The first time I saw it, I thought that is one sharp looking hummer. A second later it dawned on me that hummers had long been gone. General Motors discontinued them. After a quick Google search on my phone I was able to see a number of these dope rides.
If you’re looking for the next best thing to a Hummer the Rhino XT might be for you. It’s a 707-HP Wrangler on steroids. USSV created this monster with off-road adventurers in mind. Hellcat Rhino XT’s exterior is more than manly. It actually looks like a prop in a doomsday movie. An offspring of a truck and an SUV, it’s lucky to be blessed with enough leather-trimmed luxurious interiors. We don’t just have a glorified tank.
Car fans would have already seen ‘Fate of the Furious.’ The Hellcat Rhino XT is Rhodes’ ride in that flick. The Rhino’s prototype got its first exposure in a 2015 LA Auto Show. The movie’s production team saw instantly this beast’s movie potential appeal. The rest is history and the legend lives on. The film’s director fell in love with it. He’s in line waiting to have one of these for himself. F. Gary Gray will give it an encore in ‘Furious 9.’ Even a cannot-be-named famous country star is also one of the first to line up. He also fell head over heels crazy about the Rhino XT. What’s not to love? It’s military all over, tackling its humongous tires with ease. It’s got sexy interiors and it is bound to be one of the most coveted.
The upcoming Rhino XT for consumers looks a little different than the one in the movie. Wheel arches are now flared. There’s large alloy wheels in all terrain-tires. The Rhino got itself a new hood. Expect larger front and rear bumpers. Upgraded were the suspension and chassis for real life’s rough terrain. Its suspension components, differentials and dampers were also made better.
California’s custom builder USSV (US Specialty Vehicles) is the one owing up to this disruption in the auto industry. They used the humble, base-model 4-door Wrangler for their masterpiece. Yup, it’s a Jeep Wrangler with some very serious changes. They upgraded the structural reinforcement and differentials. Suspension got a boost. Magic dust was added for the X factor. It’s appeal is spinning everybody’s head so fast, the earth’s rotation changed.
Seriously, car lovers’ ante was further piqued. It was announced that there’s another wow in Rhino XT. Pentastar V6, though fast, isn’t enough. This is the stock engine of Rhino XTs prototype. Everyone wants a rhino that goes very fast. Not that its original Pentastar V6 isn’t powerful. It can already get out of ditches, go up hills and over rocks. In the movie, it’s got that speed, tough appeal. In real life, it’s got 300- or so horsepower. Though this is more than what a Jeep Wrangler usually provides, USSV deemed it won’t be enough. Imagine a person running like hell. Well, this car is running away from hell. They want a colossal engine upgrade. They really want a monster.
So now, it’s got Hellcat V8 instead of Pentastar V6. The V8 handles the big off-road tires easily. The Rhino XT has to live up to its fast and furious breakthrough image anyway.
The unspoken of white elephant, the hp, isn’t yet addressed. But the 6.2-liter V8 gives out 717 PS and 818 Nm of torque in the Challenger SRT. That’s the one we have on record. It’s the same monster inside The Rhino XT. Let’s see what our new favorite beast churns out.
USSV also built another metal star, the Rhino GX. It’s based on Ford’s F450 Super Duty commercial 4 tonne chassis. The Rock drove it in one ‘Fast and Furious’ film. Rhino GXs smaller brother, the Rhino XT, is a dual-axle pickup powered by a 6.7-litre, turbo diesel.
How USSV came up with The Rhino’s concept is a mystery. But, I’ll guess. I’ll give it a try. “Everyone Knows Wranglers Can Go Anywhere” could’ve been the agenda. “It’s powerful drivetrain and tall ride height are assurances,” one know-it-all says. “Possible boosters are live axles and twin-screw supercharger, right?” contributed an aggressive head. “Jeeps can also use more horsepower,” pushed someone. “It sounds too much,” says a reluctant one. “It’s because it is. We’re on the right track,” the chairman said. “Let’s seriously beef up its steel body,” someone excitedly adds. Now, we have a highly customized Rhino XT that’s got horns. Raising the bar, add to that a jeep unashamedly showcasing muscle capable of breaking all hell loose.
In fairness, putting more power in the Wrangler wasn’t originally from USSV. Dakota Custom’s Jeep Wrangler Trailcat started it. It was shown last year in Easter Jeep Safari. Dakota Customs made the Trailcat fast. No wonder USSV chose Dakota Customs. Two of the best helping each other. We need not be surprised anymore with the end result.
With Dakota Customs, USSV wants the 707 hp V8 from the 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat put into the Rhino XT. The Rapid City outfit beefed up this beast’s driveshafts in the process. They took care of its transmission and differentials.
The Rhino XT starts just a little over $80,000. The Hellcat engine will double that price. Some quotations have the base model starting at $85,000. That means the Hellcat Rhino XT will total $157,000. Whew, really. That’s expensive. No worries, a 500 hp Hemi V8 model is soon-to-be available. The price falls in the middle of the quoted range.
It’s not yet finished, obviously, but it’s serviceable, driveable. Its gigantic off-road Toyo Tires are spinning with ease. It’s enough to drive anyone who handles this monster crazy.
Currently also being called The Extreme Hellcat, the Rhino XT is also an all-terrain SUV.
It’s only been a while since we last saw this in the movies. When word got out that it’ll be available for everyone, it seems like we’re waiting forever. After several years, a couple of months after its last sighting, USSV will have this ready. First deliveries are later in 2017. The film director and country star are some of those starting to line up.
People find forking $150,000 a bit too much. It’s still a Jeep Wrangler after all, only in haute couture. But for a stellar machinery, it’s worth saving our pretty pennies. The Rhino has serious, serious potential and humongous expectations to fill. It’s actually totally nuts. The capability of this beast generating publicity its also getting a bit much. But for jeep, SUV, and hummer lovers, The Rhino XT is our Halley’s Comet. Hell, it’s our legend. We might never see another one like it again.