Mopar Underground Turns A JK Into A Backcountry Explorer
The crew at Mopar Underground, source for Chrysler Corporation's cool concept vehicles, has outdone themselves again this year. Since Easter, you've been seeing their concept vehicles and projects all over the Web and in magazines. We chose to bring you this superb backcountry explorer, the Overland, as it's aimed directly at 4WD&SU Magazine readers.
Mopar Underground found a well-used JK Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon equipped with a 3.8L V-6 and automatic tranny, which had been a test vehicle for numerous other projects. The crew then went to work turning it into the Overland Unlimited. They succeeded.
As you know, the JK Wrangler Rubicon is very competent off the showroom floor with Dana 44 front and rear ends, electronic lockers front and rear, the strong Rock-Trac NVG241OR transfer case with 4:1 low range, and an electronic swaybar disconnect. Mopar Underground built on the foundation by installing a 2.5-inch Mopar lift kit with Bilstein shocks and a Full Traction rear sway bar, just enough to clear the 35x12.50R17LT BFGoodrich KM2 tires mounted on very cool color-matched 17-inch "Winter" wheels that come from the factory as Grand Cherokee spare tire wheels.
Inside, the rear seats were replaced by a large, flat cargo floor that's coated with a rubberized truck bed liner and features several hidden storage compartments.
AEV supplied their heat reduction hood, rear corners, snorkel, front winch bumper, and their brand new rear bumper that carries five gallons of water internally and opens the spare and tailgate with one motion. A Warn 9.5ti winch sits snugly in the AEV front bumper. Mopar supplied the front JK seat covers, slush mats, windshield off-road lights, steel differential guards, and cat-back exhaust. An upper dash bin, off-road lights, hood latches, and winch cable isolator came from Daystar.
The ARB roof rack with awning and Simpson II two-person rooftop tent really sets the Overland apart and makes it the vehicle of choice when heading out on extended exploring trips. The tent is easy to deploy and is roomy and comfortable. The awning supplies shade when there is none to be had.
Surprisingly simple, yet comfortable and competent, the Overland Unlimited was our favorite Mopar Underground vehicle this year at Moab Easter Jeep Safari. If you drove it, you'd want it. We do, too.