A 4×4 is cool, sure. But what if you want to stand out in a crowd of 4x4s? What if you want to rock up at the 4×4 club meeting with something extraordinary? Then you go the 6×6 route! Here are six of the coolest six-wheelers…
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class G63 AMG 6×6 is a glorious thing. But it did cause us to ask ourselves that age-old question: Why, oh why? Why had Mercedes built a vehicle with three axles, when ‘two’ has served humanity fairly well up to this point?
Probably because they could. And because it’s exclusive in a mine-is-bigger-than-yours kind of exclusive way.
Also, because it’s so, so cool. But it’s probably because they could.
We found six very cool six-wheelers (although some are actually 6x4s) – and we’ve started the official ‘6×6 Owner’s Fund’ in the office as a result.
6. Dodge T-Rex
The T-Rex never made it further than the concept phase, but that’s not the most interesting thing about it.
It made its debut in 1997, sporting the 8.0-litre V10 engine from a Viper. Dodge never said how much power it produced, but reports at the time suggested that it had more than the Viper’s 300kW.
What we find really interesting, however, is that Chrysler was owned by Mercedes-Benz back then, which leads us to believe that the T-Rex was probably a warm-up exercise for the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG… Anyway, since the T-Rex was a concept, it was never for sale, and is probably standing somewhere in a long-forgotten shed, under a plastic cover.
5. Multidrive Recreational Vehicles, 6×6
Australia is known for having some of the harshest terrain on the planet, which means you can’t explore it in a traditional recreational vehicle, like the VW California.
No sir, if you want to go way out back, you need one of these Land Cruisers with an additional axle mated to the rear.
Multidrive sells the vehicle as a double-cab with an open chassis, which can easily accommodate most of the aftermarket campers sold in Oz. You can also choose between a full-fat and low-fat version: a right proper 6×6 or a 6×4.
The additional advantage of an extra axle it not only more traction (in the case of a 6×6), but also load carrying ability: the full-fat 6×6 has a GVM of almost 6 tons! Pricing starts around R2 million for one of these cool Cruisers in Oz, but that excludes any tax and import duties to bring it here.
4. ACMAT VLRA 6×6
We dare you to mention something about all French cars falling apart when standing next to one of these things. As a subsidiary of Renault Trucks, the ACMAT is as French as a baguette.
The company was founded in 1958 and was built on the idea of part and platform sharing. It built various different vehicles, ranging from dump trucks and ambulances, all the way to mobile workshops.
The model we’re interested in is the VLRA, which was built for scouting and transporting troops. A 6×6 variant was added to the range to increase load capacity to accommodate things like a howitzer, or a president (Nicolas Sarkozy was quite fond of them) waving to the troops.
Pricing? Well, you kind of need a militia to ask that question…
3. Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG/Brabus/Mansory
The last time we counted, there were three versions of this car – the standard 6×6, the Brabus version and that yellow Mansory abomination.
The G63 has a bi-turbo V8, three axles and an onboard compressor. And don’t forget about the five locking differentials and that sonorous bi-turbo V8 bellow. It’s enough to make a grown man weep.
It’s an exercise in excess, but that makes us love it even more. Ten of these babies were sold in SA, with a starting price of around R10 million. And besides a fairly thick wallet, you also need a Code 10 licence to drive the vehicle on the road.
2. Kahn Design Flying Huntsman
The Flying Huntsman is around a quarter of the price of a Mercedes G63 6×6 but, we reckon, has about 10 times more character.
It may look like a Defender, but it’s a completely hand-built piece of art. Every single panel had to be remade in some way and the attention to detail is simply stunning.
The exterior is familiar, no doubt, but it oozes quality and elegance in a way the standard Defender just doesn’t.
Obviously the job of powering an oversized and heavy Defender couldn’t be left to the standard 2.2-litre diesel engine, so Kahn Design went for American muscle – a V8 with 350kW of power instead. That sounds about right, we think.
Retailing at ‘just’ R5 million, the Flying Huntsman is a bargain compared the G63’s sticker price of roughly R20 million.
1. Wild Boar Hell Hog
Leave it to the Americans to take an already ridiculous formula and improve it.
As if the idea of a 6×6 wasn’t already OTT enough, a US custom car manufacturer called Dakota Customs and Wild Boar Off Road recently partnered up to build a 6×6 fitted with Dodge’s infamous Hellcat Hemi V8. You know, the one that produces 520kW…
The Hell Hog, as it’s known, was revealed to the public at the recent 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas, but Wild Boar was hesitant to provide performance figures, mostly due to the fact that the Hell Hog was completed just before the show started.
As a matter of interest, Wild Boar is well known in the US for building crazy custom 6×6 Wranglers. One of the many options one can specify is a matching trailer and a specially designed gun rack that houses a hunting knife, three handguns, a shotgun and an assault rifle. Perfect for Gauteng then.
Pricing will be in the movie-star league – as you’d expect with an exclusive model such as this.