Jeep Wrangler Level Red Concept
Jeep and Mopar came to this year’s Easter Jeep Safari with three different Wrangler builds, each of them being a different batch of modifications. Referring to the highest level of difficulty an off-road trail can be designated, the Level Red may not quite be the more hard-core Wrangler Mopar and Jeep brought to EJS this year (that designation belongs to Maximum Performance), but it certainly is a capable, fun-to-drive Wrangler with a host of parts most Wrangler owners would love to have.
The Level Red features a six-speed manual transmission that contributes to its sporty, open-air feel. The Jeep and Mopar team provided some added pep to the 3.6-liter engine with the addition of a cold-air intake and low-restriction exhaust system. For trail performance, the team installed a Jeep Performance Parts 2-inch lift kit on Level Red, providing enough room to fit 35-inch BFGoodrich KM2 mud-terrain tires (available through the Mopar Tireworks program) on JPP 17-inch prototype beadlock wheels. Next, the team fitted Level Red with a pair of Dana 44 crate axles on the front and rear that feature 4:10 gearing. The Jeep Performance Parts Rock-Trac transfer case provides a 4:1 low range to make tackling off-road obstacles a less daunting task. The Wrangler Level Red features a crawl ratio of 73:1.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
The team installed Rubicon 10th Anniversary bumpers on the Level Red, with the front bumper featuring a prototype black “Aero” bumper ends, while the rear features an under-bumper skid plate for added protection. JPP rock rails also provide sidewall protection for the Wrangler as well.
Inside the Level Red is a modified half-door kit from Mopar. Tuscany Katzkin leather seats feature red stitching to match the Level Red theme. Even the seat belt webbing carries the red theme, which is further accented with red roll bar padding and red air conditioner vents.
If you wonder about the measurable capability of the Level Red Wrangler, Jeep took much of the guesswork out of this concept rig’s capability, which is already tagged with “Badge of Honor” trails from Moab that include Fins & Things, Poison Spider, Pritchett Canyon, Elephant Hill and Hell’s Revenge.
We were excited to get the Level Red on trail, and we came away from our ride being impressed with just how fun it is. The hard-core purists are split on manual transmissions in serious off-road rigs: some love the complete control in slow-speed crawling; others would argue that focusing purely on steering and throttle control is ideal. Whichever side of the fence you may sit on, the Level Red can you a believer that this setup is great. For the moderate obstacles on our test trails, we had nothing but fun with the Level Red and its sporty, playful feel. Blasting down quicker curvy section of the trail was a blast as well, as up and downshifting through the corners made the ride all the more fun.
While not everyone will look to purchase a manual Wrangler for the trails, the layout of the Level Red provides a great blueprint for making it off-road capable and a little extra sporty. Given the choice of driving in this Level Red or a comparable automatic transmission Wrangler, we’d more often than not hop in the Level Red for a more spirited ride.
The Level Red features a handful of prototype parts on it, but many of its modifications are currently available in the Mopar catalog. For more information on these upgrades, including info on the Mopar Tireworks program, visit http://www.mopar.com/. For more information on the Jeep Badge of Honor program, visit http://www.jeep.com/en/badge-of-honor/.
More 2014 Easter Jeep Safari Stories
Jeep Introduces 2015 Renegade at Easter Jeep Safari