ONE MEAN MACHINE: 2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept

The More Street-Oriented Version Of The Wrangler Unlimited...

There have been a lot of amazing Jeep® concept vehicles over the years, but one that stood out on the auto show circuit was the 2007 Jeep Trailhawk Concept. Combining the core off-road features of the body-on-frame four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JK) with more of a conventional SUV exterior, this on-road open-air concept vehicle provided a unique and fresh expression for Jeep.

Exterior –

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

“The key to the look of the Trailhawk,” said Nick Vardis, Principal Exterior Designer, “is the vehicle’s distinctive proportions, due in part to its 116-inch wheelbase. The dash-to-front-axle dimension is dramatically long, giving the car a sense of forward motion, while the front and rear overhangs are tight and abbreviated. ”

The bodyside was muscular and broad-shouldered, with the sheet metal pulled into shape. Even the pillars were pulled back. The forward motion of the body was further accented by the drive of the rising beltline, making the impression like the Trailhawk was ready to pounce.

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

The wheels were pushed to the corners and were enclosed in robust flares, which were dramatically offset from the body. Of course, those flares were trapezoidal, yet not asymmetrical. 

“The flares are stretched and pulled taut at one end,” Vardis said. “Each presents a ‘long side’ angled toward the center of the body.”

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

The Trailhawk sat on large 22-inch, five-spoke wheels wrapped in hefty 34-inch rubber. The specially-crafted tires were accented by a red stripe, with the red color repeated on the exposed brake calipers.

The lower body, which kicked outward along the bottoms of the doors, intersected the flares crisply. Tucked beneath this horizontal element was a recessed running board accented by a silver molding. Finally, a tall trapezoidal vent at the front fender-front door cut line was home to the iconic “Trail Rated” badge.

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

Trailhawk’s long hood was fronted by the signature Jeep seven-slot grille, slightly angled rearward to match the lean-back surface of the forward flares, with the slots filled with a mesh texture. Bracketed between the grille and the flares, the headlights mimicked the lean-back stance. Beneath their clear flush lenses, HID projector beam quad lamps nestled into twin “telescopic” polished aluminum barrels provided light in front of the vehicle, while LED parallel stripes provided park and turn signals.

“The main headlamp units are cropped diagonally across the top,” said Vardis. “They peer out from an angled brow, giving the vehicle its bold, sinister look. In front view, the left and right lamps evoke the hooded eyes of a bird of prey.”

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

“Like other concepts, we first viewed the math surface of the grille and headlamps together in the computer,” added Vardis. “We immediately noticed the hawkish expression, hence the name ‘Trailhawk.'”

From the back of the vehicle, the taillamps mimicked the headlights’ look, including the striped turn signals.

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

The vehicle’s upper structure was also set onto the lower body, encased by a crisp, chamfered 360-degree molding around the greenhouse, accenting the high, arching beltline. Finally, at the base of the windshield was a seven-slot cowl screen that reprised the Jeep grille.

While the body was painted in Argent Pearl high-gloss paint, the flares and lower body were a slightly dark low-gloss variant. This helped the fender flares still out and added to that broad look.

Open Air Freedom – 

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

Focusing on the interior, the side windows fully retracted into the body, leaving no B-pillar about the beltline, while the diagonal quarter windows are also fully retractable. Gray-tinted twin longitudinal glass panels over the first- and second-row seats and the glass panel over the cargo compartment were removable, as was the swing-up backlight. With all the glass lowered and removed, the Trailhawk could offer occupants the same open-air ambiance as a soft-top Wrangler. The fixed central spine contained the overhead lighting and several integrated storage bins.

“The Jeep Trailhawk interior emphasizes the vehicle’s open air-freedom, inviting elements of the exterior theme into the interior, “said Cliff Wilkins, responsible for the interior design. “Tough mechanical elements which evoke exterior details are contrasted with sophisticated materials and finishes to give a modern, rugged, purposeful interior while delivering a premium off-road experience.”

Interior –

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

The four-passenger interior was dominated by two major design elements —the cross-car instrument panel (I/P) form and a full-length central spine that formed the floor console. The AC outlets, center stack compass/inclinometer, and the dimensional, double-deck “biplane” gauges were housed in circular casings having the appearance of machined aluminum, with detailing matching headlight surrounds. The two-tone leather-wrapped aluminum steering wheel featured individual vertical switches for the lights and speed control.

Riding the transmission tunnel, the console’s raised walls created a full-length open bin, handy for storing sundry items. Within the console’s side rails, two front/rear combination armrest/storage bin modules, movable via concealed tracks, could be positioned fore-aft at the occupants’ discretion. Using the familiar touchpad technology of laptop computers of the time, a flip-out pad for the remote control fold-away flat-screen navigation unit was housed in the forward armrest.

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

“The open console’s unique utility is enhanced by the relocation of the transfer case’ Terrain Selector’ switch to the center stack of the I/P,” said Wilkins. “Also, there is the use of an electronic gear selector/park brake lever mounted to the right side of the steering column to continue this effect.”

Additional storage was available in front of the drop-open center stack control module and in the lower door trim panels. The driver and their three passengers could relax in individual Bark Black and Firewood Orange premium leather seating. The vehicle’s floor was made of a durable spray finish with integrated non-slip heel pads, practical for all-weather use.

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

In the cargo area, each quarter panel housed a removable, portable “audio pod” sound system (similar to what is on the current Gladiator). Each “pod” was fitted with a dock for an MP3 player (who has one of those these days?). 

Being a Jeep, there were jerry-can style boxes in easy-to-find Firewood Orange mounted in front of the audio pods to carry first aid kits or road hazard gear.

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept. (Jeep).

The utility of the cargo area was enhanced by a drop-down tailgate featuring integral concealed storage, four cup holders, and a sliding Load ‘N Go cargo tray (similar to what was found on the early Dodge Nitro models) with movable partitions that roll rearward for easy retrieval of stored items.

“One of the most remarkable things about the interior,” concludes Wilkins, “is that it was designed and surfaced entirely electronically — there were no traditional sketches or 3-D models. Even so, the interior turned out just as we had envisioned.”

2018 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. (Jeep).

The Jeep Trailhawk Concept showcased a lot of exterior design elements that would be featured on the 2011 to 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee (WK2). The Trailhawk Concept still looks thrilling to this day, 16 years after its original debut.

2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept Image Gallery:

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Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only the Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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ONE MEAN MACHINE: 2007 Jeep® Trailhawk Concept​

The More Street-Oriented Version Of The Wrangler Unlimited...​


There have been a lot of amazing Jeep® concept vehicles over the years, but one that stood out on the auto show circuit was the 2007 Jeep Trailhawk Concept. Combining the core off-road features of the body-on-frame four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (JK) with more of a conventional SUV exterior, this on-road open-air concept vehicle provided a unique and fresh expression for Jeep.

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