I just finished a re-watch of S08, the Family Edition, and was thinking of some ways of re-tooling it. Because the concept is not bad, and there's a lot of great scenery. It's mostly just badly named. It's not an "Amazing Race"; it's a "Great American Road Trip (from the people that brought you The Amazing Race)". So I've been thinking on how I would do a GART 2.0.
To begin with, most current TAR rules are still applicable. Pit Stops, Detours, Roadblocks, Speed Bumps; all still present.
Second, the larger team dynamic is still pretty good, so we'll also keep the team size of 4. Also, having teen and pre-teen Racers is also interesting, so they'll still be allowed.
Third, all the Roadblocks are the 2-person variety instead of it depending. Most of, if not all, the Roadblocks in S08 could easily been done with two people, either in tandem (like the infamous red bean), consecutive (the trapeze), or equally split (the go-karting. There was a mandatory stop in that Roadblock after the driver completed 25 of the 50 laps; that would have been a natural place to swap drivers). So make that a permanent feature.
Now for a major change. Phil has gone on record as saying that the thing he hated the most about S08 was having to look the children in the eye and eliminate them. So for version 2.0, all legs are NELs. In exchange for this, the number of teams is cut in half. 5 constant teams, instead of reducing from 10 to 3 over the course of the course.
With all legs as NELs, that means there's going to be a Speed Bump in every leg (except the first). It also means that U-Turns serve no real purpose other than to antagonize other teams. So those are out of play.
But since there's only going to be 5 teams, and they'll all be there for the entire run, there's going to be 5 Fast Forwards as well. Each team can still only use the one, but they'll all get equal opportunity to do so. (And all 5 will probably get used this way.)
I'm also thinking that there could be an option for one person to do a Roadblock instead of two, in exchange for some kind of benefit. Like a limited Express Pass; good on the next leg only, but can be used on the Speed Bump as well. That adds an element of strategy into the mix.
There also needs to be some advantage for winning a leg, outside of a prize. So what about each 1st place finish gives a hint (or other appropriate advantage) on the final puzzle. Or maybe there's 4 levels of hints (5th level being no hints) for the final puzzle, and a team's overall rank determines which level they get.