Over the past 20 years Jeep has made a gang of concepts for the Easter Safari. These concepts are mostly modified production models. But some have opened a window to potential production models that never panned out. But other Jeep concepts are flat-out concepts. They were never meant to forecast production models. So these concepts are the ones we wish the company had given the green light to.
Willys and Willys II
Of all of the concepts over the decades, this one ranks close to the top. A squat, compact, high-riding Jeep, it debuted at both the 2001 Detroit Auto Show and 2001 Tokyo Auto Show. It may have been too
radical, or maybe it was never intended for production, but merely as a design exercise. It existed as both the open and closed Willys II versions. The closest thing it influenced was one of our least-favorite Jeeps, the Compass.
A high-styled Jeep, the Jeepster concept was intended to be a high-performance Jeep, so to speak. It was a takeoff of the original Jeepsters of the late-1940s. In reality, it was a modified C-101 Kaiser Jeepster Commando body with adjustable ride height and almost 10 inches of ground clearance. The two-door was a styling exercise that could have been comfortable in the harshest conditions. But the closest it got to seeing production is with some design ideas for the disappointing Liberty.
Another highly stylized concept that is based on the past. The Jeepster Beach was also based on a retro late-1960s early-1970s Jeepster. It utilizes a Wrangler platform, so it definitely has production potential. So far, the closest thing we’ve seen is a weak-sauce 2022 Magneto sticker SUV.
Military versions of the 1968 M-715 were reimagined for this concept. As it isn’t based on JTs, it definitely has a stronger pull. Yet, it screams Jeep. The concept housed a Hellcat engine for added desirability. So far, no word on any production plans.
Maybe we’re influenced more by Jeep’s radical concepts, which could be why the Jeep Hurricane is a favorite. With a minimalist carbon fiber body and four-wheel steering, it beat the GMC Hummer’s crab walking antics by 17 or more years. Some highlights got patents, but it is yet another great concept thrown into the dustbin.
Mighty FC concept
Remember the forward-control model from the 1960s? It followed the lead set by the E-100 Ford van pickups, A-100 Dodge trucks, and Chevrolet Corvair Rampside pickups. Today, FCs are revered by enthusiasts. So Jeep wanted to capitalize on its nostalgic properties by doing a modern version, hence the Mighty FC. A 2012 Wrangler Rubicon chassis underpins the cab-over design. The concept went no further than this one concept, but we wish it had.
If anything the company has done that tries to blend hot rod and off-road, it is the Quicksand. With those stacks popping out of the hood, the stance, Moon tank, body mods looking like an early 1930s sedan, and classic black paint, this is it. We suspect that from the beginning, this was only meant as a fun concept.
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