Las Vegas, Nevada - It’s quite a stretch to refer to any of these beastly American pick-up trucks as ‘bakkies’, and they’d probably punch you in the nose if you did, but it’s a term that you’re familiar with as South Africans and now that you’re here, let’s take a look at five brutes from the SEMA show that would make our country’s fleet of extravagantly decorated Raptor-grilled Rangers run for the hills in fear.
Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6
For those that prefer their terrain-munching 6x6 with a cowboy accent, Hennessey has concocted an all-American alternative to the Mercedes-AMG G63 6x6.
Based on the Ford F-150 Raptor, the VelociRaptor 6x6 has been transformed into a six-wheel-drive that also sports an upgraded engine, suspension and exterior design.
Beneath the ‘hood’ is an upgraded version of Ford’s 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost engine, which has been tuned to produce “more than” 447kW, versus the standard Raptor’s 336kW.
And unlike the other trucks you’ll see on this page, the VelociRaptor 6x6 is not just some fanciful one-off or concept. Hennessey Performance will actually be building 50 of these, priced at $349 000 (R4.58m) in The Land Of The Free.
Ford F-250 by BDS Suspension
Designed for extreme off-roading, the ‘Project SD126’ as it’s dubbed is practically a monster truck, raised and widened to accommodate 42-inch tyres and sporting BDS and FOX racing suspension components.
It’s powered by a modified 6.7-litre V8 turbodiesel engine, of unspecified outputs, mated to a six-speed autobox. Inside it gets proper racing seats with harnesses as well as a Kicker high performance sound system with 12” CompRT subwoofer.
Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept
Though a lot tamer-looking than what you’ve seen so far, Chevrolet’s Silverado Performance Concept seeks to rule streets rather than trails, and it gets a little assistance from its Corvette cousin.
The Silverado’s 5.3-litre V8 engine has been beefed up with an intercooled supercharging system from the Corvette LT4. Chevrolet doesn’t mention any final power figures, but given what the standard V8 produces, and that the mods add more than 100hp/74kW, it’s safe to say that this Chevy should be good for over 340kW.
Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck
Ford says its RTR Muscle Truck is every bit as comfortable hauling a full load as it is doing donuts or playing in the dirt. Based on the F-150 Lariat model, it features a 5-litre V8 petrol engine mated to a Magna Flow performance exhaust.
Lowered and widened, but without going too OTT on the looks front, the RTR has an enhanced-travel coilover front suspension, heavy-duty rear axle and RTR off-road wheels.
Ford F-350 “The Operator”
Simply dubbed “The Operator”, this Super Duty F-350 is a purpose-built adventure rig featuring a bed-mounted UTV suspended on Hellwig air springs.
The big beast is powered by Ford’s 6.7-litre Powerstroke V8 turbodiesel engine, credited with 328kW and a whopping 1254Nm.
Outside of the manufacturer stands there were plenty of other wild ‘monster truck’ creations on display. These ones stood out: