All posts in “Rides”

The GTA-R from Alfaholics is a restomod unlike any other

Over the years, it has been a hit-or-miss affair for a certain Italian carmaker. Nevertheless, fans of the marque continue to support whatever rolls out of the factory. This is what we mean about loyalty, but sometimes it has to stop in order to have the brand learn from their mistakes. On the other showcasing restomod like the Alfaholics GTA-R right here should also be effective. In fact, sources tell us that a few automotive aficionados would rather choose it than more modern Alfa Romeos out there.

It’s easy to understand why once you see this vintage beauty up close. The Alfaholics GTA-R starts off with an old-school 105 series coupe. The level of detail that goes into the restoration of this machine is impressive. From start to finish, approximately 3,000 hours of work go into each example. Experts will be handcrafting everything from premium materials and components only.  In short, owners are getting only the best.

Customization options available include, the GTA-R, a Spider-R convertible, or a Ti-R saloon. It’s you’re ride so you get to dictate how you want to have it. Alfaholics wants its client’s input every step of the way. The engine, upholstery, dashboard, suspension, lighting, seats, and more are fair game. Thus, you’re looking at a bespoke service unlike any other in the market.

If a buyer fancies more modern upgrades, Alfaholics will gladly oblige. The shop mentions, sequential electronic fuel injection, titanium wishbones, carbon fiber body panels, and even air-conditioning. The GTA-R and its other configurations will surely be awesome acquisitions for collectors and motoring enthusiasts.

Learn more about it here

Images courtesy of Alfaholics

In the 1980s, Ford Had Some Very Weird Ideas for the Bronco

The first version of the Ford Bronco was timeless. It remains, more than half a century later, one of the coolest cars on the road; people pay well into the six-figures for exquisite restored Broncos, and the off-roader’s enduring popularity has forced Ford to bring the model back in all-new form (which will be arriving a couple of weeks from now, at long last).

Unlike Jeep with the Wrangler, however, Ford definitely messed with success. Rather than stick with what worked, FoMoCo designed and built underwhelming Broncos all the way through the mid-1990s. (Need we remind you of the rollover-prone Bronco II?)

Ford also attempted a couple of reimaginings of the Bronco in the 1980s that were very much of their time. These concepts never made it to production — and, judging from leaked photos — have provided no inspiration whatsoever to the new Bronco. Which, as you can see in the pictures below, is probably for the best.

Ford Bronco Montana Lobo (1981)

The Ford Bronco Montana Lobo debuted at the 1981 Chicago Auto Show. It was definitely…something. Built on a first-gen 1977 chassis, the Bronco Montana Lobo was imbued with a style we can only describe as Malaise Era avant-garde.

It was painted the color of mustard, and looked like the ideal Bronco for a 1981 party boy named Chaz who needed a vehicle that could transition seamlessly from his parents’ lodge in Vail to his side hustle moving controlled substances.

This baby had a T-top and removable, tinted plexiglass doors, plus sliding glass doors for access to the bench seats in the open-air rear party deck. The Montana Lobo bodywork also included side rails containing both louvers and flying buttresses and a rooftop airfoil, because, sure, why not?

And somehow, its side pipe exhaust is the last thing you notice.

Ford Bronco DM-1 (1988)

Ford once had a design sketch so wonderful, it just had to become a functional car. That became the Bronco DM-1. It takes us to the future of the SUV…where SUVs look absolutely nothing like an SUV.

It abandons all pretense of being boxy for a completely rounded, seamless look designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency, and features what comes close to being a 360-degree bubble top for maximum visibility. Ford said it could accommodate the Bronco II’s four-wheel-drive setup…yet they built it on the Escort’s car platform.

The white version looks semi-acceptable, with a dash of RoboCop futurism — as though someone had made a Ford Probe crossover.

Unfortunately, Ford also made a yellow prototype. It had matching yellow rims, and looked like someone had made a car out of flan.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

More by Tyler Duffy | Follow on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email

Watch One of the Coolest Pickup Trucks of the Future Strut Its Stuff

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electric powerslide

If we had to rank all the upcoming electric vehicles in terms of how excited we are about them, the Rivian R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV would be at or near the top of the list. Sure, Porsche’s soft-roader Taycan wagon will surely be dynamite and Cadillac’s handmade Bentley-esque super-sedan delightful, but Rivian is moving the EV ball forward in ways like no one else, bar Tesla. Their vehicles promise not only sports car acceleration and truck-spec off-road capability, but innovative ideas like tank turns, multipurpose tailgates and pop-out kitchens that could leave other trucks feeling inadequate. (Y’know, if trucks had feelings.)

But you can’t make good on those promises without lots and lots of testing. As with every carmaker, the Rivian engineers have to torture the crap out of their prototypes to see when, where and how they’ll break…and then improve upon those limits. And as it turns out, that makes for some pretty compelling video — which Rivian recently posted to YouTube for all to see.

The video shows the R1T kicking rocks and taking names in the hot desert of Arizona: crawling up and down steep slopes, launching with four-wheel-drive vigor in the thick dust, and barreling down dirt roads at speeds that make us sad we haven’t had the chance to do any high-speed desert driving in ages.

The coronavirus pandemic has led Rivian to push production of the R1T back to the 2021 calendar year, but as long as the carmaker keeps on putting out snackable content like this for us to gaze upon, we don’t mind. At least, not too much.

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Will Sabel Courtney

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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The Cars We Desperately Wanted to Drive in High School

High school is a formative time for car enthusiasts — and a frustrating one. It’s the time when having a car is vitally important as both a source of autonomy and a signifier of identity. It’s also the time when most of us are furthest away from the cars we really want — stuck instead with a hand-me-down ride, or left borrowing our parents’ car.

We at Gear Patrol were no different. Some of us were budding rally drivers in our minds in high school; others should have paid a bit more attention in math class. But we all shared a burning desire for cars outside our reach. Here are the cars we wish we had been able to drive when we first had our licenses.

Subaru Impreza WRX

“Subaru unleashed the first Impreza WRX on America when I was a senior in high school. The WRX was a perfect match for my 18-year-old blend of heedlessness, hormone levels and ability to operate a manual transmission. The WRX was also relatively affordable, which made owning one — at least, in my head — feel tantalizingly close to being realistic.” – Tyler Duffy, Motoring Writer

Ferrari 575M Maranello

“I’ve loved cars since before I can remember, but only one car earned the honor of having its picture taped to the cover of my Ti-83+ — the Ferrari 575M. Front-engine V12 Ferraris have a charm like none other for me. If I had a nickel for every fact I missed in math class while daydreaming about driving that 575M, I’d be able to buy one.” – Will Sabel Courtney, Motoring Editor

Nissan Xterra

“I wasn’t a car guy then, and I’m not now, but it’s difficult to put into words how much I wanted a Nissan Xterra. In hindsight, the SUV’s discontinuation just a short while after my lust phase ended meant my inability to buy one could be played as my really impressive knowledge of fuel economics, emissions and safety features. But really it’s just the car everybody who was — seemed? — cool had.” – Will Price, Assistant Editor

RUF CTR2 993 (in silver)

“My taste since high school hasn’t changed much, and it’s quite simply the most gorgeous car ever.” – Hunter Kelley, Associate Designer

Volvo 245DL Wagon

“My parents had one when I was a toddler, two of my uncles had one when I was growing up, and my other uncle had a 244GL sedan. Needless to say, the 240 model was the pinnacle of car cool for me growing up. When I really got into surfing in middle school, I had hoped for eventually finding a Volvo wagon just like the one my parents had (why they ever got rid of it, I do not know). Instead, I settled for a 1988 Toyota Camry sedan as my first car. A long cry from the cool of the ’80s Volvo wagon.” – Ryan Brower, Commerce Editor

1985 Lamborghini Countach LP5000 Quattrovalvole

“I was not super-into cars back then, but I most definitely had a poster of this one in white with those scissor doors wide open, silhouetted on a black background. It was gorgeous and Italian and fast and totally unattainable, and I gazed at it longingly every day. Many years later, I did a Gotham Dream Cars tour with a bunch of Lambos…and, damn, I would still take one in a heartbeat if I had a garage to store it. And a separate bank account to cover the insurance.” – Steve Mazzucchi, Outdoors & Fitness Editor

Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

More by Tyler Duffy | Follow on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email

2020 Ferrari F8 Spider First Drive | Al fresco driving without compromise

LOS ANGELES — Humanity may be hermetically sealed off by facemasks and lockdowns, but the 2020 Ferrari F8 Spider is ferociously gulping gallons of atmosphere into the cabin as I dice through Malibu’s canyon roads. At least the al fresco exotic can button up in a pinch: Give it 14 seconds at speeds up to 28 mph, and the two-piece hardtop envelops the cockpit, shielding the Giallo Modena two-seater from breathy bystanders.

Microbes were the last thing on my mind while piloting Maranello’s roadster du jour, especially in the remote confines of the coastal Santa Monica mountain range. With a 710-horsepower twin-turbo V8 tucked behind me, it’s easy to see why: this $396,994 prancing horse absolutely rips, ticking off a claimed 62-mph time of 2.9 seconds (figure around 2.7 clicks to 60 mph). With a long enough leash, it should whisk to 211 mph.

Ferrari says Spider customers are more likely to have a passenger and less likely to visit a race track. Sounds about right. In this application, emotion does hold more sway than outright performance stats, especially when you’re traversing the perfect road with sunlight kissing you and your co-pilot. When behind the Spider’s steering wheel —  which, like an F1 car, crams buttons, switches and dials for turn signals, wipers, high beams into a concentrated space — the sense of occasion is palpable. The Spider still manages 0-60 mph and top speed numbers identical to the coupe (though .4 seconds are sacrificed on the sprint to 124 mph). But some stats still matter: The open-air model is 154 pounds heavier (though 44 pounds lighter than its predecessor, the 488 Spider), and any convertible is inevitably flexier and less responsive than its closed-roof counterpart. For those keeping score at home, there are also some nitpicky stylistic concessions that come with the cabrio. For instance, the juncture of the C-pillar to the rooftop isn’t quite as fluid, and the gorgeous, red-headed engine isn’t on display like it is in the coupe, but rather is relegated to visual anonymity.

At least the powerplant is still raucous, though its acoustic imprint is less clear in this form since the folding hardtop mechanism is nestled above it like baffled layer cake. Though the 3.9-liter V8’s thrum is still loud enough to broadcast its presence for miles, the effect is incrementally less intoxicating within the cockpit. However, the mill does become more vocal when the centrally positioned tachometer gets within sneezing distance of the 8,000-rpm redline. In both coupe and convertible form, the F8’s twin-turbo power is inarguably engaging, even if you miss the wonderfully aural experience of the late, great 458’s naturally aspirated V8. While the old model had a sensory advantage, it can’t compete with the F8’s power production, which peaks with 710 hp at 8,000 rpm and 568 pound-feet of torque at a low 3,250 rpm. Not bad for its relatively diminutive, 3.9-liter displacement.

Clicking the small, steering wheel-mounted manettino alters your driving experience dramatically. Sport, the mildest setting next to Wet, curtails power quite a bit, and keeps the F8’s tail tucked in through corners. While straight-line acceleration is breathtaking — especially when the tires are warm enough to properly hook up — in Sport mode, one could quickly forget that the mid-mounted V8 churns over 700 horsepower. It’s even easier to be deceived in the corners since the electronic aids subtly curtail engine output in order to keep things tidy. But dial the clicker up to Race, or especially TC Off (which disables traction control), and the powerplant’s furious energy unleashes with tire-spinning gusto. Despite the considerable 58.5% of weight over the rear axle, the drivetrain is simply more tenacious than the rubber, yielding easily modulated slides when the throttle is goosed. The Michelin Pilot Super Sports are exceptionally sticky, but they’re simply no match for the monster power of the blown V8.

But it’s not all mechanical grip and rear-drive brawn: this Ferrari has a few electronic tricks up its sleeve, among them a brake vectoring system that was first introduced in the 488 Pista. By braking individual wheels when necessary, the F8 feels light on its feet, ready to juke its way through the twistiest of corners with eye-opening agility. Surprisingly little of my tester’s $94,494 worth of optional equipment is dedicated to performance, though the carbon fiber steering wheel (part of a $7,593 package) does impart a feeling of steering precision by reducing rotational inertia, and the optional carbon racing buckets ($9,112) convey a more direct link between my seat-of-the-pants and the road. These are incremental (and arguably aesthetic) improvements. But hey, if you’re already window shopping a sports car that starts at $297,250 (before the $3,950 destination fee and $1,300 gas guzzler tax), what’s another $100k for bits and baubles?

Getting into a high-speed rhythm proves surprisingly easy once you’ve acclimated to the F8’s sense of athleticism and immediacy. Though not quite as manic as special performance variants like the 488 Pista (or dialed-to-11 spinoffs like the F12 TDF), you’re best off managing this bad boy with a heightened attitude of mindfulness. Velocity accumulates nearly instantaneously, especially since the tachometer needle seems to find the 8,000-rpm redline quicker than you expect. The rev limiter feels surprisingly soft, but if you’ve decided the smooth, quick-shifting, dual-clutch seven-speed transmission isn’t for you, you’d better keep an eye open for those rapidly approaching revs. At least the LED-equipped steering wheel (part of the aforementioned $7,593 package) flashes red and blue to alert you of the impending power crescendo — and perhaps a subtle nod to law enforcement eventualities? Every Ferrari on the market comes equipped with standard carbon ceramic brakes, and the Spider’s operate with a bit of pedal effort, but outstanding feel and stopping power. At least they feel easier to modulate once they’re properly warmed up. And speaking of temperature, my F8 was spec’d without creature comforts like cooled/heated seats, though it did, thankfully, come with a $4,219 (!) Apple CarPlay option, which displays phone mirroring on the small dashboard-mounted screen next to the big, yellow tach.

If you’re obsessing over the skimpy standard equipment list and moaning about the real estate-like cost of entry, allow me to state the painfully obvious: The Ferrari F8 Spider probably isn’t for you. But if you’re a zealous (and spendy) driver with a hunger for stunning Italians, meandering roads, and healthy doses of Vitamin D, this open-air Ferrari just might be what the doctor ordered.

Related Video:

7 Car-Themed Pieces of Furniture We’d Actually Want in Our Homes

Your home is an extension of yourself, so if you’re a car enthusiast, you may be looking for a way to project your passion for all things automotive via your furnishings But that can be a bit tough to do…at least, if you want to do it subtly and tastefully. You may not want to go all-in with a $24,000 Lamborghini speaker or a $10,000 couch made from a 1957 Chevy, and there’s only a finite age window where a race car bed is appropriate.

Below, however, are a few car-themed conversation starters we certainly wouldn’t mind having around our homes.

Porsche Design 911 Speaker

Porsche Design built a Bluetooth speaker using the original exhaust pipe from the 911 GT3. It’s Porsche, so as you would expect, there’s a fancier version incorporating the original rear silencer for a few grand more.

Sahara Force India Limited Edition Wheel Rim Coffee Table

The Force India F1 team has become Racing Point, and will soon be Aston Martin. And you can bet that team’s livery will no longer be pink. But that means there’ll be a bit more rarity to this bit of racing history: a race-used wheel rim from the 2014 season, that has been converted into a coffee table.

Toyota Piston Clock

Toyota fandom is real — and spectacular. Now, you can celebrate it with this clock-slash-pen holder built using a real Toyota piston. It can be painted, cleaned up and polished, or left to develop a patina for a worn look. (Sadly, you can’t add the ubiquitous Toyota digital dash clock.)

Jeep CJ Tailgate Buffet Table

Repurposed barn wood is great. What could make it even better? Cabinet doors repurposed from an old Jeep CJ tailgate. This item can serve as a buffet table — or, if so inclined, a media center.

Block Wine Rack Coffee Table

One thing about old engine blocks: they’re just about the right size to be a wine rack. This one is also a coffee table.

Alfa Romeo 2.5-Liter V6 Engine Coffee Table

The Alfa Romeo GTV6 remains a legend because of its 2.5-liter V6 engine. This one no longer makes sweet internal combustion music, but it does make a fine-looking coffee table.

Picswood Toy Car Storage Shelf

The trouble with Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars is if you buy your kid one, you’ll end up buying a hundred — and those cars will end up stashed in every crevice of your house. This customizable wall storage rack will help your child (or adult) organize his or her things.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

More by Tyler Duffy | Follow on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email

The Rimac Hyper Cyber concept channels a cyberpunk vibe

Whenever a discussion comes up about how motorcycles of the future would look like it is highly likely that Kaneda’s bike from Akira will become a reference. In fact, many designers rely on aesthetics to deliver a specific vibe. Appearing more like a cockpit sourced from a fighter plane, it continues to inspire concept models and even actual commercial releases. Attempting to channel a cyberpunk essence, digital designer 3D-Mente is presenting the Rimac Hyper Cyber.

Those of you who have been closely following the exploits of the always awesome Elon Musk have surely seen the Tesla Cybertruck. The hyper-futuristic form factor with sharp angles all around is perhaps the closest we can compare to the concept motorcycle. Our best guess is that if this eventually heads to production, it would be an all-electric transport.

What appears to be a metallic fuel tank cap might be a cleverly disguised charging port. Although the images do not show a visible instrument panel, it could be just under the cowl. The front is dominated by a rectangular LED headlight cluster. Meanwhile, the real features a turn signals and a brake light assembly as well. 3D-Mente even shows it beside a concept hypercar with glowing circuitry patterns on its surfaces.

The Hyper Cyber is actually one of the many entries for the Rimac 2080 Design Challenge. We hope the Croatian carmaker finds it feasible to produce an actual physical concept to show off down the line. This goes to show some artists deserve recognition for pushing the envelope beyond the future.

Check it out: here

Images courtesy of 3D-Mente/Rimac

Help Hungry People Across America Just By Entering to Win This Range Rover

<!–Help Food Banks By Entering to Win This Range Rover Sport • Gear Patrol<!– –>

land rover’s ultimate performance vehicle

Food banks are a vital resource for many Americans — perhaps now more than ever. Luckily, there are many good organizations out there working to help combat hunger. Feeding America, for example, is a non-profit that provides surplus food to a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs nationwide.

So if you want to help out their work and potentially score an incredible SUV, you can hop on this giveaway of a Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR, going on right now at Omaze.

The Range Rover Sport SVR is Land Rover’s ultimate on-road performance vehicle, the most powerful and agile SUV in the lineup. It has a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that puts out 575 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. The Range Rover Sport SVR can deliver sports car performance on the road, accelerating from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and hitting a top speed of 176 mph. And of course, it’s still a Range Rover as well, packing the brand’s impressive suite of off-roading hardware and software.

The MSRP for this Range Rover Sport SVR is $145,000, with the color of the eventual vehicle to be determined. (If they give you a chance to choose it, we recommend blue.) The prize includes taxes and shipping costs, as well. And if the sweet SUV wasn’t enough, it also comes with $20,000 cash, which you could presumably turn around and donate back to Feeding America if so inclined.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

More by Tyler Duffy | Follow on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email



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2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Road Test | Finding joy

There is a Ferrari F8 Tributo sitting in my driveway, casting the unmistakable silhouette of a mid-engine supercar. There’s no mistaking the lightness of a hood, nor the fecund swell of the aft. This is no ordinary car.

Not to frame everything around this super-weird era, but things are super weird, right? Irony doesn’t hold up in a world where even a basic connection makes you want to break down and cry.

So what do you hope when you drive a new Ferrari? The answer is joy. Unadulterated, unmitigated, unjaded joy. And if a brand-new Ferrari can’t bring it, I’m pretty sure I’m a zombie inside.

The F8 has a twin-turbocharged V8 making 710 hp and 569 pound-feet of torque, the same powerplant found in the 488 Pista. It replaces the 488GTB in Ferrari’s line of “regular” mid-engine V8s. Price? It starts at $270,530, and as tested comes in at $360,796.

This is hardly my first Ferrari foray, and the mid-engine, V8 configuration is the formula that most tickles my fancy. Keep your Superfasts and Romas and Californias: I’ll have the nimblest of Prancing Horses, thanks.

But a worry nips at me. When the 458 line sunsetted out of showrooms and into the garages of collectors, so too did the halcyon days of the naturally-aspirated V8. The 488 was quicker than the 458, but it was not necessarily better. A measure of that Ferrari joy was diluted when it lost its natural-breathing soundtrack.

Another generation along, can the Tributo bring it back?

My first experience in a mid-engine Ferrari was at the wheel of an F430, experienced at Lime Rock racetrack and the local roads in Connecticut. It was me and another wet-behind-the-ears journalist, and when the 4.3-liter V8 opened up behind our heads, all previous personal expectations about sports cars shattered. I simply didn’t know a car could move along a two-lane road with such motivation and élan. That it did so making that sound from back there? Even better.

We switched seats, and my colleague wound up getting nailed by a local cop as we neared the gates of Lime Rock. I sincerely suggested that he frame the ticket. It’s not every day you get pulled over in a Ferrari.

Later I drove the lighter, livelier version of the F430 on the racetrack — the 430 Scuderia. It set a high mark for me when it comes to track-focused road cars. It went wherever you looked without hesitation, a car linked to your optic nerves. 

Then, the 458 Italia. I tested an early model in Italy, driving it out of factory gates in Maranello. I posited afterward that few mortal, regular drivers could handle a car that transported you so far down the road with a sudden shove of the accelerator. Too fast, maybe. A few years after that, I raced in the Ferrari Challenge series at Watkins Glen in a 458 Challenge car. Add in racing slicks and an even-further-stiffened body and you find yourself testing the limits of both traction and your own bravery.

And finally came the 488. The first forced-induction version of the Platonian ideal. It was faster, colleagues insisted, and they were right. But the noise, no matter how hard the engineers tried (and they did, they told me in that deep and non-ironic Italian sincerity), just wasn’t the same. It was a bridge to a whole new world; one I wasn’t sure I wanted to cross.  

And so, today, finally, the F8 Tributo.

Just sitting inside, you are surprised by the overt simplicity, the low dash, the 1970s-throwback starkness. We’ve become accustomed to the rampant proliferation of digital screens, bulky central tunnels, and cockpit-style seating. By contrast, the Tributo’s sport buckets are low and flat, the area separating driver and passenger uncluttered. It’s an open and even friendly space.

This level of simplicity began in the 458 and continued into the 488, but in the F8, it feels like the interior designers have decluttered even more. All the frippery is gone and it’s just dead simple and gorgeous — a clarion declaration that focus should be paid to what’s happening outside of the vehicle. 

Out onto the network of two-lane byroads that thread throughout the Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania, the Tributo is pliant enough to skim over pitted asphalt and even — at low speeds, with nose raised — gravel roads. The “bumpy road” suspension setting is brilliant when you’re feeling speedy on less than pristine tarmac.

As befitting its layout, there’s no Normal mode: just Wet and Sport and further ludicrous notches up the Manettino dial. Still, even in Sport, the F8 is surprisingly relaxed when you’re not trying to trammel the pavement. A thumb and two fingers on both hands is enough pressure on the new and smaller steering wheel to guide the F8 along at both around-town and extra-legal speeds.

There’s no induced heaviness, and the twitchiness of the 458 is gone. Turn the wheel too much in the Italia and the Ferrari would take a hard set and jar you in that direction, like an irrepressible hound after a rabbit. By contrast, the F8’s steering is a fine-tuned thing — perfection.

The bated breath of the 488 is gone, too. Engineers of the era worked hard to mimic the gradual build of a naturally aspirated engine, but there was still a moment when the GTB would experience a wallop of power — often more than you expected, and perhaps more than needed, and you’d have to catch up to the steering. 

The intervening years have allowed the minds at Maranello to better integrate the turbo and the suspension. Everyone is playing together beautifully, a reintegrated orchestra. The sound isn’t the thing of old, but it’s a new and vibrant thing, and after about an hour’s drive, I let my previous reservations go. This thing is a mid-engine V8 Ferrari, and it is a joy.

And with that began days and days of driving and giving rides. There’s a bridge out of town that’s been shut down, leaving a long section of road without traffic. That’s the place for launch control and hard braking. The 2.9-second rush to 62 mph is a thing to be experienced, and any long and sustained sprint easily allows you to believe the claimed 211-mph top speed.

Straight-line speed isn’t the F8’s reason for being, though. Rather, it’s the road that coils up a mountain ridge, with decreasing-radius turns and followed by a set of downhill sweepers. There is nothing artificial feeling about this car. There are lines of code running in the background, handling wheel spin and yaw control, of course, but they never pop up their heads from the digital ground to bother you.

There are even days of rain that force me to turn the dial to Wet. I take the Ferrari out anyway, just for the feel of the steering wheel in my hand.

And, lastly, even when it’s just parked in the driveway, I sit on my front steps with a coffee, enjoying the way the light plays on the exterior bodywork. The design is simplified, undiluted.

In all of the heaviness of the world and its recent enforced stillness, the F8 allowed me to reconnect. To be part of the outside world again. That’s as much as you could ask of any car.

Related Video:

Toyota’s New Truck Could Be a Sneak Peek at the Next Tacoma

<!–Could This Truck Be a Preview of the Next Toyota Tacoma? • Gear Patrol<!– –>

two trucks could easily become one

The Hilux, should you not be aware, is Toyota’s legendarily durable pickup favored by ranchers and militant groups around the globe. The Japanese company used to sell it in the U.S. as the “Toyota Pickup” — as seen in Back to the Future — before the Tacoma replaced it in 1995. Now, Toyota has unveiled a new 2021 model year Hilux for markets abroad, which makes us wonder: could it offer a preview of the next-generation Tacoma?

After all, there has been some speculation about Toyota merging the Hilux and Tacoma model lines on Toyota’s global truck platform — eventually. Automakers everywhere were scrambling to reduce development costs and streamline models before the coronavirus hit sales; one way Toyota could do that would be to have just one body-on-frame midsize truck instead of two.

Still, it’s not guaranteed, as there are a few differences between the trucks. The Hilux has traditionally been smaller and more utilitarian than its American counterpart. But there’s some evidence truck taste abroad is beginning to line up with the desires of us Stateside; the 2021 Hilux is getting both an Invincible X luxury and off-roading trim, and a GR performance version is reportedly in the works as well. There may be more overlap to the two models than there once was.

Whatever changes may be coming to the Tacoma, they’re still some way off. A new model is not expected until 2024. However outdated the present Tacoma has become, particularly when it comes to on-road driving, there’s little incentive for Toyota to alter anything. People keep buying the Tacoma in record numbers.

Still, if the idea of Toyota bringing over the Hilux and swapping out the diesel for a U.S. emissions-compliant gas engine sounds crazy, it shouldn’t. That’s precisely what Toyota’s rival Ford did with the current generation Ranger.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

More by Tyler Duffy | Follow on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email



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Gogoro designed its Eeyo 1 e-bike to not look like one

As it stands right now, there is a big problem for folks who depend on public transportation for their daily commute. Even though there are adjustments that now allow travel, albeit, in a limited fashion, certain safety protocols are still in place. Hence, many services are operating with limited seating capacity, which will be a problem for those running on a tight schedule. That is unless you have an alternative such as the Gogoro Eeyo 1 in your arsenal.

We know that unless you actually see the product, many would not think that it is an electric bicycle. However, we must say that the overall design is quite impressive. Earlier we were praising the Cowboy 3 for how it was able to pull off a look that does not give away what it really is. On the other hand, we have to give Gogoro props for taking it even a step further.

These days, e-bikes might be more common than a few years back, but it’s the execution of the aesthetics that can make one stand out. The Gogoro Eeyo 1 fits this aspect flawlessly as nobody can ever tell that it packs an electric motor. Unless you know where to look at, the only thing that gives it away is the Smartwheel.

The assembly holds a 250-watt motor and a 123.4-Wh rechargeable battery optimized for over 500 charge cycles. It packs an array of sensors for speed, temperature, and torque with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. On Sport mode, users can expect a range of 40 miles, while the Eco settings extend that to approximately 55 miles. The Gogoro Eeyo 1 is a great choice for those who seek a lightweight zero-emission daily commuter.

Order this cool ride now: here

Images courtesy of Gogoro

The Weirdest Cars Ever Made by General Motors

The automotive Goliath known as General Motors has been around for more than 110 years, in one form or another. For much of that time, it has been the world’s largest automaker (or damn close to it), with a host of different brands under its corporate umbrella.

The company has whipped up more than its fair share of landmark automotive achievements over the decades…but it’s also safe to say not every vehicle the American conglomerate has produced has been a hit. There have been quite a few sales stinkers over the years, with many failing to take hold for a variety of reasons. Some of those cars, though, have been downright weird, from their conception through their execution.

Below, we list six of the weirdest.

Chevrolet SSR (2004-06)

The Chevy SSR was a hot road convertible roadster/pickup thatused the body-on-frame truck/SUV platform from the Chevy TrailBlazer. It looked even more bizarre than that billing makes it sound.

It was also crazy expensive, with a starting MSRP above $55,000 in 2020 dollars. At the end of its run, GM gave it a C6-gen Corvette engine and a six-speed manual, because…well, why the hell not?

Chevrolet Corvair Greenbrier Rampside (1961-64)

The Corvair was Chevy’s infamous, exceedingly dangerous rear-engined 1960s car that inspired Ralph Nader’s classic “Unsafe at Any Speed.” There was also a van/truck version called the Greenbrier, and one of the pickup truck variants was the “rampside.”

Now, rear-engined trucks are inconvenient for doing, y’know, truck things, as the engine sits where the cargo bed needs to be. Chevy worked around this with a side ramp to load cargo into the deeper front part of the bed. Other manufacturers noticed this…and kept on not making rear-engined trucks.

General Motors EV1 (1996-99)

GM produced the first mass-produced EV in 1996: the EV1. Its styling was a fusion between the car from The Jetsons and a 1990s Chevy Cavalier. (At least it had enclosed rear wheels, as all cool, futuristic vehicles do.)

Initial lead-acid battery versions had an estimated range of between 70 and 100 miles. GM leased a little more than a thousand of them in select locations. Eventually, they killed the program, collected all the cars, and crushed them — against the will of dozens of owners.

GMC Envoy XUV (2004-05)

GM created a variant of the Envoy SUV, the Envoy XUV, in 2004. Essentially, it was a GMC Envoy with a retractable roof over the cargo area to permit it to function as a sort-of truck and carry tall items you couldn’t fit in a standard Envoy.

You’re probably asking, who would want that — besides maybe a GM product-planning exec who had to move a grandfather clock? The answer turned out to be, not many people. GM dumped it after 2005.

Saab 9-7X (2004-08)

Saab’s trademark was delightful, quirky cars. General Motors, after buying Saab outright, could not quite capture the brand’s ethos, so innovation over Saab’s final decade basically meant rebadging other vehicles as Saabs then charging a premium for them.

There was the 9-2X, which was a rebadged Subaru Impreza — but even weirder was the 9-7X, which was a Saabified, body-on-frame Chevy Trailblazer with a starting price north of $50,000 in today’s dollars.

Pontiac Aztek (2001-05)

Yes, the Aztek is an obvious choice, but it’s hard to leave off this list. The Aztek is one of the ugliest SUVs ever made.

To their credit, GM execs foresaw pretty much every trend that would be forthcoming with adventure vehicles over the next couple of decades. They just combined them into an unsightly, off-putting car that somehow manages to be both wantonly aggressive and boring.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

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Meet the Ugliest Crossovers and SUVs Ever Made

In recent years, SUVs and crossovers have consumed the automotive market. That dramatic sea change over the past couple of decades has put some strain on automakers: some companies rushed vehicles to market before they might have been ready; others converted cars into crossovers with a lift and a bit of cladding; a few incorporated bold design elements to distinguish their crossover from the school parking lot masses. Sometimes it worked

It took a while for companies to get things right. In the interim, however, carmakers were cranking out some spectacularly ugly vehicles. Here are five of the worst. (And you had to know which one would come first.)

Pontiac Aztek (2001-05)

Dunking on the Aztek for being ugly is like labeling Jimi Hendrix a great guitarist: It feels too obvious to mention, but it’s so apparent, it still warrants further discussion. The Aztek foresaw what would be popular with SUVs — family-friendly practicality, the appearance of off-road readiness, and even the rakish sloping roofline. Trouble was, it was just hideous. The front end looks like one Pontiac’s front end collapsed on top of another. And cheap gray plastic cladding took up approximately half the surface area of the first version.

Infiniti QX56 (2004-10)

The QX56 was Nissan’s first attempt at a luxury full-size SUV. One uninspiring SUV would have been fine, but the QX56 looked like three uninspiring SUVs Photoshopped together. It had a weird sloping front end — perhaps to soften its overall look and hide that it was riding on a truck frame? Then there’s the middle part, with the humped roof. The rear of the vehicle then flattens out into a boxy, standard SUV backside. Bonus points for the rear door handles on the C-pillar to make it look sporty?

Isuzu VehiCross (1997-01)

Idiosyncratic capitalization rarely portends well in the automotive world. The Isuzu VehiCROSS, as the company styled the car’s name, had two distinct visual features. First, it had a downright obscene amount of cladding covering the entire lower half of the vehicle. Second, it had a tiny bat-face grille, replete with fangs. True enthusiasts opted for the “Ironman” edition, which said IRONMAN on the hood — complete with a stylized “M” to look like a man. It’s best driven while sporting some period-appropriate frosted tips.

Jeep Compass (2007-10)

The current Compass is one of Jeep’s more attractive vehicles. It’s come a long way from the first generation pre-facelift version. Where to begin? The front end looks like a robot with jowls getting electroshocked. Towards the rear, Jeep threw in some sweet C-pillar door handles and weird, triangular D-pillar. The “COMPASS” badging etched into the rear bumper with an actual compass as the “O” ties the whole unfortunate look together.

Honda Crosstour (2007-15)

Honda inflicted the Crosstour on the world beginning in the 2010 model year. Initially named the “Accord Crosstour,” Honda removed the “Accord” to deemphasize the fact it was just a lifted Honda Accord. It’s sort of like Honda couldn’t decide whether this should be a wagon, a hatchback or a crossover — and met in the precise middle between the three. Also, clearly every Honda exec who signed off only saw the one front three-quarter shot where the car looks nothing like an echidna.

Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

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Maserati switching to in-house twin-turbo V6 and turbo four

Automotive News has been able to put some output figures to the two primary engines that will power Maserati’s renaissance. Last year the Italian luxury brand sent notice that it would terminate its deal to with Ferrari to use the Maranello-sourced F160 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 and F154 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8. As new Maserati models appear and current models are overhauled, the brand will begin installing either Maserati’s own 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, or an FCA-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The V6 will greet the world from the middle of the MC20 supercar poised for debut in September, assuming nothing goes worse with the world than it already has.

Rumor from Mopar Insiders and Allpar forums is that Maserati began building its V6 based on Alfa Romeo’s 690T V6. Alfa Romeo puts the 690T in the Stelvio and Giulia Quadrifoglio, the engine’s development having started seven years ago with Ferrari’s F154 V8 as its heart. Tuned for speed, peak output could reach 542 horsepower. After making its home in the racy coupe, the V6 will also serve a new midsize Maserati crossover coming next year, as well as the next GranTurismo coupe and GranCabrio convertible. In the crossover, power is apparently limited to no more than 523 horses.

In Maserati’s new V6, one piece of technology that permits such high output and emissions friendliness is turbulent jet ignition (TJI). German supplier Mahle has been developing the technology for at least 10 years, and put it to use in Ferrari’s Formula 1 engine about five years ago, after which Japan’s Super GT manufacturers picked it up. Instead of a spark plug igniting fuel directly in the combustion chamber, TJI places the spark plug and an injector nozzle at the top of a “jet ignition pre-chamber assembly.” The injector shoots a mist of gasoline into the pre-chamber, the spark plug fires, and the force of ignition in the pre-chamber sprays the combustion through tiny holes at the bottom of the pre-chamber into the cylinder as the piston rises. Mahle says the shorter burn and improved combustion spread means cleaner-burning gas engines that emit fewer emissions.  

AN says that the “new V-6 engine will be ‘electrified’ in some form.” It’s not clear if that means all versions of the V6 will get some sort of hybrid assistance, or if — as had been thought — there will be a non-hybrid unit. The last report we got on motivation for the MC20 strongly suggested a non-hybrid V6 at launch making around 600 hp, followed by a hybridized V6 with all-wheel drive good for 700 horsepower. The hybrid form is said to eventually replace the TT V8 in the upper-tier Ghibli and Quattroporte, but not before the Ferrari-sourced engine steps up to 582 hp later this year.

When AN writes that “Electrified versions of new V-6 eventually will replace 3.8-liter Ferrari-built turbocharged V8 in Maserati Levante, in two versions with 523 hp and 572 hp,” the opening adjective and the higher output lead us to believe in the chances of a non-electrified V6. 

The second engine will be the Global Medium Engine (GME) 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. That engine does duty right now in other group products such as the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee, and Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio, topping out at 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The mill makes its Maserati debut in the Ghibli hybrid that launches online on July 15.

Ford is unleashing its new Mustang Mach 1 in 2021 but we want one now

No matter what others might say, there’s always a special space in our hearts for muscle cars. Perhaps it’s the essence of Americana that ships with each vehicle along with raw power under the hood. We find this mix appealing for all the right reasons and for sure many think the same way. Ford has been ticking the right boxes for a while now and it’s doing it again with the 2021 Mustang Mach 1.

Those who have been following the carmaker’s exploits with its iconic pony car lineup know that is special. The original was a performance-focused offering that made its debut in August 1968 for the following model year. The upcoming version brings forth the same approach as a limited-edition variant. While it does flaunt familiar design elements of the newer ones, the front fascia is notably fresh.

On top of the small change in aesthetics, the Mach 1 does not skimp on what matters the most. Hence, let’s get to it and see what it hopes to bring to the table when it graces showroom floors next year. The 5.0-liter V8 engine generates 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Ford is coupling it with Tremec six-speed manual transmission and sourcing it from a Mustang Shelby GT350.

Further enhancements include a GT350 oil cooler system, a rev-matching system, and a short-throw shifter with a twin-disc clutch. Those who are getting the 2021 Mustang Mach 1 with a six-speed manual configuration are eligible to drop even more for the Handling Package. Optional add-ons such as white cue ball shift knob and Dark Spindrift instrument panel make it even cooler.

Check out what Ford has in store: here

Images courtesy of Ford

Cadillac’s Futuristic Tesla-Fighting Electric Car Arrives Soon. Here’s Our Best Look Yet

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Let’s get lyriq-al

Earlier this year, General Motors released the plans for its massive EV product onslaught. One of the key vehicles announced was the Lyriq — Cadillac’s new mass-market electric crossover that’s set . We were supposed to see it in April, but then the coronavirus pandemic happened. GM has since announced a new launch date — August 6, 2020 — as well as released a video that gives us our best look yet at it.

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What do we know about it? Car and Driver described the Lyriq as a wagon-like crossover that’s longer and lower than the norm, sort of like a sleek and modern version of the original Cadillac SRX. We also know the name ends in a q, because…reasons? (In our minds, “Lyriq” sounds like a noxious club cocktail, presents an extraordinary mouthful when paired with the word “Cadillac.”)

We also know the Cadillac brand’s next (and perhaps last) shot at reinvention will be as GM’s luxurious electric vehicle line. Cadillac’s other announced EV, the Celestiq, will be a hand-built low-volume vehicle with a price tag well into the six figures. So the Lyriq will be carrying a lot of the water for a storied brand that feels like it’s in perpetual crisis.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

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The VanDutch 40.2 revisits a classic leisure vessel with modern upgrades

For those who want to splurge on the finer things in life, owning a luxurious ship is a way to go. If lavish mansions, fancy cars, and private jets are not enough, a show of pure extravagance on the water is maybe what you need. Nevertheless, not everyone prefers the massive size of a superyacht. Therefore, this is where the VanDutch 40.2 steps in to overpower your senses. This is a striking vessel that flaunts elegance all around and we can’t wait to talk about what it offers.

Starting off with the numbers, this beauty is 40’ 11” inches long. As for the beam and draft, these measure 11’ 1” and 2’ 10” respectively. This watercraft has room for 10 passengers, which is great for a small intimate cruise or party. As the name implies, the 40.2 is a follow-up of the VanDutch 40 which came out about a decade ago.

According to sources, naval architect Frank Mulder deserves credit for the striking design of the original. In fact, it was the star of the show at the French Riviera at the time. Moreover, celebrities were also on board watching the F1 Grand Prix during the Monaco Boat Show. As a tribute, 164 examples were built followed by the 40.2 close to the end of 2019.

Notable features of the VanDutch 40.2 include a spacious deck, a sun pad, a mid-ship lounge, and more. SilverTech provides the upholstery, while the Esthec Nautical decking sports a pleasing light gray. If it gets too hot, the automated Bimini top should provide cool shade. Another option is to head below deck and enjoy the creature comforts it offers.

Order yours: here

Images courtesy of VanDutch

Ram’s Ford Raptor-Killing Hellcat Pickup Will Officially Arrive This Summer

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**T. rex roar intensifies**

Sure, the new Ford Bronco is awfully exciting, and the next Mercedes-Benz S-Class stands to be a technological wonder, but few new vehicles set to debut in 2020 have the ids of the automotive world quite as slathering as the Ram TRX. Hellcat-powered and packing serious off-road hardware, this badass pickup truck will be out for the Ford F-150 Raptor‘s blood in a way a T. rex hasn’t been after raptors since the end of Jurassic Park.

The concept truck of 2016 and a recent design illustration have both given us a good idea what the truck should look like; the ubiquity of the supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 and its 700-plus-horsepower outputs mean we have a good idea of how quick it’ll be. Now, we have an idea of when we’ll finally be able to see the Ram TRX in the flesh: later this summer.

Ram seems to be taking a page from the slow-drip reveal playbook of the Dodge Demon with its TRX revelations; this teaser video shows precisely zero percent of the truck’s sheetmetal, hiding it all behind dramatic plumes of tire-blown sand. It does, however, give us a chance to hear the truck’s engine for about two seconds…which is probably as much warning as most other truck drivers will have before it blows on by once it’s on the road.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Will Sabel Courtney

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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Enter to Win This Super-Fast Mercedes-AMG Wagon and Help Those on the Front Lines Against Coronavirus

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the apex predator of dad cars

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S station wagon is the apex predator of dad cars, and all but inarguably the best wagon you currently can buy in the U.S. Its handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 puts out 603 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, and the car accelerates from 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds. The AMG E 63 S wagon is the ideal car for the parent who wants to transition seamlessly from cargo carriers and school runs to dusting an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio — and looking like James Bond while doing all of it.

Car enthusiasts revere the Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon. But most of us will do so from afar: a new one starts at $111,750, making it all but unobtainable for mere mortals. You may never be able to buy a new one. But you can enter to win this Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon for far less money — and donate to a great cause in the process.

Omaze is auctioning the wagon to benefit International Medical Corps, an organization helping global first responders battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Their multi-pronged approach includes training and capacity building for healthcare providers, deploying medicines, supplies, and protective equipment, setting up screening and triage stations, even assisting with case management and communications.

If winning this rarified Mercedes wagon isn’t enough incentive, Omaze covers the taxes, shipping costs and registration fees. The car also comes with the bonus $20,000 cash — which you could always donate to the International Medical Corps or another charity of your choice.

Is a tire-shredding family transporter not your speed? You could also check out this Tesla-powered vintage Porsche 911 or this electric Gateway Bronco.

Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

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One of Ford’s Coolest Vintage Trucks Ever Has Returned (But Not How You Might Think)

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who doesn’t love two-tone paint?

Ford has built many, many trucks over the years. One of the best-regarded of them is the F-250 “Highboy,” built from 1967-77, which earned its nickname from its distinctive appearance that boasted a lifted front suspension to facilitate off-roading. Sometimes, those trucks even sported period-perfect two-tone paint jobs. Now, a Ford dealer in Kansas is bringing that cool look back — in modern form.

Long McArthur Ford, home of Long McArthur Performance, is offering trucks modded with a Highboy Package for the new F-250. The base trucks are F-250 XL regular cabs with the STX Appearance Package. The package adds two-tone paint, a two-inch front suspension lift and massive 35-inch BG Goodrich tires. It also includes aesthetic add-ons and additional modifications to accommodate the structural changes.

The Highboy package costs an additional $11,995, which is quite a bit more than optioning a Super Duty with Ford’s off-roading Tremor Package. The two Highboys currently available with the 7.3-liter V8 are priced out to $53,495 — though you can buy them now for $49,995 with a dealer cash incentive.

If that price tag is a bit steep to slake your Highboy nostalgia, you could just buy an original Highboy. Vintage trucks don’t command the same premium as vintage off-roaders. One main reason is there were a lot of Ford and Chevy trucks kicking around. You can find a great-looking Highboy for less than $20,000.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He’s based outside Detroit.

More by Tyler Duffy | Follow on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email



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