What’s it Like to Drive a $250,000 Armored Hennessey Velociraptor?
Behind the Wheel of AddArmor’s Latest Creation.
What do you get when you combine the power and performance of a Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 with the nearly impenetrable cocoon of protection offered by AddArmor? Read on to find out!
What Is the Hennessey VelociRaptor 600?
Hennessey Performance produces several models of tuned Ford F-150 Raptor, from the more basic VelociRaptor 600 to the custom VelociRaptor V-8 to the wild VelociRaptor 6x6. This customer brought a Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 to AddArmor for upfitting. To build a VelociRaptor 600, Hennessey starts with a factory-fresh Ford F-150 Raptor, which comes equipped with Ford's high-output 3.5L V-6 engine. Hennessey then adds a new intercooler, intercooler piping, air intake system, cat-back exhaust, and engine tuning. This bumps engine power from 450 hp to 600 and torque from 510 lb-ft to 622. Embroidered headrest and exterior graphics round out the package.
Hennessey's Stage 1 Off-Road package is optional on the VelociRaptor 600 and included on this build. It adds a front leveling kit, 35-inch Toyo tires, Hennessey 20-inch wheels, custom VelociRaptor front and rear bumpers, and LED lights.
All-in, the upgrades from Hennessey will set you back about $40,000, with installation and a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty included. Of course, this is on top of the cost of the truck, which the customer needs to provide.
Is it Actually Bulletproof and Bomb Resistant?
Founded by special operations and law enforcement veterans, AddArmor by Quality Coachworks is a premier vehicle upfitter that specializes in armoring all makes and models of cars, trucks, and SUVs (and limos and vans, as well), turning them into mobile saferooms. The company does this while maintaining the original vehicle's appearance and performance. With protection packages that start at as little as $28,000, pretty much anyone who wants one can have a fortified vehicle. (We'll stay out of the want versus need argument.) So the short answer is yes, the AddArmor-outfitted Hennessey VelociRaptor is fully bulletproof and bomb resistant. Well, the passenger compartment is, anyway.
For this customer, AddArmor employed its Full Protection package to create an encapsulated cocoon of safety around the occupants. To achieve this, AddArmor uses a mixture of high-quality steel plating, bulletproof glass, and Dyneema. What is Dyneema, you ask? Dyneema is the world's strongest and lightest composite material and is pound-for-pound 15 times stronger than steel and 40 percent stronger than Kevlar. Dyneema is a high-strength synthetic fiber that is strong, moldable, and extremely weather resistant, and it can absorb the energy from AK-47 fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). This level of outfitting gives the VelociRaptor a "B6" vehicle armor rating.
The vehicle doesn't just withstand a punishing amount of firepower, though. AddArmor fitted the vehicle with its full list of available cutting-edge countermeasures, as well. These include a siren and sound cannon, electric-shock door handles (which we attempted to bribe someone to demonstrate, to no avail), barricade-busting bumpers (concealed behind the VelociRaptor bumpers), and underbody bomb-sensing capabilities. The truck also features run-flat tires (inner liners inside the 35-inch Toyo tires), a dual-battery system, and a two-way intercom system (which eliminates the need to roll down windows or open doors to communicate).
Every vehicle is different, as is every client, so AddArmor customizes each vehicle it builds. Because the level of complexity varies from job to job, it's tough to nail down what a project like this would cost. However, the most basic armoring job starts at about $28,000, and a larger project like this one can easily touch six figures.
What Is "B6" Level of Armoring?
When people speak of the "level" of armoring provided, what they are referencing is an industry standard for the caliber of arms fire a vehicle can withstand. Lower levels of armoring, such as "B4," are rated to take on small arms fire, such as handguns up to a .44 Magnum. "B5" armor ups the ante to being resistant to rifle rounds as large as those commonly used in AK-47 and AR-15 type weapons. The "B6" armoring rating given to this AddArmor-equipped Hennessey VelociRaptor means that the vehicle can withstand high-caliber rifle fire, such as .308 and 7.62x51mm rounds. Finally, "B7" doesn't up the caliber but claims to resist armor-piercing high-power rifle rounds. If you often find yourself evading high-power armor-piercing rifle rounds, rolling around in a flashy VelociRaptor might not be the best choice of vehicle.
How Does the Armored Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 Drive?
When the folks at AddArmor asked if we'd like to jump behind the wheel of the armored Hennessey Velociraptor 600, we got schoolgirl giddy. It's not every day we get to drive either an armored vehicle or a Hennessey VelociRaptor. Curbing our enthusiasm slightly, we were quickly reminded that this was a customer's personal vehicle, and it was being delivered shortly after we saw it. This meant that despite our best begging, we weren't allowed to shoot at it or take it off any sweet jumps. However, we were assured that it could handle either one just fine.
The first thing we noticed when we jumped in the truck was just how quiet the cabin is. Even with the performance exhaust system, the interior was among the quietest we've ever been in. The AddArmor folks mentioned that this is typically one of the first things people notice when they get in an armored vehicle. The armoring works in the same way that typical laminated acoustic glass and sound deadening do, just to a much larger degree. We were also immediately impressed by the outward visibility, including the clarity of the windshield and side windows. A lack of clarity oftenplagues bulletproof glass. AddArmor has worked hard to source ballistic glass that to the untrained eye would look like nothing more than tinted automotive glass.
Armoring a vehicle to this degree is heavy work, adding several thousand pounds to the curb weight. Although the Hennessey VelociRaptor has loads of horsepower, 600 at the crank to be exact, we still felt that added mass. Acceleration, while not quite the Hennessey-stated 4.2 seconds, didn't feel much off of what a standard 450-hp F-150 Raptor would do. Railroad track humps and drainage ditches felt quite good on the suspension, though we did point out that adding aftermarket front coil springs and rear leaf springs, say from Geiser and Deaver, would make a world of improvement with the added weight. We're not quite sure how the Fox shocks would hold up to thousands of miles of off-road abuse with the added weight of the armor, but there's probably a group of "overlanders" running this heavy on factory suspension, so the jury is still out.
While we didn't get to carve any canyon roads, we did execute a handful of simulated emergency lane change maneuvers and some light evasive cornering, and we have to say, the truck performed almost flawlessly. We've driven a bunch of Raptors since the truck's introduction, and this armored version cornered nearly identically. Braking was superb, as well, thanks in part to the truck's massive Brembo brakes.
Although this might not be the wildest Ford F-150 Raptor ever built, it's certainly the craziest one that we've ever driven. With the ability to survive an IED blast, take on heavy fire from high-power rifles, and drive away from harm through unforgiving desert environments, this F-150 Raptor is less a toy and more a tool. Despite all of its talents, this VelociRaptor is swanky enough for a night on the town, comfortable enough to take on the longest road trip, and easy enough to drive that you can toss the keys to literally anyone, as was proven by letting us behind the wheel. So if you have $250,000 burning a hole in your pocket and want the ultimate in protection built with one of the best off-road trucks on the market, give AddArmor a call. They'll hook you up.