The Jeep® and Mopar brands have built a lot of interesting concepts over the years. Some of those concepts have tested the waters for design ideas for future vehicles, showed sneak previews for upcoming design, or shown off prototype accessories for Jeep vehicles. When the two brands showed off their concept lineup for the annual Easter Jeep Safari back in 2017, one vehicle did all three.
The Jeep Safari Concept had a theme of trying to bring the outdoors into the interior of this Wrangler JK-based concept while keeping the doors and roof on. The concept featured a translucent hard-top roof panel and unique “wind doors,” made of lightweight aluminum and clear vinyl. The wind doors were hinged so that they open like a cabinet, making the entrance to the vehicle particularly unique. The doors feature zipper openings to let in the fresh air.
Inside, the bucket seats were out of the Fiat 500 Abarth, and the rear seats could be rotated outboard which could make it easier for rear-seat occupants to view out the side of the Safari Concept. Where the Jeep Wrangler JK did not have the luxury of the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system, the dash panel was custom fitted with an iPad, that could be used for Navigation as well as using iTunes to listen to streaming music. On the roof a two-level aluminum cargo rack with an incorporated drone which could also be controlled by the iPad.
Some concept exterior elements were a preview to what was in store for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. A raked windshield, boat side rocker panels, grille design in which the slots incorporated the headlamps, LED headlamps, custom LED tail lamps and parking/turn lamps all hinted to production design elements of the Wrangler JL.
The Safari Concept was powered by the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and paired with the Wrangler JK’s 5-speed automatic transmission. The Pentastar was fitted with a Mopar cold-air intake system to improve the engine breathability.
Mopar went to their Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) parts bin for some off-road goodies to guarantee the Safari Concept could tackle anything thrown at it. The Safari Concept featured front and rear Dana 44 axle equipped with selectable differential lockers and a Mopar 2-inch lift. A set of 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tires were wrapped in custom made 18-inch aluminum wheels. The Mopar team then added a custom full-length skid plates package, integrated onboard air system, and an upgraded brake package was also added to the Safari Concept.
Compared to the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JK, the Safari Concept’s overall body length was reduced to maximize maneuverability on tight trails.
The Safari Concept might be just one of the dozens of amazing concepts that have come out of the Jeep and Mopar design studios. But it definitely showed that designers are able to reach outside the traditional Jeep box and look towards new innovative ways to enjoy the outdoors while offroading.
Jeep® Safari Concept Image Gallery: