Moab Jeep Safari participants get first look at Chrysler’s newest Renegade model
by Rudy Herndon
Staff Writer
Apr 17, 2014 | 4365 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jeep Safari participant Todd Meyer of Mt. Vernon Wash., looks over one of  Chrysler’s new Jeep models at the Jeep display on Main Street. Chrysler also officially unveiled the new Renegade in Moab on Wednesday, April 16. Photo by Rudy Herndon
Jeep Safari participant Todd Meyer of Mt. Vernon Wash., looks over one of Chrysler’s new Jeep models at the Jeep display on Main Street. Chrysler also officially unveiled the new Renegade in Moab on Wednesday, April 16. Photo by Rudy Herndon
Excitement was in the air during the first full week of the Moab Jeep Safari – both on and off the trails.

For off-road enthusiasts like Larry Allen of North Platte, Neb., and Todd Meyer of Mt. Vernon, Wash., the event marked the chance to revisit the area’s unique scenery and terrain.

Allen spent much of the past week riding the Moab Rim, Pritchett Canyon, Hells Revenge and Cliffhanger trails, and he said the experience is unlike anything else around.

“It’s the best in the United States for rock crawling and four-wheeling,” Allen said.

The area’s jeep trails were also a big draw for Meyer.

“There’s a lot better traction down here,” he said. “The rocks are stickier and more sandpapery.”

After days on the trails, both men were back in town on April 16, when Chrysler surprised fans by unveiling its newest Jeep Renegade.

The smaller and more fuel-efficient SUV, which will go on the market during the first quarter of 2015, comes equipped with more than 70 safety and security features. It’s designed to average more than 30 miles per gallon, making it one of the most efficient SUVs on the market, Chrysler officials said.

Chrysler has said that it hopes the Renegade becomes its best-selling model, noting that it should appeal to off-roaders and in-town users alike.

The design was deemed a winner by The New York Times, which described the look as “witty and fun.”

While New Yorkers caught the first glimpses of the new model, the company was determined to give Jeep Safari participants the next official look, according to Chrysler Western Region Public Relations Manager Scott Brown.

“It’s just as important for us to be here showing our products as it is to be in New York City,” Brown said.

According to Brown, Chrysler sees the event as a unique chance for the company’s designers, engineers and product planners to mingle with customers who make up the core audience of Jeep riders.

“These are the people that inspire us,” Brown said, adding that the company is grateful to the community and Easter Jeep Safari sponsors, the Red Rock 4-Wheelers, for their support.

Michael Curmi, who works as Chrysler Group’s head of experiential marketing, said that Moab Jeep Safari riders help the manufacturer develop its next generation of products.

“We love coming out to Moab,” Curmi said. “We wouldn’t miss it.”

The feeling was mutual for BNTV founder and chief technical officer Scott Thompson of Albuquerque, who said the Renegade Trailhawk reminds him of Ford’s iconic Mustang.

The new model “is the kind of dynamic and forward-thinking innovation that this country needs to stimulate its economy,” he said, adding, “I really, truly am blessed to see America bring out something like the Renegade.”

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