American tuning company Hennessey Performance Engineering likes to scare people. Really, it does. Who else would build a station wagon that can dispatch the benchmark quarter mile in 10,69 seconds (at 214,4km/h)? To put this feat into perspective: A Yamaha R1 superbike completes the same test in 10,22 seconds, at a speed of 220km/h!
Hennessey calls this mom’s taxi the Hammer Wagon. It’s actually a Cadillac CTS-V Sports Wagon, as sold in the USA. In standard trim it’s powered by an already powerful V8 engine.
Hennessey’s customers however, can decide how many horses they want from this engine – but we’ll skip all the boring stages from the first-tier 400 kW and go straight for the jugular. It’s the V1000 Twin Turbo conversion, and in this state the V8 engine produces 1000 horsepower! That’s around 750 kW of power, aided and abetted by 1288 Nm of torque!
If a station wagon is just not your style and you prefer to swan around in a supercar, Hennessey can also hook you up with a 600 kW Nissan GT-R that will do 0-100km/h in 2,6 seconds, or a Porsche 911 Turbo with 520 kW on tap. The company is currently busy rounding up a few more horses for the likes of the new McLaren MP4-12C, Ferrari F458 Italia, and the Audi R8, to name but a few.
But if you’re into the leisure-side of motoring and prefer a good old SUV, then there’s good news too. For starters, Hennessey can strap a supercharger to your Lexus LX570’s V8 engine that will hike power to just over 500 horses (or around 370 kW).
It gets even better though. As the character Sophia from The Golden Girls television series always said: Picture the scene! You are a typical South African politician. Sure, there are some monetary issues in your province, a few homeless and jobless people hanging about, and a few pesky protestors keep on shouting irritating comments about service delivery and other such irrelevant matters outside your office. Oh, and there have been a few death threats along the way too.
So you obviously need a special set of wheels. A set of wheels that will make your fellow politicians green with envy. A vehicle that will ensure that you are never late for those Tuesday-morning Bingo game at Monte Casino, never mind if it is peak hour traffic or not. A vehicle that will render you impervious, immune and invulnerable. And, a vehicle that can stop a bullet or three, and even turn those aggressive windscreen washers at traffic lights to religion.
Such a vehicle does indeed exist. It is officially called the VelociRaptor. Unofficially, in the Hennessey Performance Engineering offices, it is known as the “War Wagon”.
The VelociRaptor is based on Ford’s F150 Raptor performance double cab pick-up, as sold in the USA. But why go this route? Other American armor companies have been using Chevy’s Suburban and Cadillac’s Escalade for ages.
It all comes down to weight, apparently.
When armored protection is added to one of these SUVs, which starts life with a base weight of nearly three tons, the vehicle’s weight can reach almost five tons when completed. That’s a lot of metal and weight to cart around. Adding a lot of horses help in a straight-line, but in just about every other department these behemoths are found wanting. Like braking and handling, and so on.
So instead of trying to solve the performance issue after the matter, so to speak, Hennessey is addressing the performance question before the matter.
This is done by adding a new rear bodywork section to the Raptor’s “bak”. This, says Hennessey, allows a six to eight passenger configuration. This custom-built SUV is also wider than a standard Ford F150 Raptor. Powering the machine is a supercharged version of the Raptor’s 6,2-litre V8 engine. It produces a mammoth 430 kW.
Still, if that’s not quite enough to frighten your VIP passengers towards the haven of religion, then Hennessey offers a few small upgrades, like fitting twin turbochargers instead of the single supercharger. This hikes power from the “meager” 430 kW to… 600 kW!
Of course, in the unlikely event that you are an honest and popular kind of politician that doesn’t require armor-protection, Hennessey can provide you with an armor-free VelociRaptor too.
Maybe not surprisingly, Hennessey Performance Engineering doesn’t provide a price for the VelociRaptor. For people shopping in this kind of segment – like the typical SA politician – money is not really a matter of relevance in any case.
Check out the Hammer Wagon and other crazy Hennessey Performance engineering conversions at www.Hennesseyperformance.com.