Die-hard Jeep enthusiasts look forward to Easter every year, and not for the colored eggs – in lieu of the Easter bunny, Jeep rolls out half a dozen special models at its Moab Easter Jeep Safari. This year, behold the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Concept, Wrangler Apache, Mighty FC Concept, J-12 Concept, and Wrangler Traildozer.
First up is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Concept, which takes the brand’s midsize SUV and makes it even more off-road ready. Jeep has equipped the Trailhawk with new 18-inch Goodyear Wrangler SilentArmor off-road tires and Mopar rock rails that will take the Grand Cherokee across any trail. Coming straight from the factory are the Grand Cherokee’s off-roading systems – tow/recovery hooks, Quadra-Drvie II four-wheel drive with a rear electronic limited-slip differential, and Quadra-Lift air suspension. Differentiating the Trailhawk from other Grand Cherokees are a raft of visual updates including stone white paint; the grille surround, mirror caps, rear light bar, and lower front applique painted mineral gray; red tow hooks, center caps, bolt holes, Jeep logos, and trim lines; and a glare-reducing matte black hood applique.
Fans of classic Jeep vehicles will love the Mighty FC and J-12 Concepts. Both trucks pull on Jeep’s classic heritage of the Forward Control truck and the classic Jeep Gladiator pickup truck. Both concepts find their roots in the Wrangler– for the Mighty FC, Jeep’s engineers started with a Wrangler Rubicon that they lengthened and relocated the cab ahead of the front axle. A custom-designed front fascia and cargo box complete the dramatic aesthetic transformation. However, the Mighty FC Concept isn’t all show – the team added a new offset Portal Axle set from Mopar (which are now on sale for $12,500 for the front axle and $11,000 for the rear) with King coil-over assemblies and Teraflex control arms and track bars. Custom 17-inch beadlock wheels with massive 40-inch tires guarantee that the Mighty FC will be able to get anywhere its going, no matter what’s in its path.
Despite looking like the next-generation of Gladiator pickup, the J-12 concept is, essentially, a long-wheelbase version of the currently available Jeep JK-8 pickup conversion offered by Mopar. Codenamed “Old Man Truck” during development, the extra 18 inches in length means that the spare tire has been moved under the truck’s bed and the cargo box is now a full six feet long. The Mopar boffins have also tacked on a three inch lift kit and Dynatrac D-44 and D-60 axles. The front fascia, 15-inch steel wheels with 36-inch tires, and dressed down white and plaid cabin all hark back to the Gladiator pickup and differentiate the J-12 at a glance from its JK-8 progenitor.
Mopar also rolled out two different versions of Hemi-powered Wranglers. The Wrangler Apache from Mopar packs a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 under the hood, sending 470 hp and 470 lb-ft to all four wheels. The best part? The Hemi Wrangler conversion kit goes on sale this summer, initially only for the five-speed automatic, but later also for the six-speed manual. Mopar Pro 60 5.13 front and rear axles, a lift kit, and off-road bead-lock wheels have been added for additional off-road prowess, along with high-clearance fenders, half-door kits, a Stinger front bumper, and a winch.
The second – and wilder – Hemi Wrangler is the Wrangler Traildozer Concept. Jeep worked with American Expedition Vehicles to make a truck ready to tackle the worst Moab has to offer. A six-speed manual routes power from the 470-hp Hemi V-8 to all four wheels through Rubicon-specific Dana 44 axles equipped with electronic locking differentials. An AEV Dualsport RS 3.5-inch suspension lift was added to clear the 37-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claw radials.
Jeep also rolled out a 2012 Wrangler decked out in accessories by the Mopar brand. Starting with a Wrangler Rubicon, Mopar added a two-inch lift kit, 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires on Classic five-hole wheels, off-road bumpers, rocks rails, winch kit, the same Dana axles as the Traildozer, and more.
Right now, none of the Concepts are slated to go into production — though Jeep says the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is under serious consideration — and Jeep has previously said that there will be no Wrangler pickup earlier than 2016. In the meantime, make sure to snap up those Mopar accessories and sit tight for the Hemi conversion this summer.