Chrysler Unveils "Moparized" Jeep and Ram Vehicles at Moab Easter Jeep Safari

Apr. 01, 2010 By Josh Burns, 4x4 Editor
The Jeep Nukizer 715 was one of the most popular vehicles during the ride. It's an all-purpose truck that pays homage to the military-only Kaiser M-715 truck.

It's no surprise that Easter Jeep Safari is a big event for Chrysler and its Jeep brand. For the 2010 EJS event in Moab, Utah, Chrysler showed up with its giant display in front of Walker Drug Store as usual, but the company also brought along some unique vehicles as well - and they weren't just Jeeps. The company displayed vehicles from its Ram line and Jeep line outfitted with Mopar parts available to the general public, building some unique “Moparized” Jeep and Ram vehicles that they showcased to the general public and media at EJS.

“Our customized production vehicles show how Mopar can accessorize Jeep and Ram vehicles that are on the road today while our image vehicles showcase directions we could take in the future,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mopar Service, Parts and Customer Care, Chrysler Group LLC. “We will gauge reaction to these vehicles. And as we develop our next generation of new Mopar parts and accessories, we will listen closely to this dedicated group of hard-core off-road enthusiasts.”

There were a number of Chrysler employees at the event over the weekend, some of which we ran into on the trail (such as our Skyjacker trail ride that you can see here). Wednesday morning was Chrysler's press conference at its display on Main Street, which was followed by a special invitation ride for the media to check out and actually drive some of the "Moparized" vehicles.

The Mopar design team is a small group of dedicated engineers, designers and fabricators who are led by Mark Allen, Chief Designer – Head of Jeep Design Studio, Chrysler Group LLC. The Mopar design team has been customizing production vehicles since 2002 and has introduced nearly 20 concept vehicles to enthusiast crowds at the Moab Jeep Safari. The Mopar off-road engineering team is led by Keith Montone, Manager, Mopar Jeep and Ram Off-road Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC. This experienced group of vehicle engineers is dedicated to providing Jeep and Ram customers with the best off-road parts and accessories. The team has introduced many new parts and played a key role in developing the first aftermarket lift kits available from an automotive manufacturer.

“Moab is a proving ground for us to test our vehicles on extreme trails alongside our customers,” Allen said. “We will take all of the feedback we get from our customers right back to the design studio with us.”

Of the vehicles Chrysler displayed at the event, some were "Moparized" vehicles based on production models, while others were unique concept cars that may or may not ever see the light of day.

The Ram Runner is a Ram-based pre-runner with an astonishing 2,500 man hours of work in it.

Mopar Ram Runner
The Mopar Ram Runner is a Ram pre-runner built for the needs and demands of the off-road racing scene. Desert racer Kent Kroeker of KORE actually built this vehicle and put an amazing 2,500 man hours into its construction. Off-road racing require large tires, plenty of ground clearance, extreme durability and a sophisticated suspension system that can take a beating. The Ram Runner is a deceivingly sophisticated truck that offers a low center of gravity and plenty of wheel travel to soak up rough terrain and provide 14 inches of wheel travel. The steel front fenders and rear bed-sides are replaced with fiberglass that was actually hand-shaped to properly fit the intended dimensions of the vehicles.

Ram Runner Specs:
-Prototype of full suspension that Mopar will offer later this year
-35-inch x 12.5-inch x 17-inch DOT-approved General Grabber Competition tires
-3-inch diameter internal bypass Fox shocks
-6061 T6, billet aluminum upper A-arms contain rebuild-able, high-angle ball joints
-High-angle CV joints are combined with plunging, splined axles made of 300 M tool steel and 1.00-inch diameter high-angle tie rods
-4130 chromed moly steel lower control arms
-Variable-rate coils support bed loads while special control arms provide 14 inches of wheel travel
-Custom tubular Baja bumper and aluminum skid plate combination that housed four high-powered, LED off-road lights
-Six-point roll cage finalizes the package while a special tubular tire carrier keeps a spare handy in the bed while maximizing load space


This is a Jeep Wrangler that the Mopar team just went nuts with.

Mopar ImMortal
The Mopar ImMortal is a Jeep Wrangler pushed to the max. It features Military-grade portal axle ends that are engineered to mate to Mopar’s Pro Rock and Power Wagon performance axles and adapted to fit the suspension. The portal axle ends provide 5 inches of lift and contain a 1.5 gear reduction, which when combined with the 4:1 transfer case, the result is a hard-core 100:1 crawl ratio. The design team also stuck a 5.7-liter HEMI in it and then protected it with off-road bumpers and Jeep performance body armor. The unique paint color of the ImMortal is called Viper Snakeskin Green Pearlcoat.

Mopar ImMortal Specs:
-Prototype Mopar portal axle assemblies
-42 x 14.5 x 17LT Goodyear MTR tires
-Mopar Jeep Wrangler 4:1 Rock Trac transfer case
-Mopar Jeep Wrangler 2-inch lift kit
-Mopar Performance body armor
-Mopar AEV heat-reduction hood
-Mopar half-door kit
-Mopar sun bonnet
-Mopar Jeep Wrangler seat covers
-Tom Woods custom drive shafts
-AEV 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 conversion
-Off-road front and rear bumpers
-Hydraulic steering assist
-Katzkin leather seats

The Ram Power Wagon concept is a pickup truck designed for a number of off-road situations.

Ram PowerWagon
For Mopar’s Ram Powerwagon image vehicle, the team mated a unique 120-inch wheelbase chassis to a regular cab and step-side box.  Axle articulation is greatly increased by utilizing the rear link-coil suspension of the Ram 1500.  To gain additional ground clearance, Mopar added a new 4-inch suspension lift and monster 40-inch tires. Though it looks like a giant beast, it actually handles a little more nimbly than one might expect.
The team equipped Rock-Slide Engineering-supplied sill guards and custom front and rear bumpers for protection. The spare tire is re-located to the cargo box.  For visual impact, the team used a menacing two-tone black-on-white look, inspired by the wild paint schemes of Power Wagons in the 1970s.

Ram PowerWagon Specs:
Engine: 5.7-liter HEMI V8
Transmission:  five-speed automatic
Overall height: 81.5 inches
Overall width: 83.5 inches
Wheelbase: 120 inches
Weight: 6,500 pounds
Tires: 40-14.5R/17 BF Goodrich KM2 Mud Terrain

The J7 "Stripper" is a stripped-down version without the bells and whistles but yet still fully off-road capable. Photo courtesy of Jeep.

Jeep Wrangler J7
The Wrangler J7 "Stripper" is built off of a four-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, as the J7 is designed to have the basic appeal of military-issued vehicles. The Mopar team removed standard content including carpet, fog lamps, alloy wheels and the stereo system before adding front and rear steel bumpers, ‘helicopter hooks’, a heavy-duty tailgate and steel wheels. The the J7 was fitted with a Mopar 2-inch suspension lift and 35-inch Mickey Thompson tires.  The unique Mustard Plug exterior paint is highlighted with Jeep Wrangler J7 graphics - including "Stripper," which is in regards to its stripped-down setup.

Wrangler J7 Specs:
Engine: 3.8-liter V6
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Overall height:  74.3 inches
Overall width: 78.6 inches
Wheelbase: 116 inches
Weight: 4,482 lbs.
Tires: 35-12.50R/17 M/T Baja Claw radial


The paint color was actually modeled after a trash can - whatever the inspiration, the group loved it.

Jeep Nukizer 715
The Jeep Nukizer 715 was a big hit with the journalists invited to the ride. The vehicle is an all-purpose truck paying homage to the military-only Kaiser M-715 truck.  With a military-issue Jeep J8 four-door, the Mopar team converted the vehicle into a pickup body style by adding an aftermarket AEV Brute pickup box built for a TJ.  To increase the size of the vehicle, the wheelbase was stretched to 124 inches from 116 inches.  Enforcing the brand’s iconic M-715 is a new front clip produced in carbon fiber that re-creates the characteristic forward slant of the M-715 truck.  To top it off, Bestop provided a unique soft top which artfully captures all of the quirks of the original. Drivetrain upgrades include beefy Dynatrac Pro-Rock Dana 44 front and Dana 60 rear axles filled with 5:38 gears and ARB Airlocker differentials.  Power is distributed by an Atlas II transfer case spinning custom driveshafts from Tom Woods.  To keep the military look, tires are 38-inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrains mounted on Hutchinson beadlock wheels.

The powerplant remains a J8-specific 2.8-liter turbo diesel I-4 that has been treated to a re-programmed controller for more boost.  Fuel is supplied from a custom Gen-Right tank made specifically for this vehicle and mounts to the rear cross member. For body protection, Mopar added Jeep Wrangler rock rails and off-road bumpers.  Other features include a Warn 9.5XP low-profile winch equipped with a Master Pull synthetic winch line, Warn air compressor, Terraflex dual-rate front sway bar and Garmin GPS Map 640 navigation unit.

Nukizer 715 Specs:
Engine: 2.8-liter turbo diesel I-4
Transmission:  four-speed automatic
Overall height: 75.2 inches
Overall width: 78.6 inches
Wheelbase: 124 inches
Weight: 4,500 pounds
Tires: 38 x 14.50-R17 BF Goodrich KM2

The Patriot itself may not be a homerun with hard-core Jeep enthusiasts, but the Patriot Extreme really showed the Patriot's abilities as a capable off-road vehicle and made a good impression.

Jeep Patriot Extreme
The Patriot hasn't been a big hit among hard-core Jeepers, but the Mopar team decided to build a more off-road capable version to see how it would perform. Both the Mopar team and some of the journalists were surprised at its abilities, many noting it's the "Subaru killer" due to its capable off-road prowess combined with its comfort and MPG efficiency.

The Mopar team started with a Sunburst Orange Jeep Patriot model equipped with the Trail-Rated off-road package and added a 2-inch Rocky Road Outfitters suspension lift, TJ ‘Moab’ 16-inch wheels, and BF Goodrich KM2 tires.  Additional protection is added to the front and rear fascias with custom rock rails.  Mopar added heavy-duty slush mats, Kicker audio and a roof-mounted snowboard carrier.

Patriot Extreme Specs:
Engine: 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve VVT I-4
Transmission: CVT2L with 19.1:1 first-gear crawl ratio
Overall height: 66.9 inches
Overall width: 69.8 inches
Wheelbase: 103.7 inches
Weight: 3,332 lbs.
Tires: 225-75R/16 BF Goodrich KM2 Mud Terrain

The Trail Boss is a two-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon built with off-road riding in mind.
Photo courtesy of Jeep  

Jeep Wrangler Trail Boss
The Jeep Wrangler Trail Boss was built to showcase Mopar off-road products in the brand’s trail catalog.  The Trail Boss is a two-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon that is built for serious off-road duty.  The vehicle features a half-door kit, sun bonnet, front and rear AEV off-road bumpers, a Warn 9.5ti winch, rear-tire carrier, AEV hood, 3-inch lift kit, Hutchinson Rock Monster beadlock wheels, Katzkin leather seat trim kit, slush mats and a Kicker audio system.

Trail Boss Specs:
Engine: 3.8-liter V6
Transmission: four-speed automatic
Overall height: 74.4 inches
Overall width: 78.6 inches
Wheelbase: 95.4 inches
Weight: 4,350 pounds
Tires: 35-12.50R/17 M/T Baja Claw radial Newsletter
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