Favorite Jeep concepts: 2012 Mighty FC

It’s not yet Easter, and the rocks are still there in Moab, so let’s continue our look back at the most memorable Jeep concept vehicles with a rig that’s so big, bad and packed full of pure awesome, we wonder how Jeep’s engineers ever got it approved — even in concept form.

Making its initial debut at the 2013 Moab Easter Jeep Safari, the Mighty FC is a hard-core tip of the hat to the much-loved Forward Control Jeeps of the 1950s and ’60s.

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Like those earlier Jeeps, the Mighty FC features a small passenger cab thrust forward of the front axle and a long, modular truck bed. The Wrangler JK-based concept is ready to tackle any trail thanks to its Mopar portal axles (offset shafts that offer increased ground clearance at lower lift heights), 40-inch BF Goodrich Krawler tires on custom Hutchinson 17-inch bead-locks and 117-inch wheelbase. And, lest you think the Mighty FC is only an engineering exercise, the eight-lug portal axles are available to any enthusiast at the, ahem, modest price tag of $12,500 for the front and $11,000 for the rear unit. Keeping the giant axles under control is a set of King coil-overs with reservoir shocks and Teraflex control arms and track bars. Rounding out the funky aesthetic are Hanson Off-Road bumpers, a Warn 16.5 winch and a Corsa stainless steel exhaust. Pushing around all that off-road goodness is a straight-from-the-factory 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 mated to an automatic transmission.

The Mighty FC was an instant hit among the Jeep faithful, who’ve long been begging the suits at Chrysler, and now Fiat, to bring a pickup back to the seven-slot brand’s lineup. Alas, the very thing that gives the Mighty FC its unmistakable flavor, namely the cab-over-axle design, is the primary obstacle to its production viability. After all, putting driver and passenger out at the vehicle’s leading edge isn’t likely to sit well with federal safety regulators.

Even though the Mighty FC will never see production, we’ll always have the memories of a somewhat wacky, go-anywhere pickup taming the rugged hills of Moab.

Mighty, indeed.

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