Mopar is bringing an EV-swapped late-model Jeep CJ to the 2022 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show that starts today. On the outside, it looks like any other Jeep CJ7 with some modern accessories and a cool livery, but what powers it is quite interesting because it seems to preview a future electric crate motor kit that Mopar might be looking to offer at some point.
This EV restomod project ditches the factory six-cylinder engine in favor of a 200 kW (268 horsepower) electric motor that runs on a scalable 400-volt architecture. The battery pack is comprised of 24 lithium-ion modules, totaling 50 kWh of capacity all enclosed in a custom-built shell placed in the rear of the cabin, behind the seats.
Gallery: Jeep CJ Surge concept
As with many similar conversions, this one retains much of the original drivetrain, including the gearbox, transfer case and differentials. However, it looks like you can’t really shift gears in this vehicle, since there doesn’t seem to be a shifter lever any more, with its place being taken by a modern PRND rotary selector for an automatic transmission borrowed from other Stellantis offerings.
The vehicle rides on custom suspension with a 2-inch lift, it has big 35-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires wrapped around 18-inch Black Rhino Solid wheels, a custom roll cage and even a 2-inch cropped windshield. The latter is paired with custom risers for the two seats that gives a driving position that is higher than stock.
But this concept, like many electric restomods that automakers have brought to SEMA over the past few years, probably previews Mopar’s entry into the electric crate motor business. Automakers like Ford and Chevrolet, Jeep and Mopar’s two main traditional rivals, already them on offer, as do several smaller specialist companies, and it sounds like Mopar is gauging reactions with this concepts - the company didn’t say when its own crate motor would be available.