For decades, Jeep enthusiasts from around the country have flocked to Moab, Utah, in early April for Easter Jeep Safari to celebrate off-roading, the one activity that has come to define the 75-year-old nameplate. The annual gathering is literally a one-week Jeep extravaganza featuring everything from classic Willys CJs to heavily modified models of the Wrangler Unlimited set against the breathtaking red-rock terrain that’s made Moab one of the preeminent adventure destinations in the world. But this year’s lineup also featured a couple of Jeeps that indicate a pivot toward new technology that could shape the future of the brand from screens to deployable drones.
Created in partnership with FCA’s performance parts brand, Mopar, the concepts include a mix of heavily modified production Jeeps along with a few reinterpretations of classic models intended to showcase the wide range of possibilities with the SUVs. Typically, it’s the wild and crazy Jeeps like the hotrod-inspired Quicksand, one of seven concepts unveiled this week, that generate most of the buzz.
One of the most interesting is the Jeep Safari, a futuristic-looking Wrangler Unlimited that features an instrument panel-mounted iPad in place of the current 6.5-inch touchscreen display currently available in a production Wrangler. The concept, which looks like something you’d see on a Moon-landing expedition more so than the towering cliffs in Moab, is also equipped with two deployable drones mounted on the roof.