Jeep is bringing two quite disparate concepts to SEMA 2021 | Top Gear
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Friday 22nd September

Jeep is bringing two quite disparate concepts to SEMA 2021

A refurbished V8 ambulance and a skeletal hybrid Wrangler star in Vegas

Published: 02 Nov 2021

Jeep is no stranger to an abundant range of concept cars, showcasing half a dozen fabulous playthings every Easter.

But now it’s got in on the SEMA act, too. It’s taking a bunch of cars to the Vegas modified car show, with this pair as the bookends.

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We’ll start with the Sixties ambulance, because why wouldn’t you? It’s called the Kaiser Jeep M725 concept and it transforms a 1967 military ambulance into “the ultimate off-road support machine”.

The original body has been reinforced (thank the lord) and its leaf spring suspension replaced with a ‘heavy duty’ link/coil system (phew), with 20-by-12-inch eight-lug Black Rhino Armory wheels - wrapped in 40in tyres - perched beneath the lot.

Motive power comes from a crate V8 engine. A Mopar 392 Crate Hemi, at that, transferring 485bhp and 475lb ft to four wheels via a ‘vintage’ TorqueFlite 727 automatic gearbox. Pity that vintage gearbox.

Modern instruments give the interior an only mildly contemporary feel, while the rear quarters have been stripped of their plasters, beds and bandages, “creating enough room for occupants to stand while retrieving supplies or serving food and refreshments from the open rear panel”, according to Jeep. Think of the parties it could host…

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At the opposite end of the spectrum to a V8-ambulance-turned-party-bus is the Wrangler 4xe concept. Despite half the Kaiser's cylinder count, electrification ensures its hybrid powertrain’s 375bhp and 470lb ft aren’t a world away. And there’s blatantly been some lightweighting at work too, if a cursory glance at its bodywork (or lack of) is anything to go by.

It’s another rolling demonstration of what happens when you raid Jeep’s Performance Parts catalogue, with a two-inch lift kit, FOX shocks, underbody lighting (for night-time off-roading reasons, not a Fast and Furious tribute act), beadlock wheels and a massive winch.

Basically everything that’s standard-fit on a regular Wrangler 4xe hybrid has been swapped for a JPP replacement, right down to the floor which is now vinyl and features four drain plugs for ‘easy cleaning’. Or ‘easy removal of rainwater ‘cos there’s no roof or windows’. It, like the ambulance, is a rather beguiling thing. Which are you scaling Monument Valley in?

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