The concept of a F-150 SVT Raptor-based SUV has been around for more than two years, with Hennessey showing conceptual renderings of the VelociRaptor SUV in September 2010. But now, the monster SUV has jumped off the CAD screen and into reality.

According to Hennessey Performance Engineering founder John Hennessey, the genesis of the VelociRaptor SUV came from his ownership experience with an Excursion, as well as his love of the Raptor. He wanted the versatility of a third row in the same attitude-packed package that defined the VelociRaptor pickup.

From the initial concept, work began on the logistics of sourcing the needed components to do the conversion. The rear side glass, hatch, and Dutch-door tailgate is based on Excursion hardware, and overall dimensions mirror the Raptor SuperCrew on which it's based. Hennessey plans on building around 20 VelociRaptor SUVs a year. At a starting price of $149,500 each, it's certainly a good deal pricier than your average Suburban or Expedition. But Hennessey notes that it's not that much more than a fully-equipped Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen or Range Rover Autobiography, with considerably more room and uniqueness than either.

The first "production" VelociRaptor SUV model was built by customer request without the third-row, creating a generously-sized cargo area, but the standard configuration will include a third row seat. Equipped with the standard stock 411 hp 6.2-liter V-8 engine, the 0-60 time is estimated at 7.5 seconds. You may note that's slightly slower than a standard Raptor pickup. The SUV conversion adds approximately 600 lb to the weight of a Raptor SuperCrew. Equipped with the optional supercharger package (for $14,000) times drop to just below six seconds flat. If cost is no object in your quest for exclusivity, the VelociRaptor SUV will be available with an armoring package, and almost all the other available upgrades for the VelociRaptor pickup.

Although the standard Raptor pickup is renowned for its off-road ability, Hennessey cautions potential buyers that the SUV is still undergoing off-road durability testing, and advises prudent use off-road. With the air gap between the cargo bed and the cab eliminated, extreme articulation, or high-speed, high-impact suspension compression could potentially result in damage or deformation of the body. The company is advertising "light-to-moderate off-road" capability.

Despite the admittedly steep price tag, we have a feeling Hennessey may be building more than 20 VelociRaptor SUVs a year.

Source: Hennessey Performance Engineering