Jeep shows 707-horsepower Hellcat-powered off-roader
Jeep unveiled concept vehicles, including a pair of pickups and a Wrangler powered by Fiat Chrysler’s insane 707-horsepower Hellcat Hemi V-8, to celebrate the brand’s 50th Easter Jeep Safari later this month.
The Safari draws thousands of Jeep owners, aficionados and customizers to the legendary scenery and challenging off-road routes of Moab, Utah.
“Moab is the Mecca for Jeep customization,” said Pietro Gorlier, head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Mopar parts business. “Ninety-eight percent of Wranglers have at least one Mopar accessory.”
In addition to lift kits, winches, knobby tires and other off-road goodies, FCA will use the Safari to gauge response to a pair of pickups based on current production models.
The Comanche uses the architecture and running gear from a subcompact Jeep Renegade to underpin a legitimate compact pickup that’s considerably smaller than midsize pickups like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma.
The Comanche’s wheelbase is about 6 inches longer than that of the Renegade. The concept features a 6-foot bed, 2.0 L diesel engine and nine-speed automatic transmission. It has a folding canvas top and a full roll cage to protect occupants during off-road excursions.
Another Renegade-based concept, the Commander, features a 2-inch lift kit, wheels from the larger Wrangler SUV and a topographical map of Moab outlined on its hood. Jeep will test its off-road ability during the Safari.
The imposing Crew Chief 715 pickup uses a stretched, 139-inch-long version of the four-door Wrangler Unlimited’s frame. It has a 5-foot steel bed with a wooden floor, soft top, 4-inch lift kit, locking differentials, heavy-duty axles and 41-inch military-spec tires.
Going to the other extreme, the Wrangler Short Cut concept is 26 inches shorter than a current Wrangler and pays homage to the beloved Jeep CJ5 that went out of production in 1987. It’s raised 2 inches from the production Wrangler and features retro steel wheels.
The Wrangler Trailstorm combines current Mopar aftermarket parts like LED lights, a WARN winch and 37-inch tires with a unique pixilated camo paint scheme.
The 707-horsepower Trailcat features bright-green paint, FCA’s Hellcat logo, a frame stretched 12 inches and heavy-duty Dana axles to handle the 6.2L supercharged Hemi V8’s 650 pound-feet of torque.
The 50th annual Easter Jeep Safari takes place March 19-27 in Moab, Utah