The Chicago Auto Show (CAS) is in full swing and among the many press conferences held today, one stand is from the Jeep® brand. But while Jeep has been “hush hush” about what they have in store for CAS, we think we have an idea.
— Jeep (@Jeep) February 8, 2023
With a teaser video posted to its Twitter account, Jeep was asking people to “tune in” for the “powerful premiere” scheduled today at 11:45 p.m. EST / 10:45 p.m. CST. The short video showcased an old television coming closer to the screen that displayed a drawing of a Jeep Wrangler and the text “Proud Member Lunatic Fringe”.
That “Lunatic Fringe” comment, set our brains in motion. In 2003, the Jeep brand introduced the now iconic Wrangler Rubicon. As the story goes, a group of diehard enthausists within the Jeep team (who called themselves the “Lunatic Fringe”) wanted to create a more off-road-oriented package for the Wrangler (TJ). But after developing the vehicle on their own time, outside the company, they were able to sway Chrysler’s upper management team to give the program a “green light”.
Last year at the Moab Easter Jeep® Safari, Head of Jeep Design, Mark Allen and his team showed off a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 392 20th Anniversary Concept. The concept was based on a modified four-door Wrangler Rubicon 392 with an active dual-mode performance exhaust that switches between wild and outrageous, a performance hood with center scoop, custom-built half doors, and Sky One-touch powertop with removable side panels for open-air freedom.
The concept’s matte Granite Crystal exterior vinyl wrap is accentuated with gold tow hooks and badging, a Rubicon 20th Anniversary hood decal, an American flag fender decal, and a Mopar swing gate air compressor.
For additional capability, a Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) 2-inch lift kit, 17-inch Mopar Beadlock-capable wheels with 37-inch mud-terrain tires, steel bumpers, and hoop with Warn winch and steel belly pan were added to help navigate treacherous terrain and challenging off-road conditions.
Our guess is that Jeep will be bringing a production version of that concept to the CAS show.
You can watch the full unveiling LIVE at the top of the page. Then come back after the unveiling for a full run down.