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Hell Hog: Hellcat Powered 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 6x6

Truck Trend logo Truck Trend 2/4/2016 Jerome Andre

As soon as you start preparing to build a vehicle that will represent your company, thousands of questions come to mind: How to one-up the competition? How to stand out in a never-ending sea of customized trucks and Jeeps? Has this been done already? What about adding turbos, nitrous, or bigger wheels? The list goes on. Yet for Mel Haughton and John Hastings, the brains behind Wild Boar Off Road, the mental maelstrom was really short lived. They started with a radical concept: build a six-wheel-drive crew-cab pickup Jeep Wrangler with a 6.2L HEMI Hellcat V-8 under the hood and nickname it the Hell Hog. Problem solved.

Well, almost. The challenges were, in fact, just starting to pile up. Mel and John are Jeep specialists based in sunny Orange County, California. Their company has been known for years for making stunning Wrangler cosmetic upgrades but not for offering protection, running gear, or suspension parts. However, these were all markets that the duo was ready to enter, along with offering full-on turnkey modified Wranglers for sale. They could find no better way to go all-in than to build a Jeep that no one will ever forget.

Hellcat Inside

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Shoehorning a 6.2L Hellcat HEMI V-8 into a Jeep Wrangler is easier said than done. For this reason, Wild Boar teamed with Dakota Customs, which are renowned for installing V-8 engines into ’07-current Wranglers. The Hellcat engine swap is a first, though. Others have tried, but the Hell Hog is the first fully running example.

Thanks to a stand-alone engine management system, the Hell Hog’s supercharged HEMI now pushes out 754 horses and delivers a mind-twisting 675 lb-ft of torque. Compare these to the Dodge Challenger and Charger figures of 707 hp and 650 lb-ft and you begin to see just how impressive this build is.

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The stock gearbox is retained, but it has been considerably upgraded via a Dakota Customs Stage 2 Viking transmissions kit, meaning it can now handle up to 737 lb-ft of punishment. The fact is that the upgraded axles would give up the ghost before the gearbox lets go. Speaking of axles, they consist of a pair of reinforced Dana 44 axles sandwiching a pass-through Ford 9-inch. In order to squeeze in the latter, Wild Boar stretched the Wrangler’s chassis by 36 inches. Two rear tubs were spliced together to create the bed, which received a custom-made tonneau cover. Then, Exotic Custom Car & Design (also based in Huntington Beach, California) modified a Wild Boar hardtop and mated four tubular rear wheel arches into a set of twin mudguards.

Six standard-height springs are couple with custom King 2.0-inch remote reservoir shocks. Heavy-duty front springs are used compensate for the extra load of the mighty V-8, compared to the original V-6. To quench its thirst, an additional Wild Boar fuel reservoir has been installed, along with an Titan 12-gallon exterior fuel tank. The tank is mounted on the spare tire carrier, which also holds the seventh 35-inch tire.

Body Perfection

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The addition of the bulky blower meant the hood had to be restyled. The Wild Boar design team therefore crafted a blend of Challenger hood lines and scoop into the Wrangler one. The end result is fantastic, especially coupled with the menacing Wild Boar grille. In fact, this hood will serve as a template for a production unit that will be available soon. The company also installed its steel front and rear bumpers, with a 9,500-pound Come Up winch and bolt-on ‘boar teeth’ tow hooks up front. The Wrangler body was finally sprayed with a two-tone matte-grey bedliner before receiving a custom-made rollcage and a Wild Boar Off Road roof rack incorporating a swing-away awning frame.

Also fit to the beast is the company’s 2WayAir tire pressure system. It allows you to set individual tire pressures simultaneously thanks to an onboard compressor and air tank. Air points are plumbed to each corner of the vehicle, allowing the driver to run lines from each hook-up point to the tires’ valve. One can then simply deflate or air up all tires to the same pressure at the same time.

Heavy Footed

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The Wild Boar gang undeniably jumped through all the hoops to make this Jeep work flawlessly, perfectly mixing high performance and off road capabilities. So, does the Hog perform as well as it look? The folks at Wild Boar tossed us the keys so we could find out for ourselves!

Before getting carried away at the wheel, Mel reminded us that this one-off Jeep cost him a quarter of a million dollars to build—mind you, he had to purchase a brand-new Challenger to gut out the engine since crate ones were not yet available. If this friendly reminder was a subliminal attempt at trying to get us to go gentle on the right pedal, then it failed. All it takes is a heavy boot in 4x6 mode to appreciate what the V-8 from hell has in store. It packs more than enough grunt to send us deep into the custom leather-wrapped seats just like a Hellcat Challenger does—only this one does it on dirt. The four rear Toyo tires offer an impressive amount of grip on the dirt and in sand. It feels a lot like having a set of tank tracks pushing the Wrangler. After surfing the Nevada desert with an ear-to-ear smile on our face, it is time to gear-in the front axle.

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The steering becomes notably heavier, but the Wrangler feels more stable and ready to eat dunes for breakfast thanks to the insane torque the supercharged HEMI reliably offers. A few more rounds and a couple of impressively easy-to-crest crossings later, it is time to cruise toward tarmac. Leaving the 6.2L purring as we head back, we especially enjoyed the smooth and deep Borla exhaust note.

Mel and John set out to capture the industry’s attention, and they did big time with the Hell Hog. And the good news is that if you have $250,000 to spare, you can order your very own turnkey Hell Hog from them right now.

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Wild Boar Off Road “Hell Hog”
BASE PRICE: $250,000
ENGINE: 6.2L Supercharged Hellcat HEMI V-8
SUPERCHARGER: 2.380L IHI - drive ratio: 2.36:1
POWER: 754 hp @ 6,200
TORQUE: 675 lb-ft. @ 6,250
TRANSMISSION: Six-Speed automatic

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