Cruising along the sands of South Beach, where chrome-wrapped supercars and lifted G-Wagens have become passé, the Apocalypse Juggernaut 6×6 legitimately causes traffic jams as pedestrians and drivers alike stop and stare. Maybe a custom 6×6 that doubles up the rear axles of an already enormous Ram TRX could only emerge from the swamps of Florida (or Texas, though that’s a story for a different day) but the cartoonish fender flares, exaggerated supercharger whine, and bombastic bass of a Hellcat V8’s snarling exhaust still manage to catch everyone by surprise.
Back in the real world, Ford plans to begin customer deliveries of the radical F-150 in Raptor R trim soon, a supercharged and V8-powered truck first unveiled in June as a response to Ram’s TRX in the auto industry’s ever-escalating pickup truck wars. But the game of one-upmanship might well reach an end soon, as government regulations begin to reign in the big power figures, long-travel suspension, and aggressive designs of America’s most over-the-top pickups.
Aftermarket tuners face fewer concerns, however, which explains why Apocalypse Manufacturing of Fort Lauderdale, FL, can build a TRX-based 6×6 that’s nicknamed “Juggernaut” after a meme so popular it ended up in 2006’s franchise film X-Men: The Last Stand.
Apocalypse founder, designer, and engineer Joe Ghattas sketched those inverted fender flares hoping to transform a more “standard” TRX-based 6×6 nicknamed the “Warlord” that Apocalypse built last year into something even more excessive. After all, radical eye-catching excess is exactly what his customers want from Apocalypse and his original company, SoFlo Jeeps.
An all-steel combination grille and bumper he calls a “grumper,” 40-inch mud-terrain tires on custom SFJ wheels, and the tuned Hellcat all add to show-stopping presence. But the Juggernaut’s development goes back to an earlier era, before Ram even released the TRX (itself a response to the “regular” F-150 Raptor’s longterm market dominance).
Hellacious Hemi Power
Ghattas originally based his 6×6 creations on Jeep Wranglers, then started using the Gladiator pickup to take advantage of beefed-up driveline components since his builds typically feature a Hellcat, an LS, or a turbodiesel engine. But when Ram unveiled the TRX, he discovered that the industry’s most hardcore heavy-duty pickup chassis served as the perfect foundation for going bigger and bolder.
Bolting on the fender flares, front and rear bumpers, and chopping the bed to allow for a two-foot extension only covers the cosmetics—Apocalypse goes big beneath the skin, too. It moves the rear axle even further rearward, bolting in a new solid middle axle equipped with an in-house designed and fabricated Ford nine-inch rear end, then linking the two with a custom propshaft to create true six-wheel drive.
Unlike the Jeeps, which offer rear drive only thanks to a true two-speed transfer case, the TRX uses full-time four-wheel drive from the factory so the Juggernaut 6×6 ends up with full-time six-wheel drive, albeit with open differentials (all four can lock, of note). Ghattas also adds another set of active dampers to retain one of the TRX’s best features on the Juggernaut: Ram and Bilstein’s impeccable suspension tuning.
Of course, a TRX already weighs 6,439 pounds from the factory—but 702 horsepower still allow a stock truck to notch a 0-60 time as low as 3.7 seconds. The Juggernaut probably weighs closer to 8,000 pounds, thanks in large part to the set of six enormous 40-inch mud-terrain tires that tip the scales at over 100 pounds each.
To compensate for the additional heft, a bit of work on the eminently tunable Hellcat 6.2-liter Hemi V8 bumps output up to a claimed 850 horsepower. New injectors, an ECU tune, a smaller supercharger pulley to allow the blower to push more boost, plus relocating the coolant radiator to beneath the (now much larger) bed all support the additional grunt. Forget about actually putting the Juggernaut on a dyno, though, since nobody makes one capable of testing six-wheel-drive monsters.
Driving the Beast
Actually climbing behind the wheel requires a big step up onto automatically retracting running boards, then a push-button start awakens the monster. From there, just about every driver will need a quick moment of adjustment to acclimate to most likely their highest seating position ever. Other than sitting up high and looking down at the roofs of other “full-sized” pickups stuck in Florida traffic, though, the Juggernaut feels surprisingly tame from inside the cabin. Sure, the grumbling exhaust and supercharger sounds provide a constant reminder of all the power on tap but compared to a base TRX, the excellent suspension and refined driveline components eliminate any potential bucking, clunking, or vibration. Right and left turns don’t even require too wide of an arc—though rest assured, everyone else on the road keeps their eyes on a truck so purposefully imposing.
Apocalypse also installs a bevy of interior upgrades to help justify the Juggernaut’s $300,000 price tag. A starry night headliner and embroidered upholstery stand out immediately, while using Ram’s original 12-inch touchscreen for a very helpful backup camera and thermal imaging “Zombie Cam” emerge as fun details. The increasingly common digital rearview mirror helps to improve visibility given the patented notchback bed cover and all the original switchgear still controls the TRX’s many drive modes.
The extra set of rear brakes on the new middle axle help to inspire confident driving given the truck’s additional size and weight, while also supporting Apocalypse’s claimed improvement to the TRX’s tow rating, now 20,000 pounds versus a four-wheeler’s 8,100.
Still, a quick stab at the gas pedal with a matching yank on the steering wheel can produce screaming six-wheel drifts with ease and, believe it or not, Ghattas laughingly tells stories of customers setting up off-road jumps for his 6x6s. Most, however, just want a rolling advertisement for their businesses, for their egos, or just for their wealth—MPGs and greenhouse gasses be damned. This is Florida, remember, though Apocalypse also regularly ships trucks to the Middle East.
When buying a custom 6×6 at this price point, customers probably give reliability less than a moment’s thought. Not Ghattas, who loves when his builds come back to the shop after taking a beating off-road—precisely so he can get underneath and take notes on how his modifications hold up. The next Juggernaut, already in progress, will feature a revised grumper to improve engine bay airflow while contributing to the front end’s design coherence with a new, more substantial skid plate.
If the Juggernaut seems like a passing fad that might fizzle out as the electric revolution continues, guess again! Apocalypse cranked out 120 trucks last month, up from an average of 80 per month for the first half of 2022. As the only company that actively produces such widely promised but rarely delivered 6×6 conversions, Ghattas can’t keep his builds on the shelf. In fact, other famous names in the game even come knocking on his door asking Apocalypse to build trucks under license.
Ghattas plans to move Apocalypse into a larger facility to keep up with the Juggernaut’s popularity. Expect a similar treatment whenever Ford finally rolls out the highly anticipated Raptor R, but also a few surprises in the form of more exotic conversions, as well. In the here and now, though, nothing can outclass the undisputed heavyweight champ of 6×6 pickup trucks for those who feel the need to own and drive something as undeniably excessive as the Juggernaut.Get it
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