Each year, thousands of diehard off-road enthusiasts descend upon Moab, Utah, for the Easter Jeep Safari and a week of fun on some of the country’s best and most rugged trails. Jeep® and Mopar are marking the occasion by returning to the annual event – which takes place April 16-24 – with six new customized vehicles.
“The annual Moab Easter Jeep Safari provides us a perfect opportunity to interact with our most loyal fans in a true Jeep setting,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “We are able to demonstrate and test new potential Jeep production and customization ideas at our away-from-home proving ground, while getting instant feedback from our customers.”
More than 30 percent of the people who are in the market for a new vehicle are influenced by the breadth and availability of aftermarket accessories and Mopar comes to the party with a vast selection of accessories that will fit a variety of lifestyles.
“From full engine packages to slush mats, Mopar has everything for the avid off-roader,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and Chief Executive Officer – Mopar, Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “In fact, Mopar covers the spectrum with more than 280,000 proven quality-tested parts and accessories that allow customers to personalize their Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat vehicles.”
Over the past decade, a dedicated group of engineers, designers and fabricators from Mopar and Jeep have customized more than two dozen vehicles and a host of off-road parts and accessories, and showcased them to the enthusiast crowds in Moab.
Jeep Wrangler ’Pork Chop’
The primary focus in the development of ‘Pork Chop’ was to increase Jeep Wrangler’s off-road fun and performance even more through extensive weight savings. The project started with a new 2011 Jeep Wrangler Sport. Weight savings began with removal of a long list of items, including: doors, top, tailgate, bumpers, carpet and sway bars.
Body modifications began with removing the rear tailgate hinges and latches and creating a custom surround. The inner fender panels were reshaped and the taillamps relocated closer together. A custom roll cage was crafted and the windshield height was reduced two inches. Hanson Bumpers provided a set of unique aluminum bumpers and QMC contributed their prototype aluminum/carbon fiber hood, held in place with Drake aluminum hood.
Mopar added an aluminum cold-air intake kit, lightweight fender-flares, slush mats and mirror re-location brackets.
The interior was updated with bright red lightweight Sparco ‘Chrono Road’ reclining bucket seats. Gale Banks added a unique set of long tube headers and dual-exhaust with an integrated H-pipe to replace the stock system. Further weight savings was recognized courtesy of a Gen-Right-fabricated, prototype rear-mounted 20-gallon fuel tank and aluminum skid plate.