While many of the concepts that Jeep presents at the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, are bold in terms of vision and ideas, none have been as bold as this year’s Wrangler Rubicon 4xe concept, which presented a new take on a limited-edition Wrangler colour – Tuscadero - that was offered two years ago.
The ‘Wrangler Rubicon 4xe concept’ was one of seven concepts that Jeep unveiled at Moab this year, and of that seven, it was perhaps the closest to reality. The reason? Aside from its paint colour, this concept differs little from the production Wrangler in terms of spec and features.
Being a Rubicon 4xe means the concept is powered by Jeep’s plug-in hybrid powertrain, which combines two electric motors and a 17kwH battery pack with a turbocharged 2.0-litre DOHC four-cylinder petrol engine. This combination delivers a claimed 279kW and 637Nm (375hp and 470lb/ft) and drives all four wheels all the time via a specially configured eight-speed automatic transmission and 4:1 transfer case.
The concept’s take on the Tuscadero pink from 2021 is in the same vein, but with more of a richer and deeper magenta hue that Jeep says turns to purple in certain light. This is accented by a gloss black treatment for the grille and headlight bezels. That grille is from the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 20th Anniversary model and is noticably shorter than existing JL Series Wrangler grilles.
A decal on the bonnet features ‘4xe’ identification, along with a graphic that ties into the interior trim.
The leopard print-style graphic features on the front and rear seat uprights, while metal eyelets in the seat fabric reveal pink material underneath. The seats also feature patent leather panels in the bolsters to pick up on the gloss black exterior detailing.
Magenta is splashed around the interior - on the door pulls, grab handles and boots for the gear and transfer case shifters - while the Wrangler dash has been retrimmed in black patent leather, with a zippered section in front of the passenger that reveals a layer of pink velvet. Jeep call this the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe concept’s pièce de resistance.
Other features on the Wrangler Rubicon 4xe concept include 17-inch AEV Borah beadlock wheels and 37-inch BFG Mud Terrain tyres, along with the new AccuAir air suspension kit that allows body 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.
Along with obvious benefits in avoiding being hung up on rough trails, AccuAir also allows fording depth to be increased when at its highest and easier clearing of low-hanging branches and the like at its lowest.
Finishing touches on this concept include AEV front and rear bumpers, AEV diff covers and a Warn Zeon winch, while the half doors, Sky One-Touch power folding fabric sunroof, grille guard, wheelarch flare DRLs and other accessories are all from the Jeep Performance Parts catalogue.
For an overview of the 2023 Easter Jeep Safari concepts, click HERE.