Just like you do, we get a lot of junk email here at Roadkill. Usually, it comes in the form of press releases asking if we can review dashboard-mounted-billet-aluminum can openers and so forth, but sometimes our email inboxes surprise us. Yesterday, for example, Roadkill editor Elana Scherr received two emails in less than an hour about 6×6 trucks.
They’re both amazing in their own ways and if you remember Issue 1 of Roadkill Magazine, you’ll remember that our buddy Jonny Lieberman even reviewed a 6×6 Mercedes G-Wagon. We felt like returning to our roots and we want to hear from you, so we’ll ask: Which of these trucks would you rather have?
Rheinmetall MAN High Altitude Expedition Truck
No, it’s not just a clever name. German automotive outfitter Rheinmetall modified a 6×6 and a 4×4 military vehicle from their subsidiary, truck builder MAN*, to set the high-altitude record for trucks. The pair of big rigs work as part of the expedition team on Ojos del Salado, the world’s tallest active volcano, in Chile.
In their first record attempt, the team fell short of the current 6,675-meter world record. They turned back because of an insurmountable barrier combined with poor weather. However, they rescued two groups of climbers stuck at 6,000 meters. The trucks were also outfitted to help construct two shelters for climbers at 5,200 meters and 6,100 meters.
Rheinmetall prepared the trucks specifically for high-altitude and extended operations. That meant oversized tires with an onboard tire-inflation system, self-recovery winches, additional lighting, a lightweight crane, auxiliary heaters, low-temperature supplies, windscreen protection, and a 600-liter fuel tank. Additionally, the 540-horsepower inline-six diesel engines were tuned for operations at nearly 20,000 feet.
The company said in a press release that they were already exploring opportunities for a second attempt at the record with a goal of reaching 6,690 meters. The team put together a lot of great information on the expedition here with lots of photos and video, too.
Hennessey VelociRaptor 6×6
Texas tuner John Hennessey has greenlit production of another 6×6 truck worthy of our attention: the VelociRaptor. Based on the current twin-turbo Ford Raptor, Hennessey’s shop will turn out 50 of the custom trucks.
We aren’t sure this one would make it to 6,000 meters, but we can imagine plenty of ways to have fun with a 600-horsepower six-wheeler that can reach 60 miles per hour in under five seconds. Naturally, this kind of performance doesn’t come cheaply: The truck will sell for $349,000.
The upgrades, again, aren’t as extensive as the high-altitude MAN. However, the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 gets a power bump to 602 ponies. Further, it gets an upgraded Fox suspension, locking rear axles (plural), 20-inch wheels with Toyo Open Country tires, new bumpers, LED lights, a roll bar, and—crucially—a three-year/36,000-mile warranty. We’d probably find a way to void it if someone gave us one, but we’d make it entertaining along the way.
Time to Choose
So which will it be? Surely a big truck like the Rheinmetall MAN can get you just about anywhere on land if it can operate at more than three miles’ altitude. But the VelociRaptor will get you most places much quicker. If money is no object, which six-wheeler would you have?
*Pro tip: When you say the truck builder MAN’s name, it isn’t pronounced “man.” Instead, spell out the acronym: “M-A-N”.