When Dodge launched its supercharged Hellcat Challenger and Charger twins, it ignited a three-way fight for the hearts of muscle-car fans in America.
Chevy and Ford had long beaten Dodge in the horsepower wars, but the two 707hp (527kW) Hellcat brutes scored a coup when they took the title of having the most powerful production V8s on sale in America.
FCA, the Dodge brand’s manufacturer, has been smart about capitalising on this PR win, publicising crate engine options for punters who want their own slice of blown-Hemi insanity.
There were plenty of Hellcats on show at the SEMA show in Las Vegas in November, 2015, but not one of them was more insane than Wild Boar Off-Road’s Hellhog.
The Wild Boar crew are Jeep specialists from Huntington Beach, Los Angeles. They’re well-known for sticking Chevy LS, new-generation Hemi V8s and diesel powertrains into models that were never made for them.
The Hellhog is their range-topping masterpiece; a proper 6x6 JK Wrangler boasting the first running Hellcat V8 swapped into a Jeep. It’s also the first example of the JK6, which the Wild Boar guys hope to sell to punters as a running, driving, turn-key product – if you’re in America and have more than 300,000 Yankee clams, you could pick one up.
The Wild Boar boys say several variations of the JK6 will be available for purchase. The base version uses a stock 3.6-litre PentastarV6 engine and drivetrain, with a powered pass-through diff and an upgraded suspension package. Available options include Chevy LS V8s, Gen 3 Hemi V8s, and diesel engines. The range-topping Hellhog has a supercharged 6.2-litre Hemi that’s been shoehorned into the tight confines of the Wrangler’s engine bay.
The Hellhog Wild Boar unveiled at SEMA has been developed in conjunction with Dakota Customs, another US-based shop that knows a lot about jamming fuel-injected Gen 3 Hemi V8s into JK Wranglers. The Hellcat motor swap is a more difficult beast, however, thanks to the complexity of the wiring system, height of the motor and packaging of the nuclear-tough drivetrain.
Custom heavier-duty engine and transmission mounts, a whole new wiring loom, and a custom-made Borla exhaust are all essential to get the Hellcat donk into the JK, let alone make it drive reliably. An engine swap that’s as detailed as the Hellhog’s also means customising many other facets of the car you might not think of – for example, Dakota had to include a custom-made auxiliary fuel tank.
The Hellhog’s blown Hemi pushes out 754 horsepower (562kW) and 915Nm, up a healthy 47hp (35kW) and 35Nm on stock performance thanks to Dakota Customs’ minor fettling of boost and tune, plus the custom Borla exhaust. This adds up to ferocious performance: Wild Boar claims the Hellhog does 0-130km/h in just 8.1 seconds!
But the performance work doesn’t stop there. The stock Hellcat automatic has had a Dakota Customs Stage 2 Viking-spec build, meaning it can now handle more than 1000Nm of punishment, which is handy, given the Wild Boar Wrangler has six driven wheels.
Wild Boar stretched the JK6’s chassis 915mm so they had enough room to squeeze the third powered axle and a pass-through diff. One extra benefit of this new wheelbase length is an extra storage bed found under the tonneau cover at the rear of the Jeep.
While stock diffs and axles could have handled a 3.6-litre V6, they had no hope of working with 750hp and 900Nm of high-performance V8.
So Wild Boar fitted heavy-duty Mopar Dana 44 differentials at the front and rear ends, working with a Ford nine-inch pass-through diff, all fitted with heavy-duty custom axles and tail shafts, and filled with 4.10 final drive gears.
The Huntington Beach Jeep builders also specified custom-valve adjustable King 2.0 dampers, in conjunction with a two-inch suspension lift, sourced from Under Pressure Fabrication.
The addition of the 2.3-litre twin-screw supercharger from IHI, as well as a pair of intercoolers, jacks up the Hellcat Hemi’s height and plays havoc with the Wrangler’s stock bonnet line. So, inspired by the Hellcat Charger’s styling, Wild Boar included a custom vented ‘bad boy’ bonnet, which covers the tops of the headlights for a far more aggressive look.
With SEMA being the biggest show to debut new parts and models, Wild Boar knew they needed the Hellhog to stand out, so fatter guards and a fibreglass top by FinCo Fabrication were sourced from Exotic Custom Car & Design.
A 9500lb Seal 2 9.5 winch from Come Up Winch was added to the front, and Wild Boar also had Under Pressure Fabrication whip up some roof racks, side rails and a tube front and rear bars of Wild Boar’s design. The fat JK body was coated all over in two-tone matte-grey stoneguard-style paint by Exotic Custom Cars & Design – so the Hellhog won’t be scratched when it sees off-road use.
And the angry 6x6 has been set up to see plenty of tough terrain. Because of this, a 2WayAir on-board air supply system has been fitted to the JK to allow the driver to inflate and deflate the 35-inch Toyo Open Country all-terrain tyres as a set of six, all at once. The rubber is wrapped around Fuel Lethal multi-spoke bead-locked wheels.
“In many ways the 2015 SEMA show is a major celebration for Wild Boar Off-Road, as we have been undergoing a transformation as a company,” Wild Boar CEO Mel Haughton says. “This program was started by Chris Duncan, the founder of Wild Boar, who passed away this August, and we are proud to have brought his vision to fruition.”
However, Haughton is quick to point out that it wasn’t all Wild Boar’s work that got the Hellhog to this stage. “This project simply could not have been pulled off without the technical prowess of Dan McKeag and his team at Dakota Customs,” he says.
Haughton is bullish about the company’s future and the role Hellcat-swapped Wranglers will play in that. “We set out to capture the industry’s attention with something big that has never been done before, and I’d say we hit the mark with the Hellhog,” he says.
“The new JK6 6x6 conversions for Jeep Wranglers are just the tip of the iceberg.”
Wild Boar can do a JK6 six-wheel-drive conversion for anyone with US$30,000 and, while they didn’t confirm a production-ready price at SEMA, they have hinted that a turn-key ready-to-go Hellhog will cost about ten times that much. That US$300,000 price tag puts it firmly in the same territory as a Brabus 6x6 – or you could buy five brand-new Challenger Hellcats.
But if you’re trying to rationalise why you need a 750hp supercharged V8 six-wheel-drive JK Wrangler, then you are probably going about things the wrong way.
Wild Boar Off-Road have made a name for themselves inventing many products for the JK Wrangler, including fibreglass fastback canopies, extended guard flares to allow more flex on stock suspension, and sharply angled bonnets for more aggressive appearance. But the 2WayAir tyre pressure management system has been a real coup for the company, affording off-roaders a lot more luxury.
The premise of the system is that the tyre pressures are managed as a system, with all four (or six) tyres inflated and deflated in unison from one inlet and outlet point. What this means is you don’t have to get down and dirty managing pressure in each tyre.
Air points are plumbed to each corner of the vehicle, with a separate control point. The driver connects air lines from each tyre to the point under each guard, then can deflate each tyre in a uniform amount from the control point using a stopcock system to bleed air out.
For inflation, the control point has a Nitto-style input for a workshop compressor, a jack for mobile compressors and a tyre valve to monitor pressures. Wild Boar also has a kit that uses a hardwired compressor, gauge and pressure vent that allows for automated inflation.
Kit prices range from $340 ($USD239.95) up to $650 ($459.95USD) for the full compressor-equipped model. See how the system works at: www.wildboaroffroad.com
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