Las Vegas - For many muscle car (and truck) fans out there, there is simply no substitute for a rumbling, rip-snorting V8 engine.
And that’s the problem that many have with the latest Ford F-150 Raptor that’s sold in the United States. Sure, it’s plenty powerful with 336kW on tap, but it’s a twin-turbo V6 and for some fans that’s just no consolation for the pair of missing cylinders.
But fear not cowboys, Hennessey Performance is here to save the day, the Texan tuning shop having unleashed its V8-powered VelociRaptor at the SEMA show in Las Vegas this week.
Out goes the EcoBoost and in comes a 5.4-litre V8, boosted all the way to 565kW, which is apparently enough to get the brutal ‘bakkie’ from standstill to 60mph (96km/h) in just 4.1 seconds.
Engine mods include a 2.9-litre supercharger that boosts up to 7 psi, Hennessey tweaked engine management, upgraded fuel system, high-flow air induction and a stainless steel cat-back exhaust.
The engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic gearbox.
The VelociRaptor also gets a tweaked ‘Stage 2’ off-road suspension system and rides on 20-inch Hennessey alloy wheels, wearing 37-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain rubber.
Bespoke front and rear bumpers complete the visual tweaks along with serial-numbered plaques and embroidered headrests.
“Our customers have been begging for a V8 option for their new Raptors since the truck first came out in early 2017,” said company founder John Hennessey.
“We heard their calls and are so pleased to meet this need in the market. The sound of the VelociRaptor V8 is so worth it!”
American customers will be able to buy one of these for $147 950 (R2.15 million).
As far as Raptors go, South Africans will have to make do with the upcoming Ranger Raptor (below) that’s due in 2019 - not exactly a performance truck like the US model, but it does have some cool off-road tech and styling features.