All posts in “Cars”

A Ferrari Hatchback May Seem Weird, but it Is Otherworldly to Drive

From Issue Six of Gear Patrol Magazine.
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“This shouldn’t be possible,” I thought to myself as I looked up at a cold, endless shock blue sky. I’m looking through the roof of a Ferrari.” Not through an open convertible top — through a massive, single piece of curvaceous panoramic glass. From the back seat, no less. It felt great, and it felt weird.

There have been many Ferraris with back seats before, of course. The first, the 250 GT/E, bowed in 1960; the next, the 330 GT 2+2, looked almost exactly like the iconic Aston Martin DB5 of the same mid-Sixties vintage. Various others (400 GT, Mondial) followed in intervening decades, including one of the most gorgeous Ferrari shapes ever produced, the chiseled 456 GT. After the millennium, the brand produced its Scaglietti grand tourer through 2011 (the California convertible technically had four seats, too). But it wasn’t until 2011 that Ferrari four-seaters took an unexpected turn: instead of just being not-two-seat-cars, the Ferrari FF that debuted that year was a seemingly blasphemous car for the prancing horse to produce. It was a hatchback with four-wheel drive.

The GTC4Lusso, which replaced the FF (“Ferrari Four”) in 2016, is the most recent three-door, four-seat, all-wheels-driven car from Maranello. Its name means “Grand Tourer Coupe Four (seat), and ‘Lusso’ means Luxury in Italian. There are no spaces in its name, which is weird, but there is so much space in back, which seems weirder. Philosophically, the car is a mind-bender, some sort of paradoxical mishmash of automotive archetypes. Physically, it is a wonder to behold. Dynamically, on the road and from either the front or back seat, is how it’s best experienced.

The panoramic roof is one of those automotive archetypes. It was available on the FF too, but what’s important about the optional glass is that it makes ‘sitting in the back seat of a Ferrari’ more than just a novel experience; it makes it a phenomenal one. I’m six feet tall and had very real legroom back there. I’m also distractible and normally somewhat claustrophobic. But not only did I want for nothing, I was instead captivated simply by how much I could see — and that I could so easily look out on the world from the back seat of a sporting machine made by the most storied of sporting machine brands. Surreal.

What’s up front is surreal too: a naturally-aspirated, 6.3-liter V12, but not just some truck-like, old chuffer. This sublime engine revs up to and over 8,000 rpm; it pushes out 680 horsepower and 514 lb-ft of torque. It is sumptuous and smooth, but slap the large left paddle a couple times to select a minor gear and two things happen. One, you are instantly 300 feet farther down the road; and two, the sound of angelic death metal is channeled through your entire body. The V12 is unreal in its duplicity, as it will both cruise like glass and give the finger to radar guns as it blasts to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds in a sprint to a 208 mph terminal velocity.

Its power meets the road through a very clever, complex system of mechanicals that work together so harmoniously I never once thought I was driving anything but a nimble supercar. In fact, this two-plus-ton grand tourer employs two separate gearboxes: one to push most of the thrust rearward, and another, smaller one to handle power to the front wheels. The small transmission has only two gears and is not active (neither are the front wheels driven) in fifth, sixth or seventh (of seven) gears. Furthermore, four-wheel steering — taken from the F12tdf — enhances maneuverability. The wheels under your rear passengers turn counter to steering inputs for sharper low-speed handling, but at higher speeds, they swivel lockstep with the front wheels to boost stability.

So is the GTC4Lusso actually a weird Ferrari? It does the things normal Ferraris are supposed to do: Ferraris must be fast, Ferraris must sound ethereally demonic and Ferraris must seem to endow the driver with superhuman abilities. But I did things with this car that Ferraris are not supposed to do: I did not attract much attention at all; I only lost traction when I tried very, very hard to and I put a lot of groceries from Costco in its hatchback. Overall, I’d say it nearly breaks even but nets out ever so slightly on the impeccably weird side of the spectrum.

It’s ultra good too. For a vehicle that is a sports car, a wagon, a luxury ride, a technological wonder, a wailing baritone and a striking centerfold all at once, it without question coheres into a singular, crazy-good sensation. The GTC4Lusso is all the grand tourer with none of the stuffiness, with a massive dollop of Italianate marvel. It’s phenomenally athletic and outrageously different. Which, for a Ferrari, isn’t weird at all.

Peter Sellers’s 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT

Peter Sellers is the man you probably know best from Dr. Strangelove, The Pink Panther or one of his many other performances that led to him being considered one of the greatest comedians of all time. What…

5 Iconic Cars Perfect for Summer Weather

Editor’s Note: We love scouring the internet for reasons to spend money we don’t have on cars we daydream about owning, and these are our picks this week. All prices listed are bid amounts at the time of publishing.

If you want to make the most of the blue, cloudless skies and warm air that come along with summer, the most idyllic cars are going to be drop tops. Unlimited headroom is hard to beat on a day offering up the perfect driving conditions. But more so, you’ll want a car that’s fun to drive in order to really take advantage of the toasty, dry tarmac and cyan sky — finding yourself in a jaw-dropping classic doesn’t hurt the situation either. We found five iconic cars, all at different price points, perfect making the most of summer weather.

2005 Mazda Mazdaspeed Miata

Mileage: 90,000
Location: Brighton, Massachusetts

What We like: The biggest gripe with the Miata is always its lack of power. It’s an incredible chassis, but because Mazda is adamant that to keep the ideal power-to-weight ratio, they purposely hold back. Well, Mazda addressed the complaints with the Mazdaspeed and gave it turbos and an intercooler good for 178 horses. It’s affordable to own and maintain; you can drive at or near its limit and be in no real danger. The Mazdaspeed is the definition of a cheap thrill.
From the seller: “The Mazdaspeed version of the 1.8-liter four featured lower-compression pistons, a turbocharger, and an intercooler, bringing factory-rated output to 178 horsepower. The 16-valve engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission and sends power to the rear wheels through a standard limited-slip differential.”
What to look out for: Make sure to ask the owner if they ever had or noticed the clutch pedal going soft. Miatas of this age are known to develop leaks clutch slave cylinder causing the inability to disengage the clutch to shift.

2003 BMW M3 Convertible

Mileage: 45,253
Location: Merrillville, Indiana

What We like: The E46 generation M3 — though it’s over 20 years old — is still used as a benchmark for how a sports car should drive. The convertible version simply adds to the cruiseability on top of the natural sports car mantality.
From the seller: N/A
What to look out for: Repair costs tend to add up for this generation 3-Series — small, ancillory things start to fail after 110,000 miles, generally. But, one notable issue are the power steering hoses that are known to fail, sometimes simultaniously.

1965 Pontiac GTO

Mileage: 93,000
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina

What We like: Often considered the godfather of the American muscle car, there’s no mistaking the GTO. The 389ci V8 provides the grunt the GTO is known for but the odd-for-the-era bucket seats might be the creature comfort you want when you put that power to use coming out of turns.
From the seller: “The car was given a frame-up restoration in 2008 that included bodywork and a repaint in its original color, while a number of factory-available options including power brakes, steering, windows, air conditioning and more were added at some point by the previous owner. It also runs a wide-ratio four-speed transmission, limited-slip rear, newer exhaust and factory handling package. ”
What to look out for: “Because the frames under the convertible were boxed, a lot of [rust] would build up inside. As a result, they would tend to get soft just behind the front wheels, and just in front of the rear wheels.” — Hemmings

1958 Mercedes-Benz 190SL

Mileage: 56,393
Location: Dallas, Texas

What We like: The Mercedes SLs of the ’50s are some of the most beautiful classic cars still on the road — design-wise, they have the perfect roadster silhouette and seem to glide down the road. On top of that, this one has a custom compartment in the trunk for your dog, which is nothing short of a fantastic add-on.
From the seller: “This 190SL was originally fitted with a black interior, which was refreshed after the original owner’s son took possession of the car. New seat upholstery and carpeting were installed, and the seller states that the dashboard and door panels are original.”
What to look out for: Due to its unibody architecture, the 190SL was susceptible to rust, not unlike other German classics of the same era. When shopping around, make sure to get eyes on the wheel wells, chassis frame rails, trunk floors and spare-tire wells and mounting points for the rear trailing arms.

1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa

Mileage: 62,168
Location: Quarryville, Pennsylvania

What We like: Not only is the Targa one of the more desirable classic Porsches out there, its also the most versitile. In terms of the convertible and hard top, it’s the best of both worlds — not to mention drop-dead gorgeous.
From the seller: “Very fine paint, nothing to note, other than a touch up to the hood. Interior appears new, with no wear to note, either.”
What to look out for: The seals for the targa top can leak if they’re not kept in good condition, but the rot on the floor pan is a more serious situation. If not looked after properly, the rot can rust out the floor pan and door sills.

How About a More Modern Convertible

Though it comes with some compromises, Merc’s baby AMG is a fantastically well-rounded sports car. Read the Story

One-off Honda Civic Type R Pick Up Revealed in the UK

The British Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) holds a test day each year where members of the industry are invited to mingle with manufacturers and industry types. It’s a networking event for the most part, a very big one!

Honda UK used the opportunity this year to present something. A very special concept car. Created as a one-off by Synchro Motorsport, a Honda aligned voluntary racing team, the Honda Civic Type R Pick Up truck is entirely unique.

It’s the sort of thing that gets designed by a person with a passion. As the Synchro Motorsport team are based out of Honda’s Swindon factory, the team have unprecedented access to Honda’s expertise. It is codenamed ‘Project P’ and has been developed from a standard road car.

The Civic Type R Pick Up is actually based upon a pre-production version of the Type R. Engineers have adapted the rear design from the B-pillars, creating a sweeping line from the roof to the back which hides a flatbed loading area.

Finished in iconic Rallye Red, the concept retains the rear wing, aligning it with the FK2 and FK8 Civic Type R. To make the hatch useable, the rear wing is movable.

Underneath, the Civic Type R Pick Up uses the same drivetrain as the current generation Civic Type R. It gets a 2.0 litre inline 4 cylinder engine with 320 hp. It is front wheel drive and the team estimate that it should complete the 100 km/h sprint in under 6 seconds with a top speed in excess of 265 km/h.

Alyn James, project lead, commented: “We have a special projects division at the factory in Swindon and this project was a fantastic opportunity for the team to show just what their creative minds could do. The passion that our engineers have for Honda is shown in our latest creation and we are even considering taking it to the Nurburgring to see if we can take the record for the fastest front wheel drive pickup truck!”

Phil Webb, head of car at Honda UK, added: “This Civic Type R Pickup Truck concept by the special team at our Swindon-based plant demonstrates the passion and commitment of the team there – going above and beyond outside working hours to deliver the final product. There are no plans to put this in to production but we will be using it to transport our lawn and garden products as and when required!”

Ferrari SP38: Another Bespoke Ferrari from Maranello’s One-Off Program

Like a bespoke suit, tailored to your wants and desires, it fits you and only you. The buttons, the fabric, the cut… It was truly your pick. The cool part is you can do it with cars as well!

The Ferrari One-Off program gives any oligarch the ability to built their own Ferrari that is going to be 1 of 1. You know you’re in another level when a LaFerrari is for commoners.

Known as the ‘SP38’, the chassis and the foundation are on a 488 GTB, but with bespoke panel work. The engine is still that delicious twin-turbo V8 with a dual-clutch transmission but the exterior bits and pieces were inspired by historical Ferrari’s such as the 308 GTB, the F40 fixed rear wing, and a wraparound windscreen.

Just look at how epic that back end looks; double tailpipes and all. Step aside, tycoons with a 458.

There’s an SP38 in town.


Technical Specifications

Type V8 – 90° – Turbo – Dry Sump
Total displacement 3.902 cm3
Bore and stroke 86,5 x 83 mm (3.4 x 3.3 in)
Maximum power * 670 CV (492 kW) at 8000 rpm
Maximum torque * 760 Nm at 3000 rpm in VII gear
Specific output 172 cv/l
Compression ratio 9.4:1
7 gears F1 dual clutch transmission
Maximum speed 330 km/h (205 mph)
0-100 km/h 3,0 s
0-200 km/h 8,3 s
0-400m 10,45 s
0-1000m 18, 7 s
Weight/power ratio 2,04 kg/cv (6,13 lb/kW)

Silverados, Raptors and a 710 horsepower McLaren | Autoblog Podcast #542

On this week’s Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Associate Editor Joel Stocksdale. We talk about driving the new engines in the upcoming 2019 Chevy Silverado,updates to the Ford F-150 Raptor and a purple McLaren 720S that briefly passed through our office. As always, we also help a listener buy a new car in our “Spend My Money” segment.

Autoblog Podcast #542

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These Are 10 of the Safest Cars We’ve Driven – Read our Reviews Now

It’s likely you’re hitting the road for Memorial Day weekend — AAA predicts that almost 42 million people will travel this year, many by car. Here’s hoping your travels are smooth and safe. To aid with the latter, every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety releases a list of the safest cars on the road based on things crash test ratings, crash prevention systems, down to headlight quality ratings. Based on the IIHS ratings, these are 10 of the safest cars we’ve reviewed in recent months.

Safest Small Cars

Chevy Volt “The cabin itself is tall and airy, with tons of legroom front and rear. The cargo area is also deep for a car about the size of a Honda Fit, big enough to swallow about four duffel bags. For city-dwelling families and admirers of usable space, it’s a huge plus. ” – Andrew Connor, Staff Writer

Review: The Chevy Bolt Is GM’s First Electric Car That Doesn’t Suck

Review: The Chevy Bolt Is GM’s First Electric Car That Doesn’t Suck

Fun, practical and innovative, the Bolt EV is a harbinger of an electrified future for all.

Safest Mid-Sized Cars

Honda Accord “The biggest takeaway from driving the new Accord wasn’t so much it’s sporty acumen but rather how nice of a place it is to spend time. The cabin is roomy both front and back, and placement of all the buttons, switches and instruments are ergonomically sound.” – Andrew Connor, Staff Writer

The New Turbocharged Accord Is a Sound Argument for Not Buying a Luxury Car

The New Turbocharged Accord Is a Sound Argument for Not Buying a Luxury Car

A new torquey, turbocharged engine and a suite of tech make it a hypercompetent sedan for the money.

Alfa Romeo Giulia “A handful of the engineers who worked on Ferrari’s 458 Speciale were commissioned to fine tune the Quadrifoglio. That process involved taking the twin-turbo V8 from the Ferrari 488, removing two of its cylinders, then dropping it in the Giulia. It’s a lovely Ferrari V6 for common folk, though Ferrari refuses to officially put its name on the thing — this engine is the spiritual successor to the Dino.” – Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer

If Ferrari Made a BMW M3, It Would Be the Giulia Quadrifoglio

If Ferrari Made a BMW M3, It Would Be the Giulia Quadrifoglio

When this car works, it’s one of the most engaging and physically entertaining cars in production today.

Audi A3/S3/RS3 “It’s the engine’s performance that brings the platform to the place it needs to be. The base-level A3 drives as if there’s too much car for the engine and the S3 finds a nicer balance between power and control — but giving the RS3 100 horsepower on top of that adds the extra thrill needed to make the car really entertaining.” – Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer

The Audi RS3 Is the Only BMW M2 Competitor In Sight

The Audi RS3 Is the Only BMW M2 Competitor In Sight

The blue and white roundel on the M2’s trunk might as well be a target.

Audi A4/S4/RS4 “Through multiple corners, I found myself mid-turn, engine singing, steering wheel steady as a rock, traction control off, with my foot to the floor, right next to my jaw. Every time I tried to prod some hooliganism out of the car, I got an enthusiastic “ja, bitte” from the engine and a stern “nein, danke” from the rear differential, as both shook hands in the middle as they conspired to make me a quicker driver than I am.” – Bryan Campbell, Staff Writer

The 2018 Audi S4 Is Finally the Sedan It Should’ve Been All Along

The 2018 Audi S4 Is Finally the Sedan It Should’ve Been All Along

It’s the kind of car Audi is the master of building: one that, in the hands of any driver, can still carve through mountain roads with aplomb.

BMW 2-Series “The car grips hard, easily carrying speed through corners, and turn-in is incredibly sharp. It’s a confidence-inspiring car, and the fact that the M2 has been shown to give the M4 a run for its money on the track — despite having 60 fewer horsepower and costing $15,000 less — is telling of how significantly different the M2’s approach to performance is.” – Andrew Connor, Staff Writer

The M2 Is the Kind of Car BMW Should Be Making

The M2 Is the Kind of Car BMW Should Be Making

BMW’s smallest, cheapest M Car is quite possibly its best, thanks to a much-needed dose of simplicity.

Volvo V60 ” The Sensus infotainment screen dominates the center stack and is framed thoughtfully by optional open-pore wood trim and massive, fin-style vents with diamond-cut knobs. There’s a big increase in interior space too, with almost 100 more liters of cargo room out back and a big improvement in rear legroom over the outgoing car.” – Brian Leon, Contributing Writer

The All-New Volvo V60 Is Definitely the Best Wagon Around, and Every American Should Buy One

The All-New Volvo V60 Is Definitely the Best Wagon Around, and Every American Should Buy One

Volvo has yielded one of the best-looking and most proportional lift back designs I’ve seen in years.

Safest Large Luxury Cars

Lincoln Continental “In terms of engineering and luxury prowess, Lincoln is again doing things on par with global giants like Mercedes and Cadillac — a trend that’s begun recently, with the brand’s pledge to introduce a new car every year for a handful of years. In 2018 we’ll get the new Navigator, which is phenomenal to behold; it’ll give the Escalade and the GL550 a run for their money, and likely undercut their prices, too.” – Nick Caruso, Associate Editor

Spending $75,000? Here’s Why You Should Buy a Continental

Spending $75,000? Here’s Why You Should Buy a Continental

Lincoln is finally doing things on a par with the global giants.

Safest Mid-Sized SUVs

Mercedes-Benz GLC “What you’d want is what I’d want: a really goddamn fun car to drive. One that looks a little aggressive or a bit more stylish than other, pedestrian, dumb crossovers. You’d want a fast, demonic-sounding, weirdly-proportioned car that’s a bit too upright and short for its own good. You’d want something the madmen at AMG took and made better, more evil. You’d want a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S.” – Nick Caruso, Associate Editor

Here’s How To Have Ridiculously Over-the-Top Fun In, Yes, a Crossover

Here’s How To Have Ridiculously Over-the-Top Fun In, Yes, a Crossover

You’ll have to wait until 2018…and move to Europe.

Volvo XC60 “What the XC60 does well, it does extremely well. In keeping with the brand’s new design language, the XC60 falls in line with the drop-dead gorgeous XC90 SUV as well as with the S90 sedan and V90 wagon variants. (Since you’re wondering, the V90 Cross Country is the one to get, hands down.) It is stunningly beautiful amidst a background of bland competition.” – Nick Caruso, Associate Editor

Two Reasons to Like the 2018 Volvo XC60 (And One Major Reason Not To)

Two Reasons to Like the 2018 Volvo XC60 (And One Major Reason Not To)

In a world of bland crossovers, the XC60 stands out — but it doesn’t handle like it should.

Today in Gear

The best way to catch up on the day’s most important product releases and stories. Read the Story

The 2019 Ford Raptor Is Set To Get Even Better Off-Road

Since the Ford F-150 Raptor hit the dirt and dunes in 2010, the high-performance truck scene hasn’t been the same. Since it made the switch from a V8 to a turbo V6, Dodge and Chevy are still playing catch-up. And, in 2019, Ford’s street-legal, daily-driveable Baja racer is set to get more upgrades to increase its off-road capabilities further still.

One of the Raptor’s strong points is its suspension setup, so why not double down? For 2019 Ford Performance worked directly with Fox Racing to improve the supertruck’s shocks. “By automatically varying compression rates, [the] Raptor can now make the most of its suspension travel of 13-inches at the front and 13.9-inches at the rear,” according to Hermann Salenbauch, global director of Ford Performance vehicle programs. “Not many trucks need sensors to detect when you are mid-air, [but the] Raptor sets the dampers to full stiffness to help smooth shock performance as the truck lands.”

For when you’re not barreling through the trails at full-throttle and catching air, the new Trail Control systems adjust power and braking at each wheel to better assist the driver and truck over broken trails, and rock crawls up to 20 mph. To top it off, Ford also bolted upgraded Recaro seats to help keep you in place when you’re doing any of the above. When the Raptor debuts late this year, buyers will have a few new colors to choose from like Performance Blue, Velocity Blue and Agate Black.

Another For Raptor We’re Excited About

The excitement for a smaller version of the crowd-favorite F-150 Raptor is still at an all-time high here in the States, but there are still key details up in the air concerning what kind of truck we’ll end up getting. Read the Story

100th Bugatti Chiron Leaves the Factory – Unique Matte Blue Carbon

Bugatti have announced that the 100th example of the Bugatti Chiron has left the “L‘Atelier” at Bugatti’s headquarters in Molsheim, Alsace. 100 cars in less than 2 years is impressive, especially when you consider that the Chiron starts at an eye watering €2.85 million net of tax. That’s at least €285 million worth of machinery!

The 100th Chiron is entirely dark blue carbon with a matt finish. It is the first of its kind and features an Italian red side line with mink black wheels. Inside, the leather is red with contrasting carbon fibre. It heads to a customer from the “Arabian Peninsula”.

Out of the planned 500 car production run, 400 cars remain. With Bugatti firing on all cylinders, it is currently producing 70 cars a year. The order books are apparently looking very healthy, although we secretly hope that the Chiron will soon get a much rumoured Grand Sport version.

Bugatti recently announced the Chiron Sport which is effectively a performance pack for the performance machine. It sheds 18 kgs of weight and adds some unique features to squeeze some additional handling from the monstrous hypercar. This car features the new wheel design so we can only assume that it gets the Chiron Sport pack too.

Among the features are the four-pipe exhaust deflector, carbon fibre stabiliser, intercooler cover and the new windscreen wipers. Bugatti also install a 10 percent stiffer suspension setup together with a Dynamic Torque Vectoring system.

Under the hood, the mechanicals remain the same with a W16 engine, 1,500 hp and 1,600 Nm of torque. It’s enough for a sub-2.5 second 100 km/h sprint and a top speed in excess of 420 km/h.

Official: 1 of 1 Ferrari SP38 Based on 488 GTB

Ferrari’s One-Off program has been relatively quiet recently. The last project we saw released was the Ferrari J50, a limited production run of 10 cars destined for Japan. A new Special Projects model was released today; the Ferrari SP38.

Underpinned by the 488 GTB platform, the SP38 was unveiled at Fiorano to a special customer. Designed by the Ferrari Style Centre, the SP38 is said to be inspired by the iconic Ferrari F40.

The design incorporates a new set of lighting either side of a thin front bumper lip. The side air intakes are largely hidden with a lower belt line running from the front wheel arch to the rear and across the rear wing. The rear bonnet does away with the rear window with a replacement carbon fibre structure.

The paintwork is a special triple-layer metallic red designed specially for the SP38. Ferrari haven’t elaborated on the interior spec although we are sure that their Taylor Made program produced something very special for this one-off!

Mechanically, we understand that the SP38 is no different to the standard 488 GTB. By way of recap, the Ferrari 488 GTB uses a 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 with 670 hp and 760 Nm. The SP38 should hit 100 km/h in around 3.0 seconds with a top speed of around 330 km/h.

If you are lucky enough to hold tickets, the Ferrari SP38 will be unveiled this weekend at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Elegance on Saturday 26 May 2018.

Here’s How This Forbidden Land Cruiser Is Legal In the United States

Editor’s Note: This post was updated on May 23rd, 2018 with new information regarding the road legal status of this Land Cruiser build.

We love kitted-out Defenders. We love jacked-up Broncos. We love 4×4 restomods of (almost) any kind, but this is something more original than most other off-road builds we’ve seen. What we have here is a beautiful Frankensteining of two different Toyota Land Cruisers, powered by an unexpected choice of engine, and sprinkled with subtle enhancements made throughout.

Built by Colorado-based Proffitt’s Ressurection Land Cruisers — a shop specializing in the restoration and modification of Toyota’s stalwart off-roader — the “R2.8 Land Cruiser Pickup” is a marriage between the body of a 79-series Land Cruiser Pickup, and the chassis from an FZJ80 Land Cruiser from 1993 (which had to be lengthened by 20 inches). The “R2.8” moniker comes from the powerplant: a 2.8-liter turbodiesel from Cummins, producing 161 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. It’s a modest choice, but with a torque delivery very low in the rev range, it’s one that makes sense for a truck like this. Proffitt’s chose it because “[it] is so compact, yet performs so well…in our opinion, it is the best diesel engine option available today,” according to the website.

That engine is hooked up to a five-speed manual transmission, and a part-time 4WD transfer case with electronic-locking differentials. The truck also features three-link suspension at the front and five-link in the rear, Bilstein shocks and rolls on Maxxis mud-terrain tires. Essential overlanding gear like an ARB bumper and Warn winch are also present. The rad side graphics are not so essential but are nonetheless an appreciated touch to an otherwise subtly-crafted machine.

All in all, it’s an incredible off-road build, and the use of the 79-series body is inspired, though there’s probably a good reason for that. Debuting in 1999 and never being sold in the United States, the 79-series Land Cruiser is not a legal machine here (at least not for a few more years), which is why you don’t see builds like this stateside. It’s possible that Proffitt’s can skirt this by dropping the body on a US-legal frame and registering it as a kit car or a modified 1993 FZJ80. It’s also possible that since this is a build for SEMA it is not intended for on-road use in the first place. We’ve reached out to Proffitt’s for more information regarding this and will update this post with any new information.

Update: Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruiser’s proprietor, Jeremiah Proffitt, reached out via phone to clarify the legality of his Land Cruiser project. According to him, the truck is in fact road legal in the US, as the project is essentially a kit car. “I would compare the build to building a fiberglass dune buggy or something like that. It’s a metal body on top of an existing chassis,” he said.

Proffitt explained that he came to acquire the not just one but 55 79-series Land Cruisers bodies back in 2009 when he was helping a Dubai-based company building armored vehicles on the truck’s underpinnings. While the engines and chassis were used, the Land Cruiser bodies themselves were done away with. Proffitt made a deal to acquire the remaining body shells which, most importantly, did not come with a vehicle identification number (VIN).

“They were just sheet metal bodies… the VIN was used on the other cars, so without the VIN, it’s basically a body swap.” As such, Proffitt says he’s able to get state-assigned VINs for his 79-series builds, a relatively straightforward process that’s used to make other kit cars and custom builds eligible to drive on the road. And since it uses a pre-existing engine from Cummins, it’s legal in 49 states (California is the exception). “It’s pretty much the only legitimate way to have a newer 79-series in the country, in my opinion,” he said.

In fact, the build featured here is far from the first, as he’s made a handful of similar Land Cruisers for of customers, who he states have had no issues registering their cars on the road. As of writing, Proffitt says he’s down to about five shells left, though unfortunately for would-be clients, they’re all spoken for. Still, Proffitt doesn’t rule out the possibility of making more: “It’s possible to get more [body shells] if you look hard enough. There are still other companies building vehicles on those chassis.”

Today in Gear

The best way to catch up on the day’s most important product releases and stories. Read the Story

Ferrari SP38 is the latest one-off creation from the Prancing Horse

Ferrari has unveiled its latest one-off creation, called the SP38, a road- and track-going car built for “one of Ferrari’s most dedicated customers” who has a “deep passion for racing.” Swathed in a three-layer metallic red paint finish for its all-new body, the SP38 is built on the chassis and running gear of a donor 488 GTB and took its twin-turbo, twin-intercooler influence from the F40.

Stylistically, the car concentrates its visual mass over the rear wheels, with a rear spoiler and engine cover reminiscent of the F40, with a wedge shape that narrows toward the front. “In plan view, the strongly tapered nose expands towards muscular wheel arches, giving the car potency and agility,” Ferrari says.

The engine cover sheds its rear glass and is a flip-up assembly done in carbon fiber, with three transverse slats to siphon off engine heat. At the back, the trailing edge of the rear spoiler “links seamlessly with the wing and with the aerodynamic diffuser at the bottom to create a suggestive frame surrounding the tail volume.”

Up front, inset headlights were designed to be as thin as possible, with daytime running lights relocated to a slim bumper lip similar to the 308 GTB.

No word on the SP38’s powertrain, but it seems likely that it’s the 488’s mid-engine 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8, which makes 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.

It’ll go on display to the public on Saturday, May 26, at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Lake Como in Italy.

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1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 NART Spyder

If you have an extra million dollars laying around and you’d like to invest in an ultra-rare piece of automotive history, this is your chance. One of three ever made, this street-ready 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 NART Spyder is up for sale, arriving in “exceptional and highly original condition.”

Built by Giovanni Michelotti–one of the most prolific sports car designers of the 70s, the unrestored Daytona wears many of its original features including the striking metallic blue body paintwork, Cibie Iode fog lamps, ANSA exhaust, Michelotti badging and hard top. The Arancia tan leather interior with bespoke dash and unique seats is in outstanding original condition, the only thing that’s not stock being an aftermarket radio.

Fully functioning, the unique Ferrari has electric windows, air conditioning, a properly-fitted soft top, and a fat Momo steering wheel. It rolls on magnesium alloy Cromodora knock-off wheels wrapped in period correct Michelin XWX tires.

Mechanically, the NART Daytona is also in excellent condition. It’s said to run strong and feel “even more aggressive than a standard car – perhaps due to the lighter coachwork.” Having seen only limited use, the car retains its original engine with six Weber 40 DCN 21 carburetors and even includes the original toolkit as well as the jack bag with jack and wheel tools.

Buy From Hyman $995,000

Please Join Formula One, Aston Martin

Within the past decade or so, Formula One evolved in car design through aerodynamics and engine packaging. Gone are the days of the mighty V12 of the 1990’s and here is the world of turbochargers and energy recovery. Many have argued that current engine regulations have taken the fun out of the sport and limited participation to the ones that can afford the R&D costs.

I’m not going to take anything away from Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes-Benz Petronas team, but I’m just tired of seeing him on the podium. Don’t even get me started on Finger Boy!

There is a solution to everything: there is a revision of the regulations come 2021 with hopes of attracting new constructors to join in on the fun. And it seems like it has attracted a maker across the Pond.

There have been reports that Aston Martin is keen on joining in Formula 1 under Team Red Bull Racing. While they’re currently working with Renault who’s supplying McLaren, and Renault this season, Red Bull hasn’t been doing great this season with issues in Bahrain, an engine issue during FP3 in Shanghai, and a third-place finish in Spain. reports that Aston Martin is paying attention to the new rules, especially with the focus on a simpler turbocharged V6 engine and the removal of the MGU-H unit.

They are aware that they must be competitive before talking with Team Red Bull and hopefully, things will get sorted out by 2019,

“We’re looking at 2021, so it’s somewhere down the road,” Palmer told Autosport.

“But if we can’t pass the ‘it’s OK for Red Bull test’ then that probably means we’re not passing the ‘it’s competitive’ test, and it has to be competitive.

“There’s approximately nine months’ work in front of us to convince ourselves one way or the other.

“You’ve got simulation tools and single cylinder work, and that gives you a pretty accurate correlation between the testing world and the simulation world.”

We look forward to seeing Aston Martin join the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz onto the podium. Carry on!

This 1969 Ford Bronco Is Powered by a V8 Mustang Engine

We love the Ford Bronco. You love the Ford Bronco. If you just can’t wait any longer for Ford to officially bring it back in 2020, there’s a powerful option up for grabs on Bring…

One-off Koenigsegg Agera RS Gryphon supercar crashes again

Almost exactly a year after a rare $1.5 million-plus Koenigsegg Agera RS crashed during testing in Sweden, it’s happened again. To the same, repaired supercar.

Swedish outlet Teknikens Varld reports the crash happened last week after the Agera RS crashed into a ditch in a rural area near the National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) headquarters where Koenigsegg test-drives its cars. It confirms it’s the same vehicle that crashed in May 2017 after the driver lost control of it on the wet track.

According to The Drive, it’s an Agera RS Gryphon, an all-carbon fiber, 3,075-pound beast with 24-karat gold leaf trim that does a ridiculous 1,360 horsepower and 1,011 pound-feet of torque. It was originally built for U.S. car collector Manny Khoshbin before it wrecked last year shortly before delivery.

The Swedish supercar maker reportedly set to work on a replacement Gryphon following that wreck while pledging to repair the crashed model for use as a factory test and demonstration car.

It’s not clear what caused the most recent crash. The reader who submitted the photo said it was clear from skid marks the car had been on both sides of the road. It also wasn’t clear whether the driver suffered any injuries.

Teknikens Varld says it’s believed to be the first time the repaired car had been driven in the open since the 2017 crash.

The Agera RS is the world’s fastest production car.

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BMW X8 Trademarked Across the World – Audi Q8 Rival Gets Ready

Given the runaway success of the SUV market, it was perhaps inevitable that BMW would soon muscle in with a range topping BMW X8. If their recent trademark applications are to be believed, this might happen sooner rather than later!

Audi are set to unveil the Audi Q8 very soon, with Mercedes-Benz producing the GLS for some time and Range Rover’s continuing to sell very well, it seems a logical step for BMW to take.

BMW have evidently been busy filing the required legal paperwork to protect their badge. The BMW X8 name has been trademarked in markets around the world this year. BMW have also managed to obtain trademarks in the Far East recently, all but completing the filings.

The X8 would likely hit the market in 2020 if BMW give it the green light. It will follow in the footsteps of the planned BMW X7 which will debut later this year and joins ta model range which incorporates all of the numbers 1 through to 6!

BMW are thought to be debating whether the X8 should take the form of a long wheelbase version of the X7, or whether it would be better as a coupé version of the X7. It is thought that BMW’s main target would be the Chinese market.

2018 Ferrari Portofino – The Affordable, Everyday Supercar

More Than Just An “Entry-Level” Ferrari?

The new Ferrari Portofino is the de facto successor of the best-selling Ferrari in history – the Ferrari California T. Following in the steps of its predecessor, the Portofino is a grand touring, 2+2, hardtop convertible with its engine located in the front.

It is fairly obvious that Ferrari designed the Portofino to have more mass-market-appeal than the rest of its predominantly mid-engined, race-car-inspired-line-up. Ferrari wanted the car to be more relatable – attracting first-time buyers to the Ferrari brand with its relatively low price point (starting at $ USD $215,000), everyday driveability, comfort, and versatility.

In fact, Ferrari has invested a conspicuous amount of time and money into market research in order to determine in great detail how the evolution of their V8 twin-turbo GT would play out. So, we know that based on its price the Portofino is an entry-level Ferrari. Purists would scoff at the notion of such a thing existing – so perhaps the real question should be “is it more entry-level or is it more Ferrari”?

2018 Ferrari Portofino

Named after one of Italy’s most beautiful towns, the Portofino is far from what Ferrari’s most hardcore fans – who are predictably the biggest critics of the Portofino – expect from the very manufacturer that has produced automotive icons such as the F40, Enzo, 458 Italia, and LaFerrari, to name a few.

However, Ferrari fashioned the Portofino to dominate in its particular segment – one which consists of the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, Mercedes AMG SL65 and Aston Martin DB11. In order to do so, Ferrari says, the Portofino must be “a GT that represents a unique combination of sportiness, elegance and onboard comfort”.

With that in mind, Ferrari has ensured that their design incorporated a powerful turbo V8 engine, a chassis benefiting from a multitude of vehicle dynamics which promote responsiveness and superior ride comfort, and an aggressively-styled and sleek fastback silhouette.

Features and Highlights


The Portofino is the beneficiary of Ferrari’s renowned and award-winning V8 Turbo engine, which should provide as much delight for the Ferrari fanatic as it does for the more unassuming target market.

The 3.9L unit produces 591-horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 560 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 – 5,250 rpm and according to Ferrari, is capable of 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 320 km/h.

Hardly what would be considered “fast” for Ferrari’s current outfit, but more than adequately attributed for a supercar.


Not unlike virtually every Ferrari off the assembly line these days, the engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, with paddle shifters fixed on the steering column. The chassis, steering, and suspension have been comprehensively improved over the California T to ensure that ride comfort was not sacrificed for improved handling.

The car is fitted with a third generation rear differential and integrated with F1-Trac which improves both mechanical grip and control at the limit. Electric Power Steering (EPS) improves steering responsiveness while a magnetorheological damping system (SCM-E) reduces body roll and simultaneously improves absorption over bumps and harsh road surfaces.


The Ferrari Design Centre has penned the Portofino as an “aggressively styled car with a two-box fastback configuration”. Most notable is the retractable hardtop which allows the car to transform between coupe and convertible while maintaining an elegant and dynamic stature in either form.

Overall, the exterior design of this grand tourer – which is a harmonious symphony of beauty and beast – appears to make the car more likened to the Ferrari F12 than its predecessor, the California T.


To create the cabin that its target market demands, the Portofino is lavished with a slew of features which cater to creature comforts, convenience, and overall luxury.

A 10.2” touchscreen infotainment system, state-of-the-art climate control system, 18-way electrically adjustable seats and passenger display, are among the Portofino’s standard fare. The combination of leather, carbon fiber, and aluminum accents provides a posh, yet sporty feel to the interior.

When shopping for a 2+2, buyers should never be sold on having plenty (or even enough) legroom in the back seats – the Portofino is no exception. Small children are the only demographic who might be comfortable with longer excursions in the back of the car.


We already know that if you want a faster and more performance oriented Ferrari, you wouldn’t be shopping for a Ferrari Portofino.

However, the Portofino for what it is – is unquestionably a great improvement over its predecessor. Afterall, it has more power and less weight, while being more enjoyable to drive and arguably, better looking than the California T that it is replacing.

Auto journalists such as Car Magazine and Car and Driver note that the Portofino is very engaging to drive spiritedly, sans the desire to go around breaking any lap records. Ultimately, the Ferrari Portofino is the amalgamation of what it was designed to be – a Ferrari which offers a unique blend of daily driving practicality, performance, and luxury.

The Ferrari Portofino will probably strike a chord with those who are cross-shopping in this segment. Interestingly, 70% of buyers of the California T were new customers to the marque. If the Portofino is able to achieve similar success, I would consider that a big win for Ferrari.

Specifications and Performance Summary

Pricing and Model Info

Make Ferrari
Model Portofino
Generation 2018 –
Car type Hardtop Convertible
Category Series Production Car
Built At Maranello, Italy
Introduced 2018
Base Price (US) $215,000

Chassis and Powertrain

Curb Weight 1,664 kg
Layout Front-engine
Driven wheels Rear-wheel drive
Engine V8 – 90°
Aspiration Turbocharged
Displacement 3.9 Litres
Transmission 7-speed DCT

Engine Output

Power 591 hp @ 7,500 rpm
Power / litre 152 hp / litre
Power-to-weight ratio 6.21 lb / hp
Torque 560 lb-ft @ 3,000 – 5,250 rpm


0-100 km/h 3.5 seconds
Top Speed 320 km/h

Photo Gallery

Video Reviews

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2019 Ferrari 488 Pista – Ferrari’s Most Powerful V8. Ever

The 710HP V8 Prancing Horse From Maranello

Ferrari first unveiled its new track-focused 488 variant at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2018. Given the moniker “Pista” – which translated from Italian, means “track” – the latest iteration of Ferrari’s mid-engined V8 is faster than ever before and pays homage to the manufacturer’s remarkable motorsports heritage.

The new 710-horsepower 488 Pista is the current successor to Ferrari’s famed v8-engined special series, which boasts the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale in its lineage. While Ferrari is now taking orders for the Pista, an official release date and U.S. pricing have yet to be confirmed.

2019 Ferrari 488 Pista

Ferrari’s 488 Pista takes the “regular” 488 GTB to the next-level; even more so than what previous special series cars did for their respective standard models. The Pista is the beneficiary of an abundance of dynamics and technologies carried over from competitive racing.

The car’s development is mainly derived from Ferrari’s involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), where its 488 GTE and 488 Challenge race cars have competed and won numerous Manufacturers’ titles.

With such favorable genetics to borrow from, the Pista is much more than just a horsepower bump and stickier tires. The car has undergone extensive weight reduction and received noteworthy vehicle dynamics and aerodynamic upgrades.

The end-goal, Ferrari says, is to “offer impeccable track-like performance on and off the road, even when in the hands of non-professional drivers”.

Features and Highlights


The revised engine is the most powerful V8 in Ferrari’s long history of building some of the world’s fastest cars. Benefiting from its twin turbo setup, the 3.9-litre unit is able to output a blistering 710-horsepower at 8000 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque at 3000 rpm. This contributes to performance figures of 0-100 km/h in 2.85 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 340 km/h.

Respective to the standard 488 GTB model’s award-winning engine, the overall increase of 49 horsepower and 7 lb-ft of torque is achieved by borrowing engine parts from the 488 Challenge race car – such as Inconel exhaust manifolds, strengthened pistons, a larger intercooler, and a new camshaft.

Ferrari proudly remarks that “the engine sound is unique and unmistakably Ferrari, as such a special car warrants”.


Mated to the illustrious V8 engine is a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission which bangs through gears in just 30 milliseconds when driven in race mode setting, providing the driver with such meticulous control over the car as if it were an extension of his or her own thoughts.

The Pista – compared to the GTB – is 0.3 inches lower, 0.9 inches wider and 1.5 inches shorter in length due to various weight reduction and aerodynamic upgrades performed throughout the car, which also makes it a noticeable 90 kg lighter.

Ferrari has also equipped the car with version 6 of their Side-Slip Angle Control System (SSC). This vehicle dynamics system is able to simultaneously control the electronic differential, traction control, magnetic damping and brake pressure software, with perfect synergy. The brake pressure software, dubbed “Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer” or (FDE), is a world-first system which can adjust brake pressure at the calipers.


The Pista is equipped with an F1-inspired S-duct and front diffuser optimized for the 488 GTE race car. The underbody also features modified vortex generators and a rear diffuser to reduce turbulence beneath the chassis.

Additionally, the rear blown spoiler has been revamped with a higher, longer and more optimal design. The end result of all these aerodynamic upgrades is a dramatic 20% increase in downforce relative to the 488 GTB.


Ferrari has not yet revealed many details about the interior, though it is expected to remain largely unchanged from the 488 GTB. However, as part of its special series makeover, we expect Ferrari to delete or replace certain non-essential parts in the name of weight reduction, as it has done for previous special series cars. “Pista” badges and nameplates are likely featured throughout the interior as well.


While there have not yet been any test drives of a 488 Pista production-spec model, a select group of very lucky automotive journalists were able to take a test mule out for some hot laps at Ferrari’s private racetrack – Fiorano Circuit near Maranello, Italy. With an official test driver, the car is reported to complete a lap of Fiorano in 1:21.5; a very distinguishable 1.5 seconds quicker than a 488 GTB.

The Test Mule in Action

UK news site, The Week, provided a compilation of what some of the critics had to say. Overall, reports from the likes of Auto Express and Top Gear note the Pista’s bang-for-buck as a “hypercar-beating machine” and provide plenty of praise for its special handling characteristics, super-accurate steering and “brilliantly balanced chassis”. It is a car that is “just as at home on the road as it is on the circuit”, they add.

Autocar reports that Ferrari 488 Pista pricing starts at £252,695, which means that we can expect U.S. pricing to begin north of the USD $340,000 mark.

The Pista is latest and most advanced variant of the manufacturer’s fan-favorite special series cars. There is no reason to believe that Ferrari will not deliver on its production model, so if the test mule is any indication of what the final product will be, supercar lovers are in for a treat of hypercar proportions.

Specifications and Performance Summary

Pricing and Model Info

Make Ferrari
Model 488
Generation 2019 –
Sub-Model Pista
Car type Coupe
Category Series Production Car
Built At Maranello, Italy
Introduced 2018
Base Price (£) $252,695

Chassis and Powertrain

Curb Weight 1,280 kg
Layout Mid-engine
Driven wheels Rear-wheel drive
Engine V8 – 90°
Aspiration Twin-turbocharged
Displacement 3.9 Litres
Transmission 7-speed DCT

Engine Output

Power 710 hp @ 8,000 rpm
Power / litre 182.1 hp / litre
Power-to-weight ratio 3.97 lb / hp
Torque 568 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm


0-100 km/h 2.85 seconds
0-200 km/h 7.6 seconds
Max speed 340 km/h

Photo Gallery


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The New Ferrari Portofino Is Meant to Be a Daily Driver

Replacing the California T convertible, Ferrari’s most-sold car in its long history, the Ferrari Portofino is a luxo-sporty grand tourer aimed to sell. Associate Designer Hunter Kelley attended the NYC debut (at Classic Car Club Manhattan) to grab some glamour shots of Ferrari’s new car, seen here.

The Portofino is an improvement in nearly every metric: it is faster and roomier and can drive for longer distances, thanks to a 460-mile cruising range Its body is longer, wider and lower and features nicely-updated, crisp sheet metal (offering six percent less drag than the California). The Portofino is 10 percent lighter and it’s much stiffer overall, while components like magnetic dampers and an electronic differential put power down in a sophisticated way.

The California T’s 3.9-liter, twin-turbocharged flat-plane-crank V8 engine carries over, but with many improvements: 38 more horsepower (to 591), three more lb-ft of more torque (now 560 lb-ft) and it reaches maximum boost a hair quicker. It’s quick in other matters too: the Portofino, likely relegated to boulevard cruising, will all the same top 200 mph and reach 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds. Most interesting is that Ferrari claims 85 percent of California owners use their cars as daily drivers — a figure I bet remains the same or ticks up slighty as Portofinos find new homes.

What Others are Saying:
“What’s clever about the Ferrari Portofino is that it’s engaging to drive at moderate speeds. Brisk cruising is this Ferrari’s forte; it flows beautifully down the road, the chassis displaying delightful coherence and consistency. Roof up, it’s a comfortable long-distance tourer and practical daily driver. Roof down, on a sunny day and a winding road, it’s a fun-to-drive sports car.” – Angus MacKenzie, Car and Driver

“This is Ferrari’s most important car for key reasons, starting with the revenue stream, and it’s an obvious indicator how the little company in Maranello (and maybe its audience) has changed the last 25 years. The important things are still here, of course… [and] there are new pieces of technology, too, though they aren’t always visible to the naked eye.” – J.P. Vettraino, AutoWeek

2019 Ferrari Portofino Key Specs:
Layout: 2+2 hard top covertible
Engine: 3.9-liter twin-turbo V-8
Transmission: seven-speed dual-cluth automatic
Horsepower: 591
Torque: 560 lb-ft
0-60: 3.5 (est.)
Top Speed: 200-plus mph
Price: $214,000
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