GT500-powered F-150 Raptor R spied, Schwab’s sweet ’79 Firebird, ultimate Volvo restomod to U.S.

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Ford’s GT500-powered F-150 Raptor R sheds camo

Intake: Something supercharged this way comes. Spy photographers have captured shots of Ford’s hotly anticipated F-150 Raptor R, the Blue Oval’s answer to the Hellcat V-8-powered Ram 1500 TRX. When then next-gen F-150 Raptor was unveiled in early 2021, some enthusiasts were dismayed that the powertrain still featured “just” the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and “only” 450 hp. Ford made it clear at launch that the new Raptor was meant only to build upon the Raptor legacy and not designed to challenge the TRX. It did hint that something else would arrive in 2022, however. Expect the Raptor R to ditch the six-pot in favor of the cross-plane crank, 5.2-liter supercharged V-8 from the Shelby GT500. In the muscle car, that engine produces a whopping 760 horsepower; sources say that the Raptor R’s version of this engine will boast between 725 and 750 hp, handily beating the TRX’s 702. Other changes will include a unique grille (likely with an extra R somewhere on it—possibly the circled area in one of the photos below), beefier trailing arms, and exclusive rims. We’d expect an option for 37-inch tires, since they’re already available on the “regular” F-150 Raptor (and its Bronco cousin). Expect more details to arrive later this year, with a full unveiling coming possibly late summer or early fall.

Exhaust: The focus has shifted from tarmac to trail, but this is not the first time that trucks have been a performance hotbed for Detroit. Sport trucks were a thing as far back as 1990, when Chevy introduced the 454 SS. Ford followed the big-engine, little-truck formula a few years later with the SVT Lightning in 1993. Dodge eventually stuffed the Viper’s V-10 into a single-cab, short-bed Ram 1500 to produce the Ram SRT-10 in 2002. Decades later, in 2010, Ford broke open a new category of performance truck with the original Raptor, and this newest Big Three battle has only gotten hotter since, complete with one-upsmanship and taunting across party lines. Chevy will soon be the only member of the Big Three without a supercharged full-sizer. Think the Bowtie has any extra LT5s laying around? 

Maserati MC20 convertible’s see-thru roof turns opaque with one tap

Intake: It was only logical that Maserati would offer a convertible version of its 621-hp MC20 sports car, announced back in September of 2020. Like its hard-top sibling, the “Cielo” will be built entirely in Modena, down to and including the 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6 unique to the MC20. The big concerns with a convertible are weight gain and loss of torsional rigidity: The Cielo’s retractable glass roof, which opens and closes in just 12 seconds, brings a 143-pound penalty and … Maserati is playing coy with the latter stat, simply promising “uncompromised” stiffness from the carbon-fiber chassis. Though the convertible retains the dramatic butterfly doors of the hard top, its real party piece is the roof, which sandwiches micro droplets dispersed in a polymer film between two panes of conducting glass. When an electric current passes through the “sandwich,” it realigns the microdroplets and allows light to pass through. Voila, a see-through roof.

Exhaust: Fancy glass aside, this is a purer breed of Maserati than we’ve seen for 20 years. Let Maserati be a bit dramatic here—it’s earned the privilege.

Win this weekend’s PGA Tour event, and you’ll score a ’79 Firebird

Intake: Nevermind a Scottish royal tartan jacket, a shiny new trophy, or a hefty $1.512 million dollar paycheck. This weekend’s PGA Tour event, the Charles Schwab Challenge, features one of the coolest prizes of the year for the winner: a custom classic car. This year’s whip is a custom-built 1979 Pontiac Firebird built by Steve Strope and Pure Vision Design, the same custom firm that built the custom 1973 Dodge Challenger that was awarded to 2019’s winning player. The ’Bird features a 430-horse small-block LS3, Baer 13-inch brake rotors, seats from a Porsche Panamera (unexpected, but okay), Dakota Digital gauges, and a Kicker audio system. The Charles Schwab Challenge begins today at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, a course that features a stretch of famous holes known as “Hogan’s Alley” after famous golfer Ben Hogan. This year’s tournament includes notables such as Jordan Spieth, last weekend’s PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, and this year’s Masters winner (and proud Texan) Scottie Scheffler.

Exhaust: Typically, tournaments simply award massive sums of cash and a trophy to the winners. A few, such as the Charles Schwab Challenge, have decided to get creative, and giving a classic to the winner is something we’ll enthusiastically support. Last year’s winner, Jason Kokrak, took home a custom 1946 Dodge Power Wagon and 2019’s winner (the tournament was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic), Kevin Na, won that sweet ’73 Challenger. (Na took the keys and tossed them right to his caddie.) If any players are still looking for a looper this weekend, we’re happy to make the jaunt!

Ferrari Daytona SP3 gets the Lego Technic treatment

Intake: Only 599 people will get to own a full-size Ferrari Daytona SP3, each paying over $2M for the privilege. However, if you’re ready to settle for something smaller, Lego Technic will sell you its version for $399. Despite being assembled from the extensive Lego plastic parts bin, the 23-inch long model is an impressive replica of the real deal. The 3778-piece kit is incredibly detailed, featuring working butterfly doors, moving pistons for its V-12 engine, and even a functioning gearbox with paddle-shifters. The interior is equally detailed, with a tiny prancing horse logo for the steering wheel adding the finishing touch. “Thanks to this outstanding recreation with LEGO elements, Ferrari and LEGO fans can now build this car piece-by-piece and feel like they are participants in the assembly process, with the opportunity to display the final model in their own homes,” said Ferrari design boss Flavio Manzoni. It will be available in Lego stores from June 1.

Exhaust: Lego has, quite literally, taken a leaf out of the Ferrari book and will also be producing a limited run of 5000 “Sense of Perfection” coffee table book, detailing the model’s design process, exclusively available on Lego.com.

$231K Blazer proves McQueen premium alive and well

Intake: Combine a desirable model with verified ties to motorsports and one of the most legendary names in Hollywood and motorsports and you can guarantee that bidders will be interested. At last week’s Mecum sale in Indianapolis, a 1970 K5 Blazer formerly owned by Steve McQueen sold for $231,000. Considering its #3 (Good) value would normally be $47,000, the vehicle’s previous owner and its provenance as a Baja 1000 support vehicle added substantially to its sale price. The Blazer’s 350 V-8 shows some aftermarket touches, although its Quadrajet carb is still in place. The grille, pilfered from a GMC Jimmy, was installed to give extra lighting as the 4×4 towed race supplies down the Baja Peninsula.

Exhaust: Our valuation team has come to expect that a vehicle owned by Steve McQueen will lead buyers to spend about five times as much as an otherwise similar model. The rule of thumb rang true again, proving that the King of Cool is still among one of the most admired car buffs and personalities more than 40 years after his untimely passing.

Cyan Racing’s Volvo P1800 is coming to America

Intake: The ultimate Volvo restomod will soon be available in the U.S.A. Built by Swedish motorsports experts Cyan Racing, the saintly ’60s coupe is outfitted with a 420-hp, two-liter turbo motor from a Volvo S60 TC1 Touring Car, a carbon-fiber body, Öhlins adjustable suspension, AP Racing brakes, Recaro race seats, and a five-speed manual Holinger transmission, with a dogleg first gear. When Ben Barry drove the car for Hagerty he said, “It won’t make sense to a lot of people, not least traditional Volvo buyers, but Cyan Racing’s twist on the P1800 happens to be not only my favorite Volvo, but one of my favorite cars full stop.” The Volvo P1800 Cyan is set to make its American debut at The Quail on August 9 and will be available to order for around $700,000.

Exhaust: Hats off to Cyan Racing for bringing the car to the States, but even more applause is deserved for building it in the first place, as things could easily have gone in a different direction. “We could have built an electric Volvo P1800 filled with all the latest technology, comfort and luxury. But that wasn’t what we wanted. We desired something more visceral, capturing the spirit of the ’60s with the technology of today,” says CEO Christian Dahl. 

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