Jeep®, renowned for its rugged and iconic vehicles, has a history of showcasing innovative concept models. One such concept, the Wrangler JK-based Chief Concept, paid homage to the classic full-size Jeep Cherokee (SJ) models from the 1970s. This remarkable vehicle combined retro styling cues with a west coast surfer theme, resulting in an eye-catching and nostalgic design.
The Chief Concept’s exterior design featured a stunning vintage Ocean Blue color blended with white accents. This paint scheme was so well-received that Jeep later used it on the limited-edition 2017 Jeep Wrangler Chief model. Drawing inspiration from the full-size Cherokee, the Chief Concept incorporated a distinctive “French bread” styled roof, chrome front and rear bumpers, and a customized “razor” style grille. The doors were designed to be removable, providing an open-air experience and versatile hauling capabilities for surfboards and other outdoor gear. Completing the ’70s vibe were the 17-inch slotted mag wheels wrapped in aggressive BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain tires, ensuring the Chief Concept easily handled both the trail and the road.
Inside the Chief Concept, Jeep’s design team crafted a Hawaiian-themed interior. The seats were adorned with a vibrant “Surfer” pink, blue, and white-colored flowered cloth and leather trim, capturing the essence of the 1970s era. To enhance the retro feel, the headrests were removed from the seats. Vintage-style stickers on the center console and door handles added a touch of uniqueness while maintaining a modern look. The interior boasted Rosewood accents throughout, including a front-passenger grab handle and a tiki-style shifter handle. Strips of Rosewood in the roof and cargo area further elevated the cabin’s design.
Under the hood, the Chief Concept was equipped with a robust 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, generating 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft of torque. This power was channeled through a 6-speed manual transmission, emphasizing the vehicle’s engaging driving experience. The Chief Concept incorporated various components from Mopar’s Jeep Performance Parts to enhance off-road capabilities. These included a 2-inch lift kit featuring FOX shocks, front and rear Dana 44 axles with lockers, a Mopar cold-air intake, and modified Rubicon rock rails. These enhancements ensured that the Chief Concept was not only a head-turner but also capable of conquering challenging terrain.
True to Jeep’s tradition, the Chief Concept hid several “Easter eggs” throughout its design. Notably, vintage American Motors decals bearing the slogans “Sexy Cars For Sexy People” and “Magnum Tested. Magnum Approved.,” could be found discreetly in the cargo area, evoking nostalgia for automotive enthusiasts. Additionally, a hula girl adorned the dashboard, adding a delightful Hawaiian surfing touch.
This concept vehicle seamlessly blended nostalgia and modernity with its vintage-inspired exterior, Hawaiian-themed interior, and a host of off-road enhancements.
2015 Jeep® Chief Concept Image Gallery: