At this year’s Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, Jeep presented seven new concept vehicles, continuing a tradition that dates back to 2008.
While four of the seven concepts featured either a fully-electric or hybrid drivetrain, the ‘Scrambler 392’ was fuelled by good old fashioned dinosaur bones via a HEMI V8.
The Scrambler 392 concept takes its cues from an older Jeep in the Scrambler CJ-8 pickup that was introduced for 1981 and remained in the US market until 1986. A smaller alternative to Jeep’s J-10 pickup, the CJ-8 was based on the Jeep CJ-7 and used the same engine, transmission and four-wheel drive system, but featured a longer wheelbase, increased rear overhang and a removable roof section over the cabin.
A version of the CJ-8 sold in Australia, known as the Overlander, featured a full length canopy over the load area. On the market for three years in the 1980s, the Overlander was fitted with an 81kW/277Nm 4.2-litre six-cylinder petrol engine and three-speed automatic transmission as standard.
That’s a world away from the V8 in the Scrambler 392, whose 6.4-litre (392 cubic inch) V8 produces 350kW and 637Nm (470hp and 470lb/ft). While no mention is made of the transmission, it’s presumably the same eight-speed automatic used in the Wrangler Rubicon 392 that this concept is based on. Same goes for the four-wheel drive system, which is likely the Wrangler Rubicon 392’s full-time set-up with low range.
As a new millennium take on the Scrambler CJ-8, the Scrambler 392 has a removable roof panel and ute-style load carrying tub at the rear. The four-door Wrangler Rubicon body has been completely stripped, replaced with all-new, custom carbon fibre body panels. The overall look has some similarities to this year’s Magneto 3.0 concept, thanks to its distinctive door apertures, fender treatment and a windscreen that’s laid back 12 degrees from standard.
The sculptural rear quarter panels have been designed to emphasise these angular door apertures, as well as wider rear wheelarch flares. The front wheelarch flares differ from the Wrangler Rubicon 392, as well, with both designed to provide clearance for a significantly larger tyre and wheel combo, consisting of custom 20-inch wheels and 40-inch Maxxis Razr M/T tyres.
The back end incorporates the tailgate from a Gladiator, and while no mention is made of the Scrambler 392’s load space, it appears similar to the standard Gladiator, thanks to the concept’s retention of the Wrangler four-door’s 118-inch wheelbase and removal of the rear seats.
A key addition to this concept was Jeep’s AccuAir air suspension kit that’s been developed for the Wrangler and Gladiator and allows suspension lift to be changed on the fly, ranging from 3.8cm (1.5 inches) over standard to a substantial 14cm (5.5 inches). Adjustable via an in-cabin switch, the AccuAir level can also be set remotely using Bluetooth on a wireless device.
Custom lightweight bumpers front and rear also feature on the Scrambler 392 concept, while the bonnet is made from carbon fibre. In the centre of this, a tinted clear panel highlights the HEMI V8 that’s at the heart of this concept.
Cosmetic touches on the Scrambler 392 start with the Sublime (green) paint that is complemented by matte black sections on the lower body, bonnet and back end.
Wheels and tow hooks are finished in the ‘Brass Monkey’ paint that Jeep’s already applied to several production models, including the Wrangler Rubicon 392. Identifying decals are in a similar brass shade, while a rooftop-style storage basket that sits in the ute tub has been painted Sublime.
Inside, there’s a splash of Sublime on the dash, while the leather seats feature green contrast stitching and blue and green plaid fabric inserts for an old-school touch that’s been applied to other Easter Jeep Safari concepts in the past, including the Gladiator-based Red Bare and Wrangler Orange Peelz concepts from 2021 and the 2016 Shortcut concept.
For an overview of the 2023 Easter Jeep Safari concepts, click HERE.