50th Annual Easter Jeep Safari, Jeep honors CJ-5 and others

The 2016 Easter Jeep Safari is already underway in Moab, Utah for their 50th year running. It kicked off Saturday, March 19th and is running straight through to Sunday, March 27th. The Safari is an event starting in Moab, using your own vehicle on 40 different trails ranging in difficulty for a 9-day long adventure! Every year, Jeep shows off new concepts at this event which utilize both production and prototype Jeep Performance Parts. The Safari is hosted by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers Inc., which is one of the the local four wheel drive clubs of Moab.


For almost 30 years, the CJ-5 was in production, making it the longest-living Wrangler model to be produced. It’s been said throughout the years that the CJ-5 was one of the hardest vehicles to kill off. The CJ-5 went through years and years of changes and upgrades since it was produced for so long. Some of the most noticeable changes were gas tank relocation, frame length and width and various transmissions and engine size upgrades. The CJ-5 sure is an iconic Wrangler model, which is what makes this 2016 Shortcut Concept that much more special.


The 2016 Shortcut Concept is inspired by the classic CJ-5 to handle tight, winding trails. It is overall a tad more than 2 feet shorter, while the wheelbase remains the same. The bumpers were also pushed in a small amount and the rear spare tire was taken off – bringing the Shortcut closer in size to the older CJ-5. The Shortcut features no doors and roof as well as a restyled grille, hood and tailgate. The Shortcut also shows off the classic round side-view mirrors. Another eye catcher of course are the matching body color 17-inch rims that are fitted into 35-inch tires. As for the engine specs, the Shortcut will be running the same 3.6-liter V6 and five-speed automatic from the current Wrangler.

Jeep is extremely excited this year for the Easter Jeep Safari. Mike Manley, the head of Jeep for FCA Global said, “Every year, the Jeep team looks forward to pushing the limits with new, exciting, and capable concept vehicles for our most loyal enthusiasts at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, where we receive a tremendous amount of valuable feedback.” I think we can all agree that this year’s concepts are on point. Manley continued, “This year is extra special, as together with our biggest fans, we celebrate Jeep’s 75th anniversary, as well as the 50th running of the Jeep Safari”.


Jeep Crew Chief 715

The Crew Chief is a salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles

Jeep Renegade Commander

Jeep Renegade Commander

The Jeep Renegade Commander is built to blaze a trail deep into the secluded wilderness.


Jeep Comanche

The Jeep Comanche is designed to be off-road ready with practical utility.


Jeep FC 150

The Jeep FC 150 is a heritage cab-over design, rich in history and capable of tackling any terrain.


Jeep Trailcat

The Jeep Trailcat is a  Hellcat-powered off-roader, capable of both crawling and high-speed runs.


Jeep Trailstorm

The Jeep Trailstorm has added offroad capability with a 2-inch lift kit, 37-inch tires and Dana 44 axles.
To view more photos of the Jeep concepts, check out our album on Facebook.

Photography by Michael Simari and Jeep

The Cars of NBC’s “Chicago P.D.”

Created by Dick Wolf (best known for creating the Law & Order franchise) in 2014, Chicago P.D. is the spinoff of NBC’s Chicago Fire. Chicago P.D. takes place in the Chicago Police Department’s District 21 – comprised of uniformed cops who deal with street crimes, and the Intelligence Unit. Under the command of Sgt. Hank Voight (a tough boss who’s known for bending the rules), the Intelligence Unit deals with major crimes, including drug trafficking and high-profile murders.

As a personal favorite show of mine, I thought we might take a dive and see what cars the Intelligence Unit currently is cruising around in.



2013 Ram 1500: Truck Of The Year

Hands down, the 2013 Ram 1500 takes the cake! Having won 4 separate awards for 2013 Truck of the Year, it is clear the Chrysler Group knows what they are doing. If style and power doesn’t sell you, just wait until you see what else the truck of the year has to offer. For starters, the Ram offers a 3.6 liter Pentastar V6, 8-speed automatic transmission, pushing 305 horsepower with a best in class 25 mpg on the highway. The Ram 1500 comes with a 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty, 40,000 miles more than Ford offers. According to ALG 2013 and JDP 2013, the Ram 1500 has a better resale and brand reliability than Ford and Chevrolet. If you’re into big time power, another thing that the Ram offers is the 5.7 liter HEMI V8 that cranks out 395 horses.

Congratulations to the 2013 Ram 1500, Truck of the Year.

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(HEMI is a registered trademark of Chrysler Group LLC)

Nine-Speed Automatic!

Chrysler has made plans to invest over $370 million to manufacture nine-speed automatic transmissions in the USA. This will happen next Spring as the company says it will form over 1200 new jobs at Pentastar’s transmission plant in Indiana. With this new project approaching fast, it is also said that this will make it the largest transmission installation center in the world. With the announcement for the new nine-speed automatics, Chrysler also announced that production has started for the eight-speed automatic that will be placed in the 2013 Dodge Charger and 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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Photo courtesy of Mopar

The new nine-speed will most likely start in the Dodge Dart and 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The new transmission is reported to bring fuel efficiency gains up 16 percent. That’s due to the high overall gear-ratio spread of 9.84, and further amplified by the small ratio differences between each of the nine gears. This should help performance, as the gearbox is expected to keep the engine in the thick of its powerband, while the torque converter will lock at lower engine speeds.