MOAB, Utah — Every Easter Jeep Safari concept tells a story. Whether it’s the Chief or the Magneto (now with three chapters), Jeep’s springtime dalliances are always accompanied by some degree of worldbuilding. Even the the more mundane among them have some reason to exist, whether they foreshadow an imminent factory offering or merely scratch some designer’s itch. And that’s why one of this year’s concepts — taken at face value at least — was just plain weird.
If you’re up to speed on this year’s roster of Easter Jeeps, you may recognize the “Wrangler Rubicon 4xe Concept.” I called it the “****” in my summary, both because that was easier to type and because strictly speaking, Jeep asked me to. Why? Because some frisky designers managed to sneak a bondage-themed concept under somebody’s radar just long enough to show it to us ahead of time — and not one second more. The tipping point, as it turns out, was the unofficial name for the concept’s finish — an anything-but-subtle cross between Mopar paint code cousins Furious Fuchsia and Plum Crazy. Take “pink,” drop the “p” and mix vigorously with whips and chains. Remember your safe word.
Got it? Good, because we were formally asked not to repeat the name; consider the above chicanery nothing more than compliance euphemisms. And besides, even if “****” itself was off-limits, surely the concept would remain the same? After all, if Dodge can be Stellantis’ neck tattoo, it stands to reason that Jeep could get away with being its nipple ring.
Evidently not. Here’s the interior, missing the patterned leather and metal buckle inserts from the early press photos. Swapping seats is easy enough, and there aren’t too many 4xes running around with custom magenta paint jobs and functioning air suspension systems. The shiny latex shift boot, pink air freshener and lipstick-punk trunk in the cargo area all give this away as the same Jeep, minus all the fun parts. This must be the “in the streets” part of the old saying; the other half, sadly, never materialized. What’s in the box, indeed?
But there was more searching to be done. Jeep being Jeep, one can never rule out an Easter egg. And I didn’t even have to dig all that deep.
I’d like to think this is Jeep Design Boss Mark Allen winking at all of us from the (unlocked) glovebox. Judging by the condition of the seal, somebody wanted to make sure its flavor aligned with the brand’s design principles. That’s dedication to the craft.
What’d I tell ya? Every Easter Jeep Safari concept tells a story.