SEMA 2017: Hennessey Velociraptor 6×6

The Ford Raptor is one of those vehicles that comes along and shakes everything up. But what can you do to shake up a Raptor? If you’re John Hennessey of Hennessey Performance, you do what comes naturally – the unexpected. In this case, the Velociraptor 6×6.

Parked near the Shell booth, the Velociraptor was a blacked-out truck that grabbed attention from all Show attendees. You can believe it when we say we had a hard time taking some of these photos!

Hennessey took its time to get all of the details right on the Velociraptor 6x6.

We called John and got the inside scoop on his six-wheeled creation. “We made a Velociraptor on the first-gen Raptor back when it came out,” he said. “It was a hit with a lot of people, especially after it was on Top Gear.”

It only made sense that people would want more. Once the second-gen Raptor was revealed, John knew he had another fantastic opportunity to amaze people. He only had to figure out how.

With upgrades including new turbos, a front-mounted intercooler and BOV, ECU tuning, and custom intake and exhaust, the Velociraptor is good for 600 hp and 620 lb-ft of torque.

“I wanted to remind people, our customers, that we were planning on doing the same thing to these new Raptors, even if they had EcoBoost,” said John. “So I started thinking of what we could legitimately build, while also gaining attention.”

The train of thought led John to the AMG G63 6×6 – arguably the most outrageous off-road vehicle ever created. “I had my designer render it up, show it to my guys in the shop, and ask how feasible it was,” said John. “I wanted people to see this and think of Hennessey and what we could do for them.”

The Hennessey crew took delivery of a 2017 Raptor in February. In May, the frame was getting worked on. By July, the chassis and suspension were finished. August saw the arrival of the custom truck bed. Paint was completed with three weeks to spare before SEMA.

Planned as a 6-9 month build, the team got to work in January of this year. Before long, the body was off and the Sawzall was hacking through the frame to prepare for the added length. The bed was created using aluminum, composite, and carbon fiber, and was done simultaneously with the frame lengthening.

“On top of this, we had to figure out how to put power to the third axle,” said John. “We ended up making our own axle, using it as the middle and moving the factory axle to the rearmost position. The harmony of the drivetrain came together only two weeks before SEMA.”

Since the vehicle was built for a customer, John and his team have been careful not to get crazy with the Velociraptor. However, John assured us that he will have one for flogging in the near future. Our hope is that we can see it make its way to Southern California. We have a few dunes and mountains out here to put the Velociraptor through its paces!

Select photography by Hennessey

About the author

David Chick

David Chick comes to us ready for adventure. With passions that span clean and fast Corvettes all the way to down and dirty off-road vehicles (just ask him about his dream Jurassic Park Explorer), David's eclectic tastes lend well to his multiple automotive writing passions.
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