Despite decades of racing video games with noteworthy vehicles, probably the best-known four-wheeled virtual machine is the Warthog from first-person shooter series “Halo.” It’s been a staple since the first game, and has even appeared in “Forza” games. So it’s no surprise that there have been multiple full-size examples built to varying levels of success. But the coolest may be the one that Ken Block’s Hoonigan Industries revealed this year.
Some Warthog replicas are exacting visually, but aren’t really usable, and there are some that are usable, but have a lot of visual digressions. Hoonigan’s example is a brilliant blend of the two. It has most of the chunkiness and futuristic shape of the game version, and hits a lot of excellent details, such as the wildly curved windshield, funky auxiliary lights, enormous tow hooks, weathered parts and even a faithful interior that’s functional (no sign of the reported six pedals, though). It’s not perfect, with its slightly shorter and taller proportions and the lack of a rear mounted gun, but it’s still darn close. Not only that, the trade-off in visual accuracy for mechanical capability is well worth it.
Hoonigan built its Warthog using a custom rock crawler chassis, complete with rock crawler suspension and steering. The solid front and rear axles are a departure from the virtual truck’s fully independent suspension, but they’re durable and offer great articulation for getting this Warthog anywhere. Perhaps more importantly, both axles were fitted with steering assemblies, so the virtual Warthog’s well-loved four-wheel steering system has made it to reality. The 43-inch tires also fit great and really bring the replica together. The icing on the cake is the powertrain. Hoonigan fitted a twin-turbo 7.2-liter V8 to it, which makes 1,060 horsepower. So it can be driven hard, fast and just about anywhere.
The Warthog made its official debut at the premiere of the movie “Free Guy.” And Hoonigan is running a series on its YouTube channel about how they built it. You can see the first episode above. New episodes will be added each week through October 14.
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