With Stellantis announcing the end of the current Jeep® Cherokee (KL) at the end of February, we figured we would look back at one of the highlights of the KL during its lifespan. The Cherokee Dakar Concept made its debut at the 48th annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, and showed the public just how the KL platform could be pushed for off-road use.
The Cherokee Dakar Concept was the most extreme use of the current-generation Cherokee for off-roaders. The Silver Steel Satin Gloss exterior skin is strikingly set off with prototype Flame Red graphics that encircle the window and wrap around the black hood graphic. The Trailhawk 17-inch polished Satin clear coat wheels feature two large Flame Red pockets, with the Cherokee nameplate, also changed to a Flame Red hue.
Front-end features are enhanced by two prototype Flame Red inserts on the traditional Jeep seven-slot grille, as well as through a prototype lower fascia trim. Cherokee Dakar is fortified for off-road action, equipped with Jeep Performance Parts rock rails, an oil pan skid plate, a front suspension skid plate, a two-piece fuel tank, and underbody skid plates.
Cherokee Dakar’s wheel openings have been modified in order to accommodate larger 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires. The rough-and-ready look rises with a prototype Jeep Performance Parts lift kit, and additional suspension modifications help make it the most extreme Cherokee yet. Prototype wider fender flares with riveted bolts give a tougher appearance and also accommodate the wider track and larger tires. A prototype rear fascia allows for an even more aggressive departure angle and enhances the higher ride height. Cherokee Dakar’s crawl ratio is 48:1, and an estimated approach and departure angles are 32 and 39 degrees, respectively.
Inside, prototype Katzkin leather black seats with “Machined Gunmetal” inserts are heightened with Header Red stitching, which is also found on the steering wheel, armrest, and shift boot. A Flame Red insert accents the entertainment center. Accessories showcased from the Mopar catalog include all-weather floor mats, bright door-sill guards with the Cherokee logo, a cargo tray for storage, and the JCMS with the Trailhawk bag, as well as the prototype Moab off-road bag.
It’s a shame that the Dakar, like the “Desert Rated” Deserthawk, never made it into production.
2014 Jeep® Cherokee Dakar Concept Image Gallery: