Perhaps no other OEM brand is as enthusiastic about building and modifying its product to appeal to its enthusiast base as much as Jeep. In fact, the brand has made it an annual ritual surrounding the Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) in Moab to show off its latest concepts. Although some of these are decal specials, many of them have some truly useful hardware upgrades meant for making them more trail-worthy. Some of them even preview future production models. That brings us to the topic of this post: the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander concept. The Overlander made its debut at the 2015 EJS, complete with a 9,000-pound front winch and LED lightbar.
While it’s not unusual to see these one-off concepts at Jeep events and occasionally on the street, what piqued our interest this time around is the fact that the Overlander is wearing an “M” manufacturer’s license plate rather than a standard-issue Michigan plate. What does this change signify? Nobody really knows. It could just be a change in paperwork for compliance or accounting purposes. However, the more conspiratorially minded of us may read into it production intent.
We’re inclined to think it’s the former, as trying to get a factory front winch crash-test certified is a massive headache for a low-volume model, and we’ve talked with engineers on Ram Power Wagon and know how committed they were to that feature to get it to pass the feds’ muster. However, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has one of the best track records of any of the OEMs to bring concepts to the showroom with minimal changes. Would you like to see the Overlander as a showroom-ready package?
Photos: KGP Photography