A “Moparized” Jeep Cherokee Overland will debut at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah this week. The Easter Jeep Safari – operated by Red Rock 4-Wheelers Inc – opens Saturday at Moab’s Spanish Trail Arena and runs through April 24th. The Safari – which has been held annually in Grand County since 1967 – attracts 4×4 enthusiasts from across the United States and – in spite of the Jeep sobriquet – is actually open to any street-legal 4WD vehicle.
Mopar – Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand – have modified six vehicles for the 45th Easter Jeep Safari. The goal for the “Overland” was to create a small, lightweight adventure platform alternative to the Jeep Cherokee. The Overland utilizes the 2011 Jeep Cherokee chassis – badged as the Jeep Liberty in the U.S.A – and is equipped with a 2.8-liter CRD 4-cylinder turbo diesel and Selec-Trac II 4×4 system.
To increase off-road capability, an ARB 3-inch suspension lift and Old Man Emu shocks clear the way for Mickey Thompson 265/75-R16 MTZ tires mounted on steel wheels. Traction is increased with the addition of an ARB air locker in the rear differential and on-board air compressor.
Mopar provided a host of underbody protection including skid plates for the front suspension, transmission and transfer case. Additional items from the Mopar catalog include front and rear tow hooks, slush mats, cargo tray liner, sill guards and sport pedal kit. ARB provided their steel roof rack, awning, compact refrigerator and prototype rock rails to set the Overland’s mood. An update of the classic zebra safari pattern paint scheme was added to the exterior though this Africanized look might not be to everyone’s taste.
Jeep and Mopar will have a large display in the center of downtown Moab during the Easter Jeep Safari which will include the previously introduced, Jeep Wrangler Mayhem, Jeep Wrangler Immortal, Mopar Camper Trailer, Jeep Wrangler Tan Man, Jeep Wrangler “The General” and a fully dressed military version of the Jeep Wrangler J-8 with turret and passenger mounted-machine guns. The latter reflects Jeep’s military heritage as an army light reconnaissance vehicle. The first prototype Jeep – known as the Willys Quad – was delivered to the US Army in 1940.
New introductions at the 2011 Easter Jeep Safari include a Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence, Jeep Wrangler Sport “Pork Chop,” Jeep Wrangler Renegade, a “moparized” Ram truck, Jeep Compass Canyon and a Jeep Wrangler Blue Crush.
Easter Jeep Safari: Registration Information Additional Information: Moab Tourism Website Source: Chrysler Group LLC