The difficult economy and the heavy impact it’s had on the automotive industry has made for rather sparse attendance at several major auto shows, but we’re hoping this year’s SEMA show will prove immune to the crisis. We’re always down for ogling some eccentric (occasionally hideous) aftermarket mods, and this year will mark the first year that we’re able to do so in person. First on our visitation schedule will be the Mopar booth, which Chrysler revealed today will feature 4 total vehicles including the Mopar Jeep Lower Forty, Mopar Jeep Wrangler Overland, Mopar Dodge Ram Bianco, and the Mopar Dodge Challenger 1320.
The first two of the four are what capture our interest the most as they highlight and expound upon the rugged off-road features that Jeep is famous for. The Mopar Jeep Lower Forty is a 4×4 behemoth that will be the object of our illogical affection for weeks to come, though we are forced to deduct some points for the press release which included the line “40 inch meats,” but we digress. Surprisingly enough, the suspension was not been modified at all to accommodate the massive tires, but Mopar did chop off a significant amount of body metal. To finish out the exterior mods, the front and rear fender flares were widened by 1″ and hoisted by 4″ and the stock hood was swapped for was a new one-piece carbon-fiber CJ-like power dome. Beneath the hood sits a 5.7L HEMI® V-8 engine and a Getrag 238 six-speed manual transmission, both of which were installed by Burnsville Off-Road using an AEV 5.7L HEMI V-8 conversion kit.
The Jeep Wrangler Overland is slightly more subdued than its Lower Forty brethren as it was designed for tackling a landscape where a relatively quiet entrance is key. The design theory behind the Wrangler Overland was “mobile campsite” and as such the Wrangler Overland’s was modified to maximize capacity. The rear seats were replaced with a large, flat, rubberized utility floor and the cargo rack was outfitted with an ARB two-person Simpson II rooftop tent and touring awning. To compensate for the extra heft and assuming the Overland’s driver would be taking the road less traveled, Mopar also equipped the Jeep with American Expedition Vehicles’ (AEV), Nth Degree, 3-inch suspension lift, Full Traction rear sway bar, 35-inch tires mounted on 17-inch steel Mopar winter/off-road wheels, AEV steel bumpers, and a Warn 9.5ti winch.
The Challenger 1320 and Ram Bianco are significantly less off-road inclined and instead focus primarily on aesthetic accessories. Between the two of them there’s enough gadgets and custom chrome to satisfy even the most discerning Pimp My Ride enthusiast, almost none of which is immediately visible from the unexciting studio photos provided. That being the case, we’ll wait to deliver our scathing or favorable review until we can take a gander at them in person.