• Apr 13th 2009 at 10:29AM
  • 27

Jeep Lower Forty concept by Mopar Underground - Click above for image gallery

Every year, the off-road faithful gather for the annual Jeep Safari. This year's was held in the Moab Desert, held out of the limelight while all eyes – including Chrysler's and our own – were focused on the New York Auto Show. So while Jeep itself was unveiling the new Grand Cherokee, Chrysler's skunkworks division, Mopar Unlimited – the same crew responsible for most of the company's SEMA show cars – brought out a pair of concept trucks for its most hard-core enthusiasts.

The first, called the Grand Canyon II, is based on the outgoing Grand Cherokee Overland, upgraded with some extra luxurious touches. Little information is available on that concept truck, but the real excitement factor was in the Jeep Lower Forty concept (above). Based on the Wrangler, the truck is immediately characterized by its oversized tires, which required a fair bit of hack-sawing of the bodywork by the Mopar crew but no suspension mods, leaving the center of gravity in tact while increasing the ground clearance. Under the hood lies a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with six-speed manual transmission, capped by a custom carbon-fiber hood and a windscreen cut down by 3 inches and raked back 10 degrees. The concept was painted a special shade of red called Red Eye No. 3.

Unfortunately, there's little information available on either concept truck beyond what the team at Inside Line was able to get ahold of, which is a little surprising for a company steered by a guy named Press. So in the meantime we'll just have to suffice with these initial details and the low-res images in the gallery below.

[Source: Inside Line]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Reminds me a little of the hummer hx that will never be built :(
      • 6 Years Ago
      40" tires and nearly no articulation. What a pile.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like a blast off road, but driving that on the highway...

      Maybe I don't get why concepts that will never see production are made, but here's what I think the next Wrangler needs (and I'm basing this off what I think is missing from my 05 Sport).

      1. Turbocharged CRD - Canada gets this but we don't? Doesn't Jeep = American?
      2. More aerodynamic design - Wind noise and handling at highway speeds gets pretty crazy.
      3. Lever handles - I cannot stand the push button handles on Chrysler vehicles, especially when you've got big hands or winter gloves on.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You should differentiate between the article, which should be held to a high journalistic standard, and the comments which should be held to a lesser standard (gramatically, not with respect to the content).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not to be a dick, but the group is Mopar Underground, not Unlimited. Just pointing out that little mistake.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Cool Donk "The Man" approved
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just remember.. you get what you pay for. How much do you think the writers for autoblog get paid? Do they even get paid? =x
      • 6 Years Ago
      Get you're righters in tack, Autoblog! Their are miss takes weigh two offen. Its riduculis!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wrong vehicle at the wrong time. If Chrysler's serious about surviving, "Bigger and More Cartoonish" is a design trait that needs to die and now. It's stopped working for the Charger and the 300, it's stopped working for the Ram and Dakota, and it's stopped working for Jeep.

      They need a classic open-topped jeep, smaller than a TJ, with a new-school turbo 4cyl motor tuned for lots of torque (Call it the Go-Devil or something) using lightweight and strong modern alloys and composites for the live-axle suspension components. Lighter, more nimble, just as capable, 25mpg or as close to it as aerodynamics will allow.

      Something the enthusiasts and the greenies can both go nuts over.

      As it is, no-one is buying the new Wranglers here in New England. Too bulky, too thirsty, too unreliable, too expensive. Everyone switched to Toyota RAV4s and Subarus. If there was a decent small 4x4 aimed at the working man and the outdoors enthusiast, they'd sell a million of them.

      While they're at it, they better bring back the Cherokee. There are more used Cherokees on the road hereabouts than new Wrangler four-doors.
        • 6 Years Ago
        COTD I want a non-gay date.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mother of God. How big are those wheels?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Looks like 20"+ rims with 40" tires. Either way- it looks retarded.
      • 6 Years Ago
      To be clear, the effective roll center would be affected by the track width, not the height of the center of gravity.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No change in center of gravity? Didn't the overall rolling diameter go way up with the new wheel/tire combination? I would guess that the increase in ground clearance came specifically because the ride height went up with the new rolling stock (remember: no change to suspension, claimed by MU).

      Between the meatier tires and higher center of gravity (I'll assume that until somebody explains how it's not true), I think this might be a real sideways launcher on asphalt in an emergency maneuver.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm assuming the center of gravity is lowered since this appears to be a much wider Jeep.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Another look and I think the track, front & rear, are greater than the stock vehicle... a good thing for stability, though I know the Wrangler development team was already concerned about it's increase in width over it's predecessor. This thing's meats might make the whole thing moot.

        Still, I can't believe the center of gravity would be lower on this than a stock Wrangler.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yep, just keep tearing up that pristine wilderness.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.

        The majority of offroaders follow this mantra. They do not roll in with chainsaws and drums of used oil. Get off your high horse.

        Have you ever gone offroading?
        • 6 Years Ago
        What wilderness exactly is he tearing up? All I see are rocks and dirt.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Better turn your computer off, the electricity it is using may have been generated by something that pollutes. Better not buy a house, because where that house sits was once pristine wilderness.

        Get a clue.
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