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Jeep Teases Three Retro Concepts For Moab

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On: Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 3:15PM | By: Chris Salamone

Jeep Teases Three Retro Concepts For Moab

Last Friday Jeep enthusiasts got a taste of three new concepts that will appear during the company’s Easter Safari in Moab, Utah. While the teaser images were hardly satisfying, animated and super zoomed, few could really complain. Jeep appears to be taking the whisperings of a future truck model seriously.

For years now, Jeep execs have made off-hand remarks about the second (or third or fourth) coming of a few classic Jeep models. For example, back in May 2011 and after the very same Easter Jeep Safari event, Mark Allen suggested that he was “a big proponent” of reviving the Cherokee nameplate. And Jeep fans aren’t just interested in the deceased, but beloved Cherokee.

The J-10 has also collected a huge following, and even made notable appearances in films like Twister and Tremors. And let’s not forget the iconic cab-over-engine workhorse Jeep Forward Control (FC) which made a recent TV appearance on My Classic Car. Apparently Jeep has picked up the scent, and decided to listen to the company’s adoring fans.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, at the 46th annual Easter Jeep Safari Jeep will unveil six new vehicles – three of which will be the Wrangler Apache, Mighty FC concept, and J-12 concept.

While we know almost nothing about Jeep’s plans to actually produce one of the concepts, the likelihood of a Jeep model expansion which creates a less fuel efficient lineup is low. For the foreseeable future automakers must invest in more gas thrifty models and technology. Regardless of whether or not the future CAFE standards regulate trucks as strictly as cars, all brands will have to improve their fuel use. It seems unlikely a future J-12 or Mighty Forward Control could possibly help Jeep meet CAFE.

The Wrangler Apache, on the other hand, is an unknown. Since Wrangler truck conversions already exist, an official Apache model isn’t entirely out of the question. But we’ll know soon enough. Jeep will unveil all six models on March 31st in Moab. And for those in the know, the company is having a sneak peek Safari Media Preview this morning.

Considering the monumental success of Jeep’s new Pentastar engine and a constant consumer demand which outstrips Wrangler supply from Toledo, Jeep is well positioned to conservatively add to the Wrangler line. The glitz and glam of a few exciting concept models will help generate lots of media hype for the company, but no rational executive would risk something like a new Forward Control or J-12 with looming CAFE increases and without lots of big truck market momentum (which doesn’t exist). Sigh.

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