It’s been the better part of a century since automotive buyers have thought about coachbuilt automobiles, but the folks at U.S. Specialty Vehicles are looking to change that. What better venue to discuss this project than at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance!
Their first production model, named the Rhino GX takes a Ford F450 Superduty (Single Cab, Short Bed) cab and chassis. From its Ford Motor Company roots USSV grafts in a heavy gauge steel body and remarkably supple leather to craft this avant-garde luxury, yet utilitarian SUV. Approximately 300 of these behemoths have made their way down roadways globally.
The 6.7L PowerStroke Diesel is standard issue providing 440 horse power and 860 lb/ft of torque! If diesel isn’t your desire you can also spec the 6.8L gasoline V10.
A few interior configurations are possible, ranging from the cavernous cargo configuration of 5 passengers as standard, room for 7 with the premium model, to a partitioned limousine style experience with the executive trim.
I must say that I am quite fond of the Rhino GX’s brute force approach to exterior styling, especially when finished in “Tactical Green”.
There’s absolutely no way to completely hide the five tons of weight the Rhino GX propels down the road. To help with ride quality USSV’s removal of the rear leaf springs and introduction of an active hydraulic load leveling rear suspension setup provides for a remarkable ride! The 6.7L PowerStroke Diesel engine makes the best of the situation and provides glorious diesel noises as it wafts you down the road.
No, we didn’t get it stuck on the beach! I can’t wait to spend more time with the USSV brand, an extended drive if the Rhino GX, and their new Rhino XT Wrangler based up-fit.
Images: USSV and PoshCars Media