For most automakers, April’s big events consist to the New York and Shanghai motor shows. Chrysler, however, regularly brings a handful of customized off-road concept vehicles to the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, and this year appears to be no exception.
Although we expect several Jeep and Ram vehicles to make the trek out to Moab this year, the automaker has only released sketches previewing two Jeep Wrangler-based concepts.
The first, dubbed Renegade, appears to emulate the 1971 CJ-5 Renegade 1 model while simultaneously cribbing parts from Mopar’s aftermarket parts catalog. Apart from a gold-on-black paint scheme, the Renegade appears to receive a suspension lift, a larger wheel/tire package (complete with matching gold five-spoke aluminum wheels), rock rails, and a front brush bar.
Seeing as the concept appears to use American Expedition Vehicles’ muscular heat reduction hood, there’s a good chance the show vehicle is packing something more than the standard 3.8-liter V-6. We’d wager this sucker packs Hemi V-8 power — a conversion AEV perfected, and one we hear Jeep executives are reportedly mulling as a future production option.
The second concept, which Mopar calls the Porkchop, actually reminds us of original Renegade and other special-edition Jeeps from the 1960s more than the new Renegade concept — its exterior aesthetic is clean, slender, and simple. The concept is stripped of top, bumpers, doors, and bumpers, given a two-tone paint scheme (silver with red accent striping and interior), and large five-spoke torque-thrust wheels. It appears the front axle may be set forward to increase the Porkchop’s wheelbase, but it’s hard to glean such information simply from a design rendering.
Firm details on both show vehicles — along with perhaps a few additional surprises — will likely emerge closer to the EJS event itself, which is scheduled to run between April 16-24.