Toyota and three axles?!
Mercedes-Benz’s outlandish six-wheeled G63 AMG was the definition of a niche model when it was introduced in early 2013, but it unexpectedly ended up spawning a whole new market segment. British tuner Kahn Design showed a six-wheeled Defender called Flying Huntsman a couple of months ago, and a Bulgarian firm named Vromos has just added a third axle to the rugged eighth-generation Toyota Hilux.
Starting with a Hilux crew cab, Vromos designed and built a longer frame, added an extra set of leaf springs, fitted two additional shock absorbers, and, of course, installed an extra axle. The modifications required the use of a longer cargo bed and fender flares, and the truck’s off-road capacity has been increased exponentially by all-terrain tires, a snorkel, and a generous lift kit.
Vromos asked another Bulgarian firm named Overdrive to mask the cabin’s utilitarian roots. As a result, the custom truck gains power-adjustable seats borrowed from the Land Cruiser, a more ergonomic steering wheel, and a combination of leather and Alcantara upholstery on the seats, the door panels, and the dashboard. It’s not the first six-wheeled Hilux ever built, but it’s certainly the most luxurious one.
Although technical details haven’t been published, the fact that the truck is fitted with an automatic transmission tells us that power is most likely provided by a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine that generates 171 horsepower at 3,600 rpm and 265 pound-feet of torque from 1,400 to 3,200 rpm. The Hilux is also offered with a smaller 2.5-liter engine, but in most European countries the automatic transmission can only be paired with the 3.0-liter oil burner.
Vromos hasn’t revealed what the future holds for its six-wheeled Hilux. It could be simply a prototype, or it could preview an exclusive limited-edition model. If it’s approved for production, the truck is highly unlikely to be sold in the United States, where the regular Hilux isn’t offered.