The Wild Hennessey VelociRaptor SUV September 16, 2013
Anyone who has spent any time at all in the world of cars and trucks knows the name Hennessey. This powerhouse of an automotive tuner has worked on vehicles ranging from Bentley Continentals to Dodge Vipers to the super fast McLaren. The one type of vehicle that is very under-represented in their catalog, however, is custom SUVs. Hennessey solved this problem by creating the beast that is called the VelociRaptor. They started with a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, which is in its own right a solid truck, and turned it into an ultra-long SUV. Basically the SUV looks like a Ford Excursion on steroids. Performance Hennessey left the stock powertrain from the F-150 Raptor in tact. The stock 6.2L V8 from Ford puts out an impressive 411 horsepower, but with the addition of a TBS 2300 supercharger that is upped to around 600 horsepower. This means the VelociRaptor can do 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds without the supercharger, and 5.9 seconds with it. What was gained in interior room and style was lost in off-road ability, however. This doesn’t mean the VelociRaptor has to resign itself to a life solely on the road, but as Hennessey says, it is meant for on-roading and “moderate off-road duties.” The weight of the truck is increased by around 600 pounds, which is not nearly enough to make the truck seem heavy or slow. To help with the additional weight Hennessey adds upgraded Brembo brakes as well as larger wheels and tires. Exterior Obviously the most noticeable exterior upgrade is the body extension that covers the bed of the super crew truck. This is far more than a truck cap, however. The rear body extension is seamlessly installed to give the exterior a look similar to a Ford Excursion. Rear access is achieved by split half-doors that once again, seem to be borrowed from the look of the excursion. Additional exterior upgrades like LED lights and nicer wheels give the truck a low-key look that hides the power of this SUV nicely. Interior The interior of the VelociRaptor has the same quality look and feel as the original truck is known for. The second row of seats seems more like the ones found in high-end SUVs with more than enough legroom and shoulder space. Where the VelociRaptor shines is in the extra space created. Optional third-row seating ups the total passenger count to eight, and gives each passenger more than enough room. Once you open the rear hatch and split doors, the space created in the rear of the SUV is very impressive. A full-grown man can lie down inside the rear hatch area while keeping all the fit and finish you’d expect from a high-class vehicle like the Raptor. Everything Else Since these SUVs are made on a per-customer basis with a total of only 30 per year, the list of possible customizations is basically endless. The stock Ford interior can be upgraded as far as the customer would like, including new upholstery, sound system, and even video. Exterior upgrades include even larger wheels and tires, custom paint jobs, and even armor plating for those “special” customers. Wrap-Up The Ford F-150 VelociRaptor from Hennessy is a beast hidden beneath the skin of a family SUV. Stock exhaust keeps the truck’s sound down. The suspension holds the extra weight perfectly and is perfect for day-to-day use. The cost of these upgrades is not cheap, however. The stock F-150 Raptor comes in at around $44,000. After all the upgrades done by Hennessey, you’re looking at a starting price tag of about $149,500. Even though this is a pretty hefty price, the uniqueness of this truck-turned-SUV is really unrivaled. Check out the video here to see more about the truck and maybe even purchase one of your own, if you’ve got the cash, that is. See the SUV in action in this video.