Producing automotive high-performance Texas style is Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE), headquartered down in Sealy, Texas. Hennessey was recently in the news for its world top speed record attempt with the Hennessey Venom GT, a 1,000+ horsepower supercar developed and built using a Lotus Elise body and Chevrolet Camaro/Corvette running-gear, outfitted with a multi-turbocharger/intercooler setup. Hennessey has also been widely recognized for their radical modification of Chevrolet Corvettes and Dodge Vipers, but Hennessey is open to modification of virtually any factory high-performance car.
Nevertheless, this vehicle is a little different in that it embodies the specific logistical challenges of moving large groups of people and their belongings. The 2015 Hennessey VelociRaptor is actually a modified Ford F-150 Super-Cab SVT Raptor four-wheel drive off-road pickup truck, which is heavily modified to achieve extraordinary off-road performance capabilities. HSE has built and sold 400 of these over the last several years. The VelociRaptor SUV is the HSE modified SVT pickup truck combined with the cargo section of a full-size Ford Expedition. The finished product yields a super-size SUV, with room for up to eight-passengers, which can blast from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.9-seconds.
Yes, you heard right. Two separate vehicles are combined to yield one mammoth SUV for the masses (those with a few extra dollars to throw around). The rolling chassis of a Ford F-150 Supercab SVT Raptor pickup is left virtually unmolested in the basic HSE modification with a Ford Expedition rear cargo area skillfully and stylishly welded in place. The interior is then upgraded to include your choice of four, six, or eight captain’s chairs, with matching carpeting and accoutrement. Ford electronics stop short in the SVT models with Ford opting instead to focus on off-road capabilities and engine performance. Hennessey offers many system upgrades including navigation systems, premium audio, LED lighting, a myriad of seating surface choices, as well as impact resistant vehicle armoring and security systems.
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is an off-road super-truck that is designed to excel where other, more conventional 4X4 pickup trucks fail. It comes with a powerful 6.2-liter engine that is built with a larger bore and shorter stroke for higher rev-capability. It has larger intake and exhaust valves to provide more fuel and air, and allow engine exhaust to escape more efficiently. This translates into greater engine performance and more horsepower at the wheels. The factory engine provides 411-horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque. Hennessey adds a supercharger and/or intercooler kit, which kicks the horsepower rating up to approximately 600, on the top-tier modification package. There is also another (non-supercharged) HSE modification that incorporates only a free-flowing high-performance exhaust system (cat-back only, relax Big Brother), cold-air intake, and performance engine control re-programmer, for a total of around 475-horsepower. There is also an 810-horsepower twin-turbocharged/intercooler engine upgrade available for the VelociRaptor pickup, which I suppose could be purchased for the SUV if the price was right.
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is equipped with a 4.10:1 final drive gear ratio, with helical TORSEN differentials. The helical design is far superior to typical differentials in transferring power where it is needed most. This results in a greater degree of effective traction on any driving surface. HSE adds Brembo brakes and larger off-road tires for more traction and safer stops.