An electric Wrangler heads up Jeep’s Easter concepts
The best thing about Easter isn’t chocolate eggs, it’s gnarly Jeeps
It’s nearly Easter, which means it’s nearly time for a bunch of eye-pleasing Jeep concepts. It’s a moment fast becoming as symbolic as chocolate eggs adorning almost every aisle of the supermarket.
But way more exciting, we’d argue. Past concepts have included the monster 707bhp Jeep Trailcat and the wildly adventurous Jeep Wayout concept. Not always glimpses of Jeep’s future, but a fun diversion nonetheless.
This year’s concepts arrive on Jeep’s 80th birthday, though. And leading the way is a car we fully expect to point us towards how Jeeps to come may look.
Click through them all, and let us know your favourite below...Advertisement - Page continues below
Jeep Wrangler Magneto
This is an all-electric Jeep Wrangler. Or “a stealthy, quiet, quick and an unmistakable rock-climbing force” if we’re to believe the hype. Could it preview Jeep’s first production EV?
It certainly raises lots of questions, not least because its electric motor operates through a six-speed manual gearbox, with a stick and clutch pedal plus some clever regen tricks to allow quick shifting. The motor has been tuned to be like-for-like with the Wrangler’s usual V6 (at least on paper), with similar power – 281bhp and 273lb ft – and an ability to rev to 6,000rpm.
It’s Jeep dabbling with EVs on its own terms. Its 6.8secs 0-62mph time won’t impress the Teslarati, but then they probably won’t much care for its go-anywhere ability.
Its four batteries live in waterproof enclosures to ensure this Wrangler will still wade through 30 inches of water, while there are 35in mud-terrain tyres, a roll cage, a steel underbelly and a massive winch.Advertisement - Page continues below
And now for something completely different. From a modern car with a manual shoehorned into it, to a restomod of Jeep’s first automatic model. It’s a 1968 Jeepster Commando that’s been mashed up with a 2020 Wrangler Rubicon to create ‘the ultimate beach-themed cruiser’.
Just to really dig into it, Jeep’s named its paint Hazy IPA. Beer on the beach – what could be better? Let’s just hope said IPA is zero per cent… or the beach isn’t too long a walk from home.
A 270bhp 4cyl turbo engine sits up front driving all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. At least twice as many ratios as in its former life.
The front seats are replaced by lurid red buckets, the rears are swapped for a cage and the carpets have all been binned ‘to make cleaning out sand a breeze’.
Jeep Orange Peelz
Oh yes, the zany colours (and zanier colour names) continue. It’s a Wrangler with half-sized doors and a removable hard glass hard top. Perfect under the blazing sun of Moab, Utah, where Jeep’s Easter Safari takes place. Less handy while waiting to pick the kids up from school in rainy Runcorn, Cheshire.
It’s more suited to American desert terrain on its underside, too, with a lift kit, Fox shocks and 17in beadlock wheels encased in 37in mud-terrain tyres.
Then there’s its 8,000lb winch, the ultra-strong Corning Gorilla Glass windscreen, a pair of grab handles to allow you to swing into the plaid-trimmed cabin and those 4,800-lumen spotlights up front. Silly name, serious off-road ability.Advertisement - Page continues below
Jeep Red Bare
Nope, that’s not a typo. They didn’t mean Bear. And again, nope. We’re not going to ask what Red Bare means…
It’s a Gladiator – aka a four-door Wrangler pick-up we’re not yet blessed with in the UK – with a 260bhp diesel engine, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and a shedload of off-road expertise beneath its bright bodywork.
We’re talking two-inch lift kit, 37in mud tyres, steel bumpers and Dana 44 axles, all enabling a 91:1 crawl ratio for better scaling Moab’s monstrous rocks.
Not to mention an even more plaid interior than the Orange Peelz. Just look at that dashboard. Better make sure your finest lumberjack attire isn’t going to clash…Advertisement - Page continues below
A reboot of the 2019 Jeep Wayout concept, it was due to appear as one of Jeep’s 2020 Safari concepts. Then something happened – we can’t think what – to derail those plans.
Anyway, if it’s pandemic-ridden civilisation you wish to evade, this is a fairly good place to try and do it. Sure, there's a wealth of rock-crawling nous, but the Jeep Farout’s party trick is its wood-lined cabin resplendent with ambient lighting, a refrigerator and stove plus hanging storage racks and table and chairs for eating. A go-anywhere mobile house to escape the crowds? We’ve never been more in.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392
A dinosaur trying to dodge the asteroid, the first production V8 Wrangler in nearly 40 years – aka half of Jeep’s entire lifetime – will be shown at Moab alongside that Magneto electric 4x4. Chalk and cheese, huh?
The V8 in question – should you not speak in cubic inches – is 6.4 litres in size. It produces 470bhp and 470lb ft, enough for a 4.5sec 0-62mph time. Not to mention a 13sec quarter-mile. Because what could be more relevant?
Jeep Top Dog
In the same week the US elected a new president, Jeep put a hot dog grill in the back of a Gladiator. We’re not sure which is bigger news.
Fox shocks team up with 17in beadlock wheels and 37in off-road tyres for some proper gnarly terrain-bashing, while all four wheels are driven by Jeep’s burliest 3.6-litre V6, with 281bhp on hand. You’ve also a snorkel and a winch capable of dragging 3.6 tonnes from the nearest ditch. The interior is full of hard-wearing materials while the dashboard and exterior panels are painted K-9 blue. Wonder where they got that name from…