Home » Our Professional Car Designer Has A Fever Dream And Designs A Jeep Hypercar

Our Professional Car Designer Has A Fever Dream And Designs A Jeep Hypercar

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I awoke face down eating dirt, the post apocalyptic sun punching me from behind. Staggering to my feet, I turned around to see the city burning, smoke towering into the dusty sky.

Where the hell was I?

In the corner of my eye a rooster tail of dirt was moving quickly away from the horizon and toward me. Momentarily transfixed by the speed the vehicle making it travelled across the parched ground, a horrible shrieking and hollering noise began to emerge behind me. Trying to run I found myself fixed to the spot. Panicked, I looked over my shoulder to see something indeterminate, yet terrifying was chasing me. I still couldn’t move. My brain was sending signals to my legs but nothing was happening.



A car emerged from the front of the moving cloud of dirt a few feet in front of me. It kinda looked like a patchwork of various Jeeps, but much lower and longer, closer to the ground and decidedly home built. Covered in scars from battles fought and survived. A gull wing door opened with an exhausted hiss, blowing dust everywhere.

“Get in if you want to live,” a somewhat familiar voice said from inside.

Finding myself able to shuffle forwards, I peered inside to see a figure covered in home-made body armor with a steel WWI style Tommy helmet and a slightly crazed look. A shard of taillight lens hung round his neck on a piece of wire.

“D-David? Is that you?” I stammered. It looked like him, only much older and wizened, and with the crazed thousand yard look of a lifetime spent on fruitless wrenching.

“Yes. No time to explain. Get in.”

I did so and yanked the door shut.

“Where the hell am I? What kind of Jeep is this?” I noticed a medallion with a picture of Torch bathed in light was hanging from the rear view mirror.

“Built it myself. After the collapse speed became the way to survive out here. I had enough parts lying around.” He gunned the motor, cackled maniacally and we sped off away from our pursuers.

“Picks up great, doesn’t it? I pulled the Hurricane out of ’28 Barracuda. Actually this is the second motor. Does much better on head gaskets. They were costing me a fortune in bottle caps.”

Oh god. I glanced around at an interior cobbled together from various XJ and SJ parts seemingly held together with little more than hope. He’s really cracked. A Jeep Supercar. What madness was this?

“Hold on, big bump coming up!” he yelled over the sound of a redlining straight six and a car trying to rattle itself to bits. I smashed my confused head against the roof and blacked out again.

[Editor’s Note: The least believable part of all this is David driving fast. – JT] 

Jeep3 Jeep4

I came round with three hangovers to find myself face planted on my drawing table surrounded by uncapped markers, drooling onto a sheet of blank paper. A Jeep supercar? Man, I have really got to stop getting high from sniffing marker fumes.

Now, if one of my students came to me with the above half-assed Mad Max style fan fiction, you might think I wouldn’t let them pick up a ball point again until they’d completed a course in creative writing. But the dystopian future is a valid scenario for your design idea if your research backs it up. And it’s always fun to imagine vehicles that are completely outside what a manufacturer would normally make. One of the last projects I worked on for over eighteen months was something that our company had never done before – a complete change from what we were known for. Right up until the moment it was axed. I had even designed the camouflage for the prototypes. That’s how far along it was.

[Editor’s Note: Remind me to get Adrian to write about the process of camo design! – JT]

As an example, someone I graduated with designed a Land Rover supercar for his graduation project, and walked straight into a job at Jaguar. Of course what we didn’t know at the time was Jaguar were looking to get into the lucrative SUV market with the F Pace.

The idea for a Jeep supercar didn’t come from a marker fume induced blackout. Rather it was suggested by commenter AMPhoto, who presumably has a weird Jeep fascination like David. Maybe they can go to meetings or something. Reading the original suggestion while writing this I realized I missed the bit about removable doors and round headlights. Sorry about that, I’m an air-headed artsy-fartsy creative, don’t you know.

The trick with this sort of thing is to not slavishly copy visual features and try to force them onto a different vehicle type. Rather, it’s about capturing the feeling of the brand within its existing visual identity. With Jeep (and obviously I mean Wrangler because it’s their halo vehicle and the aesthetic anchor of the whole brand) apart from the classic seven bar grille, there’s the shape of the front fenders, the general lack of curves and a feeling of ruggedness combined with looking unstoppable. What does this mean for our Jeep supercar?



Although it doesn’t need a raised ride height, It should still exudes a certain bluffness as opposed so taut organic curves, like you’d see on a McLaren. I’ve replicated the front fog light surround of the JL, using it as an air curtain to manage airflow and brake cooling for the front wheels, as well as including a slight cut out in the wheel arch to give a subtle hint to the unique shape of a Wrangler’s front fenders.

The grill is a classic Jeep identifier, but I’ve made it much shallower so it fits onto a lower nose. The front still has quite an aggressive blocky shape, just leant back and with less vertical height as befits a mid-engined car.

The DLO [Editor’s Note: That’s Day Light Opening, silly designer-talk for “window” – JT] has a chamfered cut out, as you can drive a Wrangler with the doors off, so this lower line helps give a feeling of that. The B-pillar is simple and wraps onto the roof, like a roll bar. I’m imagining the roof as a lift out targa panel, for fresh air goodness at 160mph.



Moving towards the rear, it’s hunched and muscular but I’ve tried to keep the shapes and outline simple, without any unnecessary sculpting or flourishes. Jeeps are straightforward no-nonsense cars, and that’s what I’ve tried to stick to here. Only the little fins are a slight indulgence, but they serve to raise the rear a bit visually, helping to give the car more of a wedgy supercar profile.

The rear lights are an update of the classic more rounded style found on pre-JK Wranglers. This was at the behest of Torch ominously giving me the evil eye while nonchalantly fondling the expensive and toxic markers on my desk. I was going to update the current JL hourglass shape taillight, but in a design studio, you find a way to work with the direction you’re given.

[Editor’s Note: Damn straight. – JT]

Do you want to take this out into the lawless badlands of the post-President Musk collapse, hanging onto the last shred of your sanity by attempting to uphold what’s left of law and order? Or are you going to break it apart for precious parts and metals and leave me to be ripped apart by the crypto-zombies?

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69 Responses

  1. HEY! My idea was used! I’ve been looking everyday, but thought, “It was probably to weird an ask to be done. Sigh”. When I saw this this morning I was floored. I told every class I had, “Look! Look at I inspired!” They didn’t say, “meh”, and shrug, so I take that as enthusiasm.

    This thing is awesome! I would own one (if it was a gift. Teacher salary and all). The post apocalyptic story really brought it to life. I love Mad Max. I can see David as a younger, balder Mel Gibson. This was exactly what I was looking for: fast and tough. Keep up the great work! (I wanted to use more exclamation marks in this post, but I exercised restraint).

    I respect David’s ability to create life from rust. He’s the Dr. Frankenstein of cars. All the Jeep lovers need our own piece of the site. news, reviews, Jeeps!

      1. Being an Amerophile of course I know that the President has to be born in the US. I just thought it was funny.
        You know what else is funny? Boris Johnson was born in New York……

        1. Oof. At least Doug Ford was born in Canada, so we’re safe provided we don’t annex them or something equally ridiculous.

          Still, could you imagine the election season with Trump, Johnson, and Ford?

  2. I am curious what this would look like with round headlights. Would it be more Jeep-like or start looking like a Porsche? I see where you were trying to add the Jeep influences, but I’m not sure I would read this as a Jeep other than staring at the seven slot grille.

  3. Clearly you have never traveled Fury Road. With highways prowled by crypto-zombies and destroyed by mole mutants, cross terrain is the way we travel post-A. For once, Bi6 Wh33Lz are the right solution but you’re gonna need more suspension travel.

  4. Adrian, this is definitely the product of a fever dream. Because Jeep already makes a supercar.

    A 5,300lbs, 707HP, 645ft/lbs, 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, 180MPH capable, $90,000+ MSRP, barely guided missile called the Trackhawk.

    But to be fair, the Trackhawk is not a vehicle that can be understood in numbers. It is a vehicle you must drive to truly understand just how completely bugfuck insane it is. What, you thought this was insanity? Yeah, no. Again, 5,3000lbs WITHOUT DRIVER. It is not a vehicle that anybody can safely operate without serious training. It is faster to 60 than a Porsche 911. Which? Nearly all of them up until MY18. Which means it is just about uncontrollable, because for fuck’s sake, it’s nearly six goddamn thousand pounds with passengers and physics are not just a suggestion!

    Which is to say: Jeep would never, ever build this. Not in a million years. This is something that does not actively seek to kill both everyone inside it and everyone in a three mile radius.

    The part about David driving something stupidly fast? That’s believable. I’m absolutely certain he’ll have enough money to afford having me build something for him by then. I won’t do a Comanche (would have to ruin the look, and I won’t do that.) But I’m positive I could sell him on a 150MPH capable SJ with fully adjustable ride-height for maximum rock crawling capabilities. (Stop saying you need a solid axle, David! IFS can work! It’s just, uh, a lot harder.)
    Actually, there’s an idea for something to design. Since Chrysler failed abysmally at it, how about a Jeep Wagoneer (wood is NOT optional, goddamnit) for 2023 that just coincidentally happens to pack a Demonhellsatancat engine making 4 digit horsepower and can’t leave Cars and Coffee without committing vehicular homicide?

    1. Yeah the new Wagoneer was a huge disappointment. I want an original in black with dark gray wood and a gray interior (or dark silver with black wood). I fucking love the original.
      I’ll add a redo to the pile.

        1. I’m all black, all the time (apart from the Mondial which is resale red, but they’re my rules so I can break them) and when I can’t go black I go monochrome.

      1. I love ’em so much I helped an owner keep one on the road (with, uh, let’s just say ‘a lot more than a Trackhawk’ amount of power) for many, many years. Personally I wasn’t a huge fan of the color choice (black with real teak over saddle pull up Buffalo) but damn if it did not WORK on that car. Especially with 17″ Turbines.
        If I had the space (and the money – building them right is not cheap, and I don’t mean ripoff ‘we only sell Wagoneer’ scam artist not-cheap) I’d personally go either 1984 AMC Nordic Green over white oak and tan, or 1986 AMC Deep Night Blue over butternut and gray leather. But no Turbines for me, gimme a set of alloy wagon wheels in silver.

  5. If this were a car suited to a post-apocalyptic environment, it would have a tuned inline-6 mechanical-injection Cummins, with minimal or no electronics. You want it to be EMP-proof, rugged, and able to run on things other than petroleum diesel, such as biodiesel, waste vegetable oil, straight vegetable oil, brake fluid, automatic transmission fluid, CNG, propane, kerosene, and various mixtures thereof, and whatever else you could find that will ignite under high pressure. Such a Cummins, even running on crap fuel, could be tuned for close to 1,000 horsepower. However, it is going to be very tricky building a well-balanced car around that engine due to its mass, and it will likely necessitate a mid-engine AWD platform.

      1. That’s what I like. I do a “What is Art” presentation at the start of the year, and cars are one of the examples I like to bring up. If a car doesn’t have character (so many crossovers), it is art. If it does, it is GOOD art.

      2. I was hoping he’d see the comment. It also needs more ground clearance. The Jeep Trackhawk proves you can have an SUV retain stability at 180 mph while retaining SUV-appropriate ground clearance, but with proper attention to downforce, I think you could have a 250 mph capable hypercar that is minimally stable at top speed while having the requisite 7-8″ ground clearance for use off road or on roads that are in poor shape.

        Also, being that this vehicle will be reliant upon scavenged fuel, aero efficiency will also be very important, as will fuel storage capacity. Having good downforce and going offroad generally contradicts aerodynamic efficiency, but I think a Cd in the mid 0.2X range could be doable on such a vehicle. Most hypercars are built for looks, which greatly hinders their performance; they look sleek, but they aren’t actually sleek. If you can get such a beast to eek out 30 mpg on the highway with a 1,000 horsepower Cummins, a 100 gallon fuel capacity would be needed for traversing the wasteland, under the assumption that there will be nowhere to get fuel along the way. It would also be handy for out-distancing at high speed anyone who gives chase, even if it happens to be an MQ9 Reaper drone.

        If I designed this vehicle, I might have made it a narrow tandem-two-seater with outboard wheels to minimize frontal area and allow a high ground clearance. It would be more like a buggy, but the body would be tapered to keep drag low in the context of what it is. Outboard wheels are horrible for drag, but for off-road applications they have an advantage.

  6. Hi Adrian,

    I wanted to ask this question during some of your previous articles but I am always too late.

    If big wheels are one of the tools exterior designers use to get a car noticed, what is the equivalent of big wheels for the interior of concept vehicles? Vents, screens, weird wheels perhaps? I know you mentioned your not an interior car designer, but I figured you might still know the answer.

    Also I have no idea what your voice actually sounds like. But I read all your posts in the voice of George Lazenby in my head. I hope thats cool.

    1. Well George Lazenby is Australian for a start, but I won’t hold that against you. Hopefully you’ll get to hear me soon on the podcast. Once I got stopped by California’s finest for doing better than 90. I went full Hugh Grant daffy Englishman straight away. And it worked.

      With interiors, screens definitely. Or rather, using them in a different way. Also, using new and different materials, especially anything sustainable.

      1. You’re certainly correct. I meant Lazenby specifically as he was in On her majesty’s secret service.

        So you mean like the interior of the BMW i3 with its giant screens, sustainable vegan leather, and Eucalyptus dash?

        Thanks for the response!

        1. The i3 is widely considered to be one of the best interiors of recent times, definitely. Also the Volvo XC40 with it’s trash can and Swedish flag tags.
          I’ve spent some time in a top of line Land Rover Velar, and that was pretty fucking spectacular as well, not just in terms of materials but the clever combination of touch screens and haptic controls, and the fact it wasn’t unremittingly black.

          1. I’m curious then what the interior of your Jeep hyper car would be like? Im thinking touches of Alfa Romeo Corabo via the Fiat/alfa/stellantis parts bin ( and that its spartan as hell inside) with big chunky knobs, jeep drain plugs in the floor and a “since 1942” on the dash somewhere, maybe written on the passenger “oh shit” dash handle.

      2. “Once I got stopped by California’s finest for doing better than 90. I went full Hugh Grant daffy Englishman straight away. And it worked.”

        This never happened to the other guy….

        And I LIKE this design. Even if you eliminate the Jeep cues it looks good. You may wish to hold on to this one, you know, just in case it comes up down the line.

        1. I think I was southbound towards LA, I had just come off the PCH. Came round the bend and saw him on the shoulder. No problem I thought, braked back down to about 65, but what surprised me was quickly that Crown Vic was ON ME. Those things can haul.

  7. Violater, which holds a special place in my heart as the first record (yes vinyl) my ex-wife put on when we got back to her family house in Tennessee on our first meeting. We got very drunk and then listened to Phantasmagoria by The Damned (my favorite by them).

    In the car I made David put on ‘A13 Trunk road to the sea’ by Sir Billy of Bragg, the Bard of Barking.

  8. Love it, but here’s an another idea:
    What if Jeep actually made an relativ compact, affordable and practical car, in the true to the spirit of the original Jeep, but without half a ton of plastics that makes up the Renegade? A modular EV-plattform, but designed and constructed so it’s easy upgradable and easy to customize to your own needs. Remove all the nonsensical stuff of modern cars and car design: The painted plastic bumpers which scratch easily, no low profile tyres, remove the wheels that are easily damaged, only use sustainable materials that age well and remove all proprietary electronics and software. Sort of like the original Lotus Elise (extruded alu-bonded frame etc) only practical, ev and four-wheel drive. Now that’s a design challenge!

    1. It possibly could be done, although the ‘modular upgradable and customizable’ part probably wouldn’t go further than you already can with something like a Wrangler. Modern cars are essentially made up of a multitude of systems, and so tightly constructed and integrated that once you introduce modularity you’re essentially adding weak points into the design. Remember the Google modular phone?
      OEMs have tried ‘user customization’ before on trim pieces and colored panels before. The OG Smart, MINI, Vauxhall/Opel Adam to name a few. Customers really aren’t interested and would rather be presented with a few well curated options.
      The other issue is that a simple, unpretentious car would struggle to find volume. I’ve written about it elsewhere (Fiat Panda) but customers generally do like features. When Dacia introduced the Duster it came in white with steel wheels and polypropylene bumpers and was something like £8995. They sold hardly any because people were wondering where the nav was and why it didn’t have a/c.

      1. Yes, the modular approach has a lot of limitations, and seems to work best as conceptual thought.
        Compared with how the custom bicycle world operates though it’s different. I know a car is on a completely different level of complexity, but like a custom bike it would be nice to build your car like a bike. Would you like the frame in cf, steel or ..titanium? Your own custom shaped body panels in vacuum drawn plastics, aluminium or textile? Electric or Diesel? Two seats or four?
        Probably not a very affordable car anymore, but hey!

      1. I’ll be happy if in your fever dream David was sporting a mullet.

        Being Post A, can you still get egg whites or whatever you english folks use to spike your hair.?

        If David had a mullet, and you had a camo dyed fin with an old very worn out GBH shirt…

  9. On some of the drawings and renders the rear spoiler/wing/vertical uprights with no horizontal bar appear to lean into the wind versus back from the wind. What’s the intent behind the leaning into the wind ones, you generally don’t see that on vehicles.

    Also, the Torch mandated round taillights remind me too much of the Renegade Screwdrivers which are a terrible visual design.

  10. Violater. Kinda holds a special place in my heart as it was one of the first records (yes vinyl) my ex wife put on when we first got back to her family house in Tennessee on our first meeting, when we got very drunk and also listened to Phantasmagoria by The Damned (probably my fave album by them as well).

    Behind the wheel I made David put on Billy Bragg’s ‘A13 Trunk road to the sea’.

    1. I knew you were a dude of good taste. I go through phases on runners up for Depeche Mode, but Violator is the best (also with you on Phantasmagoria)

      Also, I’ve never been up on my Billy Bragg but I’m going to have to fix that because that song fucking rips–thank you for the enlightenment!

      1. One day I’ll write an article about the A13. It winds out of the middle of London and heads out into Essex, but much more than that it’s a white working class artery, lined as it was with used car dealers, parts shops, tire shops, independent garages and finally as it gets out into Dagenham the Ford factory. And it traces the white flight of working class Londoners out into the surrounding areas as well. It’s fascinating, and near where I grew up.

        1. I would love to read that piece! Also my American is showing because I didn’t know white flight was a thing in the UK but it makes total sense that it would be. Educate us Americans more with a roadtrip piece (and maybe a playlist to accompany it?)

          1. I can only speak to London, as that’s where I’m from. It’s one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and has a long and proud history of making immigrants welcome. Obviously a lot of immigrants ended up in the poorer, working class areas (particularly east London) and as the white working man made good they headed out into the home counties (mainly Essex to the east, and Kent to the south east).

            1. I’ve been to England a few times and the diversity really struck me the first time I went to London. Being from southern California it helped me feel at home that way (still wildly different from what I was used to, but the people and energy were great)

              I’ve also been to a bunch of other places all over England, but the one that sticks out most in my mind was the village of Edwinstowe in Nottinghamshire. The white of that place was almost blinding lol. Hot Fuzz hadn’t come out yet when I was there but damn if the town in that movie isn’t a dead ringer for what I experienced in Edwinstowe.

              In hindsight I probably should have put it all together far sooner. Also goes a long way to explaing Brexit

      2. If you educate yourself on Billy Bragg, it shouldn’t take you long to find Levi Stubbs Tears. It really is one of the most brilliant songs ever.

        It’s not at all deep in his catalog, but even shallow knowledge of Billy Bragg often seems a world away from ordinary music.

        1. Maybe you’ll have David Tracy playing and singing along to “This Corrosion” when he’s working on his rusted shit heaps. It would be apropos.

  11. Well, at least we don’t have to worry about the apocalypse happening, “post-President Musk” is never gonna happen as he ain’t from ’round these parts.

    I was confused about where the engine came from, though. Kept looking for a 1928 Barracuda and just got nothing. Then I remembered that we’re not in the ’90s anymore and I had to look for a 2028 car with a Hurricane engine

      1. Speaking of playlists, something that I’ve been wondering–what’s your favorite Depeche Mode album? I feel safe in assuming that you have good opinions on the matter given your taste for black-clad music.

        And, related to the article, is it the “Route 66” cover you’re blasting in this dopeass Jeep hypercar, or is it “Behind the Wheel?”

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