As the 2022 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show kicks off Monday in Las Vegas, Mopar — Stellantis’ OEM accessory division — unveiled a trio of intriguing concept vehicles, led by an electrified Jeep CJ. Even more exciting, the battery electric technology behind it could portend a restomod revival of classic American muscle cars.
A 24-module battery pack powers its 400V, 200kW drive module.
Mopar Revealed its Electric Jeep
Mark Bosanac, senior vice president of Mopar service, parts, and customer care for North America, said in a prepared statement on Monday that the Jeep CJ Surge concept “explores a future zero-emission propulsion system kit and supports the Jeep brand’s mission to become the leading electrified SUV brand in the world.” Separate designs for our award-winning full-size pickups, the Ram 1500 Backcountry X and TRX Gold Shot, show off a tonne of cutting-edge Mopar accessories.
The CJ Surge is an example of what is referred to as a restomod (a portmanteau of “restoration” and “modification”). A late model CJ7 was cleaned up (the resto part), and the internal combustion engine was replaced with battery-electric power (the mod part). Restomods aren’t purely electrifications — we’ve been doing them with crate engines for decades — but the classic vehicle community has been asking for similar capabilities recently as automakers quickly switch from gas to battery power. In response, Ford has started prototyping the Eluminator, a BEV restomod system. Mopar’s initial step in that approach is the Surge.
Therefore, Mopar has substituted a “scalable 400-volt, 200-kW Electric Drive Module” that offers four-wheel drive for the inline-six or v-eight that the CJ7s originally came with. The 24-module Li-ion battery that supports this engine is housed in a “custom shell positioned in the rear of the passenger cabin,” which is the enormous silver box that dominates the trunk area in the image above.
And the Surge swaps out the conventional manual transmission for a Wrangler JK centre console and rotary shifter knob.
No information has been released on performance metrics, much less when or even if this will ever hit the market. You must arrive at the Las Vegas Convention Center before November 4th if you want to see the Surge for yourself.