Jeep has gone all in on its annual line of Easter Jeep Safari concepts this year, dazzling the Moab 4×4 crowd with what it defines as its most impressive set of Safari concepts ever. Its slogan “Zero Emissions Freedom” helps shape the concept, which is headed by a violent development of last year’s Wrangler Magneto. Magneto 2.0 is an absolute off-road tour de force, developing up to 625 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque for everything from slow motion, high-impact rock crawling to furious two-second 0-60 mph sprints.
Last year’s Magneto concept was an exciting kit, with an 800-V electrical system that drives the wheels via a 275-hp (205-kW) engine and six-speed manual transmission. Jeep has retained the six-speed manual but more than doubled the peak current in the propulsion system to 600 A, available for 10 seconds in what Jeep resembles an electronic nitrous oxide amplifier. This means that Magneto 2.0’s specially built axial flow motor can deliver a massive torque of 850 lb-ft (1,152 Nm) immediately, enabling unmatched self-confidence during rock crawling. The selectable “max rain” mode helps to crawl with a pedal, while the Rubicon Rock-Trac transmission case distributes torque to the front and rear axles.
When slow, steady bouldering opens up to flat, smooth desert sprints, Magneto uses its significant electrical power to tear from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km / h) in two seconds flat. 40-inch off-road tires are not the best set of shoes for that type of running, but they work with 3-inch (76 mm) suspension lifts to allow Magneto 2.0 to remove all obstacles and bumps that might otherwise slow down.
As in last year’s Magneto, the 70 kWh battery is divided into four packages spread around the chassis for a more even weight distribution. Jeep helps to accommodate these packages and the other electrical pieces needed to make the Magneto 2.0 hum, and Jeep has stretched the wheelbase by a full foot (30.5 cm) compared to a standard two-door Wrangler, giving it the proportions that are comparable to an LJ Wrangler Unlimited from 2004-06. Jeep has also added a custom drive axle and off-road suspension when driving a Dynatrac 60 Pro-Rock axle at the front and beefy Dynatrac 80 at the rear. Both axles include differential locks.
Jeep has worked to compensate for a certain weight gain with custom lightweight front and rear bumpers, carbon fiber screens, a custom carbon fiber hood with windows for the e-machinery below and a custom B-pillar in carbon fiber. Approach and departure angles benefit from the new bumpers. A generous rinse of “Surf Blue” color throughout and a custom soft-top gives 2.0 a look that is similar but different from the original Magneto.
Although the Wrangler has served as a loyal mannequin for Jeep’s first exploration of BEV technology and other futuristic endeavors, it will not serve as the subject of Jeep’s first all-electric model. In March, the company showed the first pictures of that vehicle, and it’s a much less robust half-liter crossover that will surely see much more highway miles than terrain in terrain. Jeep plans to launch that model early next year.
Magneto 2.0 is joined in Moab by a number of 4xe plug-in hybrid jeeps, including the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk PHEV Concept. Here, Jeep is exploring an expansion of the upcoming Grand Cherokee 4xe line, putting 4xes 2.0-liter turbo four, dual electric motors and 400-V battery packs to work in the most rugged, off-road Grand Cherokee model. Jeep says that the Trailhawk PHEV concept has already taken on the Rubicon tracks in all-electric mode, and relies on a new swingarm disconnection for better suspension on large, punishing stones. It also has a Quadra-Lift air suspension.
Jeep does not mention any production plans for the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk PHEV, but it really seems to be a much more realistic proposal than the average Easter Safari concept.
Dive into the photo gallery to take a look at the other eight brand new and previously shown concepts with which Jeep and Mopar started this year’s Safari. The event officially began on Saturday and runs through Easter Sunday, April 17.