There is no shortage of Jeep vehicles at the SEMA Show, but our guess is there's never been one like this before. First debuted at the Moab Easter Jeep Safari last April, the Lower Forty is equipped with 40-in. tires (about ten inches taller than normal), a 5.7-liter Hemi, a six-speed Getrag gearbox, and front and rear heavy-duty Dana axles (44 and 60, respectively). The bulletproof live axles were built by DynaTrac and have 5.38:1 gears to allow for the lowest possible crawl speeds when in four-wheel drive low range, and, of course, both sport locking differentials.
With large tires slated to go underneath the fenderwells, Mopar Underground needed to reshape and carve out significant chunks of body metal. Fitting 40x13.5-in. Mickey Thompson Baja Claw tires is especially challenging since the team did not want to modify the stock suspension (with the exception of adding Bilstein shocks). This allows for the best possible ride and handling from the rig under normal driving conditions, with the center of gravity remains at the stock height, still allowing for a good amount of wheel travel when needed.
Naturally, because the body modifications allow for ten-inch taller tires, it's easy to see what an asset ten more inches of ground clearance would be over nasty terrain. As you can imagine, that gives this vehicle a huge advantage when attempting steep and rugged trails.
Also adding to its unique visual look is a windshield and rollcage chopped and re-angled by several inches, and a custom old-school CJ-like hood has been added as well. Of course, Jeep says this is just a fun concept for their engineers, but it wouldn't surprise us if some of these body parts and panels and flares make it into next year's Mopar Catalog. We'll see.
Meanwhile, if you're looking for a milder type of off-roading life, this concept Overland Jeep is perfect for families looking for a self-contained adventure into the back country. The vehicle started life as a Wrangler Unlimited but has since had the rear seats removed in order to make way for the various adventure gear and storage bins, one of which is a plug-in refrigerator/freezer. In order to fit the 35-in. BFGoodrich tires under the 4x4, American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) installed a three-inch suspension lift and full traction rear swaybar to handle the added weight. Additional off-road protection is provided by front and rear AEV bumpers; the front one holding a Warn 9.5i winch; the rear modified to support a full spare tire on a heavy-duty hinge system, as well as two separate integrated water tanks. The vehicle also includes a snorkel kit for deep-water fording, as well as an ARB roof-top, fold-out tent and ladder system-perfect for keeping your loved ones safe from ground-crawling nasties.
Although the engine is a stock 3.8-liter V-6 mounted to a stock six-speed transmission and transfer case, this Overland Jeep is fully prepared for any outdoor adventure, whether it's a friendly RV campsite just outside of town, or whether it's out on a lonely Rocky Mountain trail, hundreds of miles from the closest shower. And at a time when many are cutting back on big family vacations, this may not just be a fun option when you want to get away, but it could also provide for a much less expensive way to get the family together as well.