Jeep to Show off Seven Concepts, Manual Electric
The Jeeps you see at the Safari are concept cars – one-of-a-kind vehicles manufacturers build to explore possible design directions. And while most vehicles shown off at the Safari never see production, a few new products have made their first appearance on the red rocks of the canyonlands in spring.
This year’s stable will include a few one-offs that will almost certainly never be built for sale, a couple of the newest Safari concepts look dealership-ready.
Jeep Magneto 2.0
The headline grabber is an update on one we’ve seen before. But it’s still a favorite, so we’re happy to see it appear again.
The Jeep Wrangler Magneto is an all-electric Wrangler with a manual transmission. Yes, an EV with a stick.
Jeep first brought the Magneto to last year’s Safari. This year, it will show off an enhanced version. It now boasts 625 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque. It sits on 40-inch wheels and uses the transmission from a Dodge Hellcat despite the fact that EVs don’t actually require transmissions. Engineers built it for the pure joy of shifting.
We, sadly, never expect to see it reach production. Enthusiasts may want to preserve the sensation of three-pedal driving in the EV age, and this is proof it can be done. But the complexity and cost of it likely make it unprofitable.
Jeep Bob Concept
Bobbing – the practice of shortening a truck’s bed to give it shorter overhangs for better departure angles – is a common off-road modification done at shops across America. The Jeep Bob Concept simply takes that idea and executes it with factory polish. It’s a Gladiator bobtail, with 3 inches of added ground clearance, Dynatrac Pro-Rock 60 axles, and King Coils and Bypass shocks.
This will reach production when its beadlock tires are road legal – which is to say, probably never.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe Concept
Now, this is likely a production test.
This is simply the Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid equipped with the Trailhawk package available on gas-powered Grand Cherokees. It would allow for near-silent off-roading in electric-only mode while giving buyers a practical day-to-day driver and the endless range of a hybrid. We’d be shocked not to see this for sale eventually.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary Concept
The Wrangler Rubicon will turn 20 in 2023. This may be a preview of how Jeep will celebrate the occasion.
It uses the V8-powered Wrangler Rubicon 392 as a starting point and adds a red interior. With 2 inches of additional lift and 37-inch mud tires, it’s trail-ready. Half doors and a power-folding top complete the package.
Jeep ’41 Concept
It wouldn’t be a Jeep event without a nostalgic model. The ’41 concept gets an olive drab paint job reminiscent of Second World War Jeeps and a digital camo upholstery pattern out of modern military design. The 17-inch wheels look like classic steelies but are actually powder-coated alloy wheels.
It looks classic, but the running gear is as modern as it gets – it comes from the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid.
There’s no word on whether this will see production, but since it is essentially an appearance package for the Wrangler 4xe, it easily could.
Jeep D-Coder Concept
Jeep says this is “a rolling catalog of factory-tested and factory-backed items available for customer purchase.” It contains 35 Jeep Performance Parts or Mopar accessories, each painted with a bar code. Scanning them takes you to the web page to order each part.
This is obviously a sales tool, so we won’t waste your time with it.
Jeep Birdcage Concept
Another concept built on the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid, the Birdcage is an open-air off-roader. Its roll cage is topped with a 600-pound Rhino Rack cargo basket. Taillamp guards protect the rear lights. Removable covers protect the daytime running lights. And a custom rock slider under panel protects all the moving parts.
We love the tobacco brown interior, but there’s little reason to believe this will reach showrooms.