It’s named the Mammoth, and only three will be built
Between the creeping exotic and the underlying classic, it takes a very special sheet of metal to stand out in the Malibu spoiler. But this cool and dizzying ride is John Hennessy’s punch on the already imposing Ford F-150 Raptor, and it’s a bad transformation from an efficient off-road SUV into a six-wheel, three-axle beast. And here I am trying to keep this towering horse stationed in its lane on the winding Canaan Dome Road, when a car full of teenagers fills my rear view, swinging dangerously from the little Mazda3 to look at my excavator. Individuals $ 350,000. Look at this thing. Can you blame them?
Hennessey VelociRaptor 6X6 begins life as a fully loaded Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew truck and undergoes a comprehensive surgery that includes deploying and extending the rail from the frame by approximately four feet, moving the rear axle to the rear of the newly installed second axle, and simulating the shocks of the remote tank of Fox Racing on All four rear wheels that rotate outside the frame are linked in a spring-loaded configuration. The rear differential can still be locked via a button on the dashboard, but it now passes an additional gear train from an external supplier Hennessey prefers not to mention by name. Huskier tires add 1.5 inches of height, and with the suspension lifted, the overall height is 8 inches.
The extended proportions of VelociRaptor add about 1,000 pounds to the donor vehicle’s 5,697 lbs. The new design is countered by engine upgrades that increase the output of the 3.5-liter V6 to 600 hp and 622 lb-ft of torque, of which over 600 lb-feet are available between 3600 and 5200 rpm. Changes to the shredder include modification of intake and exhaust components, intercooler and exhaust valve, by adding 150 hp. For those who keep score at home, the in-house test at the Hennessey, Texas facility clocked a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.8 seconds – not a bad thing at nearly 7,000 lbs.
As for what it’s worth, Hennessey says the engine’s internal components have not changed and that more power could have been squeezed out of the 3.5-liter engine, although the current modifications are comfortable enough to warrant a 3-year and 36-month warranty. The ten-speed automatic transmission, which handles up to 700 hp in pre-tuned Raptors, has not been changed. Hennessy says he’s confident the original transmission can handle the loads.
VelociRaptor feels big – undeniably in your face, and there’s no way to ignore it is great. Hennessey didn’t want to lift the suspension anymore because it wasn’t easy to mount, and his point is well taken: The ride requires a few more steps for the 32-inch crotch, but not so much that it’s embarrassing. Coupled with a raised stance and a limited-edition panel on the dashboard, the 6X6 looks like any other Raptor on the inside.
But when placing the shift lever in the Drive, it is imperative to bear in mind that this truck’s narrow turning radius and long rump make low-speed maneuvering more difficult. Thankfully, Ford’s 360-degree camera works just as it should, and so does the reverse screen. You’ll have to factor in the vehicle’s length of over 23 feet when parking, as towing that 3.5-ton truck into the parking lot creates a kind of heavy Tetris (with a touch of dimensional Alice in Wonderland). Surprisingly, there’s a little bit of a rear overhang in order to keep the same amount of mass toward the center of the car, which means the rear tires will hit concrete parking dividers sooner than you think – not really much, because they can crush almost anything they pass by.
Once you exit the parking lot and hit the road, things are surprisingly manageable in the über Raptor. Of course, there’s the constant challenge of keeping this 86.3-inch beast centered in your lane, but there’s also a strange force of intimidation on your fellow travelers, which brings an ingrained sense of control and confidence. With adequate steering response and throttle response built into its architecture, the VelociRaptor transmits enough information to the driver to prevent it from getting confused at low to medium speed corners.
But there’s also a lot more dynamically going on, especially since the ride is slightly stiffer than the stock despite the slightly softer valves in the rear shocks. Visualizing how a two-axle vehicle approaches the road is relatively simple, with weight being constantly shifted between two axles: front / rear and left / right. But imagining two sets of hinged rear wheels over bumps and bumps on the road adds a lot of complexity to the equation. How does the structure handle these forces, how flexible is it, and how does each axle handle constantly changing loads and damping motions? Admittedly, he was confused. But my rational mind kept reminding my cautious instincts that there was more sideways grip than I might think thanks to the six massive contact panels that keep the truck attached to the runway. After a few steep ups and downs on the moderately good Kanan Dume Road, the VelociRaptor is starting to feel more manageable and I dare say the ride is easy. However, the three-point turns still required careful planning, as did the merger on the highway due to the truck’s enormous footprint and sheer momentum as it rolled.
Once you go over the size of 6×6, the sound becomes the next item that grabs your attention. Dual side exhaust tailpipes deliver rich bass. Lie on the throttle and the decibels will flow generously, and so will the wheel. Although it is not a super-fast car, the Velosi Raptor has enough urgency to reduce its size. However, in Sport mode, I would have preferred the 10-speed automatic transmission to be slower in order to keep the engine in perfect position. Overtaking in manual mode and using the shifters helps a little, but ideally the system will be more aggressive without interference. I also noticed a slightly transversal direction to transmit power to the pulse while accelerating uphill, as if the throttle was rotating rather than providing a steady force. However, the VelociRaptor also manages to feel implanted and safe while negotiating with great sweepers at highway speeds, and its brakes are good enough to encourage a little bit of guts from the right pedal. Additional stopping power is available with the 6-and 4-piston Brembo upgrade, up to $ 25,000.
When it comes to uncommon track capabilities for the Velosi Raptor, Hennessy admits that while it could be functional off-road, most customers would buy a 6X6 for the show, not for the typical Raptor activities like mega jumps and landslides.
Who exactly is the kind of person who has a place for this towering beast in its carefully organized, robotic existence? Thirteen copies have been ordered so far, with a total production of 50. The truck I tested was, oddly enough, addressed to a customer in Tokyo, and the other orders were fulfilled in places like Miami, Tampa, and China (perhaps not surprisingly).
You might be thinking to yourself, “Doesn’t this thing answer a question no one asked?” Well, yes and no: On the one hand, the $ 350K truck that’s largely made for show looks, in fact, a farce for those who view the Raptor stock as an ingenious weapon for off-road ability. But Hennessy remembers the inspiration behind his creation, which includes a specific six-wheeled monster from Affalterbach. “Didn’t Mercedes make some kind of wacky AMG 6X6?” Remember saying this before the modified Raptor design. “At $ 350,000, that’s half the price AMG pays, and now it’s being used for more than a million.”