While there was no shortage of new product announcements at this year’s New York International Auto Show, undoubtedly one of my favorite non-news vehicles on the show floor is the 2016 Ford F-150 Lariat Special Edition. I know you’re thinking, “Really Nick, a special edition truck?” but hear me out here. This one is more than special wheels and I’ll chalk it up as a hidden gem in the Ford lineup right now.

Announced several months ago, the Lariat Special Edition is the latest “lipstick” option package offered on the F-150. The whole special edition craze is a feverish frenzy within the entire truck market right now and most of the time these packages are overpriced and eye-roll inducing. However in this case Ford has managed to churn out a unique, attractive special edition.

As we strolled through the truck floor of the New York show I wasn’t expecting anything to catch my eye. Then I took a glance over to the Ford booth and noticed a flat gray (“Magnetic” for the paint nerds) F-150 that had red accents on the grille. Suffice to say, I was intrigued enough to investigate further.

And I’m glad I did.

The Lariat Special Edition adds the typical graphics on the truck’s exterior, which I could personally do without them. However there is a little more substance behind this truck than just graphics. This package adds smoked headlights that flank a grille composed of body-colored and red accents. Ford’s even added red outlines to the F-150 badging and gun metal finish wheels. All of the small changes yield an F-150 that looks youthful without being tacky; it’s balancing on the very thin line between tasteful and provocative.

Then I opened the door on this F-150 and was completely sold. Ford has gone to the lengths of giving this particular version of their half-ton seat-belts that feature red stripes. The red accents are carried throughout the rest of the interior as well, such as on the seats and dash stitching. Here again, this F-150 is just different enough to be interesting without over-doing it like some special edition jobs end up being.

F-150 buyers can add this package to any Lariat for $1,895, though the Lariat Special Edition option box does require other options which drives up the price different to near $3,000. Still, for anyone wanting a truck with a unique, tasteful look…this is a great option. Trust me, I’m still shocked I picked a special edition truck as one of my favorites from the New York Auto Show.

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