The VLF Automotive X-Series is a reminder that some people just don't know when to quit

Money can buy a truck, but it can't buy taste.

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
At what point during the long process of modifying a vehicle do you come to the realization that enough is enough? It's a murky line that many people pass straight through, realizing far too late that the beast they've created is really just a big and blocky mess of metal, plastic, and scraps stolen from far better vehicles. Apparently, VLF Automotive hasn't quite woken up from the exhaust-fume-induced daydream that is their latest creation, the X-Series.

Through the cheddar cheese paint, the faux Hummer grille, and the Brodozer wheels you can make out that this used to be a Chevrolet Colorado. In fact, if you look through the rear windows, you can see that the Colorado's sliding rear glass is still in place. That means this isn't really an SUV but a pickup so loaded with composite bodywork that it sits somewhere between truck and Hot Wheels toy come to life.

You see, VLF has a history of ruining perfectly fine vehicles. They managed to accomplish something I didn't think was possible: making the Dodge Viper ugly. For all of its many, many flaws, the one thing that didn't need improving was the Viper's design. Their partnership with Galpin Ford in California produced a less offensive but equally brutalized Rocket V8 out of a Ford Mustang. VLF's third offering makes the most sense. The Destino V8 is the most reasonable vehicle the automaker sells. The looks are only slightly modified from the Fisker Karma from which it comes, while the LS9 V8 from the C6 Corvette ZR1 replaces what was a middling hybrid powertrain.

But the X-Series really is something awful. Even in VLF's eye scorching booth, the big block of cheese really stands out. Aside from the grille and the wheels, you can see that VLF's artisans took their time carving and sculpting something that looks like the bastard offspring of the Hummer H3 and the old Lamborghini LM002. The whole thing is simultaneously militaristic and fragile looking, likely because it's a one-off concept.

There are functional bits like the winch in the bumper and the big fender flares that cover the oversized wheels. Those are offset by the odd looking rear door, the inexplicable spoiler on the roof, the quad exhaust tips, and the upright C7 Corvette taillights. The suspension has been slightly upgraded, with improved shocks and an increased ride height. We didn't get a good look at the interior, but if VLF's other vehicles are any indication, expect the most mild of refreshes.

Because it was at some point a Colorado, customers (of which VLF expects about 250 a year) can have either a 3.6-liter V6 or a 2.8-liter diesel inline-four. Both engines are fine, though it's unclear how much extra weight the pair may be forced to move around. According to VLF, some mild tuning is available for the V6.

If everything I've written here has done nothing to dissuade you and your desire to own one of these, I only have two things to say: first, I don't think we can be friends; second, you'll need to pony up the estimated $70,000 for one. That may be the most surprising part of the whole vehicle. Usually these horrendous, kustom trucks cost well into the six-figure range. By comparison, the X-Series is downright reasonable.

Unfortunately, though the vehicle will be made in Auburn Hills, MI, none will be sold in the US. Asia and the Middle East appear to be the target markets.

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