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.

Cars

Volvo wants to build a future in which you can’t wait to commute to work

Volvo's futuristic 360c concept embodies the changes sweeping across the automotive industry. It's electric, fully autonomous, and connected. The firm wants to start a conversation about the role self-driving cars will play in the future.
Product Review

Alfa Romeo delivers the quintessential Italian high-performance SUV

Alfa’s Romeo’s Ferrari-powered sport utility delivers hair-raising straight-line performance, admirable capability in the corners, and head-turning style, but comes up a bit short in a few key areas.
Product Review

It looks like a concept, but the Lexus LC500 is very much a real-life stunner

The LC500 sports car combines exotic looks, a raucous V8 engine, sumptuous interior, and responsive steering to make one of the most compelling Lexus-badged models ever and one of the sexiest vehicles on sale.
Product Review

Mercedes’ 2019 Sprinter proves vans don’t have to be low-tech

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter boasts infotainment and driver-assist tech from Mercedes’ passenger cars. It’s not something normally seen on big vans, but it makes the Sprinter a much easier vehicle to use.
Mobile

eBay HeadGaze app lets physically impaired control iPhone X with head movements

eBay's open source HeadGaze software uses the iPhone X's FaceID system to translate head movements into screen actions, hopefully opening tech up for many people with physical impairments.
Cars

Volkswagen finally squashes the Beetle with 2019 Final Edition

2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final Edition marks the end of the line for VW's most iconic nameplate. Volkswagen has no immediate plans to replace the Beetle after production ends next year.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Lexus digitizes side-view mirrors with cameras for Japan’s 2019 ES sedan

It seems Lexus is fed up with having to look at a piece of reflective glass and plastic to know what’s in your side rearview. So the company decided to introduce a new way to look behind you in Japan.
Cars

Photos of the BMW Vision iNEXT Concept leak onto the web despite embargo

Earlier this week, Digital Trends was invited to preview BMW’s all-new Vision iNEXT Concept. Although we were all under an embargo, somehow the photos of the concept leaked onto the web before the embargo lifted.
Cars

An elevator in your garage? Boring Company gets OK to test Loop Lift from tunnel

The Hawthorne (California) City Council gave Elon Musk's Boring Company the go-ahead to construct a Loop Lift prototype. The lift will connect the company's existing underground hyperloop to a residential garage.
Cars

Uber has decided to leave its broadly derided current logo ‘behind’

Rideshare giant Uber has a new brand image. The new wordmark logo replaces Uber's previous brand icon, a circular graphic that was derided as an "asshole" symbol that walked away from a clear brand identifier.
Cars

Startup inks ‘world’s largest deal’ for driverless grocery deliveries

An increasing number of companies are testing delivery services using autonomous vehicles. Startup Udelv already has experience of running a trial in San Francisco, with Oklahoma City, Oklahoma set to become its next destination.
Cars

We get up close with the Vision iNext concept to learn about BMW’s future

Through a massive worldwide campaign that visits various major cities around the world, we get our exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with BMW’s latest Vision iNEXT Concept to learn about automaker’s future plans.
Smart Home

Amazon reportedly will introduce an Alexa-enabled microwave, amp, and more

Amazon's Fall 2018 Alexa device rollout is about to begin, sources say. Look for an Alexa microwave, an amplifier, receiver, and subwoofer, and an Alexa voice-responsive device for your car. Amazon is maximizing its voice-command presence.