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Concept Jeeps From the Moab Easter Jeep Safari

The Serious Six Concept Jeeps From Moab Jeep Wrangler Mopar Recon
Ken Brubaker
| Senior Editor, Four Wheeler
Posted June 19, 2013

The Serious Six

The delightfully demented minds at Jeep and Mopar are at it again. What do we mean “again?” Well, it has become tradition that the crew from Auburn Hills, Michigan, swoop into the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, with an armada of potential production and custom vehicles designed to gauge interest of the 4x4-buying public. Some of these vehicles are tweaked versions of in-production vehicles, while others are extreme, thinking-outside-the-box design exercises where existing platforms have been radically reworked. Some of the memorable vehicles Jeep and Mopar have introduced over the years in Moab have been Lower Forty, Nukizer 715, Ram Runner, Jeep J-12, and Jeep Mighty F-C.

The six custom vehicles that Jeep and Mopar brought to Moab this year all were notable in one way or another. Each has a number of custom and aftermarket parts and in addition, Mopar used many of its Jeep Performance Parts to build these vehicles. Here’s the rundown of what the folks from Michigan brought, along with specifications, and as a bonus, because we always have something to say, the Four Wheeler staff weighs in with what we think of ’em.

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Jeep Wrangler Stitch
Fat-free, but loaded with flavor
The point of the Wrangler Rubicon-based Stitch is to expand on the popular, lightweight, Wrangler Pork Chop that debuted at the Easter Jeep Safari in 2011. Pork Chop had 850 pounds of weight lopped off to make it a more nimble, powerful off-road machine. Stitch takes that idea to the next level, while still remaining a viable wheeling machine and it weighs in with a curb weight of approximately 3,000 pounds. This is a whopping 1,129 pounds less (approximately) than a comparable stock Wrangler Rubicon. Jeep says that with its 3.6L Pentastar V-6 powerplant, the Stitch has a power-to-weight ratio similar to that of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.

Stitch: Our View, in 15 Words or Less
Editor Cappa: “Stripped, simple, light, quick, and sporty. I wish Jeeps could be like that again.”
Tech Editor Mansour: “Sports-car-educated, with 4x4 common sense. The future is clear and light.”
Senior Editor Brubaker: “Fascinating. It’s a cool example of how a vehicle can be lightened in creative ways.”

At A Glance
General
Owner/Hometown: Chrysler LLC/Auburn Hills, Michigan
Vehicle/Model: 2013 Jeep Wrangler Stitch
Estimated value: N/A

Engine
Type: Chrysler 3.6L V-6
Aspiration: Fuel injection
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 285/260

Drivetrain
Transmission: Chrysler W5A580 5-spd auto
Transfer case: NV241OR

Suspension
Front: Coil springs, King shocks, King hydraulic bumpstops, stock upper control arms, Full-Traction aluminum lower control arms
Rear: Coil springs, King shocks, King hydraulic bumpstops, stock upper control arms, Full-Traction aluminum lower control arms

Axles/Differentials
Front: Custom lightweight Dynatrac ProRock 44 with fluted housing/ARB Air Locker
Rear: Custom lightweight Dynatrac ProRock 44 with fluted housing/ARB Air Locker
Ring and pinion: 4.88:1

Wheels/Tires
Wheels: 17x8 aluminum
Tires: LT315/70R17 Mickey Thompson Baja Claw TTC

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Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Concept
Diesel with attitude
For the last couple of years, the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been a staple of the Jeep/Mopar concept vehicle rollout at the Moab Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. Two years ago the crew from Auburn Hills, Michigan, brought the de-chromed, gray-colored Off-Road Edition, which included a Hemi engine and 32-inch tires. Last year, the team unveiled the de-chromed, white/black/red-colored Trailhawk concept. This year, Jeep raised the bar by bringing the Trailhawk concept. Wait. Another Trailhawk concept? Yep, but it’s far different than last year’s concept. Jeep says this year’s diesel-powered, 2014 Grand Cherokee-based Trailhawk concept is the most extreme Grand Cherokee yet.

Trailhawk Concept: Our View, in 15 Words or Less
Editor Cappa: “This is the Jeep I would want to drive home and use every day.”
Tech Editor Mansour: “The most refined and practical of the bunch. Everything just makes sense inside and out.”
Senior Editor Brubaker: “I’m a pickup truck person, but I could live with this SUV.”

At A Glance
General
Owner/Hometown: Chrysler LLC/Auburn Hills, Michigan
Vehicle/Model: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk concept
Estimated value: N/A

Engine
Type: Chrysler EcoDiesel 3.0L V-6 turbodiesel
Aspiration: Direct injection, turbocharged
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 240/420

Drivetrain
Transmission: ZF 8-spd auto
Transfer case: MP3022 2-spd

Suspension
Front: Short- and long-arm Independent, coil-over-shock, stabilizer bar, 1.5-inch shock spacers
Rear: Multi-link independent, coil springs, twin-tube shocks, 1.5-inch shock spacers

Axles/Differentials
Front: Stock/open
Rear: Stock/electronic limited-slip differential
Ring and pinion: 3.09:1

Wheels/Tires
Wheels: 17x7.5 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Tires: LT315/70R17 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ

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