At around $69,000, the full-size Wagoneer wouldn’t be the first Jeep you’d consider going off-road. Despite its cost and overall size, the Wagoneer is at least made for less travel path than most full-size SUVs. Lube specialist he MOTUL decided to spice up the 2022 Series 1 with a burly homage to its 45th anniversary. Driving the infamous Dakar Rally. Here’s what turned this wagoneer into a family his wagon to a rally raider his style of kicking dirt.
There is also precedent to associate Dakar with Jeep in 2012 when Mark McMillin drove a WK generation Grand Cherokee to take part in the world’s biggest rally raid. This was also done when held in Argentina, Chile and Peru instead of Africa. The race will remain in South America until 2020 when the location moves to Saudi Arabia. Still, the Wagoneer isn’t the first vehicle in the minds of both Motul and racing fans in North America.
Many of the MOTUL staff were fans of Wagoneer’s production and supported the Dakar tribute theme, but behind the scenes there was some hesitation. “Several members of our team were hesitant to commit because they weren’t happy with the platform or styling and there wasn’t much aftermarket support for him available,” said Browning. . What convinced these team his members was the call to rendering and off-road his aftermarket partners. After seeing how not only the project was more feasible than they originally thought, but how awesome the Dakar-themed Wagoneer would be, the only thing they could do was pull the trigger and buy it.
Their canvas of choice was a 2022 Wagoneer Series I Carbide 4×4 White that they found thanks to Driveway.com and Pfaff Motorsports. Using this particular model allowed the team to utilize a conventional suspension system rather than the air suspension system found on the more premium Wagoneers and Grand Wagoneers. The team then hooked up with Rad Rides and discovered that the Readylift kit for the front of the 2019-up Ram 2500 would work with his Wagoneer’s front suspension. The rear needed custom his 2 inch lift spacers. This is because the independent setup is significantly different from his 2500s and other Rams.
A set of Black Rhino Wheels Chase 18×8.5 inch rims wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires (size 35 x 12.50R18) were installed to enhance the look of this Dakar’d Wagoneer. Additional matching wheels and tires were installed after Rig’d Supply sent his MOTUL USA team an external UltraSwing Multi-Fit spare-tire hitch mount. It includes a jerrycan mount and license plate relocation kit. The Jeep was then sent to Sticky Fingers Design’s Hunting Beach in California to get a Dakar-themed wrap. Of course, the final addition to the Wagoneer was a fluid change using Motul’s 8100 Eco-Lite 0W20 synthetic engine oil, Gear 300 75W90 and Gear 300 75W90 LS gear oil.
There are some parts that have yet to be added, such as the Area BFE Black Series rooftop tent (with aluminum hardshell), a refrigerator/freezer combo housed in a Goose Gear custom cabinet that provides additional storage for media gear, and the Gobi. Racks Stealth Roof Rack and Rear Ladder. Ultimately, this will be primarily a flashy promotional vehicle. “Once we have camping equipment like roof racks, tents, refrigerators and storage, we plan to use it for our marketing and media teams covering desert events like King of the Hammers, Overland, Expo, and tracked vehicles in Baja. Yep, not only does it act as a marketing tool, but it’s also used as a camper for those events, so you can capture all the great images you find in your ads and brand stories.
The Wagoneer isn’t the first vehicle that comes to mind when you think of the Dakar Rally Raid races, but its sheer size makes this Jeep hard to miss in a sea of off-road tracks. That said, I can’t help but wonder how well the race-ready Wagoneer will perform in the infamous off-road race…