With the Coronavirus pandemic unleashing a wave of cancellations across a wide swath of the landscape, the virus has played a role in forcing FCA to pull out from official participation in the 2020 Easter Jeep Safari which was scheduled to formally begin later this month in Moab.
The event itself will still proceed, but FCA’s recent steps to minimize viral exposure for its employees played a role in the company’s decision to pull out of the festivities. While the absence of concepts at this years event will certainly be noticed by attendees at the beloved off-road focused event, FCA indicated that it did manage to build the concepts before the pandemic reached its current scope this week. The company even revealed to the folks at Autoblog that it still intends to formally showcase the concepts at a future event, though the company is not sure when that will formally take place.
The news does coincide with a recent patent find, that indicated FCA applied for trademarks for a wide variety of odd monikers including Shocker, Apache, Top Dog, Orange Peelz (that’s not a typo by the way,) Farout, and Tomahawk. At the time, it was theorized that the monikers in question were possibly for the firm’s upcoming concepts which would’ve made an appearance at the Jeep Safari had FCA not pulled out. While we will have to wait a bit longer to formally see the concepts, we can theorize on some of the more obvious monikers here. The Shocker for example, could be a concept that is based on the recently unveiled Wrangler plug-in hybrid with the Shocker possibly being the first of these concepts to embrace some form of electrification technology.
Another moniker that caught our attention was the Apache. While the Apache nameplate itself was never used on a formal model, it did make a prior appearance on a Easter Safari concept back in 2013. However, we strongly suspect that it is actually a subtle nod to the Jeep Comanche. The last pickup Jeep produced prior to the arrival of the current generation Gladiator, the Comanche was a strong seller for Jeep, so it could be possible that Jeep is trying to channel some of that magic with a Gladiator based concept that has been renamed for the sake of helping to create its own distinct identity.
Unfortunately, we will have to wait a bit longer to unearth the answers to this mystery, and to also see the concepts themselves though we suspect that the veil will eventually come off once the immediate threat of the Coronavirus pandemic passes. In the meantime, we have posted photos of oour two favorite concepts from the 2019 event which can be seen in both of the photo galleries.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.