Jeep goes wild with custom trucks for annual Easter Safari

Nora Naughton
The Detroit News

Auburn Hills — Jeep is going all-in on trucks for the 53rd-annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

Inspired by the introduction of the Jeep Gladiator, the mid-size pickup truck with Wrangler DNA, the brand is taking six custom-built concept trucks to its annual off-roading festival.

While they are as souped-up and far-fetched as ever, Jeep chief Tim Kuniskis says developing the Safari concepts is serious business.

"It looks like we’re just having fun, but this is actually work," Kuniskis said. "This is the type of thing that is in the core of everything Jeep does ... That is the differentiator that allowed us to sell over a million cars last year in North America at the highest transaction prices in every one of the segments that it competes in."

Here are the Jeep trucks heading out on Safari this year:

This is the Jeep Wayout, an overlanding concept vehicle, colored in Gator Green.

Jeep Wayout: A camper's Jeep equipped with a full roof-top tent and canopy, 2-inch lift kit and a custom bed rack with an integrated ladder. The Wayout sports the Gator Green color that will be available on production Gladiator models.

This is a front wheel on the Jeep Flatbill, colored in white and acid green.

Jeep Flatbill: Inspired by the Jeep customers and motocross enthusiasts who wear baseball caps of the same name, the Flatbill is designed with the desert in mind. The custom Jeep is outfitted with a vented carbon hood, Dynatrac Pro-Rock 60 front and rear axles, large rear bypass shocks along with 20-inch wheels and 40-inch tires.

This is the Jeep M-715 Five-Quarter.

Jeep M-715 Five-Quarter: Jeep is continuing its tradition of "resto-mods" with this behemoth 1968 Kaiser Jeep M-715. The re-imagined military vehicle is fitted with a carbon-fiber front end, a 6-foot custom-fabricated aluminum bed and a convertible soft-top. Under the hood is a 6.2-liter supercharged “Hellcrate” Hemi V-8 which produces more than 700 horsepower.

This is the rear of the Jeep J6 concept in Metallic Brilliant Blue.

Jeep J6: The J6 stands out with its custom Metallic Brilliant Blue paint job, an homage to the 1978 Jeep Honcho. This vintage-inspired truck is a two-door Rubicon customization with a 6-foot functional bed — 12 inches longer that the standard Jeep Gladiator bed.

This is the Jeep JT Scrambler.

Jeep JT Scrambler: Based on the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, the JT Scrambler sports the early 1980s-era CJ8 Scrambler style with orange accents on the white body. The Jeep performance 17-inch wheels also sport a concept bronze color to tie into the color theme.

This is the front end of the Jeep Gladiator Gravity.

Jeep Gladiator Gravity: The Gravity is the closest to the production-version Gladiator. It's a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon outfitted with Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts to make a rock-climber themed Gladiator.

Twitter: @NoraNaughton