Jeep to Reveal Two Concepts at Safari

Jeep and Mopar will be teaming up again next week for the 45th annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, and they'll be showing off some interesting concepts. The photo above is a group shot from a few years ago.

It's becoming a habit for Chrysler to show something new and interesting at the event, and maybe that makes sense. Why not use one of the most beautiful backdrops in the country — with its giant red rocks and Colorado River-cut canyons — to show off some of the coolest four-wheelers and pickup trucks around?

Last year, Jeep debuted the Mopar JK-8 conversion kit to the world by showing us the VWerks-built JK-8 Independence concept pickup. This year, it looks like Jeep has got something more in mind. We won't know exactly what it is until we get to Moab, but Jeep sent us these preliminary partial-view renderings. See them at the bottom of this post.

We can't tell much from the what's here, but they look interesting. Called the Jeep Mighty FC and J-12, both images look to be clear attempts to recall some past Jeep favorites. It will be interesting to learn what platforms Jeep used to create these concept vehicles and find out if these one-offs may find a spot in a future product lineup.

The Mighty FC looks like it will have a strong resemblance to the Forward Control Jeeps of the '50s and '60s, while the J-12 may harken back to the half-ton (J-10) and three-quarter-ton (J-20) Jeep pickups of the '70s.

Jeep and Mopar have a long history together and have allowed their most passion-filled employees to use many of the deep resources available to them to build their play toys for Moab. Originally called the Mopar Underground when it was just a group of guys at the Jeep shop working after hours on their personal projects (which they were going to take to Moab for their personal vacations), Easter Jeep Safari has become something much more legitimate. As a result, we've come to expect some interesting concepts.

Both illustrations look like they could be using heavily modified Wrangler platforms, but we expect the powertrains to be unique. More to come.

Jeep J12

Jeep J10 II

Jeep Mighty FC II

Jeep FC 170 firetruck II


The only negative with the trucks that the Mopar Underground create is that they don't find their way into production. That is sad since they come up with some really great stuff.

Wrangler is a much more serious off-roader than a Tacoma. Looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

i think it would be cool if the added a pick up truck to the jeep brand.



The J12 looks like it could be the next step following the Nukizer. Someone should really make the front-end parts available. The FC just looks cool. Really a shame that configuration didn't catch on more- they have the ultimate in forward visibility. Nowadays, when you don't need to open the hood on a truck but twice a year, it actually makes even more sense

@BIGBUD - there wouldn't be a conflict if the Jeep pickup was "lighter duty" than the Power Wagon. If it was targeted at the "small truck" (ie. Tacoma or Frontier) market it would most likely do well. They could build a more useful utilitarian variation of the Hummer H3T.

Keep up the good work Mark....looking "forword" to more updates!

Iveco does have several 4x4 "cab over" style trucks. Is Fiat letting the Mopar Underground play with their "global trucks" or giving them access to the "global" parts bin? This could be a good way for Fiat to gauge interest in a Eurocargo 4x4 or New Daily 4x4. The New Daily 4x4 looks like it would be a good product for those who need a hardcore offroad work truck along the lines of a Unimog.
Put a Jeep style cab on it and a Jeep badge on it and voila instant Jeep FC (Foreward Control).

That "Forward Control" concept will never meet current crash safety standards. It will have to have some kind of "nose" IMO to be able to do that.

I never cared much for Jeeps myself. I do have a few coworkers who live in those things come summertime though. Serious offroaders who really love (and I suppose need) that short wheelbase. It's odd though, most of their rigs are all Chevrolet powered. I know one has a 355 and stroked 383 and another I know for sure has a 327 in his. Without knowing you'd almost think Jeep was part of Chevrolet. I will hand it to Dodge on the PowerWagon though. As a Ford guy I can without hesitation salute that machine. That's a killer off-road fullsizer.

Correct there. I think IVECO wants to be part of any new Jeep concepts that pop up. As it is some Fiat architecture is underpinning some new small CUV's from Chrysler.

The 4 X4 Eurocargo with the Cummins sibling 5.9 Litre engine and 700lbs ft of torque, would be very much like a Unimog

I'm waing for the Jeep version of the Ram 1500 to come out.

Great! You can always count on Jeep to come up with exciting and innovative concepts that will never see production. Why do they even bother? Don't get me wrong, I think Jeeps are great, and I really wish they would come out with a pickup (Gladiator). This constant barrage of concepts is a joke. Worse than the Manhindra fiasco.

@ sierra,

Wrangler may be superior to tacos on the trails, unfortunately on pavement, and everywhere else, they drive like crap.

And at the end of the day, they're still chrapslers.

I had just rented one a new 2012 a few weeks ago. 600 miles into the drive, it had mechanical problems and I had to trade it in for another vehicle. And I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to get rid of that noisy, slllooooowww p o s. It brought back nightmares of when I owned a chrapsler product that was forever breaking down.

I would take a taco any day of the week, on any trail over wrangler. At least I'd make it back to civilization.

I don't care how awesome their concept is... It could be a 6 door sleeper cap with a 8' box 50 ton towing capacity 12" lift with 90 degree departure angle a jacuzzi, kitchenette and with full time 4wd that runs on water and gets a thousand miles per gallon. Never, ever ever again.

Not all of those concepts disappear, as evidenced by the JK-8 kit now available for the 4-door JK Wrangler. However, I will also note that not everybody wants to pay $25,000 for a JK then spend an additional $6,000 to lose two seats and gain a bed. Why not simply make a JK-8 factory available at $25,000?

Personally, I want to go more with the '05 Gladiator or maybe the FC--as long as it doesn't look like an ATV on stilts. The old FC looked good; those Iveco models don't look so hot to me.

@Maxx: Poor boy. The simple fact that you fall back on calling a brand names merely exemplifies not only your bias, but your lack of maturity.

Chrysler Corp did have a bad reputation--50 years ago. What I've seen since then is a string of solidly reliable vehicles pretty much dating from about '68 through today; though I won't discount a few lemons in the basket. I've seen the old K-cars seem to last forever and still see some on the road while I put over 100,000 miles on a '79 Dodge Aspen in just over 4 years with no major mechanical difficulties.

I've owned a Jeep JK for 4.5 years now and again, with only 45,000 miles on it I haven't had a single major mechanical problem and I've had absolutely no problems handling it on the road in almost every weather condition up to and including a hurricane. To automatically assume that every Chrysler product is a piece of junk merely points out that you know nothing about the products beyond what you want to know. If not less.

If you want to drive a race car, then go buy (or rent) a race car. A Jeep Wrangler is a utility vehicle that just happens to be fun (along with having the cheapest convertible top to repair or replace on the market.) My JK is by no means slooooow, but I will admit it's not a drag racer either. Then again, driven correctly you can also get it to demonstrate 25mpg on the highway--if you only try.

I won't speak of other brands. One I used to love--til they dropped not one but two of my favorite marks while the other has the kind of reputation you speak of for their cars (while their trucks seem pretty good still.) European? Japanese? Korean? I only owned one Japanese-built compact pickup back in the early '80s and liked it--though the engine seized after a 2,000 interstate run from Colorado to Tennessee, forcing me to scar the cylinder walls to free it up by performing a downhill push start in second gear. (Never failed after that.)

I've owned V8s, V6s, I6s and i4s and found they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Chrysler engines always seemed to be the toughest to me.

Just give me a good small jeep pickup I NEED a bed of at least 5.5 feet and I love wheeling for fun a little on weekends. I love my Ram but I dont need something that big and a 6ft bed jeep would be perfect. I dont care about MPGs just make it over 15 and ill deal I take a train to work lol

If you have been keeping up with Fiat, it would seem that Fiat is moving towards spinning Iveco off, possibly to Daimler Trucks. That would be too bad, I was hoping Fiat would bring over some of the Iveco medium and heavy trucks and make Ram a real contender in commercial vehicles.

@BigBob - there were rumors of Fiat selling Ferrari and/or Maserati to finance the purchase of UAW held Chrysler stock. Perhaps Iveco will be sold off for that purchase and to free up operational capital as Fiat is struggling in Europe. I had thought that the reason why Ram was seperated from Dodge was to open the door for Fiat to offer rebadged Iveco trucks for N.A. consumption.

@Lou and @BigBob
Absolutely no selling of IVECO or the rest of FIAT Industrial,CASE and John Holland. Overall the Truck profits have been hit by the downturn in Europe and new Pollution regulations in Brazil. Overall according to Standard and Poors the division is stable.

I think FC is a great direction to go in. The hood is just wasted real estate. Long live the Vanagon.

@Robert Ryan - thanks for the link. Your post puts more credence in the theory that Fiat will try hard to get Iveco trucks into NA as rebadged Rams. It did say that Brazil's new emission laws has hit commercial truck makers so I wonder how that would affect Iveco trucks for NA markets? Even EU emissions are different. It would make it easier for all of the manufacturers if various countries could adopt one standard. I'd love to see Euro spec V6 diesel engines find their way to NA. The ones in NA in large Euro luxury SUV's look impressive with little lost in performance compared to their gasser cousins.

@Lou, Robert Ryan and BigBob,

I wouldn't be worried about Iveco or Ferrari gaoing anywhere soon. They will all be a part of Fiat for years to come, just as seperate autonomous units under the Fiat umbrella, all with Sergio Marchionne overseeing all units and making the final decision. It's virtually the same model as employed by Ferry Piech at Volkswagen, Rupert Murdoch at Fox/News Corp and Sumner Redstone with National Amusements (Viacom/Paramount/CBS). Whether its a good business model remains to be seen.

That said, Fiat is trying hard to get Iveco into the US, and has been trying to do so since 2006. But I personally don't believe they will be involved with Jeep in a major capacity. the reason is Dodge (of which Ram is a sub-brand, as is SRT, which will market the next Viper and the upcoming Challenger replacement). Any Iveco-sourced product will be branded as Ram. As long as Dodge management demands that all pickup and heavy truck product can only be handled by Dodge alone, then Jeep will not get any trucks to market.

I remember a Jeep dealership in Bessemer, Alabama that I visited quite often during the 1980's and 1990's. I can recall the sales manager who was a good friend of mine discussing how upset he and the owner had become when they were informed through a corporate memo that Jeep would no longer offer pickups, all because Dodge complained Jeep trucks were cuttting into their sales profits. That was puzzling since Dodge sold three times as many pickups that Jeep sold at any given time.

Seeing how many Jeep truck concepts were shot down just before they were cleared for production, I'll be amazed if either the FC or JC-12 gets the green light.

@imoore. IVECO is actually or appearing to do well in Australia. I see more and more Dailys and IVECO truck,.everyday. Their big negative appears to be past or current? quality issues and the lack of 16 litre engines for their Trucks.

Yes it does not make sense to have from my calculation 4 to 5 different standards of pollution regulations. Although in IVECO case Brazil was running Euro 3 or 4 compliant engines and now they want Euro 5. Euro 5 is current here and in Europe( they are going to Euro 6) but the cost of bringing the Brazilian operations up to meet Euro 5 has hit the bottom line.

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