It’s that time of year again. Jeep’s annual Easter Safari kicks off the first week of April, and as in (most) years past, the 4×4 builder is on location with a collection of concept trucks that may or may not hint at future options, accessories — and maybe even entire vehicles. Looking at you, Magneto. That project returns (now in version 3.0), along with four new in-house designs from the Jeep team. Jeep Performance Parts tagged along as usual with two more builds of their own. We’ll have more from the field once we get a chance to play around with Jeep’s toys in Moab. Let’s dive in.
Jeep Wrangler 4xe ****
Officially, the Wrangler 4xe **** has no name. Jeep refers to it only as the “Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Concept.” Like the designation for its preliminary paint finish (nope, that’s not Tuscadero), its name has been redacted. But if you’re the type of Jeeper who likes to be strapped firmly in place for a little fun in the dirt, the **** might be right up your alley. Its PHEV powertrain allows you to **** responsibly and it even comes with augmented straps and buckles, a fur-lined glovebox and various other toys meant to heighten the experience. The **** is even fitted with an active air suspension that adds between 1.5 and 5.5 inches. Of ground clearance.
Serious face: There’s obviously more to this than what you can see from pictures. It may be an April Fool’s gag or just a Jeep designer’s fever dream realized; we’re bound (OK, not so serious) to find out more in Moab.
Jeep Wrangler Magneto 3.0 Concept
Yep, Magneto’s back. This will be its third and final outing, Jeep says, and based on how little it has changed since last year, we’re comfortable with Jeep calling this one finished. There’s only a slight bump in power this year; it gets another 25 horses and 50 pound-feet of torque, for a total of 650 and 900, respectively. But it did sprout a new set of drive modes that give you finer control over the output of its electric motors. Its standard setting dials the total oomph back to just 285 hp and 273 lb.-ft. That’s both the rated power output of Jeep’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and a subtle nod to the Magneto 1.0, which used those figures as its baseline. And yep, it still has a six-speed manual.
1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe Concept
If this one gives you Jeep Chief vibes, you’re not alone. What started life as a craigslist dumpster fire of a 1978 Cherokee is powered by a modern 4xe plug-in hybrid powertrain. You’ll need that torque to turn the massive 37s fitted to all four corners. Inside, there’s an 8-track player and a secret stash box. What exactly is the secret stash box, you ask? It’s a secret. Duh.
Jeep Scrambler 392 Concept
The 392 Scrambler “adds lightness” to the V8-powered Wrangler formula. The 392 is currently available only as a four-door, but this concept looks at what kind of performance machine you could make by trimming the fat off of Jeep’s big bruiser. While it still rides on the 392’s standard four-door wheelbase, the Scrambler has been chopped down and shortened to further concentrate its mass near its center. It’s fitted with multiple custom carbon-fiber exterior body panels; most of the rest were just stripped off completely. The blue plaid interior came out of the just-for-fun bin, as Jeep’s engineers say the Scrambler’s only real mission is being “real rowdy-fast.”
Grand Wagoneer “Camp Lux” Overland Concept
“I swore I’d never do another roof tent,” Jeep boss Mark Allen opened with. Well, so much for that. The Wagoneer checks in with an overlanding-inspired concept based on Mopar’s new twin-turbocharged I6 engine. Its rear seats have been stripped away to open up the interior for supplies, people and pets, and it has been fitted with 35-inch tires for more go-anywhere capability.
JPP Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Sideburn Concept
The first of Jeep Performance Parts’ two builds is the Sideburn concept, which gets its name from the armor on its rear fender. It features a utilitarian bed setup lifted from the company’s catalog, a fold-down brush guard that doubles as a bench (so you can tailgate from both ends) and has on-board fuel and water storage.
JPP Jeep Wrangler 4xe Departure Concept
This one’s about as down-to-earth as they come, and frankly this blue-over-tan look is rather pretty. This is another Jeep Performance Parts showcase, and the truck wears a mix of existing accessory parts and conceptual additions. The Sideburn’s fold-down brush guard returns and it gains several other accessories, including a convertible tube tailgate, custom fender flares, Molle panels, and a new accesory mounting system for the dashboard. Yeah, we’ve seen that somewhere.