• New concept vehicles designed for extreme off-road capability.
  • Jeep Performance Parts line developed by Mopar's Off-Road division.
  • Annual event dedicated to Jeep drivers and their machines.

Off-road enthusiasts attending the 47th Moab Easter Jeep Safari saw 6 new Jeep vehicles at this year's event, held annually at one of the top 4x4 spots in the U.S.

Located in western Utah, the town of Moab is close to both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and the area around the town includes extensive trails, including the famous Slickrock Trail, that challenge and inspire off-road drivers.

Not only does Jeep host this annual event, the automaker also uses the Moab Jeep Safari to show enthusiasts its latest concepts. Jeep equipped these concepts with specialty items from its Jeep Performance Parts line. Developed by Mopar, the off-road parts portfolio includes a range of equipment that's specifically designed, engineered and tested to improve the performance of Jeep vehicles.

This year, five of the six vehicles on display are based on the Wrangler. The other is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Concept, an SUV that Jeep calls the "most extreme Grand Cherokee ever." The Trailhawk gets the new Ecodiesel V6 that will soon be available in the production Grand Cherokee, and is also equipped with huge, 35-inch Mickey Thompson off-road tires. For more aggressive styling, the Trailhawk uses body parts from the high-performance Grand Cherokee SRT, modified to provide ample ground clearance.

Among the Wrangler-based concepts is the Wrangler Mopar Recon, which is fitted with a massive, 6.4-liter Hemi V8. In addition to a robust powerplant, the 470-horsepower Wrangler includes prototype beadlock wheels developed by the Performance Parts group.

Other Wrangler-based concepts include the Wrangler Stitch, a pared-down version of the vehicle with a relatively light curb weight of 3,000 lbs. The Stitch builds on the popular Pork Chop, an earlier lightweight Wrangler concept that proved highly popular among enthusiasts.

The Wrangler Sand Trooper II from Mopar builds on an earlier concept, too. The first Sand Trooper appeared at SEMA last year. The latest is a Hemi-powered machine with big, 40-in off-road tires and a long list of Jeep Performance Parts.

The Wrangler Flattop is a serious off-road machine, too, but unlike the other concepts it's also built for comfort. With its chopped hard top and metallic paint, the Flattop achieves an upscale exterior appearance and features an interior swathed in saddle Katzkin leather.

Finally, the Jeep Wrangler Slim rounds out the 6 new Jeep vehicles on display at the Moab event. Perhaps the tamest of the concepts, the Wrangler Slim includes a prototype 2-in Mopar lift kit and cold-air intake. Like the Stitch, the Wrangler Slim is designed for light weight.

The Moab Easter Jeep Safari not only gives Jeep enthusiasts a chance to hit the trails and check out other off-roaders' rigs, it also gives Jeep a chance to put its latest vehicles and concepts in front of its most serious fans. And what better audience could provide the automaker with honest feedback than the off-road drivers that regularly push Jeep vehicles to the extreme?

What it means to you: The Moab Easter Jeep Safari can provide off-roaders with new ideas on how to improve their rigs. The event also provides a venue for new concept debuts and a test bed for the Jeep Performance Parts line of specialty equipment.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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