Everything was different for the 2013 Easter Jeep Safari compared to the past several I’ve attended. Having the 2013 Easter Jeep Safari at the end of March took some getting used to as early to mid April was the norm. Jeep made changes too.
Jeep brings new products and toys to measure public and journalist’s opinions. No other automaker does anything like this and it take big brass ones to pull it off every year.
Every year, engineers, designers and PR from Jeep enter the fray with a few journalists – like yours truly. Normally, Jeep throws in a few outlandish concepts and prototypes that, truly, will never be produced. A good example is the Mighty Jeep FC Concept from last year, and – my favorite – the Jeep J-12 Concept. Two vehicles that, especially the Mighty Jeep FC Concept, would be nearly impossible to legalize with the DOT, IIHS, NHTSA and, probably, the ASPCA.
This year was different, everything Jeep brought was attainable and some were close to production-ready. I spoke to Mopar Brand President and CEO, Pietro Gorlier and he explained that, as fun as the crazy concepts are, he knew fans were heartbroken when they were told that the vehicle they wanted could never be built. As such, Mark Allen, Chief Designer at Chrysler; Chief Designer Jeep & Dodge Truck at Chrysler Advanced Design kept things (somewhat) within the realm of possibilities.
This made sense.
Six vehicles were available for media to drive through some excellent Moab, UT trails. Three vehicles were concepts that provided a glimpse at what Jeep Design was thinking. The other three were Jeeps built up with Mopar accessories, test components and prototype components. Once again, they were there to test the public’s reaction.
- Wrangler Mopar Recon – One of my favorites. Massive HEMI, battleship theme throughout and a Mopar suspension lift along with a slick “Stinger” prototype bumper – it increased the size of my reproductive organs.
- Wrangler Stitch – This little rocket was the hit among the off-road speed-freaks in the group. It was a Wrangler stripped to the bone and sutured up with tough fabric. It was as light as a Suzuki Samurai, rugged and fast. Rick Péwé, Editor-in-chief for Peterson’s 4Wheel & Off-road magazine could be heard zooming all over the canyon – turning rock to sand. Lighter is better and the Wrangler Stitch is a flyweight.
- Wrangler Sand Trooper II – The original Wrangler Sand Trooper debuted at SEMA and this was the update. The updates for the Wrangler Sand Trooper II made for a better all around, driveable creation.
- Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II – This is one of the setups that has a real shot at production. The tires, fender flares and underpinnings will (most likely) be subdued, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II might update the current Trailhawk package.
- Wrangler Flattop – Think of a beefed up Wrangler with a modified Freedom Top that is chopped for a flattop effect. Hence the name. It also proved to be a very capable off-road Jeep with slick-looking, bronze accented wheels.
- Wrangler Slim – Another production possibility. The Wrangler Slim showcased Mopar additions along with a aero bumper that looks fantastic. The blackened grill and aero front fender flares work nicely with the bumper and might help airflow. It was one of the more realistically modified Wranglers in the group and wouldn’t be out of place on a showroom floor.
Out of all of the 2013 Easter Jeep Safari vehicles supplied by Jeep, I thought the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II was the most intriguing. You can read that post (here).
It was an exciting day, one that helped me destroy my voice.
When I finished my day of driving these magnificent concepts, I meandered back to my Jeep for the trip back to Moab. I was met with something illogical and dumbfounding. Laying on my hood, carefully displayed was a pair of fishnet stockings. I tried to yell to see if the prankster (or former lover) was within earshot; but, alas – I had no voice.
I know that fans of The Fast Lane Car and TFLCar like to mess with me. If that’s the case… yea… you got me.
Video for this event WILL be published. Unfortunately, we can’t post any video for a week. Please check out our channel in the near future for detailed video of a majority of these vehicles.
Once again, if you were the one leaving the fishnet stockings on my Jeep. Ha, you really got me… I left them in a Moab, UT trashcan near Wendy’s Burgers. In the future, I prefer stockings the same way David Lee Roth does…
Check out this fun video with last year’s awesome Jeep J-12 Concept!
I wish I had one that was slightly larger inside.
Gallery images copyright 2013 Chris Paukert / AOL