At the Quail, a Motorsports Gathering on August 18, Gateway Bronco debuted its Luxe-GT restomod featuring a full carbon-fiber body. Beneath the immaculate skin, an entirely new chassis is claimed to transform the Luxe-GT’s driving dynamics with a level of confidence, safety, and reliability that takes this reimagined Bronco to the next level.
Just days after the reveal, Gateway founder and CEO Seth Burgett invited me for a quick rip around Northern California’s Carmel Valley in the hope of demonstrating all that this project is touted to represent. Few areas provide a more picturesque scene for top-down cruising in a classic SUV, and Burgett’s planned route includes a turn up Laureles Grade, a winding road often used by supercar manufacturers to show off the nimble handling and breathtaking power of their six- and seven-figure showstoppers. But the Luxe-GT, priced starting at $400,000 but fully built to nearly $800,000 in the spec that Gateway brought to Monterey, arguably turned even more heads on the famous pass.
Through a series of broad sweepers and a few tighter corners, the chassis holds smooth and steady with nearly zero body roll. Punching the gas hard elicits almost no bucking from this Bronco, either. The drive dynamics fall more in line with the characteristics of brand-new performance SUVs—and keep in mind, it’s riding on 33-inch tires.
That impressive handling can be attributed to the new chassis that Gateway developed with Australian partner Premcar, which allowed for a “skunk works” operation in Australia while dialing in an independent front suspension setup to replace the original Bronco’s solid front axle. There in the outback, Burgett and Premcar’s engineering director, Bernie Quinn, pushed a test mule up to 120 mph over gravel tracks and sandy ruts while testing hard acceleration, cornering, and braking.
Powering the Luxe-GT is a 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 engine that’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. And even though a supercharger is optional, in naturally aspirated form, the power train enables the bolstered Bronco to fire off a zero-to-60 mph sprint in 5.3 seconds—a metric similar to that of the Range Rover Sport, the Mercedes-AMG G-Wagen, and the Porsche Cayenne. But that’s not surprising, as those models are the ones Gateway used as benchmarks for the Luxe-GT, of which every single component—inside and out—is new. The boxy styling belies the confidence afforded by the independent front suspension and five-link rear axle, a layout quite similar to the sixth-generation Bronco that Ford revived for 2021.
“A solid front axle creates the ‘log truck’ that most people think of when they think of the first-generation Bronco,” says Burgett. “We completely eliminate that with the independent front suspension. It makes it softer and easier to drive. You can drive down the highway with independent front suspension, electric rack-and-pinion steering, one hand on the wheel cruising down the interstate.”
Almost as importantly, Gateway decided to use full-time all-wheel drive plus four-wheel antilock disc brakes (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC), and traction control. The decision to integrate modern driver aids into a restomod came about as Burgett drove across the country with his daughter in an original-paint classic Bronco that felt almost primitive. Of course, the buffeting wind whistling through that truck’s panel and door gaps certainly didn’t help.
Naturally, the Luxe-GT’s soft-close doors and modern rubber seals are much more effective at blocking out wind and weather. Heated and cooled seats further contribute to the premium interior, especially for trucks equipped with Gateway’s “Freedom” rollback top (available optionally on a carbon-fiber roof).
The build that Gateway brought to the Quail features a one-of-one “Big Sur Love” treatment, with Wimbledon White paint and Ombré stripes complemented by black fender flares and 18-inch sport wheels. The interior is decked out in faded blue all-weather denim with leather accents and marine-grade carpeting, as well as birdseye maple for the bed and tailgate. Other popular options include a Tremec manual transmission, high-back front seats, and a color-matched bimini top.
Even after unveiling the new Luxe-GT, Gateway plans to continue selling solid front-axle Bronco restomods at lower price points. The “Coyote” gets a full workover using a modern Kincer chassis and coilsprung suspension, priced starting at $250,000 with a five-year warranty. The base “Fulie” uses a restored Ford chassis and comes with a three-year warranty with pricing that starts at $180,000. Burgett plans to build only 25 examples of the Luxe-GT per year, complete with a seven-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, and the current lead time is around 12 months.
Click here for more photos of Gateway Bronco’s Luxe-GT restomod.