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Mopar & Jeep Moab Dune Day

Posted in Project Vehicles on August 1, 2011
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As has become tradition at the Easter Jeep Safari, the folks at Jeep/Mopar invited a select group of journalists to a semi-secret location south of Moab, where they trotted out some of their latest creations. And as usual, they let us lead-footed throttle jockeys put the vehicles through their paces. Here’s what they brought out this year.

Jeep Cherokee Overland
Under the hood: 2.8L CRD I-4 turbodiesel
Why it’s cool: This is a built-for-export ’11 Cherokee (Liberty in the U.S.), with a ton of ARB mods including a 3-inch suspension lift with OME shocks; rear Air Locker; steel roof rack; awning; compact refrigerator; and prototype rock rails. It also has Mopar underbody protection and 265/75R16 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ tires.

Pork Chop
Under the hood: 3.8L V-6
Why it’s cool: Inspired by our slightly porky ’Con Artist JK (really), this machine has over 850 pounds of pork chopped off. Major components that went under the knife include the doors, top, tailgate, bumpers, carpet, and sway bars. The result: improved power-to-weight ratio and overall agility.

Jeep Wrangler Renegade
Under the hood: 6.4L Hemi V-8
Why it’s cool: Four hundred and seventy five snarling horsepower. Need we say more? OK, we will. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and the axles are a Dynatrac-prepped ProRock 44 up front and a ProRock 60 in the rear; both are equipped with ARB Air Lockers.

Blue Crush
Under the hood: 426ci Hemi V-8
Why it’s cool: Inspired by King of the Hammers-type rigs, this machine sports a performance 545RFE transmission and a gear-drive transfer case as well as a performance suspension system designed for speed with internal bypass shocks. Its long list of mods includes hydraulic steering and a general bad attitude. Look for a full feature on this rig in an upcoming issue.

Jeep Wrangler JK8 Independence
Under the hood: 3.8L V-6
Why it’s cool: This rig showcases the new kit for do-it-yourselfers that converts a Wrangler Unlimited into a quasi-pickup truck. When the conversion is complete, you’ll have a 50-inch-long bed with a width of 44 inches between the wheelwells. The kit will be available July 4, 2011.

Mopar Ram Runner
Under the hood: 5.7L Hemi V-8
Why it’s cool: It’s cool because you can buy the parts from Mopar to make your own. This one sports the Pre-Runner Stage II lift kit, front bumper, rear tire carrier, front fiberglass fenders. and rear fiberglass fenders. The result is huge wheel travel with no tire-to-body interference.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Off-Road Edition
Under the hood: 5.7L Hemi V-8
Why it’s cool: No chrome, all business, and more than capable of throwing vast quantities of sand. It has a 2-inch suspension lift that makes room for a set of 32-inch BFG Mud-Terrain tires; underbody skidplating that protects the underbelly; and rock rails that help protect the rocker panels from trail damage.

Jeep Compass Canyon
Under the hood: 2.4L I-4
Why it’s cool: Aside from its 144 cubic inches of snarling, fire-breathing fury? Well, the sway bars have been removed and there’s a 21⁄8-inch Rocky Road suspension lift. It’s fitted with 225/75R16 Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ tires mounted on 16-inch Liberty wheels. It also has a cold-air induction kit, cat-back exhaust; and slush mats. Love? Anyone?

Light Patrol Vehicle
Under the hood: 2.8L CRD I-4 turbodiesel
Why it’s cool: Jeep brought this rig to Moab as a reminder that they have a long history in military vehicles and that tradition continues today. This Cairo, Egypt-built rig has been modified by Jankel Tactical Systems with .30 and .50 caliber guns, and it has a full array of recovery and survival equipment.

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