body was extensively modified to accept the changes, but its retro-themed yellow paint with orange striping is a proper homage to the age of bell bottoms.
Jeep Scrambler 392 Concept
Speaking of bell bottoms, the original Scrambler appeared in 1981 as a small truck. Sadly, there’s nothing to suggest a new Scrambler is coming, never mind one packing the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 from the Wrangler Rubicon 392. Using the four-door Wrangler as a starting point, this concept is obviously a radical interpretation of the text, featuring a two-door design (sans actual doors) with loads of custom carbon-fiber body panels. The fenders are wider, the bumpers are special lightweight items, and it rides on an air suspension that can alternate between 1.5 and 5.5 inches of lift. As such, there’s plenty of room for 40-inch tires.
Jeep Wrangler Magneto 3.0 Concept
The all-electric Wrangler is back for its third trip to the safari. First shown in 2021, it still wields a single electric motor but now the power is driver-adjustable between 285 and 650 horsepower. There’s a new two-stage power regen mode that can be turned off for normal driving or on to recoup energy during braking. An updated hill descent mode is available in low range for one-pedal operation. Beyond that, Jeep adds minor body modifications for easier ingress/egress and moves the B-pillar to make room for a custom roll bar. The windshield angle is pulled back 12 degrees, and a new paint job honors the previous Magneto concepts.
Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Sideburn Concept
Kitted out for extreme off-road adventure, the Sideburn Concept is packed with add-ons for added functionality and capability. It features a custom bed with built-in storage and spots designed specifically for liquid containers. A custom grille guard doubles as a fold-down bench, and 11-inch LED lights on the roof are removable. A carbon-fiber/steel sport bar sits between the cab and bed, offering more options for stowing gear, and it’s fitted with half-doors. Numerous trim upgrades are found throughout the interior, and it rides on a two-inch lift with 37-inch tires at the corners.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Departure Concept
The final two concepts are rooted in reality, starting with the Departure Concept. This deep blue off-roader focuses on open-air adventure with accessories galore from Jeep Performance Parts. It’s got tube doors, flat fenders, the same folding tube grille guard used on the Gladiator Sideburn Concept, header-mounted LED off-road lights than can pivot when the windshield is folded, and rock lights at all four corners. A trick tube gate at the back offers different positions for the spare tire while increasing storage. The interior also features various storage upgrades. Underneath, you’ll find a 2-inch lift with 37-inch tires.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Concept
The pink Jeep lives at the Easter Jeep Safari. Based on the limited-edition Tuscadero-painted Wrangler from 2021, this concept adds black accents in strategic spots and wears a custom graphic on the hood. Underneath, it gets the same adjustable air suspension used on the Scrambler 392 concept, allowing room for 37-inch tires on black 17-inch wheels.
The 2023 Easter Jeep Safari runs from April 1 through 9 at Moab, Utah.
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