Chocolate eggs, jelly beans, and Peeps (gross) are on the shelves, which means it must be time to start talking about the 2018 Easter Jeep Safari , held March 24 to April 1 in Moab, Utah. As is tradition, Jeep is bringing a flotilla of one-off concepts to this year’s event and the selection is typically eclectic, mixing impressive craftsmanship with a spread of the company’s Mopar-branded aftermarket bits.
There are seven vehicles in this year’s showcase, and as is usually the case, the newest Jeep models take center stage. That means even more modified Wranglers than usual.
But while Jeep’s iconic off-roader takes center stage, a resto-modded Wagoneer from yesteryear and an adorable Renegade join it. We stopped by FCA’s Design Dome to check out all seven concepts:
Jeep Wagoneer Roundtrip
Did you really think we wouldn’t focus on the Wagoneer first and foremost? Wearing the (slightly modified) steel bodywork of everyone’s favorite wood-sided SUV, the Wagoneer Roundtrip boasts modern underpinnings… mostly.
The 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 works alongside a 4-speed automatic, for a little bit of old with the new. Fore and aft Dana 44 axles with lockers and a four-link suspension with coil-overs keep the Jeep flexible over rough stuff. Meaty 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires on 17-inch steel wheels keep it gripping.
While Jeep updated the internals, it also fiddled with that classic body. The biggest change is the extra five inches between the axles along with the wider track—this Wagoneer is undeniably bigger than its production siblings. Flared fenders and revised wheel wells fit the one-off Wagoneer’s character and upgraded bumpers and rock rails ensure protection off road.
What would happen if Jeep built a roadster? The 4Speed Concept attempts to answer that question, drawing inspiration from the Pork Chop and Stitch concepts and marrying it to a reduced curb weight, an aggressively raked windshield, and a 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
The weight reduction is thanks to the absence of most of the body work. Like the Pork Chop and Stitch, there is no roof, doors, or rear seats. The hood and fender flares are carbon fiber, as is the rear tub. The Wrangler-based concept’s cage is custom and matches the aggressive rake of the windshield. According to Jeep, the weight savings is so dramatic, the 4Speed gains two inches of ride height over a standard Wrangler.
Outside of the liposuction, Jeep modified the Wrangler body and trimmed 22 inches off the overall length. While that has a pleasant visual impact, it also improves the 4Speed’s approach and departure angles.
On the underside, Jeep attached Dana 44 axles, while 18-inch monoblock wheels are shod in 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires.
You know how the Ford F-150 Raptor is essentially a Baja racing truck with leather seats? The Jeep Sandstorm is that but a Wrangler instead of a pickup. The 6.4-liter V-8 crate engine works alongside a 6-speed manual transmission.
But like the Raptor, the powertrain is only a tiny part of the overall equation. Jeep engineers scooted the front axle forward four inches and the rear axle back two, making room for a long-arm four-link front suspension, a four-link trailing arm suspension, and custom coilovers and bypass shocks.
The result? The front suspension features 14 inches of travel, and the rear boasts 18 inches. The front and rear axles are Dynatrack 60s, and at each corner sit absurd 39.5-inch BFGoodrich Krawler tires on 17-inch beadlock wheels.
This article was originally published on MotorAuthority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com