Words by Andrew Middleton, images by Andrew Middleton and Jeep
This year, Mopar went a bit ballistic in creating its ‘underground’ Jeep concepts. We’re pretty glad they did. And we’re also happy to report that we were able to take most of them for a spin. Literally…
The vehicles that we buy in showrooms are, more often than not, a milky dilution of the designers’ initial intentions. After having been watered down for safety regulations, for the green squadron, and (of course) for practicality, the vehicle that we buy is never what the designer initially intended. Luckily, if you’re a Jeepnik, a cure for the sensible exists… and it’s called Mopar.
Mopar is the Chrysler/Jeep skunkworks division. For 78 years, this specialised vehicle department of Jeep has been building all sorts of mechanical wonders, such as amphibious Jeep-based craft, ambulances, and fire engines. After a two-year hiatus, Mopar is back, and for 2015 the designers went wild: they have presented the public with concepts ranging from the beach-roaming Jeep Chief to the large-and-in-charge Red Rock Responder. Each was designed around a classic theme, and these range from overland travel to search-and-rescue craft. Little thought has been given to practicality, but it’s great to see that Jeep have retained their sense of humour.