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[Guide] Singer Porsche – Creators of the Ultimate Porsche 911s

Singer Porsche

Our ultimate guide to the restoration shop with the motto “everything is important” and how they build the best custom Porsches in the world by sweating the little details. 

A strange thing happened last week. We created two posts, one about the best restomod Porsche companies and one that included over 60 of the coolest restomod Porsches we loved. Porsche fans immediately knew what we were talking about and have followed a lot of the restoration and aftermarket scene for years, but for regular Supercars.net fans they were left a little confused, having never have heard of companies like Singer or Rob Dickinson or the Singer Vehicle Design DLS. So we decided to give you the ultimate guide to Singer Porsche and this is it right here.

Some call them the best air-cooled Porsches ever, others the best cars in the world. They are Porsche 911 sports cars that have been restored, reimagined, and reborn by Singer Vehicle Design. Each commission represents a unique collaboration between the customer and Singer, combining bespoke carbon fiber body panels, the finest in optimized mechanical and electrical components, superlative materials and finishes, and the spirit of the golden age of the iconic air-cooled 911. Every Singer-restored car is an incomparable work of impeccable craftsmanship.

Singer Vehicle Design is driven by the singular vision of Rob Dickinson, an ex-car designer and rock musician who came to be one of the world’s foremost distillers of the essence of air-cooled Porsche. Rob’s lifelong obsession with the most important sports car on the planet began on an autoroute in France in the ’70s and now finds a home on the concours lawns and racetracks of the world’s most prestigious automotive events.

Rob Dickinson – Founder, Singer Vehicle Design

It sounds like a Hollywood movie. The singular vision of an obsessed an ex car designer who then became a rock musician who now stands as one of the world’s foremost distillers of the essence of air cooled Porsche. This is the story of Rob Dickinson and Singer Vehicle Designs.

Rob DickinsonRob Dickinson
Photo Source: Love For Porsche

Companies like Singer Vehicle Designs are as much about their amazing founders as they are about the spectacular cars so we want to tell you about Rob Dickinson, the founder and CEO of Singer Vehicle Designs. Rob Dickinson is an overachiever. Born 23 July 1965 in the UK (a native of Norfolk, England) he is a singer, songwriter and entrepreneur who has seen tremendous success in his life.

Rob’s infatuation with cars began in 1970 on a family vacation in France. As he had told it in numerous interviews, his father pointed out a fast approaching 911 Targa while travelling on the Autoroute and he was hooked forever. In college he studied Automotive Design at Coventry University and on graduation went on to work with the Peter Stevens (designer of the Mclaren F1) and Julian Thompson at Lotus. A few years later he decided that car design was not his future mainly because he saw rock ’n’ roll as my way out of Norfolk. He picked up a guitar and took inspiration from his cousin (Iron Maiden singer Bruce) and off he went.

He decided to focus on his music and that is where most of you may know him from. Rob Dickinson first became known worldwide as singer and guitarist in the band Catherine Wheel. While a member of Catherine Wheel from 1990 to 2000, Dickinson proved himself as a talented songwriter and vocalist, however, after the 2000 release of Catherine Wheel’s last album, Wishville, the group disbanded.

He moved in Los Angeles in 2003 to make a solo album. While in LA he also focused on creating his dream 911, “the ultimate hybrid of all the lightweight, racing 911s I loved, mashed up as a cafe racer hot rod”.

Enter a 1969 Porsche 911 that became known as the “Brown Bomber”. Restored to serve as a lightweight daily driver that Rob used all the time, it wasn’t long before people would hound him to buy it. He thought he may be onto something special. In his own words he started to ask, “Why can’t we take an old 911 and present it as the definitive air-cooled 911? The best-looking, the best driving, the best spec, built like a Rolex…”

singer brown bombersinger brown bomber
The Brown Bomber

In 2009, after a decade as a touring rock-n-roll frontman, Dickinson returned to his automotive passions full time and founded Singer Vehicle Design in Los Angeles (where it is still headquartered). It became a new outlet for his creativity and lifelong love of the Porsche 911. Singer Vehicle Design started by restoring and modifying the 964s and continues to innovate and grow, including a new Swiss watch and the ultimate 911 in the DLS. As for the Singer company name, it is both in honor of renowned Porsche engineer, Norbert Singer, and Dickinson’s other career as a singer himself.

Singer Porsche LocationSinger Porsche Location
Image Source: Total 911

What Is a Singer Porsche?

This may seem like an obvious question, but the answer is nuanced. Is a Singer Porsche a restored Porsche 911? Is it a customized classic 911? Is it a hot rod outlaw Porsche? It is a totally unique model? Maybe all of the above.

Singer Vehicle Designs restores air-cooled 964 911 Porsches, turning them into the “ultimate 911.” The final product name sums it up best, it is a Porsche 911 “reimagined” by Singer. It focuses its restoration efforts on 1989-1994 Porsche 964s (about 60,000 units were produced by Porsche so there are lots of them around, although values have skyrocketed because of their popularity as a base for restomodding).

The 964 is the perfect foundation for a Singer restoration. The 964 has classic air cooled 911 proportions, an air-cooled flat six engine, modern day technology in terms of safety, braking, suspension and steering.

Singer takes these tired 964s and restores them from the ground up while simultaneously optimizing every facet of the car and evoking the classic lines of the original 911. Each Singer Porsche is unique and no detail is unattended (“everything is important”) in a Singer build, the attention to detail is amazing. A new engine, drivetrain, and suspension improves performance, while painstakingly refurbished bodywork and stunning interiors complete the cars. 4,000+ hours go into into restoring, tuning, and customizing a Singer Porsche.

A Singer Porsche is the ultimate 911.
Singer PorscheSinger Porsche

Where is Singer Vehicle Design Located?

A company like Singer could only happen in sunny California. Los Angeles and California are a fundamental part of the DNA of Singer Vehicle Design and Singer Reimagined. California loves entrepreneurs trying to change the world and it is the heart of the classic Porsche tuner market. Combining the history the iconic 911 with California’s hot rod culture and a willingness to support the guy saying f**k you to the classic car establishment it was a marriage made in heaven.

In addition to their headquarters in Los Angeles, Singer had built a base of suppliers and specialists across California who work closely with them and help them think through thorny problems and create. More recently Singer has expanded its partnerships globally. They worked with Williams in the UK and Singer Reimagined in Geneva has helped them grow that network in those countries too.

Demand has meant that the company continues to grow. From a small beaten up workshop in Los Angeles in 2009 to two sites in California, teams in the UK and Switzerland and representatives around the world. Not bad for a single guy who was just trying to build his own perfect car.

Singer Porsche Price – How Much Is A Singer Porsche?

This is where we need to break the bad news to you. It is not cheap to have the ultimate reimagined Porsche 911. Singer Porsche restorations start at $395,000 plus the donor car, but most customers usually go well over $600,000. Singer says the most recent restoration commissions have been in the $600,000 to $650,000 range.

At the top of the range is the Singer and Williams collaboration in the form of the wildly reimagined 500 horsepower Singer Vehicle Design DLS. That sells for $1.8 millions, with 75 examples of this restoration being made available to customers (as always every single one is personalized for every individual buyer).

If all of this sounds absurdly expensive, think about the work that goes into these builds and the custom high end materials. A “normal” build is upward of 4,000 in man hours alone. A story Rob often tells is he first started out (in 2009), Rob charged one of his first customers $300,000 and ended up spending $800,000 on the restoration. Since then the company has worked hard to find the right balance between reasonable pricing with how absurdly expensive it is to do the work right.

Singer Porsche ProcessSinger Porsche Process
Image Source: Car Magazine

Buying & Building A Singer Porsche – The Process

The process for getting your own Singer car is more than just rocking up and dropping money. Sure, each Singer Porsche starts with the owner putting down a big deposit and then working on their dream spec list but they also need to find a 964 donor car (so we are talking 1989 to 1994 Porsche 911 for non-nerds). Once they are called up they send their car to Singer and the team goes to work, completely disassembly the car, media blasting to bare metal, adding carbon fiber bodywork and then technicians at Singer each wait their turn to transform the 911 into the final form. Engine assembly is handled by Ed Pink Racing Engines and paint is outsourced, for now, but the suspension, trim, interior, assembly, and final fit and finish are all done inside a surprisingly small shop in Sun Valley, California. We go into more details below on the whole thing if you want to learn more. 

Buying a Singer Porsche – Get on the Waitlist

As of June 2018 Singer had built 100 cars. We scour the classifieds to see if anybody is selling their Singer car and unfortunately we have yet to see one come up for sale. Too bad because we would totally buy a Singer car if it came up for sale (we wish).

So what is the waitlist and process if you are one of the lucky ones who just sold your tech startup or your hedge fund had a great year and you wanted to buy the ultimate, reimagined Porsche by Singer. You will need to work directly with Singer and you better get in line because there is a long wait.

After a deposit has been placed and the specifications have been determined, the restoration can take from 8-10 months, while a typical waiting period from deposit to delivery is approximately 18 months. You are looking at an almost two year wait for your Singer Porsche, but is that really too long when you consider each donor 911 goes through Singer’s complete ground-up customization process, ending up as the ultimate re-imagination of the 964-generation Porsche 911, with no detail overlooked and totally personalized to your tastes. Don’t wait then, write that check for the deposit and get on the waitlist.

Speccing Your Reimagined Porsche

Singer really allows a lot of personalization on these cars. Broadly you can have your Singer be sports-driving focused, luxurious, flamboyant or simple and understated. Every restored car is unique to their owner and has its own story. In saying that we did find some broad options that Singer talks about on their site that will help you with your (probably imaginary) options list.

Singer PorscheSinger Porsche

Chassis & Body

You supply your own fully road legal 1989-1994 Porsche 911 Coupe or Targa so that it retains its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), odometer reading and is legally registered, operated and licensed in the same manner.

The cars are comprehensively disassembled and all bodywork to be replaced is removed from the car. The monocoque (unibody) is media-blasted to bare metal and then treated for rust prevention. The monocoque receives additional welding strengthening and fabrication in preparation for its new bodywork. After that almost every panel on the car is replaced by carbon fiber bodywork (doors stay as steel to keep strength in side impacts).

In terms of colors, Singer has 75 colors which they feel complement the classic curves of our machines and recall some of the vivid hues pioneered in the 1960s and 70s. The doorframes, and all exterior and interior bright work is nickel-plated.

In addition there are options like getting a fully integrated roll hoop upholstered in padded leather or adding front strut bracing, adding a sunroof and even a Touring Package Option (not sure what that gets you).

Aerodynamics on the cars are optimized for high-speed stability via a set of custom designed and tested front and rear spoilers. The front spoiler is a fixed, flexible urethane unit while the rear spoiler is an active, speed-sensitive unit (automatically raises up and down depending on speed). The rear spoiler boasts a 60’s inspired delicate plated grill under which a tinted acrylic screen allows views of the engine.

Singer Porsche EngineSinger Porsche Engine

Engine, Exhaust & Transmission Options

Donor car engines are completely disassembled then meticulously blueprinted, balanced and hand-built using new or state of the art components. Customers are offered a choice of three engines, each with a unique output and character, designed to match the dynamics of their car.

Engine Option – 3.8-liter, 300 horsepower. There is a 3.8L flat six with 300 horsepower. It has a Bosch engine management system, exhaust and ancillaries, therefore retains the engine’s original emission calibration.

Engine Option – 3.8-liter, 350 horsepower. There is a 3.8 liter flax six with 350 horsepower. The engine was co-developed with Cosworth and is built by Ed Pink Racing Engines. Singer says this engine option is a nice balance between a high-revving, high horsepower Porsche racing engine and a torque rich, tractable and durable engine for the road.

Engine Option – 4.0-liter, 390 horsepower. There is a 4.0 liter flax six with 390 horsepower. Ed Pink Racing Engines developed and builds this unit and it takes cues from the Cosworth unit. This is the most popular engine option. In addition to almost 400 horsepower it has a healthy 7,200 rpm redline and about 315 lb/ft of torque. Performance is amazing for an air-cooled, non turbo engine with an estimated 0 – 60 mph time of 3.3 seconds.

Custom Exhaust. One of the coolest features on the Singer Porsche is the cool ceramic coated, matte titanium gray exhaust. The exhaust is more than just show. It is made of a lightweight stainless steel and Singer says the it improves throttle response, torque distribution, and top-end power.

Transmission. The original Porsche/Getrag G50 units can be used. If you choose this option the units are stripped and rebuilt. Ratios are changed to match whether you want more sporting or touring like characteristics. The shift linkage is also rebuilt to remove sloppiness and give you ‘rifle bolt’ tactility. You can also choose to have a close ratio 6 speed Getrag G50/LSD unit or a close ratio 6 speed Getrag G50/LSD 993 derived 4WD system. The latter is designed to give you great power delivery in all road conditions while the former is for guys looking for a really sporty drive from their Singer 911.

Singer Porsche InteriorSinger Porsche Interior

Interior Options

Your Singer 911 comes with a customized interior. The attention to detail is amazing. There are too many interior options to name here but suffice to say this is where you can really go nuts in making your car your own. Materials, fittings, seats, steering wheel, gauges, rear seating, interior paneling and much more can be completely customized.

Singer Porsche Engine Builder – Meet Ed Pink Racing Engines

Ed Pink Racing Engines has been located in Van Nuys, California since 1965. In their 50 years of experience they have built every type of racing engine. Frank Honsowetz is the General Manager of Ed Pink Racing Engines and he isn’t a Porsche guy. He prefers to build drag racing engines and yet this is the only guy that Singer trusts to build their engines. He must be good.

The core engine in most Singer Porsches is a 4 liter air-cooled flat six engine built by Ed Pink Racing Engines team.

Each engine is brought into their Van Nuys facility, disassembled, hot tanked, machined, and fitted with a completely new rotating assembly, set of cylinder heads, and valvetrain components. All engines keep the case of the 964 and employ a bespoke crankshaft, oil pump, pistons, cylinders, connecting rods, cams, cylinder heads, throttle bodies and intake system. These are not off the shelf units with the engines benefiting from state-of-the-art innovation and breakthroughs in intake design, cylinder head, piston, cylinder and rod design, plus fuel injection and engine management advances.

We cannot do justice to the craftsman and the engines themselves in this short post so we encourage you to spend five minutes watching the informative Hagerty video below that shows the Ed Pink team taking you through their Singer engine builds. You will see the perfection the aim for, the attention that is paid to even the most minor details.

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What is a Singer Porsche Like to Drive? The Reviews…

We have never driven a Singer Porsche so we are not going to pretend we can accurately describe what one is like to drive. Luckily, some of our favorite automotive journalists and car magazines have gotten their mittens on one and filmed it for our (and now your) pleasure. Watch some of the Singer Porsche reviews…

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Ultimate Singer 911 Car – Singer Vehicle Design DLS

The Singer Vehicle Design DLS won our best restored and custom Porsche 911 list but many would argue that Singer and Williams succeeded in actually creating the most advanced air-cooled Porsche 911 in the world, period. The ultimate, perfect 911.

Called the Singer Vehicle Design DLS (DLS stands for “Dynamics and Lightweighting Study”), the opportunity came up to create this car thanks to a repeat customer who wanted his 1990 Porsche 911 to be taken to the “next level”. The company began the “dynamics and lightweighting study” with Formula 1’s Williams Advanced Engineering. The results are amazing, the DLS is an absolute masterpiece. Price point is a cool $1.8 million and 75 will be made for customers.

At a quick glance, the bodywork looks like it could’ve come from a 911 RSR, but it’s all bespoke to this car, made from carbon fiber. It’s all aerodynamically optimized, too, with a small air channel at the rear window designed to work with the ducktail spoiler and diffuser, making real downforce. Norbert Singer, the legendary Porsche Motorsport engineer who ran the company’s Le Mans program for decades helped with the aero.

Williams worked on balancing the weight of this 911 as much as possible, moving the engine forward slightly and relocating other components to the front trunk. Speaking of the engine, it is a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat six worked on by Williams and is good for 500 horsepower at 9,000 RPM. The motor boasts lightweight throttle bodies with F1-inspired upper and lower injectors, a unique oil lubrication system and it has dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. The engine breathes through two ram-air intakes integrated into the rear quarter windows, while a vent in the spoiler helps expel air.

The suspension was also optimized by Williams. Williams designed the suspension, which is equipped with remotely adjustable dampers, and the tires are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s in a custom size. The ABS, traction, and stability control brains come from Bosch and it has switchable driving modes. Completing the package is a six-speed manual designed by Hewland—no autos or dual-clutch transmissions here.

The interior is absolutely stunning, the body is perfect, the nuts and bolts and little things are just outstanding. Everything else here was made specifically for this car, completely custom. The seats? Custom carbon-fiber Recaro buckets. Steering wheel? Custom carbon-fiber Momo Prototipo. Brakes? Carbon-ceramic Brembo discs with monobloc calipers. Wheels? 18 inch center-locking BBS magnesium made to look like old Fuchs alloys.

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Singer Porsche Galleries

We tried to break out the Singer car picture gallery by a few categories.

Singer Car Pictures

Singer “Look at the Attention to Details” Pics

Singer Interior Pics

Singer Engine Pics

Singer Vehicle Design DLS Gallery

Opinion: Ford Promises Great Cars, But Consistently Disappoints

SFord’s story has been the same the past couple of years. The company teases a cool new car in the works. Rumors emanate. Excitement builds. Then, nothing. Ford kills the project outright. Ford opts not to sell it in the United States. Or, Ford never makes it happen. One might say Ford has been America’s ultimate car tease.

Do you like hot hatches? Rumors were afoot Ford was building a super-hot Fiesta RS based on their rally car. Ford decided against it because the turbo three-pot Fiesta ST was an already fiery hot hatch. That version, of course, won’t be sold in the U.S. as the model gets killed off. Ditto for a rumored 400hp hybrid version of the bigger Focus RS. Ford planned to placate U.S. buyers with the crossover/wagon Focus Active, which, you guessed it, won’t be sold in the U.S. because of the tariff war with China.

Well, trucks are still doing well, right? Ford announced the return of the fan favorite Ranger to the midsize pickup segment. Ford also announced the suped-up Ford Ranger Raptor with a YouTube video rated “B for Badass.” That, of course, won’t be sold in the U.S. at this time. Neither would the just-debuted Ford Ranger Storm.

Ford kept the iconic Mustang as its lone car. But, it’s no more apparent what is going on there. Ford teased a Mustang-based high-performance electric SUV for 2020 called the “Mach 1.” That vehicle should still materialize, without the name, which Ford shelved. The rumor mill has fired up again of late that Ford will develop a four-door V8 Mustang-based sports sedan.

Ford has generated much talk, but little end product.

We also have the still-on-track but yet-to-be-revealed Ford Bronco revamp for 2020 which rumors have roaring back with a seven-speed manual. Enthusiasts will hope it is more “robust Jeep Wrangler 4×4 competitor” and less “ubiquitous crossover vaguely Bronco-shaped.”

Need more Ford discussion material to get jazzed about and potentially disappointed over? There are ongoing negotiations about a partnership with Volkswagen on R&D for autonomous vehicles, self-driving vehicles and pickup trucks.

Ford has generated much talk, but little end product. Ford partisans are perplexed. Sales are down. Shareholders are antsy. Inquiring looks can be directed toward one man, chief executive Jim Hackett, who took over in May 2017. Understanding what Hackett is up to may require a look back at his previous high-profile gig: interim University of Michigan athletic director.

Hackett arrived in 2014 with a clear directive: fix the storied but moribund football program. There were a murky couple of months. Pressure mounted. National media circled like vultures ready to pick through the wreckage. Hackett, with no experience in college athletics administration, appeared to be out of his depth.

The story ended with Hackett convincing Jim Harbaugh, the NFL’s most sought-after head coach, returning to coach his alma mater. Hackett also landed Michigan a landmark $170 million dollar Nike deal before clocking out.

Perhaps a Bronco relaunch and radical restructuring for the automotive feature play out similarly for Ford?

2019 Porsche Panamera GTS Review

It seems that every time I have written a review about a Porsche in 2018 I open with the very same line – Porsche are on something of a roll at the moment. Everything they build is something of a marvel, so it should come as no surprise that they’ve only gone and done it again, this time with the latest iteration of the Porsche Panamera GTS.

The GTS badge means a lot to the entire Porsche family – it means lower suspension, a smidgen more power, a load of alcantara and often, the most appealing car in the line-up. I know this having spent time in the 991.2 GTS and Macan GTS. I took a lengthy flight over to Bahrain to collect the keys to the latest generation Panamera GTS. Now that the styling is more better received and better integrated into the Porsche family look, the Panamera seems to be more enticing than ever before. Add to that the practicality and allure of the Sport Turismo option and you can see why the latest Panamera is a real alternative to the Mercedes-AMG GT 4dr Coupe.

So it looks great, but does it still drive like a real Porsche? Well, the engineering and acronyms would suggest so. This thing packs a real punch. That comes as no surprise given that there is a 4-litre V8 under that long sculpted hood. There is 460 horsepower and a hefty 620Nms of torque to help motor this sizeable saloon down the tarmac. Ahh yes, size – it really does matter.

The Saloon is 1,995 and the Sport Turismo 2,025 kilos, both without fluids. So does it feel lardy? On the boring, straight, speed camera plagued streets around Manama it was hard to tell. Fortunately Bahrain has some more interesting tarmac to indulge in, so good in fact that Lewis Hamilton and Co spend a weekend every year playing there – the Bahrain International Circuit. The lovely folks at Porsche had it closed just for us to see just how much of an athletic injection the G, T and S glued to the backside of the two-tonne saloons had made.

The sun sank over the horizon and the 495 light poles lit up like nuclear lollipops. Time to see if these cars were worthy of wearing a Porsche badge and could put up with twists and turns fit for Formula 1 cars. This really would be a fair test too, usually I would swap the car I was driving on the road for a track prepped twin. Not here, Porsche had so much faith in the resilience of the Panamera GTS that I drove straight off the road and into the pitlane out onto the circuit. Bravo.

Remember those acronyms I mentioned…these are the key chassis elements that are designed to mask the weight – PASM and PDCC with PTV Plus. What are they? Porsche Active Stability Management and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control with Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus. What do they do? PASM works to help handling via the adjustable dampers, PDCC is the control of the chassis via the 48-volt system that could be found throughout the VAG family which works to stabilize body roll using hydraulic actuators.

This works in conjunction with the torque vectoring function which allows torque to be split variably through the rear axle. It’s all very complicated, but these systems come together in a spectacular fashion to give the GTS dynamics that a car of this size and weight should just not have. Porsche need to do away with the acronyms and simply offer these options as the ‘magic package’.

It is not the most relevant test for a car that is unlikely to see much track time, but Porsche insist that cars with the GTS badge must be up to such challenges. Drop the kids to school and you can casually saunter onto a race track and not have to hold back. It really is up to hard track work, it’s rewarding and you learn to drive it smoothly to nullify understeer from barrelling into a corner to quickly or inducing oversteer from being too greedy with the loud pedal. That really is a loud pedal, the GTS pops and bangs on downshifts and the V8 is vocal.

Inside its all you would expect from a premium Porsche product. There are lashings of carbon and racy alcantra to stroke in traffic. Leave it in comfort and the air suspension is fabulously supple and cossets the driver and occupants. The infotainment is fantastic, there is a head up display for the first time in a Panamera and more online functions that you could chuck your 16 year old kid at. One thing I’m not such a fan of are the controls for the central air vents. I’ve complained about touch tech going too far and this is a prime example. There is no notch on the vents to simply manoeuvre to adjust the direction and strength of the air – instead you have to go into a menu and use your finger on the screen. It is inaccurate and annoying. We’ve got to go back, who thought that was a good idea?

Aside from this niggle there really isn’t much to complain about. This is a stunning, well equipped car. Yes, there are the Turbo and Turbo S E-Hybrid options, but the GTS presents one of the best all rounders with exploitable power and thrills to be found at every given opportunity. This is the pick of the bunch in my mind. That being said, it is far from cheap and the 4 door 53 AMG maybe a cheaper and just as special package. It would be a tough choice picking between the two, but for me, the lines and cool factor of the GTS Sport Turismo would edge it!

Resto-Mod Power Wagons By Legacy Classic Trucks Are Made to Work

If any machine could claim the title of “official” vehicle of Jackson, Wyoming, it’s the Legacy Power Wagon. Both, after all, have a way of camouflaging wealth with actual hard work. In Jackson, for instance, this remote town, famed for its skiing and natural beauty — Grand Teton National Park sits just to the north — packs ranches instead of estates, denim in lieu of khakis. Similarly, the Legacy Power Wagon, a restoration/modernization (a.k.a., resto-mod) of Dodge’s famously tough postwar utility vehicles, melds hardscrabble functionality with a gentlemanly elegance that their original owners, 70-odd years ago, could be forgiven for not noticing. Each somehow pairs affluence and earthy grit with a rare degree of harmony.

The local preference became obvious when I had the pleasure of driving a pair of newly restored extended-cab Power Wagons around Jackson with company founder Winslow Bent in early October, at the same time I was in town to drive the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV. When parked in front of the Hotel Jackson — another smooth integration of posh luxury into a decidedly rougher vernacular — locals passing by couldn’t help but gape at the pairing, They overwhelmingly directed most of their gushing toward the Power Wagons, though. They fit the personality of the town and its people much more perfectly. Though both get points for being rare, if not the only, production SUVs with proper, full-sized suicide rear doors, the high-riding vintage pickups beat the Roller to a pulp.

Bent launched Legacy Classic Trucks a decade ago, intent on breathing new life into the historic vehicles. His team of engineers and craftsmen track down candidate samples in restorable condition, strip them down to the bones, then refurbish and rebuild them, modernizing them along the way in a process that stretches to 1,000 hours for each truck. The chassis, cab and body panels are restored from the original parts, but the engine, transmission, brakes and electronics get robust upgrades. Out go the old flathead sixes and in come 430-horsepower, 6.2-liter Chevrolet LS3 small-block V8s mated to four-speed automatic transmissions or a 3.9-liter Cummins turbo diesel with a five-speed manual. Dana and Dynatrac axles, ARB locking differentials and Warn locking hubs ensure the trucks will function on the ranch, and on any other terrain, as needed, with high clearance and bead-locked wheels there for good measure. They also add a dominating profile, perfectly countered by the original curving lines of the Power Wagon’s cab, hood and fenders. The trucks are larger than life.

The conversions start at $185,000, and each is built to order. “Our customers tend to actually use the trucks as they’re intended,” Bent says. “They aren’t garage queens.” Further evidence, in case you need it: the Warn winch in the front, for helping clear trails or haul your buddies out of trouble, as well as many options the owners can spec out, from gun racks to stainless steel toolboxes to snowplows and snowblowers. Need an onboard welder or a cab-mounted shooting rest? Done.

It’s really a good thing that the Legacy Power Wagons are driven vehicles because doing so around Wyoming proved what a unique thrill the experience is. The trucks are easy enough to command, and the massive tires sure-footed on any terrain, but the whole vibe is appropriately old-school and understated. There’s some wind noise and tire roar, and the stereo could use a few extra watts to overcome them, but the wood steering wheel, vintage-styled gauges, wide-angle perspective from the vertical windscreen — where you can see both front corners clear as day — and occasionally jumping out to manually lock in the four-wheel-drive before going off-road, all keep you locked into the original era from whence this truck came.

Really, it’s not a bad place to be.

McLaren Speedtail Begins One Year Testing Ahead of 2020 Deliveries

McLaren have officially begun testing the Speedtail. Photos released this weekend show the first prototype, nicknamed ‘Albert’, which will commence testing at a closed-facility and on public roads from December 2018.

The Speedtail was officially unveiled last month. The third model in McLaren’s Ultimate series, it intends to capture some of the magic of the McLaren F1. The first prototype has been codenames ‘Albert’, named after Albert Drive, Woking, Surrey, the road where the McLaren F1 designs were originally sketched. Internally, the prototype gets the designation MVY02 combining McLaren’s usual MV project initials with the letters Y0 which signify the lateral central point in the XYZ axis for Computer Aided Design.

The Speedtail will be tested in Europe, North America and Africa on a mixture of bespoke automotive test facilities and on public roads. With the Speedtail, McLaren are promising customers the most aerodynamic and luxurious McLaren to date. Albert gets a production-specification chassis and an, as yet, unspecified petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain.

The Speedtail will prove unique with a three-seat cockpit and central driving position. Power output will be 1,050 PS with performance potential of up to 403 km/h. Replacing Chris Goodwin as McLaren Automotive’s Chief Test Driver, Kenny Bräck will take care of most of the high speed testing. Those with a keen eye for detail will notice that the front end of this particular Speedtail is that of a 720S.

5 McLaren Speedtail mules exist, Albert is the sixth. The existing mules will continue development alongside Albert until customers take first deliveries in early 2020. 106 cars will be made available at a cost of £1.75 million (plus local taxes). All examples are sold out.

Ford GT Uses the Exact Same Gearbox as AMG GT, But Price is Double

It’s no secret that several high profile manufacturers share fundamental gearbox components. The market is dominated by the likes of Getrag and ZF. Most manufacturers use variants of these gearboxes, Gretrag’s 7DCL750 7-speed dual clutch gearbox is the perfect example.

The 7DCL750 is used a variety of high performance supercars. Ferrari have used it in the FF, Mercedes-AMG use it in the AMG GT, and now Ford are using it in the Ford GT.

A report, compiled by US magazine, Roadandtrack confirms that the gearbox Ford uses is double the cost of the Mercedes-AMG unit and around $5,000 more than the cost of the Ferrari gearbox.

The Ford GT gearbox retails at a staggering $32,324. The AMG variant is cheap at half the price, $14,940 to be exact. The Ferrari version, the 458 version for example, costs $22,186 to replace.

So what causes such a wild variation? Several factors are put forward. Ford uses a huge number of Getrag transmissions. They sit within almost every Ford product. The difference with the Ford GT is the low production numbers. The cost of development is most likely factored into the overall unit cost.

These cost pale into insignificance when compared to cars like the Bugatti Veyron which demands a $113,000 price tag for its replacement gearbox!

Lexus LY 650 Luxury Yacht

Lexus has finally unveiled its first official yacht, the Lexus LY 650. It’s a 65-foot ship that wonderfully shows off the Japanese car company’s recently revisited “L-finesse” design theme, which debuted with the sport yacht concept that was detailed last year.

The Lexus LY 650 comes with three staterooms, three toilets, and six sleeping rooms. The design smudges the line between elegance and sleekness. That sentiment shows through the yacht‘s pronounced bow, deck accents, and accentuated aft hips. Lexus executive VP Shigeki Tomoyama said he wants to “present a dream-like vision of the luxury lifestyle; one where the Lexus Yacht expands the potential of Lexus mobility to the ocean.”

Thankfully, the LY 650 isn’t just about the looks. The ship comes with an IPS 1200 marine engine from Volvo, but you can opt for an additional Volvo IPS 1350 motor if need be. The IPS 2000 boasts a 12.8-litre, inline 6-cylinder turbo and supercharged engine that makes 789 bhp. On the other hand, the IPS 1350 pushes it further to 986 bhp. The ship has a fuel capacity of 3,785 liters, a water capacity of 852 liters, and a holding tank capacity of 643 liters.

Wisconsin-based Marquis-Larson Boat Group is poised to construct, sell, and service the vessel when it goes into production next year. The first completed Lexus LY 650 is expected to come in the second half of 2019. A global debut is scheduled shortly thereafter. Finer details like pricing and other specifications will be announced at a later date, so make sure to check back with Men’s Gear as we learn more.

LEARN MORE HERE

Photos courtesy of Lexus

Best Stocking Stuffers For the Car Lover

It’s a common misconception that car lovers only want or need gifts with three- and four-digit price tags. While yes, an affordable vintage car or a well-designed watch wouldn’t go unappreciated, gifts that are $50 and under can still strike a chord with the motoring enthusiast in your life.

Petrolicious Tee

There are fewe better ways to profess your love of cars than to wear it across your chest. Sure, there are some incredibly tacky ways to do it – this tee isn’t one of them.

877 Workshop Keychain

Keys are a constant in the life of a car lover; therefore, key chains are an absolute necessity. The car lover can put all their keys in one with a sturdy and stylish 877 Workshop Keychain.

Velomacchi Tool Pouch

Whether you’re on a bike or in your car, a full tool box isn’t exactly the most practical way to carry your essential tools. The Velomacchi Tool Pouch lets you keep your most used and critical sockets, ratchets or extra bolts and washers in a compact pouch under your seat, in the trunk or even in the glove box.

Sunday and Sons Jersey Tee

Sunday and Sons is “driven by the passion of cafés racers, flat trackers, bobbers and scramblers… with the ambition to create an elegant and comfortable style.” As a lover of motorcycles, that’s an easy mantra to get behind.

TitanLight Waterproof Lighter

Camping off the back of a motorcycle or out of the back of a trusty overlander is one of the most enjoyable pastimes a motoring enthusiast can take part in — but only if they’re properly prepared. Instead of rubbuing two sticks together, the TitanLight Waterproof Lighter is a much less frustrating alternative. The machined aluminum body not only looks good, it’s also lightweight and durable — essential qualities for any overlanding gear.

Pintrill × Gear Patrol Air-Cooled Coupe Pin

There’s more than one way to show your love for cars. You can always go the overt route with flags and banners. Or, you can employ a dose of subtle class with a Pintrill × Gear Patrol Pin.

Heritage Lensatic Compass

One look at the Heritage Lensatic Compass and you might think, although it looks incredibly classy and well made, it’s a bit archaic. Consider being out on the trail with no service or, worse yet, with a dead smartphone battery. Suddenly that handsome, archaic piece of brass is your best chance of getting home.

Roav Viva by Anker, Alexa-Enabled 2-Port USB Car Charger

Integrating Amazon’s Alexa into your life is incredibly easy these days. You probably have your home covered already, but plug the Roav Viva by Anker into your car and you have a two-port USB charger, in-car navigation, voice-activated dialing, music streaming and all the other voice assistant perks you’re used to.

Nomad Universal 1.5 Meter Charging Cable

Instead of untying the knotted mess of charging cables stored in the glove box, just carry one: the Nomad Universal 1.5 Meter Charging Cable. The multi-tip charging cable is a USB A to Micro USB base with USB Type C and iPhone tip converters.

MotoGeo Coffee and Mug

There’s nothing like a hot, fresh cup of coffee in front of the morning’s campfire a few days in to an epic ride. No one knows this better than MotoGeo, which is why its own coffee and stainless steel coffee mug make the perfect road trip companions.

Candy Lab Drifter 87

The beauty of Candy Lab cars and trucks is in their simple, clean design, which evokes mid-century romanticism few other modern toys can. The Drifter 87 is fit for car lovers of any age, but get it for someone as ‘desk art’ and you can still be damn sure they’ll be making ‘vroom’ noises before the work day is over.

YI 2.7″ HD Wide Angle Dashboard Camera

By now, we all know dash cams are more than just tools for making Youtube gold in Russia. But the market is prety crowded these days – finding one as compact as the YI 2.7-inch, that’ll take care of all your on-road recording needs is a rarity.

Leather Honey

When it comes to the car lover’s leather interior, you can bet they want it staying as supple and soft as possible throughout their ownership. Conditioning all sorts of leather since 1968, Leather Honey is one of the best conditioners available, especially since it rings in under $20.

Gear Patrol Magazine

Perfect for whoever is manning the back seat. Inside its 200-plus pages, we explore what it takes to turn an office chair into a thing of beauty, an accidental invention into a culinary essential and a 1970s French automobile into one of the most evocative cars of the last century. Plus much more.

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

2018 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance photo gallery

HILTON HEAD, S.C. — The 17th annual Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival ended this past weekend. The overall winner — a 1931 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria — was joined by more than 500 cars on the multi-day event. There was a bit of everything on hand, from elegant pre-war French roadsters to ’60s American muscle cars to the all-new Volvo S60 sedan. Volvo, Porsche and BMW even brought some cars from their historic collections.

I was on hand in South Carolina, so check out our Twitter and Instagram feeds, including our extensive Instagram story for a glimpse at what was on offer.

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McLaren Speedtail prototype says you can call it Al(bert)

Automakers so frequently refer to their cars, both in production and in development, by boring old alphanumeric codes. McLaren in particular does this, with such unmemorable names as MP4-12C and 650S. Its new Speedtail, still in development, does have a boring code name of MVY02, but it also has a real name. It’s called Albert.

According to McLaren, the reason for this is that the test prototypes for the old McLaren F1 supercar were also called Albert. The location where the F1 was designed was on Albert Drive, too. So this is a nice throwback to the last top speed demon from the British car firm. And of course, it’s a fun name for a car.

Aside from the name, the prototype is distinguished by a nifty vinyl wrap, as well as a unique nose. Instead of the super slick fascia of the Speedtail production car, the nose of the 720S has been grafted on. According to McLaren, underneath those panels are the actual Speedtail components. It actually doesn’t look as out of place as we would have imagined. The car is being used to test the production hybrid engine in real-world driving, as well as finalizing suspension brakes, ergonomics and more. Testing will continue over the coming year until production begins at the end of 2019.

Related Video:

All 2018 Model-Year Cars Powered by V12 Engines

These days the V12 engine seems to be a primarily British or German cuisine, with each likely considering themselves both curators and preservers of this dying recipe. Car manufacturers (exotics included) are shifting away from higher displacement engines, and towards more compact force induced engines – all in the name of performance efficiency and satisfying stricter emissions regulations.

Aston Martin remains one of the biggest advocates for the V12, although many of its cars fitted with them also now have a V8 option that is usually not any less potent. British counterpart Rolls Royce has the honor of being the only automaker to have a v12-only-lineup of cars; a badge worn with pride, and perhaps some prejudice too – but why not? Rolls Royce was never one to conform to the masses, anyway.

BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Mercedes make relatively brief cameos in this display – however, it should be noted that the V12s in the Rolls Royce lineup are in fact made by BMW.

2018 Model-Year Cars Powered by V12 Engines

Aston Martin Vanquish S

Aston Martin Vanquish SAston Martin Vanquish S

There isn’t quite anything like a naturally aspirated V12, and that’s what you get in the Vanquish S. The popular 5.9L 580-horsepower grand tourer produces peak power at a symphonic 7,000 rpm.

Aston Martin DB11 V12

Aston Martin DB11 V12Aston Martin DB11 V12

The DB11 is Aston Martin’s take on the twin-turbocharged V12. The 5.2L engine produces up to 630-horsepower and can launch from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. For 2018 there is a V8 option, but it is obvious which choice a certain 007 make. James Bond, anyone?

Aston Martin Rapide S

Aston Martin Rapide SAston Martin Rapide S

Aston Martin’s V12 saloon is often referred to as the “world’s most beautiful four-door sports car”. The 5.9L V12 produces 552-horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an eight-speed Touchtronic III transmission.

BMW m760i xDrive

BMW m760i xDriveBMW m760i xDrive

BMW’s infamous 7 series is epitomized by the m760i xDrive. Flaunting a 6.6L twin-turbocharged 601-horsepower V12, this AWD sedan is the ultimate statement of performance luxury.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Ferrari GTC4LussoFerrari GTC4Lusso

The Ferrari GTC4Lusso is the automaker’s vision of ‘practicality’. With its shooting brake design, the GTC4Lusso is 4-seater grand tourer with all-wheel-drive and has four-wheel steering to boot. The front-mounted 6.3L naturally aspirated engine produces 680-horsepower and 514 lb-ft of torque and is capable of 0-60 mph in just 3.3 seconds.

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari 812 SuperfastFerrari 812 Superfast

In my personal opinion, the Ferrari 812 Superfast is the ultimate grand tourer, and this is thanks in huge part to its unrivaled V12 engine. The 6.5L naturally aspirated unit makes an astronomical 789-horsepower at 8,500 rpm (with redline at 8,900 rpm) and 530 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm.

The car is not just brute force though, as it is remarkably agile and even sensible enough to be a comfortable daily driver. The 3,900 lb car still manages to sprint from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds, keeping up with some of today’s most audacious hypercars.

Lamborghini Aventador S

Lamborghini Aventador SLamborghini Aventador S

Lamborghini’s V12 comes in the form of its all-wheel-drive Aventador S, with a 6.5L engine producing 730-horsepower at 8,400 rpm. Being one of the lightest V12 machines currently on the market, the Aventador S is sharp, agile and a true driver’s car which truly shines at the race track.

Mercedes AMG S65 / Maybach S 650

Mercedes AMG S65 / Maybach S 650Mercedes AMG S65 / Maybach S 650

The Mercedes AMG S65 can be had in coupe, cabriolet, and sedan forms – each is equipped with a handcrafted twin-turbocharged 6.0L V12 engine, which produces 621-horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. The opulent Mercedes-Maybach S650 ultra-luxury sedan utilizes the same power plant seen in the AMG S65.

Pagani Huayra

Pagani HuayraPagani Huayra

The latest iteration of the Pagani Huayra utilizes a tweaked version of Mercedes-Benz’ AMG V12 6.0L engine and is mated to a seven-speed transmission. The 720-horsepower (764-horsepower in the new roadster version) supercar is capable of 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds and looks the part, with its one-of-a-kind silhouette and active aero body parts.

Rolls Royce Ghost / Dawn

Rolls Royce Ghost / DawnRolls Royce Ghost / Dawn

The Rolls Royce Ghost sedan is basically the little brother of the Phantom – the poster child of the British automaker. The rear-wheel-drive Ghost is equipped with a 6.6L twin-turbocharged V12 engine which produces 563-horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. The Dawn is essentially the cabriolet version of the Ghost and shares the same engine.

Rolls Royce Phantom

Rolls Royce PhantomRolls Royce Phantom

The ‘poster-boy’ Rolls Royce Phantom is the British automaker’s most iconic car. It is simply unmatched in opulence and luxury and is unrivaled as the ultimate statement car to be chauffeured around in.

The current Phantom utilizes a tweaked version of the same twin-turbocharged V12 used in the Wraith, Ghost, and Dawn, displacing 6.75L vs. 6.6L in the other models. This means that while it shares the same peak 563-horsepower as its smaller siblings, torque output is increased to 664 lb-ft in the Phantom.

Rolls Royce Wraith

Rolls Royce WraithRolls Royce Wraith

The Wraith would be Rolls Royce’s take on the sporty grand touring coupe. The most agile and nimble of cars in their lineup, the Wraith is also equipped with the most powerful engine and a shorter wheelbase.

The same 6.6L V12 as seen in the Ghost / Dawn is used in the Wraith, though it has been modified to produce even more power with 624-horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the Wraith is capable of 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Jaguar I-Pace Review: Is It Better Than a Tesla Model X?

We’ve reached an intriguing time in the automobile’s timeline: SUVs have become the most sought out vehicle type and all-electric vehicles have begun to hit their stride. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the Tesla Model X ($83,000) was the talk of the town since the California-based company had previously established itself as a strong player in the EV market with the successful Model S sedan. Like Apple, Tesla’s products have very passionate critics on both ends of the spectrum, so the question for a long time has been who will its inevitable challengers be? It seems that Jaguar Land Rover has been the first to step up with the Jaguar I-Pace ($69,500).

While it’s a war on multiple fronts, it seems luxury automakers are going to be the ones who will produce the most threatening contenders. Audi, for instance, has just recently revealed its first all-electric SUV, the $75,000 E-Tron. This arrives in the middle of next year, but Jaguar’s I-Pace is already starting to make its way onto public roads. It isn’t a passive dipping of the toe into the segment just for the sake of it, either, as Jaguar has put its name behind many EV-promoting efforts such as fielding its own Formula E team. The I-Pace itself will even star in its own all-electric spec racing series.

Style

Superficially, the I-Pace immediately stands out against Teslas Model S and X in a few ways. First off, though not trying to compete with the Model X in terms of capacity, the five-seater I-Pace is smaller in person than I expected. What it lacks in stature though, it makes up for with elegant looks. One of my biggest gripes about Tesla vehicles is that their minimalist designs are perhaps too clean. Since most components of an internal combustion vehicle aren’t present, so there’s no need to design around them and Tesla has, in my mind, kept things too stark.

The I-Pace, on the other hand, has a great deal of Jaguar DNA flowing in its shape. Jaguar designer Ian Callum’s pen is strong here, and there’s a clear through-line between this car and his other works, like the Jaguar F-Pace, though I feel like there’s even a hint of Jaguar C-X75 in its overall form.

Same goes for the interior. Through the normally-hinged doors, the I-Pace looks like more thought has been put into making the interior a luxury space. Both the I-Pace and the Model X make use of the extra space left behind by unnecessary components, but the Tesla seems to make better use of it. Interestingly, though, both cars have been designed with incredible forward visibility that’s complemented with either a massive panoramic sunroof or a continuous, upward-flowing windshield. Both, however, have poor and near-useless rear visibility.

Technology

In comparison to Jaguar’s dual touchscreen infotainment system, the Model X pulls very far ahead.

The Tesla features what is essentially one huge 17-inch tablet, which sounds incredibly distracting but is, in fact, responsive, customizable and easy to use. It utilizes the same mobile-device gestures we’ve grown accustomed to. It can split itself visually to display functions like maps, media and system readouts – I ended up using the lower half as a full-time backup camera.

In the I-Pace, the dual-screen interface is a hindrance to the entire experience. A carryover from other JLR vehicles like the Range Rover SVR, the infotainment system is laggy, frustrating to use on the fly and unintuitive, and ends up being much more distracting than Tesla’s.

Tesla’s tech advantage only gets stronger from there, since the company benefits from a start-up-like approach to the industry. Beyond the commonly known autonomous Autopilot feature, there are many features in the Model X that should’ve been sorted out ages ago by a traditional automaker. Automatic parallel parking systems in other cars are multi-step gimmicks buried in menus, but in the Tesla, the process is seamless: when I began to park, the Model X recognized what I was doing and offered to take over. To the I-Pace’s credit, it has a host of very good safety features like lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and a series of cameras, but they’re not special in their own right. It’s more carryover tech and it can’t compare to what Tesla offers.

Performance

As far as battery capacity, the Jaguar I-Pace lauds a 90kh pack and 234 miles of range. Tesla’s Model X has a range of 237 to 295 miles depending on which battery – 75 kWh or 100 kWh – is chosen. Both are more than enough for daily commutes and heavy driving. Both have high-speed charging capabilities and are susceptible to a drop in range when certain systems like climate control are in play. Tesla famously boasts its own proprietary charging network, which the Jaguar cannot utilize.

The I-Pace, charges at my house, though, and that makes all the difference. I am not in the tax bracket to permanently bring home an I-Pace or Tesla. (Though both benefit from significant tax credits, lowering their overall price by thousands.) I live in an old house with standard 120-volt outlets. To those looking to adopt a luxury EV into their lives, the addition of a level 2, 240-volt charging station to the garage isn’t a deal-breaker.

I have to work with what I have, and the Model X was incompatible with my wiring. I knew it would be a slow drip, but I figured that, like my time with the Chevrolet Bolt (another thorn in Tesla’s side), overnight charging would make up a large chunk of the miles driven that day, if not replenish them all. This wasn’t the case – I had to plot out trips to not-really-nearby Tesla charging stations, which did nothing for my inherent range anxiety. Like the Bolt, though, the Jaguar slowly but surely filled its battery up throughout the evening, and having that ability takes a lot of pressure off.

So Jaguar I-Pace buyers don’t necessarily need to go through the hassle of installing a charging station into their house; it’s just a convenient option. It’s more versatile in this regard. I could very well upgrade my garage to suit both cars, but if I’m out in the wild with the I-Pace – at a friend’s house, at a business, or stuck in a rural town – there are ways to mitigate my dire situation if I’m caught short on juice.

Performance

It should be clear that Jaguar knows how to make a performance car. The years of experience JLR has garnered making cars that elevate the driver experience above all else comes through in the I-Pace. Powered by two electric motors ginning up 394 horsepower, the I-Pace handles all that electric grunt by utilizing a single-speed automatic and an all-wheel-drive platform. Torque-vectoring, an electronic air suspension with variable ride height and dynamic driving modes can supply sporty driving, comfortable cruising and even out lousy terrain.

The result is superb if a little jarring handling through corners. Power comes and goes instantaneously, so small driving style adjustments are needed, but you get used to it. Lifting off the throttle and “engine braking” at a corner entrance, for example, feels natural with practice. Since the floor is the battery, the center of gravity in both vehicles is low, but I had more confidence in utilizing it in the I-Pace than the Tesla due to how the rest of its handling characteristics behaved.

Torque delivery is instantaneous; there’s no doubt in my mind that the I-Pace can launch from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds as Jaguar claims. Still, I anticipated even stronger acceleration. This is perhaps because the Tesla P100D has brain-scrambling acceleration. which has spoiled me.

Fundamentally, both cars’ strengths and weaknesses originate in how their respective companies operate. JLR’s experience in traditional automaking has made the I-Pace a well designed, stylish car that has broad appeal, regardless of its all-electric underpinnings. It is, however, weighed down by the usual infotainment technology that has consistently felt outpaced by other basic consumer electronics. Tesla, however, approaches this area from a fresh perspective, making it just as important and well executed as the rest of the car. But Tesla’s using the same tech everyone else is, so there’s no reason others can’t do as well.

Is the I-Pace a “Tesla Killer”? Short answer is no, but what it threatens to do is bring normalcy to a niche segment. Tesla can dominate in this niche, but out in the open, larger traditional automakers can make good cars that people feel natural shopping for, buying a car they like without the burden of feeling like they’re being handed the torch of innovation to carry forward. It’s not a movement to them, it’s consumerism.

Some cynics will point at the news and say Tesla itself will be the mythic Tesla Killer, and that’s a stigma the Jaguar I-Pace is probably better without. It’s a cool-looking, sporty, all-electric SUV that may not have all the tricks the Model X comes packed with, but it also doesn’t come with any of the drama.

2019 Lexus RC

Lexus has taken the wraps off its fifth RC coupe model, featuring some styling changes, a retuned suspension, and several interior revamps.

Such minuscule updates likely won’t make for a radicalized RC model this year. However, they may help the  better compete with rivals like the Audi A5, BMW 4 Series, and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

First things first: Lexus wants you to stop thinking that it makes boring cars. This 2019 Lexus RC coupe, with its reshaped headlights and blade-like daytime running lights, is proof of that. The brand isn’t going to become an aesthete overnight, but props for trying. Some design choices remain suspect, however. Among them is the somewhat polarizing spindle grille that Lexus has retained. Overall, though, this car looks far more cohesive than the models before it, and it should undoubtedly kickstart Lexus’ branching away from its “boring” image.

There are only a few changes to the interior of the 2019 Lexus RC, like the dashboard’s Dark Gray Streamline trim piece and the repositioned knee pads. The Remote Touch Interface is still there, love it or hate it.

Most notable, as mentioned, is the retuned suspension. The carmaker’s engineers stiffened up suspension bushings, added new shock absorbers, and made some additional adjustments based on real-world tests, according to Lexus, and if you want better grip, Lexus will offer a 19-inch wheel-and-tire variant. The carmaker didn’t forget about aerodynamics, so a new fin now sits on the side window molding, and there’s also a reshaped duct in the rear bumper for improved airflow — both these changes bring stability up a notch, Lexus says.

Lexus is expected to reveal more details at the Paris Motor Show, happening from Oct 4 to 14.

LEARN MORE HERE

Photos courtesy of Lexus

Hiring: News Curator

Wanted: Petrolheads That Want to Use Their Motormouths

The automotive world has never been more exciting. Between incredible technologies unleashing awe-inspiring performance in the latest supercars to the time-tested iron powering America’s classic sports cars, there’s never been a better time to be a gearhead. If you’re reading this thinking “hell yea”, keep reading!

We’re looking for a gasoline-obsessed, turbocharged, direct-injected personality to introduce our growing readership to the latest and greatest in the world of high-performance autos. Sound awesome? We agree!

At A07 Online Media, we run a series of websites focused on today’s incredible supercars and sports cars. We focus on the pinnacle of performance technology from all parts of the globe, with a specific focus on supercars and America’s quintessential sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette.

We’re looking for an automotive news curator to introduce our readers to what’s out there today and what’s coming tomorrow. This role is perfect for:

  • Passionate petrolheads looking to break into the industry
  • Marketing, journalism, or creative grads tired of unpaid “internships”
  • Gearheads that know how to generate buzz and get people excited about cars
  • Anyone with a genuine interest in all things automotive

As our news curator, you’ll be responsible for:

  • Creating 4-6 posts per day across two websites
  • Hunting for the latest announcements from supercar manufacturers, sports car brands, and accessories
  • Introducing our audience (750k people/mo) to the best of what’s out there

You’ll be working with:

  • A team of car junkies with petrol flowing through their veins
  • Marketing and publishing industry veterans
  • Great websites with ethical content you can be proud of
  • Digital publishing technologies, such as WordPress, Canva, and marketing automation tools

We see this role growing to the point where eventually you’ll be invited to attend car shows, new vehicle unveilings, and other industry-focused events. If you’re wanting to break ground in the automotive space, this is a great way to do it!

This role pays between $20 and $25/hr based on experience, proficiency, and personality.

Sound good? Awesome! Apply today and let’s put the rubber to the road.

Apply Now

You Can Get Custom Graphics on Some Audi Models, and That Is a Bad Thing

Audi is using a new paint process called “partial matting.” Basically, a “fine beam” can blast pixel accurate matte images, logos and letters onto painted sheet metal. Audi debuted this on a special edition of the R8. But, now, with an “automated and greatly accelerated” process, Audi can use it for volume production. A special edition of the Audi Q2 will have a matte pattern on the D-pillar.

The exciting part is the potential for customization. In theory, Audi can put an image of whatever the customer wants, a tattoo for the motor vehicle. The “Audi Exclusive” customer, because a bog standard six-figure sports car is not exclusive enough, will have this option on the R8. Footballers and young petrol-princes buying that car will have a blast, literally and figuratively. But, is it a good idea?

It’s easy to ride down the slippery slope here. Such custom painting could become “a thing.” Other manufacturers may emulate it. The practice may even trickle down to vehicles mortals can afford. We’ve seen what havoc a little freedom of expression has wrought with the vanity plate. Picture that but without constraints and more prominent billing. Every crossover bombarding you with horrible puns, hashtags, emojis, memes, Instagram handles, teenagers with poignant song lyrics, assertions it is “Jon’s Audi,” and the odd bit of shrill political commentary. It would be a small dollop of social media brought to the one place you can get away from it.

The automobile remains, for the most part, a clean visual space. People do dumb things to customize their cars. But, forcing them to do so in the aftermarket eliminates many rash impulses. That little bit of effort is a crucial barrier between us and aesthetic pandemonium. Inviting customers to “stay individual, stay experienced,” Audi risks dismantling it.

How to Drift a Car Around A Tight Turn

One of the most famous tricks in motorsport is the Scandinavian Flick (or the Pendulum Turn). Rally drivers have been using it for decades to help get their cars around turns in conditions with little to no grip. The technique leverages the car’s ability to make a negative (no grip) a positive (speed). As a convenient byproduct, if you pull the flick off, you look like an absolute hero.

Of course, there’s more to the maneuver than just chucking the car into a turn and spinning the wheels. To break down how to properly execute a Scandinavian Flick, we spoke to Wyatt Knox, an instructor at Team O’Neil Rally School – a guy who does this maneuver on a daily basis.

Scandinavian-Flick-Step-By-Step-Gear-Patrol-2

Illustration by Henry Phillips

1Lift, turn, brake. This is where you counterintuitively turn the car in the opposite direction of the turn. By letting off the accelerator, turning the wheel and applying the brakes, you’re putting weight over the front tires. This motion gives you grip in the front and swings the rear end out. Think of it as winding up before a pitch.

2Turn back, release the brake and blip the throttle. This shifts weight back to the rear of the car, giving those wheels grip. With the front wheels pointed into the turn, the rear of the car will pivot and rotate back the other way. Make sure you have your eyes on the apex because that’s where you want to go.

3Countersteer as much as you need. Depending on the road surface, the back end can rotate at different speeds, so be prepared to adapt. With the wheels pointed at the apex, you should already be looking at your exit. The car will go where your eyes are looking.

4Be patient. Wait for the car to tell you what it’s doing. Modulating the throttle and brakes will keep the car under control as you come around the apex, but it’s possible that you won’t need to touch either pedal and you can just let the car do its thing.

5Exit smooth. The hardest part is behind you, so there’s no sense in rushing to get back on the gas and screwing it all up. As you straighten the car out, slowly lean into the accelerator and feel for the grip in the road. Now that you’re out of the turn and pointed down the road, get back on the gas and enjoy the adrenaline buzz.

About Our Expert

Wyatt-Gear-Patrol

Wyatt Knox has been the chief instructor at Team O’Neil Rally School for the better part of the past decade. Since he started rallying at the age of 21, he has rarely found himself finishing a rally off the podium. He’s the 2011 2WD National Rally Champion and has racked up victories at legendary rallies like the Sherwood Forest Eastern Regional and 100 Acre Wood Rally.

Are Any Car Leasing Subscription Plans Actually Worth It?

Cadillac will “pause” its BOOK subscription service at the end of 2018. The company could reanimate the idea in the intermediate to long-term future. But, for now, BOOK is as good as kaput. That’s not too surprising. American car subscription models, as presently conceived, stink. They are expensive. They fill a hyper-specific niche that does not really exist.

The reasoning behind subscription plans is clear. Carmakers are rebranding as savvy, au courant tech firms. With pushy dealers and byzantine paperwork, the car buying experience is primed for disruption. There should be an app for that. The trouble is the current apps meeting any reasonable usefulness threshold.

Manufacturer subscription plans are ludicrously expensive. The idea – tapping your iPhone on a whim and having a gassed-up 600-horsepower performance beast replace your practical crossover – is simple. Providing that service requires substantial infrastructure and overhead. Improved tech can’t bring down that cost over time. Scaling up would prove an even greater challenge.

Customers absorb those bloated costs. BOOK by Cadillac subscribers were paying $1,800 per month — a lot by any measure. Even in the Cadillac realm, that’s a lot. We’re talking $400-plus more per month than a reasonable financing deal on a CTS V, the most expensive car in the BOOK fleet. Cadillac’s plan was far from the most costly. Top tier plans for Porsche, Mercedes, and BMW meet or approach $3,000 per month.

Paying a premium on top of a premium may not feel absurd if the affluent get something in return. But, what exactly are they getting?

Variety? That could be the spice of driving life. But, how spicy is it? Even the most bowled over fanboy would get a bit bored swapping one BMW for another after a while. That weekend where all life’s practical concerns float away for some intimate time with the sport coupe? Probably not going to be a regular event. One suspects most users probably spend the bulk of their time with the crossover they would have leased anyway.

Volvo offers novelty with Care by Volvo. You can subscribe and get a new Volvo as soon as every 12 months. That model works for iPhones. A Volvo is not an iPhone. One year makes far less difference in the car world. There’s little benefit to frequent renewal. Losing the residual value from the vehicle costs far more than not having an outdated phone at the end of your deal.

A subscription plan eliminates some minor ownership annoyances, sure. You don’t have to clean. You avoid that onerous once-a-year-or-so call to the insurance company. You don’t have to get your plates renewed. Is that extra convenience worth thousands more per year?

The company that “disrupts” the car buying experience will make it more efficient, more affordable and more tailored to the modern urban driver. None of the present plans do that. They offer the absence of commitment at a very steep markup. That freedom, for the few in select locales that even have the option right now, is not worth the expenditure.

Road Trip Gifts: For Those Who Love the Open Road

Committing to a road trip — cross-country or just zig-zagging your way across a map for a couple of days — is a unique beast as far as traveling ventures go. It’s not like sitting on a plane for a few hours or riding a train through the country. A real road trip, whether solo or with companions takes planning, be it for fuel stops, on-the-go in-car meals, music, entertainment or (knock on wood) accidents and mishaps. If you don’t do it right, you’re asking for trouble.

The next time the road-tripper in your life decides to hit the open road, make sure it’s not on a wing and a prayer. Give them the tools they need to make the next road trip the best one yet.

National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways

If you’re looking to provide the ultimate inspiration for an on-road adventure, the ‘National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways’ is a perfect place to start. The goal is to skip the boring, featureless, never-ending highways and instead discover the 300 best drives in the country.

Oak Street Bootmakers Brush Brown Waxed Canvas Utility Tote

Long road trips don’t just take a toll on the driver. What you carry necessary in-cabin cargo matters too. The Oak Street Bootmakers Brush Brown Waxed Canvas Utility Tote is built to last – not to mention hold on to its style for its entire lifetime.

Rumpl Original Puffy Throw Blanket

For those cold nights under the stars or, you know, sprawled across the back seat because it’s raining, the Rumpl The Original Puffy Throw Blanket has road trippers, well, covered. It’s easily packable and water and stain resistant. Crucially, the insulation is compressable so it takes up little to no space.

Spotify Premium 3-Month Trial

Traveling with a companion on long road trips means most of the DJing responoibility rests on their shoulders. Make that job easier: Spotify Premium is super cheap for a three-month trial. All the music any driver and passenger could hope to endlessly argue over is right there at their finger tips.

KRAVE Jerky Variety Pack

When it comes to road trip essentials, not many food items rank higher than jerky. On the open road, it can even be considered acceptable as breakfast lunch and dinner. Luckily, the Krave Varity pack comes in a multitude of flavors so you can at least discern those mals from each other on those cross country drives.

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Insulated Mug, 20-Ounce

Unless your road tripper has a brand-new luxury car fitted with a fancy refrigorator in the arm rerst or heated cup holders, their coffee will cool and the ice in their soft drink will melt. The easiest solution — aside from buying them a new car — is getting a Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug, which can keep beverages hot or cold for hours on end.

Yeti Hopper Flip 12

Some of the best road trips mean heading off-road and off the grid. When that’s the case, a proven storage unit is necessary. The Yeti Hopper Flip 12 is a soft, cubed-shaped cooler build to go anywhere. It’ll keep whatever is inside colder for longer.

NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40 1000 Amp 12V UltraSafe Lithium Jump Starter

Mistakes happen on road trips, both big and small. Sometimes you take a wrong turn and go miles out of the way. Other times you leave the dome light on while you go to grab a bite to eat and the battery dies. For the former, turning around and heading back is the most simple solution. For the latter, however, you can pack the NOCO Genius Boost Plus and not even have to worry about asking for a jump. The NOCO is rated at 1,000 Amps or up to 20 jump starts on a single charge and can also charge smartphones and tablets like any other external battery.

Audible Audiobook Subscription Plan

Using music and podcasts to fill the silence on a road trip isn’t foreveryone. One of the best alternatives is access to Audible. After a free 30-day trial, the monthly subscription allows for streaming of one audiobook and two Audible originals, the brand’s own productions.

High Road TrashStash Hanging Car Trash Bag

Some people can let their cars get too messy and let garbage accumulate in the footwell, side pockets or under the seat. The High Road TrashStash Hanging Car Trash Bag is a move in the right direction. It’s not the masssive step-to-open trash can you have in your kitchen but this is easily the automotive equivalent.

Dash App/OBD-II Performance Tracker

The days of trying to guess what a check engine light means are over. OBD-II Performance Tracker plugs right into a car’s OBD outlet and doesn’t just transmit regular diagnostics, it also sends data right to the app on the your phone letting you know how to save fuel, when maintainance is needed and helps to save money on resale, sending remote alerts all in real time.

Viair Heavy Duty Portable Compressor

It’s one thing to fix a punctured tire on the side of the road, but it’s not like an inflatable pool toy you can blow up with lung power — an air compressor is necessary. The smart move is to pack one as compact as the Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor. It stows away in a bag not much bigger than a classic lunch pail, runs off your car’s electricity and can pump up to 100psi. The Viair is one of those things everyone should keep in the car, road trip or not.

Streamlight 88062 ProTac Professional Tactical Flashlight

The thing about flashlights is that you don’t always need one, but you’d better hope to have one when you do. It seems fairly obvious, but how many times have we all found ourselves crawling around in the dark, looking for change or eyeglasses dropped under the car? Solution: Streamlight 88062 ProTac Professional Tactical Flashlight. It’s compact EDC-sized, waterproof, impact resistant and can clip to your pocket — so it’s one less thing you have to go searching for. Plus, we named it one of the best EDC flashlights avbailable.

Gerber Center-Drive Multi-Tool

While it’s always smart to have a fully-stocked tool chest, bringing 100-plus pounds of wrenches and drivers on a road trip isn’t the most practical thing to do. But, give your giftee a fighting chance with more manageable jobs by arming them with a Gerber Center-Drive Multi-Tool, a 12-piece standard which includes, among other things, a center-axis screwdriver that provides torque and grip like a regular driver.

Tod’s Gommino Full-Grain Nubuck Driving Shoes

Just like running, hiking and formal occasions, driving is always more enjoyable with the proper footwear. The best part of Tod’s Gommino Driving Shoes? They’re full-grain nubuck leather and can double as more formal footwear if need be. If your point ‘B’ is quite a ways away and you need to look as dapper as possible when you get there, the Gommino leather driving loafers at least have your feet covered.

Best Made Co SWS CORDURA Field Case

Whether it’s insurance, registration, road notes or the road map, keep it safe in something you know will last. The Best Made Co Field Case made from tough as nails cordura is exactly what you’re looking for.

Outlier Ultrafine Merino Shirt

One of the more obvious tips for a long road trip would be to dress comfortably. Jeans and t-shirts work well for a grocery run, but spend an entire day getting in and out of a car to eat and refuel and you’ll soon find there are far better choices. The Outlier Ultrafine Merino Shirt is made with Mackenzie 17.5 micron Merino fibers, meaning it’s some of the finest, softest and lightest fabric on the market.

Wavian Red 1.3 Gallon Gas Can

Not all road trips keep you within spitting distance of gas stations — some of the best ones don’t. For drivers going the distance and tempting the remaining fumes left in the tank, it’s always good to have a spare can of fuel onboard. And if the 1.3-gallon Wavian can is good enough to be standard issue for NATO forces, you can bet it’ll handle the odd road trip.

District Vision Keiichi Standard Gray District Sky Sunglasses

Whether they’re heading west chasing the sun to the horizon or that fireball is lighting the easterly morning road, drivers need eyewear to battle back the rays. District Sky G15 is a shatterproof polycarbonate lens with a 15 percent light transmission and maximum sun protection.

Gear Patrol Magazine

Perfect for whoever is manning the back seat. Inside its 200-plus pages, we explore what it takes to turn an office chair into a thing of beauty, an accidental invention into a culinary essential and a 1970s French automobile into one of the most evocative cars of the last century. Plus much more.

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

Tools You Need To Take Care of Your Exotic Supercar

An exotic supercar or a high-end car is a piece of treasure, and the last thing that would be expected of you is to let it get dirty. Keeping the luxurious automobile clean, including on the inside, is crucial, as people will turn their heads to admire its exterior and will want to catch a glimpse of its interior. Also, you need to ensure that your car is safe and well secured from thieves who may steal it or pluck its parts, such as side-mirrors or lights, by installing it with devices or products from EyeRide, like DVR and camera surveillance systems, GPS tracking system, and more.

The following are some tools you need to take care of your exotic supercar:

Air compressor

A good air compressor is a crucial automotive care tool that you certainly need for your high-end car. This tool can perform several basic tasks, like blowing up a tire or providing compressed air to do away with cobwebs from some car parts. Also, it comes in handy to do other jobs, like powering air tools and paint guns. It is advisable when buying an air compressor to get the best and biggest you can afford. Another thing to have in mind when buying an air compressor is to ensure you have sufficient electrical power to operate it.

Portable car vacuum cleaner

For a very clean car, especially the interior, a portable car vacuum cleaner—especially one with a long nozzle accessory—can easily clean the deep places. It can help to remove dirt, dust, pet hair, and other unwanted pieces or particles on the surfaces of car seats, and pet hair. The vacuum cleaner can also remove dust particles from the air in a car. A wet and dry auto-cleaning tool is the best choice.

Tire pressure monitoring gadget

Tire pressure can affect the comfort and the safety of your exotic automobile. You can check your car owner’s manual for the recommended tire pressure for your specific car. Also, there are other gadgets and simple tools that you can use to monitor the tire pressure. Normally, you can do the check, and you should do so on a daily basis. Your car could also be fitted with an automatic tire pressure monitoring system by the manufacturer, in which case you wouldn’t need any other tool. There are also smart gadgets that you can link with your mobile devices and that will constantly keep track of tire pressure. They will send you alerts in case one or more of the tires needs some attention.

Car windscreen protector

This is a protective cover to protect the windscreen from extreme weather conditions, such as frost, ice, and snow. It also protects the windscreen from dust. It is simply placed on the windscreen, and two side tab sections get tucked into the passenger and driver doors, thus ensuring it does not get removed.

The above are only a few of the tools that you need to take care of your exotic automobile, but there are many more, for example, safety-enhancing ones, like cameras and PS tracking devices. The best thing is that most modern cars come with these tools, so all you need to do is familiarize yourself with them and install a few additions.

2019 BMW Z4 M40i Review

Z is an extremely significant letter for BMW. The latest iteration of the Z4 has caused something of a stir, not for its 340hp twin-turbocharged 3-litre straight-six TwinPower unit, not for the 7min 55sec Nurburgring lap time, but because of an automotive icon called the Toyota Supra. The previous generation of the Z4 may have suave looks with its swooping lines and artsy interior, but the driving experience left enthusiasts wanting more. The same cannot be said for the last of the Supra that was unveiled way back in 1993, the year in which I was born. BMW and Toyota have developed this new Z4 in partnership with the forthcoming Supra, a project which allows a saving in cost and shared engineering knowledge and expertise. This is good.

Enough of the background, what’s the finished product like? Well, I’ll have to wait to comment on the Japanese Coupe offering and try the topless option that is the Z4 for now. There will be a handful of four cylinders soon, but for now it is the range topping Z4 M40i that is on offer for me to get my grubby mitts on – no complaints. You’ll probably know what comes with the M40i badge by now – the good old straight-six 3-litre with 340hp and 500Nm, pretty potent, but this is no Lotus with a weight of 1,480kgs, thankfully the 50:50 weight split helps mask it a little.

I am in Lisbon leaving the opulent Penha Longa resort the the roof down in search for some testing roads for the Roadster. First impressions are burbly with the M developed power unit clearing it’s throat on start up and gargling at every given lift off the throttle and downshift. It’s not just the acoustic pleasures that make the Z4 feel quick, the acceleration swells and the 4.6 to 100km/h time would is more than convincing. The 8-speed steptronic transmission is lightning fast and smooth. That is where the feel, unfortunately, seems to come a premature end.

The steering wheel doesn’t wriggle with feel in the palms and communication to the tires at either axle is fairly muted. For a sports car these are elements that are fundamental to the driving experience. It makes it difficult to gauge where the limits of adhesion are and where the understeer ends and the snap oversteer begins. Ease off a little and things make a lot more sense – soak in the views, listen to the pops and bangs, enjoy the blue skies and the wind running through you bald patch – life is good. The ride is brilliant courtesy of adaptive dampers. Even in Sport mode there is a softness to the suspension that is refreshing.

The cabin is great with pleasant ergonomics and the iDrive system is still fantastic. However, the horrible trend of making everything touch screen and making buttons touch sensitive continues to bug me. The screen carries nasty fingerprints that smear and show up in the sun and the touch buttons are annoyingly difficult to feel when you’re on the move focusing on the road.

What was ever wrong with an old fashioned button to change drive modes? Sorry to sound like a broken record, but the new digital dash might look badass to your 5 year old son, but the dials are a challenge to read without a needle, the new space displays information that is all then projected onto the heads up display. I digress – on a more positive note, the cabin does look cool and cohesive, it is a nice place to sit.

To my eyes, the good looks continue on the outside. Yes, it is not as dramatic as the concept car we all fell in love with, but production models rarely are. It looks muscular and imposing with the ever growing kidney grilles dominating the front end. There are nice details in the LED headlamps and it looks like a premium product. Speaking of premium products…the Porsche Boxster is undoubtedly going to be compared to the offering from BMW.

The 718 is only available with a 4-cylinder that has taken a beating as it had huge shoes that the 6-cylinder Boxster left to be filled. The M40i has a strong engine but the mid-engined Boxster is very alluring to sports car fans. As mentioned earlier, when you’re cruising or driving around town, what I imagine Z4s will spend most of their lives doing, the BMW is a compelling proposition and a fantastic cruiser. I would not be disappointed to own an Z4 M40i, just do not expect it to pump your veins with adrenaline or make you laugh with out loud with glee.