’78 Cherokee 4xe, Scrambler 392 headline Jeep’s 7 creations for Easter Safari ’23


Now in its 57th year, the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, is a massive, grassroots gathering of off-roaders that celebrates the beautiful landscape of the area by tackling challenging trails in a wide variety of UTVs and 4x4s. Jeep has joined the event to show off what its vehicles are capable of off-road, but also to let its employees experience first-hand how its customers are using its 4x4s on some of the most challenging rock-crawling routes in the West.

Mark Allen, Jeep’s head of design, told us that he’s seen engineers and designers inspired after hitting the trails. “They come back a changed person,” he says.

Easter Jeep Safari is also a chance for the automaker to get Jeep owners excited about what might be coming from the factory in the years to come, offering glimpses at soon-to-be-released catalog parts and even future models.

2023 is no different. Jeep is bringing a cast of builds that explore all manner of off-roading “what-if” questions. At this year’s festivities, which run from April 1–9, pay attention to these seven concepts that will be traversing the slick rock in Moab for hints at what’s to come.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Concept

When Jeep released a limited-edition Tuscadero exterior paint color on 2021 Jeep Wrangler models, the plan was for a 3000-unit run. The color was so popular that Jeep extended production for an additional month. This new concept takes the bold color selection up a notch with a vivid magenta and pairs it with gloss black accents as well as the blue highlights that come with the hybrid 4xe powertrain.

The already capable Rubicon has been modified with an adjustable AccuAir air suspension that lifts the Wrangler 1.5–5.5 inches and provides clearance for 37-inch mud-terrain tires on 17-inch AEV beadlock wheels. AEV also provided differential covers and bumpers front and rear, with the front getting a Warn Zeon winch.

Jeep Wrangler Magneto 3.0 Concept

For its third and final Easter Jeep Safari iteration, the all-electric Magneto has reached its full, shockingly powerful potential. First seen in 2021, Magneto started off as a rather stealthy build that hid its electric motor and six-speed manual transmission in a stock two-door Wrangler body. For 2022 it got a lot more power, a lot more tire, and stylized B-pillars. Now it sports a 2024 Wrangler grille, stretched door openings with totally reshaped B-pillars, and a chopped top with a laid-back windshield that provides a sporty look to match its tremendous performance.

A new axial flux motor and even more power from the battery have allowed the Magneto to churn out up to 900 lb-ft of torque along with 650 hp, up 50 lb-ft from last year’s version. The driver can also opt for a 285 hp/273 lb-ft mode, which should be plenty for most situations.

With a Dynatrac 60 front axle and Dynatrac 80 rear axle, both filled with 5.38:1 gears, the 40-inch mud terrain tires will have tons of torque to get moving and select the perfect line. Its TR6060 transmission, pirated from a Challenger Hellcat, has been fortified to handle the torque and allows for precision when navigating tough obstacles without the fear of an engine stall.

Jeep told us not to expect a production version of the Magneto but said it did learn a lot about EV wheeling as Magneto evolved.

1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe Concept

Jeep always likes to include one classic among its Easter Jeep Safari fleet, and this year’s Cherokee build is a perfect combination of ’70s style and modern, electrified power.

Jeep started with a rather rough 1978 Cherokee and gave the full-size two-door SUV the chassis, powertrain, and dashboard of a Wrangler Rubicon 4xe. The swap is especially fitting since Wide-Track versions of the Cherokee came with Dana 44 axles, similar to those found in the current Rubicon.

New flares, an open-air cockpit that ditches the rear side glass, 17-inch slotted wheels, and a healthy dose of ’70s graphics inside and out give the now-hybrid Cherokee a sporty look. Its 37-inch KM3s, 4:1 transfer case, and heaps of electronically assisted off-idle torque give it plenty of capability.

Look really closely and you’ll spot an AMC Gremlin gas cap, a hint at another one of the ’70s vehicles that inspired this fabulous restomod.

Jeep Scrambler 392 Concept

Jeep’s first go at a removable-top pickup was the CJ-8 Scrambler that ran from 1981–6. The compact truck was nimble and offered buyers a capable 4×4 with unique packaging. What it didn’t have was a V-8. Jeep has remedied that with this Scrambler 392 concept, which uses a thumping 470-horsepower, 6.4-liter Hemi.

Based on a Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, the Scrambler uses custom carbon-fiber body panels—including the hood, quarter panels, and roof—that help it shed 400 pounds compared to the factory Wrangler. The sporty body lines, similar to the newest iteration of the Magneto, include larger door openings. This time the windshield, laid back 12 degrees, meets up with a roof panel that’s integrated into the B-pillar rather than simply a roll cage.

Both the exterior and interior accent panels are painted in Sublime Green, while the seats are highlighted with blue plaid. Its 20-inch wheels and 40-inch tires ride on an adjustable AccuAir air suspension system developed for the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator that can tailor the ride height on the fly.

Grand Wagoneer Overland Concept

The Grand Wagoneer Overland concept is powered by a 510-hp version of the new, 3.0-liter Hurricane Twin Turbo inline-six and combines trail capability with roomy comfort. Rather than piece together a lift kit, Jeep reshaped the Grandie’s wheel openings to swallow 35-inch tires.

“We keep the full range of motion and it looks the most natural,” said Jeep’s Mark Allen.

Jeep didn’t want to just slap any old rooftop tent up there; it selected a RedTail Overland Skyloft that’s cleverly integrated into the Grand Wagoneer. The hard-sided carbon-fiber Skyloft deploys from inside thanks to a repositioned rear sunroof that connects the tent to the Jeep.

With no second or third-row seats, campers can easily move from one space to the next, a very handy trick when camping in inclement weather. The Skyloft is long enough that the pass-through port doesn’t interfere with its full-size bed. Up front, a new fascia houses a Warn winch to get out of tricky spaces.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon Sideburn Concept

The Jeep Gladiator Sideburn concept is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and rides on a Jeep Performance Parts (JPP) two-inch lift kit with Bilstein shocks. The shocks and their remote reservoirs help tame the 37-inch BFGoodrich tires and keep the Gladiator riding smoothly over rough terrain. Up front, a custom tubular guard protects the 2023 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary grille and also folds down to make for a comfy bench during trail stops. The guard is mounted to a modified Rubicon bumper with a Warn winch.

Sideburn gets its name from a concept JPP sport bar made from carbon fiber and steel that wraps over the bed and body to incorporate steps just behind the rear doors. Those steps can help you access any gear mounted to the sport bar or roof-mounted cargo systems. Additional storage is provided by a one-off bed that incorporates MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) panels for easily customizable gear storage.

Inside, the gauge bezels wear a topographical map of Moab while cabin accents are finished in Atomic Silver matte paint that matches the stainless-steel JPP pedal covers.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Departure Concept

We didn’t know that such a stripped-down Wrangler could look so nicely dressed, but Jeep has given its Wrangler 4xe Departure concept just the right amount of custom and off-the-shelf parts to look fantastic. Its 17×8.5-inch Vintage Bronze KMC Impact OL wheels echo the Acorn Squash and Carnegie Hall brown nappa leather interior, and they’re all a great match for the Dark Harbor blue exterior.

Like the Sideburn, this Rubicon rides on a JPP two-inch lift, Bilstein shocks, and 37-inch tires and it also uses a custom grille guard that can fold down into a bench. The tailgate on the Departure mounts a full-size spare in one of two locations: inboard, to maximize departure angle; or outboard, to maximize cargo capacity. Switching between the two involves pivoting the mount on its tubular frame.

The wider tire package is framed by custom, flat fender flares and wheel liners, with integrated removable daytime running light (DRL) covers. Jeep notes the kit meets tire coverage requirements in all 50 states, showing that the automaker has done its homework—and hinting that these parts might soon be in the JPP catalog.

We’d love to wheel any of these concept Jeeps across the beautiful Moab scenery, and it’s hard to pick a favorite. If you’ve got a specific trail you’d like to tackle with one of these 4x4s, let us know.

Also, feel free to share what you’d like to see from Jeep that can help you build the off-roader of your dreams. After seeing the Cherokee restomod, we asked if Jeep Performance Parts would offer a Wrangler Rubicon crate chassis and powertrain to make swaps like that possible.

We were only partly joking. The answer was still “no.”


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    Although Easter Jeep Safari – and generally most of the Moab area – are far more challenging than the stuff I typically tackled in my more serious off-road days, I really enjoy watching some of the more technical climbs. The level of engineering sophistication and the technological equipment advances in the last 20-or-so years is amazing and FAR beyond anything I could have even dreamed of in my Jeep-building days 50 years ago. Even so, as an “old-schooler”, I’ve gotta pick out the ’78 Cherokee as the coolest of this batch! 😛

    I always look forward to the concept vehicles from Jeep, falling in love with at least half of them. This time? Nada. Zilch. Not one. Nuthin’

    sorry but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder…or shopper! The Rubicon rules no matter what the configuration!

    I’ve owned 5 Jeeps, and like the guy earlier, always looked forward to their concept vehicles. Not this year, they show me nothing…too bad.

    I’ll take a basic vehicle that does not have all the modern bells and whistles. I want something that can be fixed easily and is tough in the first place. Manual transfer case, manual hubs, non-computer engine (though would consider later 4.0 AMC 6).

    I love the ‘78, the new ones look ok if I only saw them in Moab. But when I see every version of those prototypes drive on streets by people who will never use a 1/4 it’s potential, I think it’s a waste of resources and gas. A bunch of pretenders.

    So, based on the above Wranglers, and looking at the Silverado EV, it seems like people have finally warmed up to the design language of the gen1 Honda Ridgeline. Funny.

    I like the look of the scrambler, I think ill go buy a couple of 4×8 sheets of steel and some 2″tube and make a mini sandrail the size of a gator. my trick in the past has been mount the motor trans and rear on a swingarm that mounts under the dashboard, [no driveline problems] always used big v8s. used to build a new one every year when I was young. if u balance it correctly it flys perfect. right off the top of a dune, or going up you can jump over your Buddys rig makes great home movies. the key is to have the motor centered under the dash.

    Two sides of this one, while I really do like the eV idea, because like most people I have a job that I have to drive to daily and an eV is perfect for that, I feel that unless your just day tripping into the woods with your Jeep it should run on fuel that can be carried in cans.

    All that said, 99.5% of Jeeps end up never going more off road than the occasional venture into a dirt parking lot. Jason Cammisa said it in ICONS https://youtu.be/QBM6cS_dRns these things are more likely to roll over a curb at Starbucks than a rock in the desert.

    The 392 Scrambler certainly gets the nod from me strictly from a “Looks” standpoint. But since I live in the real world where it rains, gets hot, gets cold, and even occasionally snows… I’d kinda like to have more than just the windshield to keep the weather out. Love the look of that old Cherokee, but the 4Xe drivetrain eliminates it from consideration in my book. As one who has always tended toward smaller vehicles, I would normally not give the Grand Wagonneer a second glance… but that tent on top is really cool. And the fact you can open it up and climb in without leaving the vehicle? Brilliant! …Hmmm. I know it wouldn’t work on my ’33 coupe, but I bet it would be very cool on top of something like a ’32 Tudor… What a cross country road tripping hotrod that would be!

    Hi could you please tell me from where I can buy this molle mash panel please and the over the windshield lights holder from departure concept

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