We have been showcasing our favorite concepts that the Jeep® brand have launched during the annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari over the past decade. One of those favorites has to be the 2015 Jeep® Chief Concept. The Wrangler (JK) based Chief Concept was built as a tribute to the classic full-size Jeep Cherokee (SJ) models from the 1970s. Adding a bit of a twist to the concept, the design team evoked a west coast surfer lifestyle to the theme of the truck.
The custom exterior design cues of the Chief Concept include a vintage Ocean Blue exterior color, blended with white. The paint scheme was so popular in fact, that the Jeep brand ended up using the paint scheme on a limited-edition 2017 Jeep Wrangler Chief model. But the Chief Concept doesn’t stop there, harkening back to the full-size Cherokee, the concept adds a “french bread” styled roof, chrome front and rear bumpers, and a customized “razor” style grille.
The Chief Concept also is highlighted by removable sides for an open-air feel and flexible hauling for those long surfboards. The doors and windshield were chopped 2-inches to give the vehicle more of an SJ proportional look. A set of 17-inch slotted mag wheels add even more of a ’70s vibe to the vehicle. Those wheels are wrapped in a set of aggressive BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires, making the Chief Concept handles well on the trail and the road.
Inside, the Jeep design team developed a Hawaiian-themed interior. Designers created a “Surfer” pink, blue, and white-colored flowered cloth and leather-trimmed seats. The seats had the headrest removed adding more of a 1970s feel. Using vintage-style stickers on the center console and door handles, the interior has a unique look that still looks modern. Rosewood front-passenger grab handle and tiki-style shifter handle. The Rosewood accents don’t stop there, as they continue throughout the cabin via strips in the roof and the cargo area.
The rear doors from the Wrangler Unlimited are still there on the Chief Concept, however, the design team shaved the door handles. This gives the Chief Concept the feel that the vehicle is a two-door when the doors are closed.
Under the hood, is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 making 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft of torque, that has been mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The Chief Concept was also loaded with parts from Mopar’s Jeep Performance Parts. Some of which include a 2-inch lift kit featuring FOX shocks, front and rear Dana 44 axles with lockers, a Mopar cold-air-intake, and a set of modified Rubicon rock-rails.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jeep concept vehicle without the hidden “Easter eggs”. We absolutely love the vintage American Motors – “Sexy Cars For Sexy People” and Magnum P.I. – “Magnum Tested. Magnum Approved.” decals hidden in the cargo area. But the team also had to add a hula girl to the dash, for that added Hawaiian surfing feel. The Jeep Chief Concept can still be viewed at various Jeep and Mopar events around the country.
2015 Jeep® Chief Concept Image Gallery: