Easter Jeep Safari

Updated '68 Commando, all-electric Magneto among concept car roster at Easter Jeep Safari

The Jeep Magneto concept has arrived in Moab.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Easter is nearly here which means that the annual Jeep pilgrimage to Moab is upon us. Easter Jeep Safari kicks off March 27 and ahead of that, Jeep has released photos and descriptions of the unique concept cars that they're bringing to Utah. Scroll down to see them all.

"This year's Safari shines a spotlight on what makes Jeep vehicles unmistakably distinctive and undeniably capable, a variety of powertrains that deliver superior power, performance, torque and, above all, fun," said Jim Morrison, Vice President, Jeep Brand North America. "Moab's demanding trails are a worthy opponent for our Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator concept vehicles. Each is certain to prove that Jeep's legendary 4x4 capability reigns supreme on any terrain."

Jeepster Beach

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

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Jeep has restomodded a 1968 Jeepster Commando, changing it into the Jeepster Beach. The mod started life as a C-101 but has been blended with a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon to achieve its fun in the sun look. Its bodied was modified and exterior fuses original chrome with the two-tone Hazy IPA and Zinc Oxide paint job.

Under the hood is a modern turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that has been calibrated for 25 percent greater performance than what you'll find in Jeeps on dealership lots. It delivers 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque and has been paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The whole rig rides on 35-inch tires.

The Jeepster Beach's custom interior features low-back bucket seats trimmed in red leather. The rear seat was replaced with a chrome, four-point safety cage and the carpets were removed to make cleaning out sand a breeze.

Jeep Red Bare Gladiator Rubicon

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

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Jeep has amped up the Gladiator for this concept, which takes its off-roading very seriously. Under the hood is a turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 that puts out 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The engine is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Heavy-duty Dana 44 front and rear axles have been upgraded with 4.88 axle rations. The truck is capable of a 91:1 crawl radio.

Helping the truck stand out from the crowd is its Fire Cracker Red exterior with custom Matte Black graphics with gold accents. Its hood and cowl is from a Gladiator Mojave and there is a Matte Black seven-slot grille insert. The truck keeps its factory soft-top and half-doors.

There's also a Jeep Performance Parts 2-inch lift kit, 17-inch Matte Black wheels wrapped in 37-inch BFG mud-terrain tires, cargo bed-mounted sport bar, Jeep Performance Parts Sand Slider rock rails, bed cover and rack system, factory steel bumpers with a Warn winch, and front bumper grille guard.

The cab of the truck has Katzkin black leather seats with red stitching and custom red flannel inserts. The instrument panel is wrapped in the same flannel material. Body-color matched truck-bed lined floors with Mopar slush mats complete the look.

Jeep Magneto

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

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The Jeep Magneto concept is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) that combines legendary Jeep prowess with the quiet ride that comes with an all-electric powertrain. The zero-emissions 4x4 is based on the two-door 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

It uses a custom-built axial flux electric motor that operates up to 6,000 rpm. The e-motor is connected to a six-speed manual transmission, creating a unique manual-electric powertrain with a clutch that operates as it would with an internal combustion engine. In quick-shift scenarios, the e-motor engages regen upon clutch engagement to prevent rev-hang.

The BEV is tuned to get figures similar to the Wrangler V6 with 285 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Unlike other BEVs on the market today, this one features a manual-electric powertrain. The SUV's electric motor is powered by four lithium-ion battery packs that combine to equal 70 kilowatt-hours to power.

The packs are located in a variety of areas on the vehicle. One pack replaces the Wrangler's mid-ship fuel tank, another is mounted opposite the fuel tank location, the third pack sits atop the e-motor under the hood, and the fourth pack mounts in the space normally used for a rear storage compartment, also using space typically occupied by the exhaust muffler.

The Magneto concept can get from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds.

Jeep has packaged all the parts together in a way that keeps them water-tight in order to preserve the Wrangler's 30-inch water fording capability. There's also a a JPP 2-inch lift kit, 17-inch Lights Out black metallic wheels with 35-inch mud-terrain tires, custom roll cage, Mopar Rock Rails, steel bumpers with a Warn winch, and a steel belly pan.

The Magneto is painted Bright White with Surf Blue accents. It has a heavy-duty performance hood with center scoop and custom decal, redesigned rear gate, and full-width forward lighting. Custom Royal Blue and Black leather seats with Sapphire-colored inserts and straps, Surf Blue truck bed liner, and Mopar slush mats help make the Magneto pop.

Jeep Orange Peelz

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

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Jeep has designed the Orange Peelz concept as a celebration of the open-air heritage of the model. Designers removed the rear and side windows, installed Jeep Performance Parts half-doors, and installed a custom removable Freedom Top glass sunroof.

Off-road performance comes from the proven Jeep Performance Parts 2-inch lift kit with FOX shocks that increases ground clearance. Just below the concept steel "high-top" fender flares are 17-inch Jeep Performance Parts beadlock-capable aluminum wheels riding on 37-inch BF Goodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires with Mopar valve stem caps that feature the Jeep logo.

A Satin Black 360-degree custom beltline graphic and Satin Black vintage Jeep fender badges enhances the aesthetic. Its paint job is the same as its name: Orange Peelz.

The hood of the connote has custom black Mopar hood latches with the Jeep Willys logo.They're flanked by Jeep Performance Parts 5-inch off-road LED lights mounted at the base of the A-pillars. The Jeep Orange Peelz concept is equipped with a factory-backed Mopar windshield made with Corning Gorilla Glass- the same material as an iPhone screen.

A custom Jeep Performance Parts Rubicon steel bumper includes a prototype 2-inch steel grille guard and the exclusive JPP 8,000-lb capacity Rubicon Warn winch. There's also custom rock rails.

The rear features a Jeep Performance Parts Swing Gate Hinge Reinforcement, which allows for a larger spare tire. The Jeep Performance Parts CHMSL (Center High-Mount Stop Lamp) Relocation Kit mounts the third brake light in the center of the spare tire. Body-color tow hooks on the rear and front complete the exterior.

Jeep Performance Parts grab handles make getting in the cabin easy. The interior id decked out in plaid armrests, upper and lower seat inserts, and mid-instrument panels. Accent-orange stitching completes the steering wheel, shifter boots, and the parking-brake handle.

Mopar stainless steel pedal covers with rubber pads are for the driver. Door sills are protected by black sill guards that feature the vehicle's logo.

The Jeep Orange Peelz concept is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain has been upgraded with a Jeep Performance Parts cold-air intake and Jeep Performance Parts cat-back exhaust system.

Jeep Farout

Jeep Farout concept

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The Jeep Farout is an encore of 2019's Jeep Wayout concept that leverages the 2021 Jeep Gladiator's power and prowess to take adventure-seekers further off the beaten path. Check out more about the truck here.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 ConceptThe model is pretty standard for a modern Wrangler Rubicon - on the outside.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

After a successful trial period, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is making its way to production. This concept is the one that debuted late last year generating enthusiasm ahead of the official production announcement. You can read more about the concept here.

Jeep Gladiator Top Dog

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

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Using exclusive Jeep Performance Parts and custom accessories, Mopar designers transformed a 2020 Jeep Gladiator into a concept vehicle for serious mountain bikers. We first saw this concept in 2020. You can read more about it and see more photos here.

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Toyota's ready to make a big announcement.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation2

Auto Shanghai has another surprise in store. Toyota will debut an electrified vehicle next week and ahead of that moment, the company has leaked teaser photos and video featuring the model on its social media channels.

One of the posts, available on Twitter and Instagram, showcases the vehicle and a series of conceptual, perhaps inspirational, related items. A light shines as a reflection in an eye. A design on paper leads to a math equation. A laser, perhaps a plasma cutter, is focused on an object. Watch the see the rest.

It passes by quickly, but in there is the shape of a crossover. We've captured the moment in a still photo below so you can take a longer look. From the body design quickly shown here, the SUV is shaped more like the Toyota Venza than the Toyota RAV4. The key here is the rear side window, which is more triangular, like the Venza, than the squared-off RAV4''s.

202 The shape of the vehicle is similar to the Toyota Venza.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

2022 Toyota Venza EV

The face of the vehicle, shown in another social media post (this time on Instagram) and at the top of this article, shows a pared back vehicle face. The height of the vehicle confirms that it's in fact a crossover body style.

We do know that Subaru and Toyota have been working on an electric SUV for a while. While Subaru is likely calling the vehicle "Evoltis" there's some indication that Toyota may be reviving the "Celica" name for the EV. Batteries, after all, are made up of cells.

As of right now, we have to take the wait-and-see approach. One thing's for sure. We'll know more next week.

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Domino's and Nuro announced their partnership in 2019 — and now the robots are hitting the roads.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

After announcing their partnership to work on pizza deliveries via self-driving robots in 2019, Dominos and Nuro have officially rolled out their technology to one part of town.

Beginning this week, if you place a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights (3209 Houston Ave.), you might have the option to have one of Nuro's R2 robot come to your door. This vehicle is the first do deliver completely autonomously without occupants with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a news release.

"We're excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino's customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston," says Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in the release. "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."

Orders placed at select dates and times will have the option to be delivered autonomously. Photo courtesy of Nuro

Nuro Domino's delivery vehicle

The Nuro deliveries will be available on select days and times, and users will be able to opt for the autonomous deliveries when they make their prepaid orders online. They will then receive a code via text message to use on the robot to open the hatch to retrieve their order.

"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, in the release. "We're excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino's customers in Houston. We can't wait to see what they think."

California-based Nuro has launched a few delivery pilots in Houston over the past few years, including the first Nuro pilot program with Kroger in March 2019, grocery delivery from Walmart that was revealed in December 2019, and pharmacy delivery that launched last summer.

From being located in a state open to rolling out new AV regulations to Houston's diversity — both in its inhabitants to its roadways, the Bayou City stood out to Nuro, says Sola Lawal, product operations manager at Nuro.

"As a company, we tried to find a city that would allow us to test a number of different things to figure out what really works and who it works for," Lawal says on an episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It's hard to find cities that are better than Houston at enabling that level of testing."

You can find out which self-driving vehicles are being tested in your neck of the woods by clicking here.

This article first appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site InnovationMap.

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