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Moab Safari concepts: Jeep unveils six automotive Easter eggs

Every year, Jeep gives its most hardcore fans a special present: An off-roading expedition to Moab, Utah known as the Easter Safari. It also brings along a few concept vehicles to show just how cool Jeeps can be when all notions of practicality are thrown out the window.

This year, five of the concepts were based on the Wrangler, and was based on the Grand Cherokee. The red-and-black Wrangler Slim was built to show how easy it is to customize a Wrangler on a budget. It’s got plenty off-road accoutrements while the stock 3.6-liter V6 remains under the hood.

The Grand Cherokee Trailhawk takes last year’s idea of a butch SUV to the extreme. The bright orange paint and 35-inch tires are sure to make an impression, but we don’t want to be the ones who have to wash it after it gets covered in mud. Under the hood is Jeep’s EcoDiesel V6.

The silver four-door Wrangler Mopar Recon may look subtle compared to the Trailhawk, but it’s got a 6.4-liter, 470 horsepower Hemi V8, coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission.

The Wrangler Stitch doesn’t have a Hemi, but because of its minimal bodywork, Jeep says it has the same power-to-weight ratio as the Grand Cherokee SRT8 performance SUV.

The Wrangler Sand Trooper II is based on a concept from the 2012 SEMA show. It’s got a smaller, 5.7-liter Hemi with 375 hp, but the same monster truck-like tires of the other concepts. While it’s black and tan livery definitely looks militaristic, we can’t help but think of white-uniformed Star Wars Storm Troopers on Tattooine.

Finally, the Wrangler Flattop is supposed to give the iconic Jeep a more refined look. A chopped windowless hardtop gives it a (slightly) less boxy appearance, while Katzkin leather gives the interior a more luxurious feel.

The Moab concepts might seem like flights of fancy, but they do have a chance of seeing production. Last year’s Grand Cherokee Trailhawk got the green light, so we might see some of these concepts, or at least parts of them, in showrooms soon.

What’s your call on these Jeep concepts? Great ideas or not ready for prime time? Leave a comment.

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