Jeep Wrangler Red Rock Responder Concept: What it’s like to Drive

Red Rock 2 TFL

The Jeep Wrangler Red Rock Responder Concept is unique among the concepts and prototypes we had access to at the 2015 Easter Jeep Safari. It was the only vehicle Jeep presented that was equipped with a pickup truck bed (which is why it’s on TFLtruck) and it’s a Jeep Performance Parts / Mopar design. This means that many of its components are, or will be, available for public consumption.

… but the special pickup bed is a concept – there are no current plans for production…

“Functional capability is increased with the addition of 37-inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM2 tires, four inches of JPP lift, Fox shocks, and front and rear Dana 60 axles with 5.38 gearing from Jeep Performance Parts. The vehicle also sports a cold-air intake, prototype off-road rock rails and a Warn winch. Red Rock Responder is also armed with Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition steel front and rear bumpers and high-top fenders that were previously concept parts but quickly became a production part due to popular demand.” – – Jeep Performance Parts

Red Rock bed TFL
The pickup truck bed is impressive in design. It sits very high, too high for daily loading. Its purpose is to be a solid place to toss busted axles, blown tires and bloodied body parts. Beneath the rear of the pickup truck, you’ll fins a tiny tailgate. It hides a pull-out compartment that’s long enough to hold a high-lift jack, a dual compressor and air reservoir and has room for a cooler or a case of water. It’s pretty cool stuff. The sides of the Jeep Red Rock Responder Concept open up and can hold a lot of tools. The compartments are only a few inches deep, but jacks, tools, fire extinguisher, road side accessory kit and first aid kits fit nicely.

Wrangler Red Rock Responder 028_MG_0965
“The interior stands out along with the exterior with embroidered black and red Mopar Katzkin leather seats, Jeep Performance Parts logo embroidered on the headrests, red accent bezels, grab handles and all-weather floor mats.” – – Jeep Performance Parts

Wrangler Red Rock Responder 030IMG_2156

More goodies:

  • Jeep Performance Parts body decal
  • 10th Anniversary hood with hydraulic hood props
  • high-top fender flares and
  • 17-inch beadlock wheels with body color beadlock ring
  • LED headlamps and foglamps
  • LED A-pillar and off-road lamps

Driving the Jeep Red Rock Recovery Concept: It’s a beast. Sure, it has a Pentastar V6 and the same automatic transmission as many Wranglers, but Jeep Performance modified the exhaust, giving it a nice burble. The 16-inch longer wheelbase (over the Unlimited’s wheelbase) gives you a compliant, easy ride over the rough. It does have a longer turning radius, but it doesn’t feel any wider than the equivalent Toyota Tacoma or Chevrolet Colorado.

Wrangler Red Rock Responder 027_MG_1015Keeping in mind that this is a one-off concept, there is a lot of tire rub when you turn. It doesn’t seem to compromise the drivability of the Jeep Red Rock Recovery Concept. It just motors on and on. It feels a bit like something you would bring to combat. Rear outward vision is about half of what you would have with an Jeep Unlimited, but hey – that’s why side mirrors were invented.

It’s a fun ride and it feels like there’s a lot of potential with type of pickup bed. A few inches lower and a secondary tailgate… it could be a hell of a pickup truck.

Red Rock Responder side TFL

Speaking of Jeep pickup truck concepts:

Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed  worldwide.
Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed
Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.