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Jeep debuts electric Wrangler with a manual transmission and more wild concepts at annual Easter Safari


The American off-road specialist has been running the Easter Safari for almost 60 years, and uses the event to showcase cool new concepts

Jeep has pulled the covers off several exciting new concept vehicles, including a 466kW electric ‘Magneto’ Wrangler and a pop-top Wagoneer, in the days prior to its annual Easter Safari off-road event. 

Each year, more than 20,000 people head to Moab, Utah to drive what Jeep calls “the most extreme off-road conditions”. 

Jeep has unveiled several concepts ahead of its annual Easter Safari

But as much as the event is about off-roading, Jeep has made a tradition to build custom one-off special vehicles that won’t ever be sold to the general public. 

Earlier this week, Jeep presented to Australian media the seven different concept vehicles that have been built, under the guidance of Jeep’s head of design, Mark Allen. 

It’s worth noting that previous concepts have inspired future Jeep products, with Mark Allen telling Australian media that the current-generation JL Wrangler was heavily influenced by the event in Moab.

These concepts could influence future Jeep models

“Honestly, the number one vehicle I can share with you that has been heavily impacted by our operations is the current Wrangler … but there’s a tonne of things that are baked into the Gladiator, a lot of the vehicles we did previously for Moab were pickup-based things”.

Let’s take a look at each of the concepts and see what makes them special creations 

Magneto 3.0 concept 

The Magneto could preview a future fully-electric Wrangler

The Magneto 3.0 concept is a fully electric Wrangler, but with performance turned up significantly. 

Based on a two-door Wrangler Rubicon, the Magneto features a custom-built motor paired to a six-speed manual transmission.

Outputs have been boosted from 212kW to 466kW of power for this custom off-roader. The driver is able to switch between two power settings – standard and maximum – which could come in handy during tricky off-road situations. 

No petrol-power here

Jeep says it has also added aggressive hill descent control that offers true ‘one pedal’ off-road driving. 

The Magneto features blue leather seat trim with red accent stitching, while the rear seats have been removed entirely. 

Jeep has chosen a 6.4-litre V8 for this concept

Jeep Scrambler 392 concept 

The Jeep Scrambler originated back in 1981, but this new, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon-based concept, takes things to a new level. 

In terms of powertrain, the 392 concept features a 6.4-litre Hemi V8 engine (an option never available on the original CJ-8 model) that produces 350kW of power and 640Nm of torque. 

Also used in the 392 concept is the newly-released AccuAir suspension kit that can adjust ride height from 1.5-inch to 5.5-inch – all of which can be done on the move. 

Other highlights from this concept include custom front and rear lightweight bumpers, new fender flares, huge 40-inch tyres sitting on 20-inch rims and bright Sublime Green paintwork. 

1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe restomod concept 

The Cherokee 4xe restomod puts a modern spin on this classic

This concept for 2023 sits in the restomod category, a segment Jeep aims to challenge itself with every year.

The team from Jeep purchased a 1978 Jeep Cherokee and blended it with a 2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe model.  

The interior has been upgraded as well

Jeep modified the original body significantly, but the concept still utilises the same dual-motor electric hybrid underpinnings, working alongside the existing 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the modern Rubicon 4xe. 

The Jeep Cherokee restomod gains 37-inch tyres wrapped around 17-inch wheels,  while inside the interior features low-back bucket seats and a four-point safety cage replaces the rear seats.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe concept 

Custom suspension and huge tyres should give this concept an edge off road

The first thing that comes to mind with this concept is the incredible paintwork. Jeep has worked to introduce a chromatic magenta colour that in some lighting conditions looks purple and in others pink. 

The paintwork is supported by gloss black accents in the front grille and headlight bezels.

There is no missing that colour

Inside, custom leather seats with subtle hints of magenta and animal print perforated surface also feature. 

This vehicle also uses Jeep’s AccuAir suspension kit, along with 37-inch tyres fitted to 17-inch gloss black wheels. A Warn Zeon winch also features up the front of the vehicle. 

Grand Wagoneer Overland concept 

The huge Grand Wagoneer would provide plenty of space of camping

The Grand Wagoneer overland concept is a model that could have been very popular in Australia if it saw a wider production release. 

The main party piece of this concept is the large roof-mounted Skyloft – essentially a roof-top camper setup popular in Australia – that can be accessed from within the vehicle.

This would be particularly handy during wet weather conditions. 

Campers can either sleep here or in the roof-top tent

Jeep says the design team removed the second and third row of seats and utilised the existing sunroof as a pass-through for the roof top tent. There is enough room in the Skyloft for two people to sleep comfortably, says Jeep. 

The Grand Wagoneer Overland Concept does not use a V8 or electric/hybrid powertrain. Instead, the design team chose to keep the existing Hurricane twin-turbo straight-six petrol engine that produces 380kW of power and 678Nm of torque, instead. 

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Departure concept 

The Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Departure Concept is a plug-in hybrid

The last two concepts were co-developed with the team from Mopar, a Stellantis-owned OEM parts and design company. 

Jeep certainly loves to put big tyres on their vehicles. The Rubicon 4xe Departure concept has certainly not departed from that fact – this concept rides on huge 37-inch tyres and 17-inch rims. 

The Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Departure Concept isn’t big on body panels

A two-inch lift Bilstein lift kit is also fitted, along with an ‘innovative’ front bumper bench, new fender flares with integrated daytime running lights and 11-inch LED trail lighting for when the tracks get dark. 

Another interesting feature for the Rubicon 4xe Departure concept is the innovative rear tyre mount that can rotate inward or outward depending on the situation. 

Inside, Acorn Squash nappa leather covers most of the surfaces and is contrasted with brown Nappa leather. 

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon ‘Sideburn’ concept 

The Gladiator Rubicon Sideburn Concept is perhaps the most tame concept here but still a serious vehicle

The ‘Sideburn’ concept for the Jeep Gladiator wears a Solar Flash Yellow paint job and is powered by a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine. 

Much like the Departure concept, Bilstein shock absorbers provide a two-inch lift and again, the Sideburn features 17-inch wheels wrapped in large 37-inch BF Goodrich tyres. 

Other notable features include removable 11-inch TYRI rectangular LED lights, a concept JPP Gladiator sport bar, a rear tray that holds a 37-inch tyre, half doors, a red-brown Vienesse Relicate nappa leather interior and a custom instrument panel. 

Big chunky tyres are a must on custom Jeeps

Jeep has certainly gone above and beyond with its concept vehicles for 2023. However, if you want one of them, they’re not for sale and are one-off creations.

Jeep’s head of design, Mark Allen, said that these vehicles would go on tour around America, but won’t be purchasable, no matter how much you want one!