This unique Wrangler provides an open-air setup thanks to concept half-doors and a Safari hard top that gives passengers a great view of the trail and sights. Nearly half of the upgrades comes from the Mopar catalog under the Jeep Performance Parts badge, including a 4-inch lift with remote reservoir shocks, Rubicon rock rails, steel bumpers, a cold air intake and an exhaust for the 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine.
Unlike some of the other concepts at this year’s Easter Jeep Safari, like the Safari, the Switchback has a larger lift kit and can accommodate larger, 37-inch BFGoodrich mud-terrain tires and Dana 44s.
The larger tires and slightly taller lift than the 2-inch one used on many of the other concepts gives the Switchback a clear-cut advantage on the trails. Although we didn’t have any real challenging obstacles on our drive routes, the Switchback feels far more confident than some of the other rigs we drove just because of its additional ground clearance. The Mopar exhaust and cold air intake add just enough additional power to make even this heavily modified Wrangler feel confident and composed on uphill climbs and rocky downhill trails.
On the trail, the Switchback offers that open-air feel thanks to its modernized concept half-doors, but instead of being fully exposed to the elements the Safari top keeps the sun off everyone inside. Speaking of the Safari top, this reminds us of the Africa concept a few years ago that featured a hardtop design that offered additional cargo space in the rear of the Jeep thanks to a slightly taller roof. We have to wonder if this concept Safari top is a test platform for either a future production option or maybe a Mopar add-on for either the JK or the upcoming JL.
Inside there rig, the Switchback features auxiliary switch controls for the lights and other add-on features. We’re frankly surprised we don’t see this on more concepts, and we have to imagine this is also something Mopar will be adding down the catalog as an upgrade for the most accessorized vehicle in the world.
The Jeep Switchback has a great modern appearance to it, but the reality is that it doesn’t have host of unrealistic features on it. In fact, unlike many Jeep concepts, nearly everything found on the Switchback that isn’t currently offered as a Mopar accessory looks like something that should be. The Switchback is a testbed for future accessory options, and we came away from our impression thinking that nearly every one is a worthy option for Jeep owners.
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