Mopar has long been a one-stop shop for factory-supported performance changes and accessories on FCA products. Do you want an engine with 707 hp for your old Plymouth Belvedere? Mopar has covered you with the Hellcrate. Maybe you want a lift and off-road lights on that newly purchased Wrangler? Mopar is also suitable for those wishes (or needs, we do not assess it).
Every now and then we get to see some of the strangest creations of the company, but we rarely get the chance to control the FCA Mopar concepts. That's what made this past Woodward Dream Cruise so special: we have to rip some of Mopar's best and most recent creations up and down Woodward Avenue. Everything from a 1971 Challenger restomod to the brand new Easter Jeep Safari J6 concept was there, so let's get started right away.
1967 Plymouth Hellvedere
This car is near the pinnacle of what you can do with standard Mopar purchases. It was only a modest 1967 Plymouth Belvedere before Mopar dropped the supercharged V8 with 707 horsepower from the Hellcat into the engine compartment. Does that sound ridiculous? Yes it is.
Other parts of it are also new, including the disc brakes. Well done. However, Mopar has not removed the classic car charm from the entire driving experience. The steering, for example, is certainly as slow and inaccurate as in 1967. That does not help if you try to put 707 hp on the sidewalk with less than ideal rear rubber. Floors in the damn neighborhood of every gear of the Tremec six-speed gearbox, and the front rises straight up while the rear kicks sideways with the power of many mules. There is no electronics such as traction control or stability control to step in and force the car into submission. But hey, who does she want?
The question remains: do you have to buy a Hellcrate motor for your classic car? If money was not an object, the simple answer is yes. Try it as long as you like smoky burn-outs and excessive amounts of horsepower. Make sure you know how to handle so much power before you put your right foot in it.
2016 Dodge Shakedown Challenger Concept
We go downhill with horsepower with this restomod, but the driving characteristics and the ease of driving go far up. Dodge showed this "Shakedown" concept a while back at SEMA, and as with most concept cars, an opportunity behind the wheel is a special opportunity.
It appears that a modern 6.4-liter V8 in a muscle car body from the 70s is incredibly fun. This restomod goes as far as you want in the direction of the "new car", even sticking on Challenger headlights and rear lights on the front and back. It looks threatening, crouching on the sidewalk without a wheel gap to speak of.
The transmission is spectacular, and you would assume it would be, after learning that it is the same Tremec six-speed found in the now-stopped Dodge Viper. The throws are ridiculously short and the power feels just right for the car, as opposed to the fully-bent Hellvedere. The ergonomics and the sitting position are far from ideal, but it is difficult to give so much after the throttle and hear the burly, aggressive soundtrack that we are so used to from these beautiful V8 & # 39; s.
Jeep J6 Concept
Of all the Jeep truck concepts we've seen lately, the J6 is the most exciting. It is a two-door, standard Jeep truck finished in paint blue enough to be seen from the next county.
There is no two-door Jeep Gladiator and Jeep has often said that he has no plans to produce one. That didn't stop us from asking again, nor the man who stopped next to us at Woodward to shout, "So when will the two-door come out!?!" news that informed him that this was just a concept. What you can buy now (according to the same designer who sits next to me) is the epic bedliner with body color on the J6. That was only a concept when it was revealed at Jeeps Moab Easter Safari event. It was a nice change at the time and it is great to hear that Mopar is really going to offer it in the aftermarket.
So how does a two-door Jeep truck drive? About the same as a four-door Jeep truck. FCA tells us that the chassis on this one is about the same length as a Wrangler Unlimited, but it is more a shortened Gladiator underneath than a Wrangler with a bed. Awesome. Build it, Jeep.
Jeep Scrambler Concept
This Scrambler Concept is the most realistic vehicle we have driven. It is essentially a Gladiator with larger tires, a two-inch lift, cold air intake and catback exhaust (it sounds good, but not too loud) from a mechanical perspective. However, the appearance package is what this is all about.
The orange stripes, brown top, handles, roof lights … all this makes the Gladiator an even more attractive Jeep truck.
Jeep B-Ute Concept
Here's a weird one. The Renegade is not the most important Jeep candidate for hardcore off-road driving, but Jeep has turned it into something more capable than most. It's a modest lift of only about 1.5 inches, but combine that with the off-road bumpers and this thing actually looks pretty cool.
Going up and down Woodward also turned out to be a positive experience. Getting higher off the ground with more off-road oriented suspension has (much) not done much to the normal driving quality of the Renegade. So go ahead and lift those Renegades. It is a jeep, so embrace your inner Wrangler desires for half the price and get a lower fuel consumption.
Ram 1500 Big Horn Low Down Concept
Finally a concept that is not really our cup of tea. Mopar knows it has a bit of a nod to work out if it ever plans to offer a reduction set for the new Ram. We were not so much driving over Woodward Avenue in the Low Down Concept as we were good at. Apart from the remarkably bad ride with "concept suspension", it is difficult to discover the appeal of such a change. Being lower than the ground offers no tangible benefits, apart from making it easier to get in and out and load the bed. It is probably also not beneficial for the payload or towing capacity. Visually it is also not exactly a lowrider. That said, we saw many other lowered trucks at Woodward, so each has its own.