The Ford F-150 Raptor SVT has changed the way we think of manufacturer “off-road” trucks. Long gone are the days of, “No Fear” and “Baja Edition” trucks that merely gave us flashy paint jobs and bolt-on tube bumpers. American truck owners that choose a part-time life of dirt want real performance. The Raptor has changed the game. We now expect more from our truck manufacturers. Not only did Ford create the best off-road capable vehicle you can purchase with a warranty, they made it damn near hard to beat for the same dollar. But what if you want more?
Founded in 1991, Hennessey Performance began when John Hennessey took his daily driver Mitsubishi 3000GT and participated in a diverse combination of speed events that included Nevada open road races, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and a record setting 173-mph run at the Bonneville Salt Flats. With racing now in his blood, John began building vehicles for others that lead to creating one of the fastest Dodge Viper’s you will find on pavement dubbed, the Hennessey Venom 500 Viper. Fast forward several years, John and his team are now building high-end luxury vehicles built around one common goal, to go fast.
New for 2014, Hennessey has just announced the creation of the VelociRaptor SUV Conversion. Based on the F-150 Raptor, the team from HPE transforms SVT’s super crew cab pick-up truck into a full-sized sport-utility vehicle (SUV) with seating for up to 8 people. “Over the past three years we have built nearly 400 upgraded Raptor trucks for enthusiasts around the world”, said Don Goldman, CEO of Hennessey Performance. “We are now very excited to be able to offer the VelociRaptor SUV to those who like the Raptor but want more seats and space.”
All of the factory Ford Raptor truck components and systems are kept in tact. At this time, Hennessey Performance has not yet had an opportunity to test the off-road capabilities of the VelociRaptor SUV. Thus, the company suggests that buyers should intend using this vehicle for on-road as well as light to moderate off-road duties. “Don’t plan on pre-running Baja or negotiating Rubicon with our SUV – that is not why we built it”, said company founder, John Hennessey. But, if you’re looking for the ultimate vehicle to drive from Aspen to Telluride in January, the VelociRaptor SUV would be perfect.”
The VelociRaptor SUV is going to be limited to just 30 units per year. The same 6.2L, 411 bhp Ford V8 powers the entry level SUV while Hennessey also offers their VelociRaptor 600 Supercharged upgrade at an additional cost. Other optional upgrades include: Brembo front brake upgrade, larger wheels and tires, LED lighting upgrades, bespoke interior and electronic upgrades. Security and armoring systems are also available.
While vehicle weight is increased by approximately 600 lbs, the standard 411 bhp SUV is able to achieve 0-60 mph times of 7.5 seconds. Bumping power to 600 bhp with the VelociRaptor 600 Supercharged upgrade will drop the 0-60 mph time to 5.9 seconds. AMG G-Wagon and Range Rover owners beware.
If you’re interested in picking up one of these Hennessey VelociRaptor’s, they can be purchased through Hennessey Performance or at select Ford Dealerships. Don’t forget, as these vehicles are made in low numbers, there are plenty of custom options available to make yours a one of a kind. Enjoy!