- The annual Easter Jeep Safari event in Moab is fertile ground for Jeep experimentation
- This year, the all-electric Wrangler Magneto tops the list with its six-speed manual transmission
- Jeep will also introduce the throwback Jeepster Beach and the Red Bare Gladiator
Few vehicles are modified more than the Jeep Wrangler. As soon as one comes off the assembly line, there’s a long list of dealer-supported and aftermarket parts that you can use to customize your Wrangler, increase its off-road capability, and make it stand out from the crowd. Jeep happily embraces this fact. The brand embraces it so much that every year, it makes a point of modifying its own vehicles in-house, then showing them off at one of the biggest Jeep meetups in the world: the Easter Jeep Safari.
Located in the desert wonderland of Moab, Utah, the Easter Jeep Safari sees some of the most modified and capable Jeeps in America, driven by some of the brand’s most fervent loyalists. There’s no better stage on which to unveil the latest concept Jeeps, and this year there are three arrivals that have our attention.
Jeep Wrangler Magneto: an EV with a six-speed manual
Yep, you read that right. The Magneto concept is an all-electric Jeep Wrangler that packs a good old-fashioned stick shift. While the Wrangler Magneto is the furthest concept from production in the Easter Jeep Safari lineup, it’s probably the most exciting. The Magneto isn’t an entirely new platform; instead, it’s a retrofitted Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with some serious mods. It gets a lift kit, 35-inch tires, and most importantly, they’ve yanked the standard V6 engine out. In its place, a series of four battery packs with a combined power of 70 kWh and an electric motor are supplied, but power is still delivered to the wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.
Jeep says that the EV Wrangler’s output matches that of the standard V6: 285 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. How does it work? Well, the details aren’t fully available yet, but Jeep says that since there’s no need to slip the clutch, you can’t stall it, and because the electric power is routed through a transmission, there isn’t that touchy throttle you might expect from an electric vehicle. So, you can select the gear you want, then crawl up an off-road obstacle with complete control.
What’s more, if you’re going for wide-open acceleration, the Wrangler Magneto can provide all 273 lb-ft of torque immediately (just like other EVs) and it’ll get you from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. That’s not bad, especially considering the entire setup weighs in at 5,750 pounds — and that’s without doors or a roof. It certainly sounds capable, but Jeep says we won’t be able to see it perform for another three years. Easter Jeep Safari 2024, here we come!