Electric Jeep CJ leads Jeep, Ram SEMA debuts

Stellantis is kicking off its SEMA reveals with a trio of show trucks from Jeep and Ram. While the total number of in-house custom vehicles is a little smaller than some past years, they still are quite striking. They also preview potential new products from the brands.

Jeep CJ Surge Concept

Just as in the past, Stellantis has built a gorgeous resto-mod. This one started as a CJ SUV, and it has a real eye to the future. Under the hood is a 268-horsepower electric motor. It seems to be a slightly different setup than what was used on the Jeep Magneto concept, which had more power. Jeep makes no mention of a transmission, just that it has a two-speed four-wheel-drive transfer case. The transfer case sends power to Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) crate Dana 44 axles. Power is supplied by a 400-volt, 24-module lithium-ion battery pack mounted behind the seats. What’s especially interesting about all this is that Jeep says this truck is a build to explore what could go into a Mopar EV conversion kit. So we may see something along these lines available in the next couple yof ears to go up against the still-in-development GM eCrate kit.

Of course, Jeep didn’t stop with just putting an electric powertrain in the CJ Surge. It has been lifted by 2 inches and fitted with 18-inch Black Rhino wheels wrapped in 35-inch tires. The body appears to have been stretched, and the hood has a custom power dome. The windshield has been chopped by 2 inches, and wider fender flares have been fitted. JPP JK bumpers are mounted front and rear along with JPP skid plates. It also has custom rock rails, roll cage, bikini top and the orange, black and blue color scheme. We’re particularly partial to the houndstooth seat inserts, but the whole thing is gorgeous and has us excited for more EV conversion options.

Ram 1500 Backcountry X Concept

While the CJ Surge is about what’s under the hood, the Ram 1500 Backcountry X is all about what’s in the back. It has custom parts called the RamPack and the RamRack, each of which expand the truck’s cargo hauling capabilities. The RamPack consists of a pair of bedside mounted storage boxes. They add 12.3 cubic feet of locking, weather-tight storage, in addition to the regular-production RamBox bedside bins. The RamPack boxes also have shelves and tie-downs to make sure everything is secure and organized. They fit the lines of the truck very well, but part of that may be stripes that accent them.

The RamRack is an evolution of a previous concept idea of sliding roof rails. It mostly consists of a metal tube frame that wraps around the RamPack along with sliding Thule rails. It fits great in this application, though we’re not sure how it would look without the RamPack.

Ram 1500 Backcountry X Concept

Beyond those parts, Ram also added a work bench to the tailgate. It has conversion tables, an angle finder and provisions for fitting clamps and woodworking hardware. All of these parts seem like they could be really useful and popular. In the case of the tailgate workbench, Ford already offers a similar feature on the F-150. So we could see all of them eventually appearing as production accessories if there’s enough interest.

Again, there are many other features added to this Ram besides the special prototype parts. It has a spray-in bedliner, Mopar 2-inch lift kit with Fox shocks, 20-inch Fuel wheels, 37-inch tires, Mopar grille, Mopar off-road lights and Mopar side steps, all of which are available right now. The interior has a custom green upholstery with orange stitching, extra grab handles, and a custom RamVac for cleaning up. That’s another feature we could see becoming a handy future accessory.

Ram 1500 TRX Gold Shot

Ironically, the concept based on the Ram 1500 TRX is possibly the most mild build of the three. It’s mainly a showcase of current Ram accessories such as the RamBar, Mopar rock rails and 5-inch exhaust tips. It also features custom skid plates and concept LED off-road lights. The 37-inch tires are wrapped around Black Rhino wheels. And of course it has the vivid black and yellow paint scheme and matching black and yellow leather and Alcantara interior.

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