Jeep has teased more one-off concept vehicles ahead of the 56th annual Easter Jeep Safari in the Moab Desert.
Set to run from April 9 to April 17, this event has historically been one of the largest Jeep owner gatherings worldwide.
The American carmaker has previously said it’s using the event to showcase “several one-of-a-kind Jeep concept vehicles” designed by Jeep and Jeep Performance Parts (JPP), as it has done for a number of years now.
In 2021, Jeep used the event to showcase its all-electric Wrangler Magneto concept that’s powered by an axial flux electric motor and uses a traditional six-speed manual transmission.
One of the latest Jeep concepts appears to be a special version of the Wrangler Rubicon 392 with a 20 badge on the side of the bonnet. It also has large, knobbly tyres.
Said to be commemorating a vehicle that launched 20 years ago and was the “most capable production vehicle of its time”. This vehicle has to be the Wrangler Rubicon, which was revealed in 2003.
It’s unclear if this vehicle will be a one-off concept or if it’ll be a special edition vehicle sold as during the 2023 model year.
The second teased Jeep concept is designed to offer a Gladiator-style tray in a more compact, Wrangler-sized body and deliver an “abundance of four-wheeling confidence and a pinch of open-air freedom”.
“What if a truck dared to be more like an SUV to increase its departure angle?” asks Jeep in relation to this teased concept.
The teaser image shows are once again large, knobbly tyres and a Rubicon badge on the side of the bonnet. What sets this apart is its large side openings where the doors usually are.
It’s expected this concept will be some sort of shortened Gladiator ute with a smaller bed, potentially like the cab-forward Jeep FC-150 from the 1950s and ’60s.
The third and latest teaser is what appears to be a military-inspired Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid (PHEV).
Jeeps says this concept “pays homage to a Jeep vehicle of the past”.
In the teaser image the vehicle has a classic army green camouflage paint job with knobbly tyres and army-style green steel wheels.
Jeep has already teased an electrified, PHEV 4xe SUV that looks to be based on the new-generation Grand Cherokee.
The automaker said this concept is able to “conquer even the most tumultuous terrain along the back-country trails of Moab and further highlight the Jeep brand’s vision of accomplishing Zero Emissions Freedom”.
The Grand Cherokee 4xe combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, and electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission that produces a total system output of 280kW of power and 637Nm of torque.
It’s also previously teased what looks like a Gladiator, but is stylised with a QR code-esque design.
It’s unclear what this concept will be exactly but it could use Jeep Performance Parts that may morph it into an F-150 Raptor-rivalling, baja-ready off-roader.
Looking to the future, a Gladiator 4xe PHEV is coming in 2024, according to reports. Jeep’s global boss Christian Meuiner has previously said he wants to bring more electrified vehicles to Australia.
“I am going to push for electrification as a leader and not a follower,” said Mr Meuiner in July 2021.
“We’re not going to be after the others, we’re going to be first, and we’re going to do everything we can in all the [APAC] region.”
Mr Meuiner says markets like Australia, Japan and Korea “are going to become very quickly electrified”.
An undisclosed source from Stellantis told Mopar Insiders the Gladiator 4xe will be powered by the same PHEV powertrain that’s currently used in the Wrangler 4xe.
This PHEV powertrain in the Wrangler 4xe is the exact same as the one in the Grand Cherokee 4xe as well.
At Stellantis’ EV Day presentation in July 2021, Mr Meunier also announced Jeep will have an all-electric model in every segment by 2025.
By 2025, Jeep plans for 70 per cent of all its sales to be electrified vehicles, ranging from mild-hybrid to all-electric.
The automaker also used EV Day to preview features it may offer in the future, like vehicle-to-vehicle charging, drone pairing and biometric recognition, as well as something decidely simpler: front seats that fold flat to form a bed.
It also suggested it could roll out autonomous off-road driving capabilities by 2030, as well as a function that could allow you to send your Jeep off while you tracked it remotely.
We’ll have to wait and see if Jeep showcase any of these autonomous features at its 2022 Annual Easter Safari.
Meanwhile, the next-generation Grand Cherokee is set to touch down in Australia in long-wheelbase, seven-seat Grand Cherokee L guise first. At this stage it’s slated to arrive in mid-2022.
The 2022 Grand Cherokee L will be priced from $82,250 before on-road costs and the range is solely powered by a 3.6-litre naturally-aspirated V6 petrol engine producing 210kW of power and 344Nm of torque.
‘Regular’ Grand Cherokee five-seat and all 4xe variants are due to follow from the second half of 2022.