Every Year Jeep holds its annual Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, which is to off-roading what Wimbledon is to tennis. It’s also a great opportunity for Jeep to test out its new concept vehicles on the off-roading community and this year was no exception, with bevy of eye-popping exciting concepts that caught the attention of everyone attending this year’s event. Classic American takes a look at some of the highlights of this year’s concepts.
The Jeep Wrangler Magneto concept is a fully capable BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) that is stealthy, quiet, quick and is claimed to be “an unmistakable rock-climbing force”. Jeep brand engineers and designers have created a zero-emission vehicle with Jeep 4×4 capability that provides new levels of efficiency, environmental responsibility, and performance on- and off-road. Based on a two-door 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, the Jeep Magneto uses a custom-built axial flux electric motor that operates up to 6,000 rpm. The e-motor is connected to a six-speed manual transmission, creating a unique manual-electric powertrain with a clutch that operates as it would with an internal combustion engine.
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Comparable to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, the compact e-motor is tuned to deliver up to 273 lb ft of torque and 285 horsepower. The engineers developed the Magneto’s powertrain emulate the driving experience of the V6, matching not only torque but also horsepower. During moderate driving, the performance difference between the V6 and the Magneto’s unique manual-electric powertrain is said to be negligible, except for near-silent operation. The Magneto concept runs 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds.
Powering the Jeep Magneto’s e-motor are four battery packs with a combined power of 70 kW/h, running an 800-volt system. An inverter derived from race cars converts DC power to AC for the high-tech motor. The batteries, a vehicle interface box and the battery control module all reside in waterproof enclosures to maintain the Wrangler’s 30-inch water-traversing capability. A 12-volt battery powers existing systems, such as the radio and lighting. A second 12-volt battery serves as an auxiliary power unit (APU) for accessories, such as the winch. A DC-to-DC converter charges both 12-volt batteries, allowing long-term operation of accessories to power a campsite, or an unexpectedly long winch operation. Unique mounts secure the battery packs for harsh driving and custom skid plates protect the packs from potential strikes to the undercarriage while traversing harsh terrain. A 10-kw high-voltage heater keeps the fully open-air passenger compartment comfortable.
The exterior of the Magneto features a Bright White colour with Surf Blue accents, along with a heavy-duty performance hood with centre scoop and custom decal, redesigned rear gate and dramatic full-width forward lighting. Custom Royal Blue and Black leather seats with Sapphire-coloured inserts and straps, Surf Blue truck bed liner and Mopar slush mats give the Magneto’s interior design an electrified appearance. The Jeep Magneto comes equipped with a JPP 2-inch lift kit, 17-inch Lights Out black metallic wheels with 35-inch mud-terrain tires, custom roll cage, Mopar Rock Rails, steel bumpers with a Warn winch and a steel belly pan for added off-road capability. Just don’t forget you’ll need to find somewhere to charge it when you’re out in the boonies!
Easter Jeep Safari wouldn’t be complete without paying homage to Jeep off-road vehicles of the past. This year’s resto-mod is a throwback to the second-generation Jeepster. Originally designed around the growing interest in leisure time use of 4×4 vehicles, the Jeepster Commando was the first compact four-wheel-drive vehicle with an automatic transmission and, unlike the Jeep CJs of its day, it boasted modern amenities, such as doors, roll-up side glass, a heater and roof, as standard equipment.
The Jeepster Beach concept started as a 1968 Jeepster Commando (C-101) and was seamlessly blended with a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Jeep says of the concept: “Jeepster Commandos were made for fun in the sun, and this ultimate beach-themed cruiser continues that tradition by embodying a spirited, carefree attitude.” The body was modified and the exterior fuses original chrome trim with an updated, brightly coloured two-tone paint scheme of Hazy IPA and Zinc Oxide. While the Jeepster Beach maintains the outward appearance of a vintage Jeepster, underneath is modern-day Jeep Wrangler running gear.
Under the hood, it uses a high-tech 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 270 horsepower and 295 lb ft of torque. The direct-injection engine uses a turbocharger and an eight-speed automatic transmission mated to a 4:1 transfer case delivers power to 35-inch tires. Jeepster Beach’s custom interior features low-back bucket seats trimmed in red leather, whilst the rear seat was replaced with a chrome, four-point safety cage and the carpets were removed to make cleaning out sand a breeze. Now imagine turning up in that at your local beach – you could kick sand in anyone’s face!
Jeep Orange Peelz
Jeep says of this concept: “Based on a two-door Wrangler, the Jeep Orange Peelz concept pays tribute to the long-standing, open-air, fun-and-freedom lifestyle that makes the Jeep Wrangler a global icon.” Mopar designers have enhanced the Wrangler’s open-air credentials by removing side and rear windows, installing prototype JPP half doors and a custom removable one-piece Freedom Top glass sunroof.
Off-road performance comes from a JPP (Jeep Performance Parts) 2-inch lift kit, with FOX shocks that increase ground clearance. Just below the concept steel “high-top” fender flares are 17-inch JPP beadlock-capable aluminum wheels riding on 37-inch BF Goodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires. Adding to the look is a Satin Black 360-degree custom beltline graphic and Satin Black vintage Jeep fender badges, which contrast the Orange Peelz exterior colour. The concept hood features custom black Mopar hood latches with the Jeep Willys logo and is flanked by JPP 5-inch off-road LED lights mounted at the base of the A-pillars, each providing 4,800 lumens of power to help light the trail ahead. For additional protection against windshield chips and cracks while driving on- or off-road, the Jeep Orange Peelz concept is equipped with a factory-backed Mopar windshield made with Corning Gorilla Glass.
A custom JPP Rubicon steel bumper includes a prototype 2-inch steel grille guard and exclusive JPP 8,000-lb capacity Rubicon Warn winch. Custom rock rails provide protection and durability for serious off-roading. On the rear of the vehicle, the JPP Swing Gate Hinge Reinforcement allows for a larger spare tire. The reinforcement is powder-coated black and works with the production hinge for easy installation. Body-colour tow hooks on the rear and front complete the exterior.
Entry to the lifted Orange Peelz concept is made easy by JPP grab handles. On the inside of the cabin, plaid armrests, upper and lower seat inserts and the mid-instrument panels match the Orange Peelz exterior. Accent-orange stitching completes the steering wheel, shifter boots and the parking-brake handle. Mopar stainless steel pedal covers add a bold statement and feature rubber pads to provide plenty of positive traction for drivers.
Standard Mopar all-weather floor mats are injection moulded and designed with deep rigid sidewalls and advanced reservoir systems that contain liquids from leaking onto the floor. Front mats feature a patented drain plug that covers floor drain holes, which allow draining without mat removal for easy cleaning. The Jeep Orange Peelz concept is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 lb ft of torque, mated to a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. The only other thing you need to know? You better like Orange!