Hennessey Goliath, Dodge T-Rex, Mercedes G63 6x6 - Why these six-wheel bakkies are awesome

Image: Mercedes-Benz
Image: Mercedes-Benz

There is no question that having six wheels makes a bakkie look far more impressive than only four, but what are the real benefits of a 6x6?

If you are a dedicated off-road adventurer, or need to haul heavy loads to remote locations, a 6x6 is far superior to a 4x4. 

That additional rear axle gives you more than double the load capacity and a third more traction. Having two additional tyres to transfer power to a surface, and find grip when axles articulate over undulating terrain, is often the difference between getting over an obstacle - and getting stuck. 

To celebrate the awesomeness of 6x6s, which are a lot more capable than most people think, here is a list of some of the more remarkable ones in recent memory. 

Dodge T-Rex:

Built in 1997 to illustrate what the Dodge Ram bakkie platform was capable of, this T-Rex could run in 4x6 and 6x6. Powered by a huge 8-liter V10, it was staggeringly powerful for the time, producing 370kW.

dodge t-rex

                                               Image: Lance Branquinho

Dodge engineers ensured it was capable too, with an externally linked transfer case, which could split torque between the front and rear axle in a 48/52 proportion. You could load 2.2t on the back and tow up to 11t. Unfortunately, Dodge never converted the concept bakkie into a series production vehicle. 

Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 6X6:

Although it is powered by a 5.5-liter turbocharged V8 engine, instead of a workhorse diesel, the G63 6X6 is ridiculously capable off-road. Like Mercedes-Benz’s Unimog trucks, it features portal axles, which increase ground clearance to 460mm.

mercedes 6x6

                                                Image: Youtube

The G63 6X6 also has five locking differentials, which can be individually tasked, giving it immense traction properties in any terrain. A very heavy vehicle at 4105kg, it remains the most outrageous production 6x6 bakkie ever built.

A limited number of these double-cab bakkies were imported to South Africa. 

READ: Merc's monster 6x6 bakkie spotted in SA!

Bureko 6x6:

A radical 6x6 upgrade of the Chevrolet Silverado, produced by an aftermarket specialist in the Czech Republic. Incredible off-road ability is a given by virtue of its reshaped bodywork, which gives those two rear axles a lot more room to stroke through the suspension’s full length of travel.

This bakkie’s spare wheels are also mounted in its load box, instead of underneath, which further enhances off-road ability by improving the departure angle. Kerb weight is 3500kg, which isn’t light, but Bureko have you covered with a host of very powerful engine options.

bureko 6x6

                                               Image: Lance Branquinho

Powering the Bureko 6x6 is Chevrolet’s 6.2-liter V8, sourced from the Corvette sportscar and good for 313kW. Bureko also offer customers a 485kW version, which is supercharged, and even a 7-liter upgrade, good for 895kW.

This Czech 6x6 is also notable for being even longer than AMG’s G63 6x6 bakkie, measuring 6.2m bumper-to-bumper. 

Land Cruiser 6x6 by Multidrive: 

Toyota’s 70-Series Land Cruiser is the world’s most respected off-road vehicle. It might be crude, but it is also extraordinarily durable and makes for a perfect 6x6 bakkie platform. 

land cruiser 6x6

                                               Image: Lance Branquinho

By adding an additional rear-axle, the ‘Cruiser bakkie’s traction and loadability are both markedly improved. You can load 3t on the back and those two additional tyres mean exemplary sand driving ability. 

The 6x6 Land Cruiser was originally developed in Australia, by Multidrive. For nearly three decades it has been catering for demand from mining companies, emergency services and the military, who required an improved load-capacity version of the ‘Cruiser 70. 

land cruiser

                                                 Image: Lance Branquinho

Unlike the G63 6X6 and Bureko, these Multidrive converted Land Cruiser 6x6 bakkies actually work for living, instead of being status vehicles. 

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