Jeep Concepts for 2022 Easter Jeep Safari Double Down on 4xe Plug-In Treatment, Wrangler Mashups
What else could Jeep have up its sleeve for this year's confab in Moab?
It's hard to believe that that 56th annual 2022 Easter Jeep Safari is right around the corner. Scheduled for April 9-17, 2022, and hosted by Moab's Red Rock 4-Wheelers club, the Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) attracts thousands of Jeep enthusiasts and off-roaders. It's predominantly a Jeep thing, but other manufacturers have crashed the Jeep party in the past. During EJS, Moab, Utah—home of some of the best off-roading and rock crawling in the world—becomes a beacon, a destination, a mecca for like-minded adventurers who spend the week off-roading, congregating, and fully immersing themselves in all-things off-road.
Jeep and Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) never miss out on the EJS action. Part of the automaker's annual presence includes concept builds, many of which hit the trails during the week to show off the Jeep brand's 4x4 capability, if anyone needed convincing. Over the years, some pretty wild concept Jeep Wranglers, Gladiators, and totally custom Jeep mashups have debuted at the Easter Jeep Safari: fully-electric Jeep Magneto, Jeep Red Bare, Rubicon 392, Jeepster Beach, Jeep Farout, Orange Peelz, and Jeep Top Dog, for example. So, what's in store for 2022?
Jeep and JPP haven't divulged the deets on what they're building for the 2022 EJS, but have confirmed that they'll attend the event with concepts promised to be "bigger, better, greener, faster, and ultra-capable." To whet our appetites, they've released four cryptic sketches of what's to come.
QR-Code Jeep Gladiator
The first sketch shows the blocky outline of a Jeep Gladiator, but that doesn't mean it's actually a Gladiator. Jeep could concoct something with Gladiator-ish looks and supercar (read: Hellcat V-8) power. We don't know much more about this JPP build, but the sky's the limit when it comes to cool Gladiator builds. And doesn't it look like there should be a few QR codes in there somewhere? What are you trying to tell us?
Grand Cherokee Gets the 4xe Treatment
The second sketch focuses on a headlight, and the blue-tinted theme indicates this is likely a project based on the forthcoming 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in-hybrid, the second addition to the electrified 4xe lineup after the Wrangler 4xe. (Both are in fulfillment of Jeep's quest to electrify its lineup.) The two-row Grand Cherokee is brand new for 2022 (though it's essentially the short-wheelbase version of the three-row Grand Cherokee L introduced last year), and the Grand Cherokee 4xe is coming in the spring. The new Grand's modern, chiseled exterior would lend itself well to a full off-road build. In addition to the stylized blue hues depicted in the sketch, the blue tow hooks, fog light opening, and charge port on the fender betray its 4xe roots. Could this be a longer, three-row 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee L 4xe soon to join the currently two-row-only 4xe? Probably not, but that would definitely be news.
Wrangler/Gladiator Mashup: Bedded SUV?
Regarding this concept, Jeep asks, "Ever wonder what blending two mighty off-roaders like the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator might look like?" Jeep finishes its cryptic riddle by "daring" truck to be more like SUVS in regards to increased departure angles, and finishes by mentioning open-air freedom. Hmm. We're thinking Wrangler Rubicon with some sort of Gladiator-like open bed. A true Wrangler SUV with an open back "truck bed" solves the departure angle problem caused by the bed overhang of the Gladiator. The door-less rendering seems to show two rows of seats, but a two-door concept would be unique because there is no two-door Gladiator. It may have no doors and no top at all.
The first year of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon was 2003, making 2023 the big two-oh anniversary of the iconic off-roader. We speculate that the Rubicon 20 concept is a special Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary Edition based on the Wrangler 392. Could this be a beefed-up version on an upcoming 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20 production Jeep? It's totally possible.
Jeep Wrangler RU31-CON / 4XE Concept
Want to prove your new plug-in hybrid Wrangler has the goods to stand up to whatever Jeepers might throw at it out on the trails? Build a military themed version and send it to war. Okay, so we doubt Jeep would actually ship Wrangler 4xe PHEVs to battle or even the U.S. Army, but it'd sure be neat, right? Short of that happening, it would appear as though this Wrangler RU31-CON / 4xe cosplaying the notion will have to do. If we had to guess, the "31" in the name that stands in for the letters "B" and "I" in "Rubicon" is a hint that this retro-militarized Wrangler has 31-inch tires and is, as the name implies, a 4xe model.
Jeep Gladiator Two-Door Overlander Concept
So the teaser above is a bit vague, but from what we can make out, this is a two-door, long-ish-wheelbase Wrangler with either a long pickup bed or a seat-less rear area—or a two-door Gladiator truck. Keep in mind that the Gladiator is only available with four doors, and the Wrangler, while available with two doors, only pairs that configuration with a stubby body and a short wheelbase. Whatever this creation is, we're holding out hope that the Jeep Performance Parts watermark means that not only will the various racks and things living above the rear be available through the JPP catalog soon, but perhaps a two-door Gladiator conversion, too—much like the JK-8 pickup-truck conversion Mopar once offered for the JK-generation Wrangler.
It's probably way too early to tell, and it regards a sister brand, but we'd love to see a Ram EV also make an appearance at this year's Easter Safari. It'd also be awesome to see a Moab-ready 2022 Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer beefed up with big suspension, big wheels, and all the off-road fixin's. A three-row Grand Cherokee L, which was brand new for 2021, would also make for a unique Moab concept build for inspiring family'd Jeep fans. None of these are depicted in the sketches, though, so we'll need to wait for more details on the others as those are revealed.