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VFOTW: Jeep Sand Trooper II Concept

















http://www.expeditionportal.com/jeep/2161-vfotw-jeep-sand-trooper-ii-concept.html






















When an auto manufacturer decides to produce a concept vehicle, there's probably quite a few thoughts going through the minds of those responsible for making it happen.





 Being obtainable to the masses is usually not one of those thoughts. 




Most concept cars are so far out of reach that the joe-schmo public will never, ever have anything even remotely close to it. 




The chances of being able to purchase a vehicle like Jeep's Sand Trooper II concept like this right off the assembly line are probably just as slim, but you can still have one if you want. 






Aside from a few design elements and a set of prototype bead-lock wheels (which we hear are coming), almost everything you see on the Sand Trooper II can be purchased through your local MOPAR parts distributor.






Yeah, that's right, with a big enough checkbook, you can drive a 375hp HEMI-equipped Jeep Wrangler with 40-inch tires and portal axles built with factory-approved parts (though some are for "off-road use only"). 




Even though the MOPAR 8-lug portal axles and V8 conversion will cost you more than you've paid for your Jeep, it's admirable that a modern day automotive manufacturer is even offering the option. 





We had a chance to take a drive in the Sand Trooper II concept at the 2013 Easter Jeep Safari—needless to say, the vehicle is impressive. Check out the detail shots below.







Too much of a good thing—with portal axles and 40-inch tires, ground clearance isn't a problem. 





Through Jeep's short test course in Moab the vehicle tackled rough terrain so easy it was almost boring. 









The portal axles provide an additional 5-inches of ground clearance and add roughly 8-inches of track width to each side of the vehicle.









The portal axle kit allows the vehicle to run on stock suspension, with stock angles and geometry. 





A set up upgraded MOPAR/ FOX 2.0 shocks have been added for more controlled dampening.














Trucklite LED headlights are offset by a blacked-out hood.













A WARN 9.5cti winch with Viking Off-Road Synthetic rope fits nicely inside the slightly modified 10th Anniversary Rubicon bumper. 













Nitto Mud Grappler tires are riding on a set of prototype MOPAR bead-lock wheels. 












A keen eye will also notice a set of Willwood calipers to improve the braking performance of the vehicle. 












Rigid Industries Dually LED lights are mounted strategically under the vehicle to serve as rock lights. 











A 10th Anniversary Wrangler Rubicon bumper with an optional rear swingout tire carrier was added to mount the larger spare tire.











Even though the vehicle is sitting nearly 10-inches higher than stock, it's still fairly comfortable and easy to drive.










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