For most automakers, April’s big events consist to the New York and Shanghai motor shows. Chrysler, however, regularly brings a handful of customized off-road concept vehicles to the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, and this year appears to be no exception.
The first, dubbed Renegade, appears to emulate the 1971 CJ-5 Renegade 1 model while simultaneously cribbing parts from Mopar’s aftermarket parts catalog. Apart from a gold-on-black paint scheme, the Renegade appears to receive a suspension lift, a larger wheel/tire package (complete with matching gold five-spoke aluminum wheels), rock rails, and a front brush bar.
Seeing as the concept appears to use American Expedition Vehicles’ muscular heat reduction hood, there’s a good chance the show vehicle is packing something more than the standard 3.8-liter V-6. We’d wager this sucker packs Hemi V-8 power — a conversion AEV perfected, and one we hear Jeep executives are reportedly mulling as a future production option.
The second concept, which Mopar calls the Porkchop, actually reminds us of original Renegade and other special-edition Jeeps from the 1960s more than the new Renegade concept — its exterior aesthetic is clean, slender, and simple. The concept is stripped of top, bumpers, doors, and bumpers, given a two-tone paint scheme (silver with red accent striping and interior), and large five-spoke torque-thrust wheels. It appears the front axle may be set forward to increase the Porkchop’s wheelbase, but it’s hard to glean such information simply from a design rendering.
Firm details on both show vehicles — along with perhaps a few additional surprises — will likely emerge closer to the EJS event itself, which is scheduled to run between April 16-24.