Details on the seven new 2016 Jeep concepts straight from Jeep with our commentary added below each vehicle’s description.
We CAN NOT WAIT to drive all of these at the 50th Easter Jeep Safari and bring you into the driver’s seat to experience what these vehicles straight from the deep recesses of the Jeep designers’ brains can do! Follow JPFreek on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and watch here for updates, then check out our Easter Jeep Safari special issue that will be out shortly after we get back and go through the thousands of photos and hours of videos.
The Jeep Concepts Summarized:
Jeep® Crew Chief 715: a salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles
Jeep Shortcut: inspired by the classic CJ-5 to handle tight, winding trails
Jeep Renegade Commander: built to blaze a trail deep into the secluded wilderness
Jeep Comanche: designed to be off-road ready with practical utility
Jeep FC 150: heritage cab-over design, rich in history and capable of tackling any terrain
Jeep Trailcat: Hellcat-powered off-roader capable of crawling or high-speed runs
Jeep Trailstorm: added capability with 2-inch lift kit, 37-inch tires and Dana 44 axles
The 2016 Easter Jeep Safari concept vehicles include:
Jeep Crew Chief 715
The Jeep Crew Chief 715 concept vehicle was built as a salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles, in particular the Kaiser M715. This open-air Wrangler Unlimited-based concept vehicle showcases a burly design with heritage styling cues. The Crew Chief 715 utilizes modern-day construction with a rear seat and extra doors for additional passenger capacity while staying close to its classic military roots.
Original Jeep military service vehicles were legendary for getting troops through rugged terrain, and the Jeep Crew Chief 715 illustrates this legacy. Steel front and rear bumpers, 20-inch beadlock wheels and 40-inch NDT military tires pay homage to the original Jeep military vehicles. The Crew Chief 715 utilizes an on-board air system with a hard-mounted quick-disconnect fitting for airing up or lending assistance to other vehicles on the trail. Other features include a master cylinder brake upgrade, cold air intake and a modified exhaust.
Exterior features, such as Jeep Performance Parts off-road rock rails, a winch mounted into the front and rear bumpers, Dana 60 front and rear axles and a 4-inch lift kit with Jeep Performance Parts/Fox 2.0 Remote Reservoir shocks, give the Crew Chief 715 increased capability. The “Tactical Green” color scheme runs from the custom modified M715-inspired front-end to the tailgate. The Crew Chief 715 features a military themed 5-foot cargo bed.
Inside, the no-nonsense interior features leather bucket seats with canvas inserts, aircraft-inspired control switches and Mopar all-weather mats. The media center features a centrally located navigational compass.
The Jeep Crew Chief 715 is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
They’re just messing with us now…
This is the first batch of Jeep concepts since we had formal word that there will be a new Jeep pickup truck and Jeep decides to take the knife out of our backs (the one they’ve been twisting around for years) only to replace it with a Tactical Green chainsaw.
The front end is nothing new, having been seen on the Nukizer and J-12 concepts, but if it ain’t broke…
The crew cab treatment with the proportions, at least in these photos, just looks right. We’re not typically fans of 20s, but we’ll take these all day and twice on Sunday. The NDTs are just perfect. We need to see the bed up close, there’s some interesting material and construction going on there.
The only issue we’ll cite, and it’s a big one in our book, is that the Crew Chief 715 is just screaming for more engine. Diesel anyone? Given last year’s plentiful oil-burning concepts, we’re shocked that this didn’t follow suit.
A carefully crafted take on the beloved Jeep CJ-5, this Wrangler-based concept vehicle invokes the spirit of 1950s Americana with a shortened body and functional simplicity.
Exterior styling cues include a unique grille, hood, tailgate, front and rear wheel flares and custom chrome front and rear bumpers. A modified exhaust, 17-inch red steel wheels and 35-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires help the Jeep Shortcut maintain the look of an icon.
Jeep Performance Parts featured on the Shortcut include a front and rear Dana 44 axle and a 2-inch lift with Fox shocks. Overall body length has been reduced by 26 inches including bumpers and spare tire to keep the Shortcut concept vehicle light and maneuverable on the trails.
Inside, the simple yet functional interior features low-back leather bucket seats with plaid inserts, a red ball shifter handle, four-point safety cage and Mopar all-weather mats.
The Jeep Shortcut is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.
If you set practicality aside, what is NOT to like about Shortcut? We love the steelies they keep using on these concepts and the color match works well since there’s not so much of the red that it’s overpowering because there’s just not much sheet metal.
And those plaid low-back seats and the simple bumpers… Jeep pretty much nailed this tribute to the CJ-5. Our only possible nitpick is to go with black fenders, it’d be more like a CJ to us and we’re not usually a fan of the color matched fenders, but they work ok for the same reason as the color-matched rims.
Jeep Renegade Commander
The Jeep Renegade Commander concept vehicle is equipped with an assortment of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts for the ultimate off-road adventure. A 2-inch lift kit and 17-inch Rubicon aluminum wheels with 29.5-inch BF-Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires increase the off-road capabilities of the Jeep Renegade Commander.
The “Fluorescent Gray” exterior features Renegade’s MySky open-air roof with removable panels, custom body decal, Mopar off-road rock rails, skid plates and a modified exhaust. Also featured are the Mopar brand’s trailer hitch receiver and front and rear auxiliary lights.
Inside, the Renegade Commander includes Katzkin seat covers, body color bezel accents, a pedal kit, Mopar off-road kit and Mopar all-weather floor mats.
The Jeep Renegade Commander is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with MultiAir2 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with Jeep Active Drive Low.
We’re on record as not hating the Renegade. Since we first saw them, all we’ve said is that they need a little lift and slightly larger tires and they’d be the perfect daily driver. It’s awesome to see Jeep with a 2″ lift and this is the look that we’ve been after. Renegades will surprise people with their ability off-road, if given the chance, and we cant wait to see what this one will do with the extra off-road bits. The hood may have to grow on us, but this is almost exactly what we’d put together for our own DD.
Based on the Jeep Renegade, the Jeep Comanche concept vehicle is designed to be off-road ready with practical utility. A nod to Jeep pickup trucks of years past, the Comanche concept takes styling cues from military and civilian Jeep heritage.
The Comanche’s “Beige Against the Machine” concept exterior paint is accented with a Satin Black hood, a concept lower front fascia, winch, steel rear bumper, soft top and spare tire in the bed. The wheelbase has been stretched an additional six inches versus a production Renegade to accommodate Comanche’s 5-foot bed.
Inside, the Comanche features custom seat covers, pedal covers, door sill guards and Mopar all-weather mats. Jeep Performance Parts like off-road rock rails, a 2-inch lift kit and a winch bolster the Comanche’s off-road capability. The Comanche rolls on 16-inch painted wheels and 32-inch BF-Goodrich All Terrain T/A tires.
The Jeep Comanche is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel I-4 engine and mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with Jeep Active Drive Lock, which includes low range and a locking rear differential.
Our gut reaction here was “Oh, wow!” because this one caught us off-guard. Given that we’ve said we actually like the baby Jeep, we are excited to see them getting this kind of attention as a concept and love the thinking behind it. This is one we need to see in person and drive to be able to give a final opinion, so we reserve the right to change our thinking after we get seat time in Moab.
We’ve said we’re not huge fans of the reuse of so many legacy Jeep model names and that would be the one knock on the Comanche here, it’s not in keeping with the heritage to our thinking.
One other note, the only two diesel concepts this year are both Renegades… interesting.
Jeep FC 150
(Editor’s note: We’re dubbing this the “Vintage Mighty FC” as an homage to the Mighty FC concept and to differentiate it from any actual FC 150 reference)
A true American workhorse, this 1960 Jeep FC 150 concept vehicle is rich with heritage and built to tackle both challenging rocky trails and the harshness of a western cattle ranch. Originally built from 1956 to 1965, the FC 150 is based on the CJ-5 and offers a clever packaging solution by keeping overall length to a minimum for maneuverability, but maintaining a full-length cargo box for utility.
This heritage Jeep vehicle continues to utilize its original steel body that proudly bears battle scars while components underneath have been revamped. The FC 150’s off-road prowess has been enhanced courtesy of a 2005 Jeep Wrangler chassis modified to accept a Dana 44 front axle, Dana 60 rear axle and 17-inch white steel wheels wrapped in 33-inch BF-Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires.
Inside, the FC 150 features vinyl seat covers, a custom headliner wrapped in a vintage duck hunting pattern, CB radio, analog compass and Mopar all-weather mats.
The Jeep FC 150 heritage vehicle is powered by a 4.0-liter PowerTech I-6 and is mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission.
Let’s hear it from the TJ/LJ crowd! A 2005 Wrangler getting the concept treatment and sporting a 4.0L to boot!
While the prospect of driving a Hellcat-powered JK is enough to keep us up at night between now and Jeep’s media day, this may actually be the concept we’re most looking forward to driving. After riding in the Mighty FC at Bantam Jeep Fest a number of years ago, we’ve had an itch to find and build an FC exactly like this. Put a nice body on a relatively inexpensive and modern frame/drivetrain and drive the snot out of it.
We’re also on record as die-hard patina lovers (click for proof in our most recent Freek Jeep – a ’70 DJ-6) and the fact that they kept nice vintage tin with all the patina just makes us drool. Again with those slick steelie rims and nice that they didn’t go for an orange color match. Well played, Jeep.
The Jeep Trailcat concept vehicle is the ultimate off-road machine, equally at home on Moab’s rugged trails or a high-speed section. Utilizing the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine, and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with a custom shifter ball featuring an embossed Hellcat logo, the Trailcat concept vehicle leaves everything else in a cloud of dust.
To get the 707-horsepower Hellcat engine into the Trailcat, designers stretched the wheelbase an additional 12 inches while chopping the windshield two inches for a sleeker look. Mopar exterior enhancements include a power-dome vented hood, Satin Black grille, LED headlamps and fog lamps and rock rails.
The robust off-road look is further aided by steel front and rear bumpers, 17-inch beadlock wheels and 39.5-inch BF-Goodrich Krawler T/A KX tires, front and rear Dana 60 axles and Fox shocks.
Subtle design cues, such as a Hellcat decal on the front quarter panels and a “Trailcat” decal on the side of the hood, hint at the horsepower that lurks beneath, making this much more than a typical production Wrangler. The Trailcat’s interior is simple yet functional and features sport bucket seats from the Dodge Viper, made from carbon fiber and featuring Katzkin leather seat covers with accent stitching.
A low-slung, big-tired, Hellcat Hemi JK. ’nuff said. BRING. IT. ON.
Jeep, just put an SRT8 badge on them and roll them out to the dealers in 2- and 4-door flavors. You won’t be able to make them fast enough.
The Trailstorm concept vehicle is the ultimate Jeep Wrangler for exploring off the beaten path. Offering room for extra gear and fuel tanks, it is based on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and delivers elevated capability to conquer trails with ease.
Off-road capabilities are enhanced with several Jeep Performance Parts, including 17-inch concept off-road wheels wrapped in 37-inch tires, a 2-inch lift kit with Jeep Performance Parts/Fox shocks, a Jeep Performance Parts Rubicon winch, and Dana 44 front and rear axles. Half doors offer a clear view of obstacles ahead and a bedlined interior makes cleaning up after a day on the trails easy.
Mopar exterior enhancements include a winch guard, Satin Black grille, LED headlights and fog lights, high top fenders, power-dome vented hood, Mopar off-road rock rails with a step, Big Brake Kit, a concept fast-back soft top, tail light guards and a Mopar fuel filler door. Finishing the Trailstorm’s exterior upgrades are a steel front and rear Rubicon bumper and a Jeep Performance Parts tire carrier. The Trailstorm is wrapped in camouflage allowing it to blend into its surroundings in the Utah desert.
The Trailstorm’s bedlined interior also features Katzkin seat covers and Mopar all-weather floor mats. The Jeep Trailstorm is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.
We’re always going to get one of the Jeep concepts that’s a pretty vanilla implementation of the Mopar performance parts and that’s the Trailstorm.
Interesting bedlined interior, that’s something that we’ve thought Jeep should offer as a factory option in lieu of carpet. We also like the execution of the camo look.
Watch for much more to come from Moab and EJS as JPFreek descends on Utah starting next week! Jeep concepts, here we come!