It's that time of year again – the annual Easter Jeep Safari takes place in Moab, Utah, in just a few days. And we’ll be there in person to catch much of it on film. In anticipation of the beloved off-road event, Jeep has rolled out four new concepts that will be taking their talents to the trails later this week.
The concepts consist of a restomodded classic like the Jeepster Beach, modern overlanding options like the Wrangler Orange Peelz and Gladiator Red Bare, and for the first time, a fully electric Jeep dubbed the Magneto.
Jeep Wrangler Magneto Concept
Let's start with the most interesting concept of the bunch, the Jeep Magneto. Last month the company filed its first trademark for the name, which set the internet ablaze with reports of a new electric Wrangler – and that turned out to be true, sort of. The Magneto concept is an off-road–capable EV with a two-inch lift, 35-inch all-terrain off-road tyres, 30-inch water-fording abilities (just like the petrol model), and yes, even a six-speed manual transmission.
Based on the two-door 2020 Wrangler Rubicon, Jeep swapped the standard 3.6-litre V6 for a custom-built axial flux electric motor that operates at up to 6,000 rpm. Output remains similar to that of the V6: 285 bhp (213 kilowatts) and 273 pound-feet (370 newton-metres), pushing the car to hit 60 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds.
The Jeep Magneto's single electric motor is powered by four lithium-ion battery packs with a combined power of 70 kilowatt-hours. One battery lives under the bonnet, two sit on either side of the former fuel tank housing, and another occupies the rear storage. Jeep does not 800-volt charging for the concept, but doesn't list things like range or charging time, unfortunately, and we should note that this concept is far from production-ready.
The Beach concept is a fully restomodded 1968 Jeepster blended with elements of a 2020 Wrangler Rubicon. Visually, this concept draws heavily from the original Jeepster. The elongated seven-slat grille, rounded headlights, and upright windscreen give the concept its classic look. The cabin wears a custom interior with low-back bucket seats finished in red leather, and a chrome safety cage in the rear replacing the second row of seats.
But under the bonnet is a modern turbocharged engine. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder is borrowed from the Wrangler, but tuning bumps output to 340 bhp (254 kW) and 369 lb-ft (275 kW), paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Jeepster Beach concept also rides on a significant lift and 35-inch off-road tyres.
Jeep Gladiator Red Bare
The lone Gladiator of the group for this year's outing is the Red Bare concept. Powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre diesel V6, this Gladiator is good for 260 bhp (194 kW) and 442 lb-ft (599 Nm). The Red Bare also sports heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles with 4.88 axle ratios – creating an impressive crawl ratio of 91:1 – plus a two-inch lift, 37-inch off-road tyres, a winch, and plenty more.
The Gladiator Red Bear wears a bright Fire Cracker Red exterior with custom matte black graphics and gold accents. There's also a Mojave-style bonnet plus a factory soft-top and half doors. Inside, Katzkin Black leather covers the seats, paired with red stitching and fun red flannel inserts.
Jeep Wrangler Orange Peelz
The exuberantly coloured Wrangler Orange Peelz joins the Gladiator Red Bare in brightening up the trail. For this concept, engineers yanked out the side and rear windows, installing half doors and a custom removable one-piece Freedom Top with a glass sunroof. The Orange Peelz exterior colour pairs with satin black graphics and vintage-styled wings/fenders, plus a fully finished cabin with features like Mopar stainless steel pedal covers and all-season floor mats.
In terms of capability, the Orange Peelz concept gets a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 with 285 bhp and 260 lb-ft, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. There are some minor mods on this setup though; there’s a cold-air intake under the bonnet and a cat-back exhaust. The Orange Peelz also rides on a two-inch lift with Fox shocks and 37-inch off-road tyres.
The Jeep Easter Safari officially kicks off this week on 27 March and runs until 4 April.
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