• Jeep showed two concept Wranglers at the Paris Boat Show: one in white, and one in black.
  • Both models include luxury appointments designed to remind customers of luxury boats.
  • The Jeeps may not see production, but indicate FIAT's desire to grow the Jeep brand in Europe.

This year's Paris Boat Show served as the unlikely venue for the debut of two new Jeep concept cars based on the rugged Wrangler SUV. Created in collaboration with French design studio Style & Design, the Jeeps offer several nautical-themed touches that tie them in with the show's theme and help raise the brand's profile among European customers.

The concept Jeep Wranglers were shown in two colors: white and black. Exterior upgrades to the white Wrangler, inspired by a sailboat and officially dubbed the "White Jeep Wrangler Nautic by Style & Design," include 20-inch wheels, a chrome grille, a luxurious spare tire cover featuring white leather and chrome, and wood inspired by a yacht's deck lining the SUV's running boards and rear cargo cover.

Inside, the White Wrangler offers personalized white leather, yacht-inspired wood paneling on its steering wheel and floor mats, and white accents on its steering wheel, passenger grab handle and even its shifter boot. Other touches include Jeep logos in the SUV's front headrests, beige leather straps across each seat, and a stylized "nautic" script on all four doors.

The black Wrangler, dubbed the "Black Jeep Wrangler Nautic by Style & Design" and said to be inspired by a luxury yacht, features similar updates, except in black. Differences include the spare tire cover's design, which includes a series of vertical ridges instead of smooth leather, and the SUV's upholstery, which trades the white Wrangler's leather straps for chrome accents and white stitching that provides a luxurious appearance.

Both SUVs also feature a rear awning in their respective colors, while the white Wrangler adds white canvas folding chairs that can be stowed inside the SUV when not in use.

While the nautical-themed SUVs may not see production, their appearance in Paris is an indication that Jeep's parent company, FIAT, wants to grow the brand's presence in Europe. That's the goal of FIAT chief executive Sergio Marchionne, who described Jeep as "the best brand Chrysler owns by a long margin" in a recent interview, further noting that Jeep's biggest difficulty is that it hasn't been exploited internationally. 

What it means to you:

Americans already know and love the Jeep brand - and now, FIAT says, it's the Europeans' turn.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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