For years, Jeep owners have gathered in Moab, Utah for an annual event called Easter Jeep Safari. Among the variety of things to see and do at the event, Jeep contributes to the buzz each year with a caravan of incredible concept vehicles. This year, Jeep introduced seven amazing concepts, including one that particularly wowed us; the Sandstorm.
With the recent launch of the fully redesigned JL Wrangler, there wasn’t much anticipation for wild new concepts to hit Jeep Easter Safari this year, but that didn’t stop the Jeep team from thinking outside of the box. In particular, the Sandstorm is getting a significant amount of buzz, especially as a pickup concept. This is especially notable because Jeep’s upcoming production release is due to be the highly anticipated JL Pickup, a vehicle that Wrangler owners have been begging Jeep to build, and the dream may finally come true.
What is the Sandstorm?
The Sandstorm concept is a stretched out two-door pickup with an open cab designed to be a desert racer or Baja Rally truck. This concept truck is so stretched that the front axle sits 4-inches forward, and the rear axle sits 2-inches back, increasing the wheelbase an additional 6-inches. The suspension was also upgraded to a four-link coil-over springs with bypass shocks, providing a massive 14-inches of travel for the front of the truck and the rear with 18-inches of travel.
If the overall pickup design and Baja inspired suspension travel wasn’t enough to get you going, the engine will certainly seal the deal. Under the hood, the Sandstorm is powered by a 6.4-liter V8 Hemi engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, used to move the massive Dyna 60 axels that have a 5.68 gear ratio. Attached to these massive axles are a set of 17-inch bead lock wheels wrapped with 39.5-inch Krawler tires, all meant to really round out the sport pickup truck wish list.
Aside from the extended body, the Sandstorm has several other differences when compared to the factory Wrangler. The vented hood is constructed from carbon fiber, the fenders are a flat, high-clearance design, the front and rear bumpers have been replaced with tube steel bumpers and it also features a race-style fuel filler and KC front auxiliary lights.
In addition to the exterior modifications, the Sandstorm also sports a new custom interior roll-cage, which is fully integrated to the frame and rear racing seats, an on-board air compressor, redesigned navigation screen and rocker switches.
Future potential models for the JL
All successful concepts pass along some great innovation to future production models. There’s no doubt that the pickup design leads a path for the release of the upcoming Jeep pickup. In addition, styling elements like the vented carbon fiber hood and high clearance fenders will probably be found in future Mopar accessory catalogs, and possibly even some limited-edition Wranglers. Regardless of which elements translate to the production models, this Baja race-inspired truck is successfully hyping up current Wrangler owners, while also allowing future owners to dream of what could be hitting the production trails in the future.
Photos courtesy of FOURWHEELERnetwork