As a 4WD enthusiast, I always get excited for the Easter Jeep safari. I might not own one, but if one company can shed some light on the future of 4WDs that’s Jeep.
As we move closer and closer to electrification, the future of the old school 4x4s becomes more and more uncertain. This year’s eastern Jeep safari might be the most important one yet – the normal restomods and modified Jeeps will be present – but there is also an EV Wrangler.
This has got many journalists excited; so, let’s dive into the EV Wrangler and the rest of the vehicles that will be showcased in the 2021 Easter Jeep Safari.
Let’s start with the most interesting one – the EV Wrangler. It is based on a 2-door Wrangler Rubicon and from there, the engine and transmission were removed and replaced with batteries, a custom-built motor, and a six-speed manual transmission.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly, a six-speed manual. That’s why I love Jeep.
Being electric means you cannot stall it when rock crawling or driving up steep hills. To say I am curious to see how it drives is an understatement – hopefully, they will let some journalists have a go.
Power is at 285hp and 273lb-ft. The main aim was to emulate the driving experience of the 3.6L V6 by matching both torque and horsepower.
For an electric vehicle, these numbers are low; however, it means that Jeep can use existing drivetrain parts that will keep the production costs down and make the EV Wrangler affordable.
Don’t think that it’s slow though, 0-60 happens in a very respectable 6.8 seconds.
The 70kW/h battery packs which run the 800-volt system are distributed evenly around the vehicle to balance the weight on all 4 wheels. Two 12-volt batteries are also used to power accessories.
The Magneto is fitted with a JPP (Jeep Performance Parts) 2-inch lift, led lights, and a winch powered by the two 12-volt batteries.
There’s no doubt that the name of this Wrangler is one of the coolest ever – but even cooler is that bright white and surf blue color scheme. It makes me want it even more!
The engineers at Jeep always like to bring a restomod at the easter Jeep safari and this year is no exception.
The Jeepster Commando was the first-ever compact 4WD available with an automatic transmission. Unlike the CJs this one was “luxurious” with amenities such as doors, side glass, a heater, and a roof. I can imagine how spartan the non-luxurious CJs were if this was Jeep’s idea of luxury.
Anyhow, the restomod started life as a 1967 Jeepster Commando which was mated to a 2020 JL Rubicon frame. Jeep’s 2 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder can be found under the hood although this one has a concept calibration which gives it a 25% increase in performance.
Power numbers are now at 340hp and 369lb-ft.
The commando won’t make it into production, but we might see the concept tune making its way into future Jeeps.
The interior has the looks to match the Californian surfing vibes with retro red leather everywhere and some modern touches adopted from the JL.
Jeep Gladiator Red Bare
Jeep says this Gladiator is a concept but it’s mostly a parts catalog of available or to be available JPP Gladiator parts.
The Red Bare is kitted with a JPP 2-inch lift, 17-inch matte black wheels, 37-inch BFG mud terrains, cargo mounted sports bar, rock rails, bed cover and rack system, half doors, and factory steel bumpers with a Warn winch and grill guard.
The gladiator is powered by a 3.0 liter EcoDiesel V6 mated to an 8-speed auto. Power numbers are at 260hp and 442lb-ft.
Jeep Wrangler Orange Peelz
This one stays true to the open-air vibes the Wrangler has to offer. The side and rear windows have been removed and replaced with JPP half doors and a removable single-piece freedom top.
Off-road accessories include a 2-inch JPP lift, high-top fender flares to clear those massive 37s, 17-inch JPP bead-lock capable wheels, JPP Rubicon steel bumper with a prototype 2-inch steel grill guard, and rock rails.
On the rear, there is a new exhaust system and a JPP swing gate hinge reinforcement that allows the larger spare tire to be mounted.
As always, the 2021 Easter Jeep Safari looks interesting. For me, the most exciting news are those of the Magneto, it shows that EVs can be proper off roaders.
What do you think? Will you evolve with the times or do you prefer your trusty 3.6L V6?