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Hennessey VelociRaptor 6X6 First Drive Evaluation: The incredible hulk

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Hennessey VelociRaptor 6X6 First Drive Review: The incredible hulk

Between the rampant exotics and the lurking classics, it takes some critically particular sheetmetal to face out in car-clogged Malibu. However this triumphantly conspicuous journey is John Hennessey’s stab on the already imposing Ford F-one hundred fifty Raptor, a depraved transmogrification of the offroad-efficient 4×4 into an over-the-prime six-wheeled, three-axle’d behemoth. And right here I’m, making an attempt to maintain this hulking steed centered in its lane on the gently winding Kanan Dume Street, when a carload of youngsters fills my rearview, dangling dangerously out of their tiny Mazda3 to gawk at my outlandish, $350,000 rig. Take a look at this factor. Are you able to blame them?

The Hennessey VelociRaptor 6X6 begins life as a totally loaded off-the-shelf Ford F-one hundred fifty Raptor SuperCrew and undergoes in depth surgical procedure that features sawing and increasing the body rail round 4 ft, shifting the rear axle aft of a newly put in second axle, and replicating the distant reservoir Fox racing shocks throughout all 4 rear wheels which pivot off the body and are linked by a leafspring setup. The rear differential can nonetheless be locked by way of a dashboard button, however now passes by means of an additional gearset that is been sourced from a 3rd social gathering provider Hennessey prefers to not point out by identify. Huskier tires add 1.5 inches of peak, and together with the lifted suspension the general altitude achieve measures eight inches.

The VelociRaptor’s expanded proportions add about 1,000 kilos to the donor car’s 5,697-lb curb weight. The newfound portliness is countered by engine enhancements that increase the three.5-liter V6’s output to 600 horsepower and 622 lb-ft of torque, greater than 600 lb-ft of which is out there between three,600 and 5,200 rpm. Tweaks to mill embrace revised consumption, exhaust, intercooler, and blowoff valve elements, including one hundred fifty horsepower. For these protecting rating at house, inner testing at Hennessey’s Texas facility recorded a zero to 60 mph time of four.eight seconds – not dangerous for an almost 7,000-pound machine.

Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6

For what it is value, Hennessey says the engine’s internals weren’t altered and that it was attainable to coax extra energy out of the three.5-liter engine, although the present mods are snug sufficient to warrant the three-yr, 36-month warranty. Additionally untouched is the ten-velocity automated transmission, which has dealt with as much as seven hundred horsepower in beforehand modified Raptors. Hennessey says he is assured the inventory transmission can deal with the hundreds.

The VelociRaptor feels huge – undeniably, in-your-face, no-approach-to-ignore-it ginormous. Hennessey did not need to carry the suspension any additional as a result of it would not have been straightforward to climb into, and his level is properly taken: climbing aboard requires a little bit of a step up for my 32-inch inseam, however not a lot that it is awkward. Aside from the elevated stance and a restricted version plaque on the dashboard, the 6X6 seems like some other Raptor from the within.

However whenever you pull that gearshift lever into Drive it is essential to remember that this truck’s diminished turning radius and elongated rump makes low-velocity maneuvering a bit extra tough. Fortunately, Ford’s 360-diploma digital camera works because it ought to, as does its reverse monitor. You will have to think about the vehicle’s 23-plus ft of size when parking, as backing these three.5 tons of truck right into a parking spot creates a relatively ponderous recreation of Tetris (with a contact of Alice in Wonderland dimensionality). There’s surprisingly little overhang on the rear to be able to hold as a lot mass in the direction of the middle of the vehicle, and meaning the rear tires will contact concrete parking dividers before you may anticipate – no huge deal actually, since they will squash nearly something they move over.

Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6

As soon as you’ve got departed the parking zone and hit the street, issues are surprisingly manageable within the über Raptor. Positive, there’s the continued problem of maintaining this 270.three-inch extensive beast centered in your lane, however there’s additionally the unusual energy of intimidation over your fellow street vacationers, which brings with it an inherent sense of management and confidence. With adequate steering suggestions and throttle response baked into its structure, the VelociRaptor conveys sufficient information to the driving force to maintain it from being disconcerting throughout low-to-medium velocity cornering.

However there’s additionally an entire lot happening dynamically, particularly because the experience is a bit stiffer than inventory regardless of the marginally softer valving on the rear shocks. Visualizing how a two-axle vehicle addresses the street is comparatively simple, since weight is consistently transferring between two axes: entrance/rear, and left/proper. However imagining two units of rear wheels articulating over bumps and street irregularities provides significantly extra complexity to the equation. How is the chassis managing these forces, how a lot is it flexing, and the way are every of the axles managing the continuously altering damping masses and actions? My butt-o-meter was, admittedly, confused. However my rational mind did constantly remind my cautious intuition that there’s extra lateral grip than I’d suspect because of these six large contact patches maintaining the truck related to tarmac. After a pair runs up and down the pretty steeply graded Kanan Dume Street, the VelociRaptor began feeling extra manageable and, dare I say, straightforward to drive. Three-level turns, nevertheless, nonetheless required cautious planning, as did merging onto the freeway because of the truck’s monumental footprint and appreciable momentum because it will get rolling.

When you recover from the 6X6’s sheer size, the sound turns into the subsequent component to seize your consideration. Twin, aspect-mounted exhaust pipes belt out a bass-heavy soundtrack. Lay into the throttle and the decibels pour out generously, as does the acceleration. Although it isn’t supercar fast, the VelociRaptor has sufficient urgency to belie its size. That being stated, in Sport mode I might have most popular the ten-velocity automated to downshift extra eagerly in an effort to hold the engine in its candy spot. Overriding in guide mode and utilizing the paddle shifters helps considerably, however ideally the system can be a tad extra aggressive with out the intervention. I additionally observed an occasional tendency for energy switch to pulse a bit throughout acceleration on uphill stretches, as if the throttle was alternating as an alternative of delivering fixed energy. However the VelociRaptor nonetheless additionally manages to really feel planted and safe because it negotiates giant sweepers at freeway speeds, and its brakes are efficient sufficient to encourage a little bit of proper pedal bravery. Additional stopping energy is on the market with a 6- and four-piston Brembo improve, to the tune of $25,000.

Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6

As for the VelociRaptor’s capabilities off the crushed path, Hennessey admits that whereas it may be practical off-street, most clients might be shopping for the 6X6 for present, not for stereotypical Raptor actions like large jumps and filth slides.

Who, precisely, is the kind of person who has room for this hulking beast of their rigorously curated automotive existence? 13 examples have been ordered to date, with a complete manufacturing run of fifty. The truck I examined was, curiously, sure for a buyer in Tokyo, and different orders have been crammed in locations like Miami, Tampa, and (maybe not surprisingly), China.

You could be considering to your self, “Does not this factor reply a query no one requested?” Properly, sure and no: on one hand, a $350,000 truck constructed largely for present does, certainly, look like travesty to those that view the inventory Raptor as a masterful weapon of offroad functionality. However Hennessey recollects the inspiration behind his creation, which features a sure six-wheeled beast from Affalterbach. “Did not Mercedes construct some type of wacky AMG 6X6?” he recollects saying earlier than conceiving of his tweaked Raptor. “At $350k, that is half the price that the AMG went for, and now they are going for over one million, used.”

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