Jeep has created some amazing concepts over the years, so it was no easy task to pick out our top 5 ever.
Each year, the American automaker unleashes an assortment of mild to wild concepts for its annual Moab Easter Safari, so there’s plenty of options to choose from. But somehow we’ve managed to whittle it down to our favorite five.
This year’s Jeep Easter Safari will kick off in late March, so we can’t wait to see what the automaker is working on. Until then, enjoy our top 5 picks.
5. Jeep Quicksand Concept
The Jeep Quicksand Concept was introduced just last year, with the Jeep Wrangler getting the hot rod treatment. Starting with a lengthened Wrangler chassis, Jeep gave it a rod-style, chopped sedan body minus the B-pillars, fenders, and glass except for the windshield. And perfectly fitting with the style of the project is a Mopar 392 crate HEMI engine with eight-stack injection mated to a six-speed Getrag manual transmission.
Up front are 32-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires while the rear measure 37 inches. Like most of Jeep’s wild concepts, a machine like this will never head to production. But we sure hope it inspired enthusiasts to build their own version.
4. Jeep Mighty FC Concept
Debuting in 2012, the Jeep Mighty FC Concept holds a special place in all of our hearts. It takes nearly everything we know about vehicle design and tosses it out the window. The Mighty FC Concept is inspired by the Jeep Forward Control, hence the “FC” name, with a cab-over design that allows for a full-length cargo bed. The concept was based on a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, but the cab was moved up, positioning it ahead of the front axle. As you can tell, the wheelbase has been lengthened, while a drop-side cargo box over eight feet in length was added.
Other modifications to the Mighty FC Concept included Katzkin leather interior, Mopar’s heavy-duty offset portal axles, King coilover reservoir shocks, Hanson bumpers, a Warn 16.5 winch, a Corsa stainless steel exhaust, and 40-inch tires mounted on 17-inch Hutchinson wheels.
3. Jeep Gladiator Concept
The Jeep Gladiator Concept may not be as wild and crazy as other concepts on this list, but it’s the perfect time to bring it up since a Wrangler pickup truck is in the works. Unveiled in 2005, the Gladiator Concept was designed to be a “lifestyle pickup with all of the rugged functionality of the famed Jeep Wrangler.” It sported a seven-slot grille, an open-air passenger compartment, a Command Trac part-time 4×4 system, front- and rear-locking differentials, a front winch, and full skid plates.
Powering the Gladiator was a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine providing 163 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant was mated to a six-speed manual transmission and a traditional part-time transfer case, sending power to all four wheels.
2. Jeep Willys2 Concept
The Jeep Willys2 Concept made its debut at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, believe it or not. That’s because it features some styling elements that have found their way to modern Jeeps. Under the hood of the concept was a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 160 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque, paired to a four-speed automatic transmission. Naturally, it was inspired by the Willys MB, riding on a 95-inch wheelbase with 21-inch wheels and tires.
What made the concept interesting was its use of a lightweight aluminum frame and a one-piece carbon fiber body. In 2001, those things were mostly reserved for top performance sports cars and military equipment, but now carbon fiber and aluminum can be seen on all sorts of vehicles.
1. Jeep Hurricane Concept
We have a feeling Jeep may never top its wild Hurricane Concept that was unveiled at the 2005 Detroit Auto Show. Sporting a one-piece body mostly made from carbon fiber, it wasn’t the aggressive styling that garnered plenty of attention. It was the fact that the Hurricane had a Chrysler-designed and patented four-wheel steering system, allowing it to move sideways. And to make all that magic happen, there were not one, but two 5.7-liter V8 HEMI engines powering the machine.
Not surprisingly the Hurricane never saw production, but several patents were secured in the development of the concept. The idea for the concept came after Dodge rolled out its Tomahawk and Chrysler impressed the world with the ME Four-Twelve. So it was Jeep’s turn to shock everyone with the Hurricane.
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