Here is an open secret: more often than not, performance utes are all show and no pants, full of brawny numbers that can’t perform off-road as well as purpose-built off-road machines.
For those who want genuine off-road capability but still fancy performance pick-up “aesthetics”, Ireland-based off-road specialist KNINE Racing has the right expertise with a reputation on turning UTVs into miniature performance trucks.
The company’s latest project, dubbed the Mini Raptor, is a luxury turn-key creation that is based on a Can-Am X3 UTV and rebodied to resemble a miniature F-150 Raptor.
KNINE Racing did more than just slap on a fibreglass shell and wire up some extra lights in turning the UTV into a downsized F-150.
In the transformation process features proper extensions to the frame, moulded body panels complete with side-view mirrors, a functional dashboard, an insulated and sound-proofed cabin assembly, and even air conditioning.
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Lots of dm’s about the AC system in @jonestt76 @ajjones.79 #Miniraptor #luxury #prerunner #canam #x3 so figured I’d just post it here...and what it takes. There is a slightly easier, and less expensive, way to do it but we feel this is the absolute best possible system for these vehicles. The main ingredients are the @zollingerracingproducts 90 amp alternator kit (work of art), highly efficient 12v electric compressor that only draws 50 amps at full cool, and @vintageair_ Gen2 Mini evaporator & controls. This system only uses 2-3hp from the engine but very powerful. More than enough to keep everyone 🥶 in the desert. We initially had the compressor mounted in the cab, under driver seat, but they are NOT silent...so we relocated to the rear. #knineracing #raptor #luxuryprerunner #knine
According KNINE, the Mini Raptor’s air-conditioning system uses a 90amp alternator powering a 12v electric compressor mounted behind the rear exhaust and beneath the spare-tyre mount.
KNINE describes its UTV creations as “luxury prerunners” that have the comfort of passenger vehicles and the off-road ability of a UTV or SXS-class rally machine.
Beneath the panelling, the Mini Raptor is mechanically similar to a Can-Am X3 UTV, albeit with new billet hubs and sporting beadlock wheels.
The Mini Raptor is said to weigh “under 1100kg”, and even with just 145kW produced from its 900cc three-cylinder turbo, it still boasts a higher power-to-weight ratio than the real 2700kg 335kW F-150 Raptor.
Unfortunately, the F-150 Raptor has the added benefit of being road-legal, which UTVs don’t, though when it comes to a proper hardcore off-roader, who needs roads?