10 Awesome Utilities and Trucks We’d Pick for a Muscle Car Any Day of the Week
Nothing screams America like a mean-looking muscle car equipped with a big-block V8. The massive engine growl reminds everyone that a four-cylinder engine is as exciting as a lawn mower. While muscle cars tend to be great sports cars, nothing beats a powerful utility vehicle. From the 1950s, a particular type of machine began to roam the streets. Called pickup trucks or utes, these vehicles have never failed to command attention.
There were no cars or vans. What was certain was that they were originally work vehicles. These Frankenstein-esque quirks have surprisingly attracted a lot of gearheads. These weird and wonderful pickups and utilities have fallen out of favor in North America, but they certainly remain popular in other parts of the world.
American utes appeared in the 1950s. With the 1957 Ford Ranchero being the pioneer, the ute became very popular until the late 1970s. After the huge success of El Camino, things picked up. Somehow died out by the late 70s. Made popular in the middle of the Malaise era, it’s no surprise that these quirks eventually fell out of favor.
The Rampage may not be among the fastest Mopar cars ever produced, but it certainly has the potential to become a beast. Introduced in 1982, the Rampage featured a sluggish 2.2-liter inline-four engine that produced 99 hp at best. However, the Rampage has all the prerequisites to become a real beast. This particular Rampage was fitted with a mid-engined Hemi V8 that produced 650 hp.
Audi has joined the off-road trend with its legendary Q7 SUV. Unveiled at the height of the SUV craze, the Q7 ended up being a massive hit upon release. While the Q7 is great, it lacks the “utilitarian” look that pickups tend to have. Audi was rumored to have made a van the same way as Volkswagen. However, an official Audi van never materialized.
This Audi A4 ute will give Audi owners tons of ideas. Equipped with Audi’s legendary Quattro system, this A4 is both a sport and utility vehicle. Under the hood is a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four. It would have been more interesting if the owner of this ute had opted for the 3.0-liter V6 or the 4.2-liter V8. That said, this highly modified A4 is certainly no slouch.
Dodge Ram “Mammoth 1000” TRX
The muscle truck trend is not a passing phenomenon. In fact, the very first muscle truck was released by Dodge in 1964 when the company offered the Custom Sports Special package for the D100 Sweptline. Powered by a 426 cu. ft. Wedge-Head V8 developing 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, the Sweptline was built to beat regular muscle cars on the drag strip.
The Dodge Ram 1500 TRX was the logical answer to the Ford F-150 Raptor. Unlike the Raptor, the Ram TRX is essentially a premium muscle car with off-road capabilities. The madmen who make up the engineering team at Hennessey Performance Engineering have come up with another insane solution. The level of upgrades applied to the Mammoth 1000 brings the total output of the 6.2-liter V8 to 1,000 hp and 969 lb-ft of torque.
Datsun 620 “Hakotora”
The 60s and 70s were crazy. The three major automobile manufacturers, namely the United States, Europe and Japan, were producing one great car after another. While automakers in these countries haven’t always hit a home run, some of their cars have ended up increasing dramatically in value over time. These vehicles may not have been stellar when they were released, but they can be turned into monsters when equipped with the latest technology.
The original Datsun 620 was not designed to drift down a twisty road. Consequently, it never received the power unit found in the Skyline GT-R of the same era. In an effort to give this beautiful classic truck a second life, its owner has revisited its most important aspect: power. This wicked oldie is fitted with one of the largest Japanese engines ever produced.
It is well known that BMW has been experimenting like a mad scientist for decades. Cars such as the 1972 BMW Turbo or the 1996 7-Series ZBF never made it to production, but they greatly influenced some of the designs made in later years. The BMW M3 also received its fair share of modifications. There are many reasons why anyone should consider buying a BMW M3 when it comes to its modularity.
Gearheads around the world fell in love with the BMW E90 M3 as soon as it was released. For the first and only time, the M3 featured a meaty 4.0-liter V8 that developed 414 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. While most buyers were torn between coupe, convertible and sedan, BMW tried to turn the M3 into a ute again. Although the ute version was never sold to the public, it gave professionals with the right skills some good ideas.
HSV Maloo R8 LSA
Things in the Lower Country are unlike anything else you may encounter in the rest of the world. Giant killer spiders, a man punching a kangaroo in the face to save his dog, and outrageously expensive beers are the norm. The one thing Australia shares with the United States is its love for muscle vehicles. Believe it or not, Australia has a huge muscle car scene.
The front of the HSV Maloo looks exactly like the last Chevrolet SS in the USA. Since both cars are based on a GM platform, it’s only fitting that other elements were borrowed from the Maloo. Although the name may sound funny, the Maloo is far from a joke. Powered by a supercharged 6.2-litre LSA V8, the Maloo goes from standstill to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3
Since its launch in 1992, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been one of Japan’s most revered sports sedans. Winning countless WRC races, the Japanese sedan has consequently captured the hearts of gearheads all over the world. Unfortunately, the Evo was always built as a sedan. The only time the Evo changed form was when Mitsubishi offered a limited-edition station wagon.
The Lancer Evo needs no introduction. At this point, it’s fair to admit that the Evo is the best Mitsubishi car ever made. Although the background of this UK-based Evo is not available, its owner had to do what most Evo owners do when customizing their cars: give it more power.
FPV FG Super Pursuit
The war between Ford and GM has consistently been one of the hottest topics among piston heads for decades. As each side throws punches at each other, it has become clear that the rivalry between the two sides may never end. Things are somewhat similar in Australia. When it comes to utes, Ford and GM dominate the scene.
The FPV FG Super Pursuit is the ute that should have come to America. While not as attractive as the Maloo, the FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles) Super Pursuit comes with a mid-range supercharged 5.0-liter Coyote V8 that produces 422 hp and 402 lb-ft of torque. Production of Ford’s most aggressive utes ended in 2012. These super-utes have consistently held their value.
Mini Cooper Paceman Adventure
Since BMW took over Mini, things have changed dramatically. While Mini maintained its original image by offering the same car year after year, BMW wanted to offer more choice to potential buyers. From the Clubman to the JCS edition, it’s fair to say there’s a Mini for almost everyone on the market. That said, Mini has never tried to infiltrate the mini-pickup market.
While everyone is always amazed by the Toyota Tacoma, not everyone wants to drive a big mid-size truck. As people are increasingly drawn to urban centres, space is becoming scarce. Parking is often a nightmare. For those who live in the city and enjoy weekend outdoor activities, the Mini Cooper Paceman Adventure is for them. Unfortunately, the four-wheel-drive Mini pickup is only a one-off.
When it comes to electric cars, companies like Tesla or Nio cover the premium section. However, these cars are not made to take off as several videos show. They are luxury sports cars. For a very long time, the electric pickup scene has been made up of Tesla’s funny Cybertruck and the F-150 Lightning over the past year. Things change quickly.
It has been said that the Rivian R1T is an incredibly fun electric pickup. The truck looks futuristic and includes all the bells and whistles that modern buyers are looking for. Things get a lot more interesting when you look at the numbers. The four electric motors can produce up to 835 hp, allowing the R1T to go from zero to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds.
North America’s Coolest “Utes” Ever Had
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