Top Gear’s Top 10 Lairy Trucks

It's the latest in a proud lineage of People Doing Silly Things to Pickups, and follows Hennessey's Big Yellow VelociRaptor as the ute of choice for the discerning mud-slinger.

So here, in a neither exhaustive nor comprehensive list, is the snappily named Top Gear's Top 10 Lairy Pickup Trucks.

BMW M3 Ute

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A couple of years ago, BMW sent out an amusing April's Fool press release. The joke? That the company had produced a V8-powered M3 Ute. A pick-up truck... from an M3!

We laughed a bit, then went back to bringing you news about a Trophy Truck smashing through the desert, and the new Kia Soul. Light and shade, and all that.

Turns out, BMW actually built an M3 ute. For real. One actually exists. Inquisitive, we dispatched our expert correspondent (read: resident Australian) to the Nürburgring to go flat out in a rear-wheel-drive, 400bhp V8 with most of the weight removed from over the drive axle.

Click the blue words below to see just how many expletives were required in order to get him back in one piece...

Top Gear drives the BMW M3 Ute.

Shelby Baja 700

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Long-time Ford bro' and legendary US tuner Shelby has turned its attention to the last-generation Raptor, treating the truck to a suite of complements sure to make enthusiasts of the genre involuntarily whoop with glee.

The 6.2-litre V8 gets a monster supercharger, new injectors and bigger throttle bodies, and there's also racing suspension, interior upgrades and the option of custom front and rear ends.

The result? 700 horses of supercharged insanity. Once you've stopped screaming/laughing, send Shelby a cheque for $45k – and a Raptor – and you can join in the fun. Yee-haaw!

Hennessey VelociRaptor

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So mad, we let The Stig loose in one around the Top Gear test track. On a rainy afternoon. Suffice to say, the deployment of 600 horsepowers was tricky. Stig didn't care.

And neither did the rest of us, because the VelociRaptor is all kinds of excellent. Bright yellow, big, bad, brash and so powerful, it can reduce even a Canadian mountain to tears.

This could very well be your perfect next car, if top of your list of requirements from your next car is “survive zombie apocalypse”.

Holden HSV Maloo

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A bit of a poignant one, this. The HSV Maloo stands as one of the last in a long line of mad, fast utes to come out of Oz, with General Motors announcing in 2014 that it would wrap up production in Australia by 2017.

This lairy farwell gets a supercharged V8 – as all fine Aussie utes do – with a big fat 546lb-ft of torque, and an even bigger, fatter 576bhp.

The V8 is bolted to the VXR8 chassis, with lightweight brakes, torque vectoring, quad exhausts, a tricked-out interior and the choice of green or red.

Subtle, it's not. Fast? You're looking at a zero to 62mph (100km/h) time of under five seconds, and a top speed limited to 155mph. Better strap down the piglets in the back, then...

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

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The most astonishing Mercedes-Benz ever built also happens to be its most bonkers: you'll no doubt remember the monster 6x6 AMG.

That's right, six wheels, all driven by AMG's lovely twin-turbo, 5.5-litre V8, here producing 540bhp and 561lb-ft, meaning this near four-tonne monster will hit 62mph in seven seconds, and run on to a 100mph top speed.

But it's not speed, it's off-roadability. The mega-G will wade through 1m of water – as Richard Hammond demonstrated very ably in Dubai – as well as offering 460mm of ground clearance, tire pressures controllable from the cabin and enough traction to turn the world upside down.

Whatever you think you can throw at it, this'll handle more. Want.

Oh, and if that's not nearly unsubtle enough, Brabus has also built one...

First drive: The Brabus 6x6 takes on London.

Dodge Ram SRT-10

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Seems Dodge missed the worldwide memo on fitting fast pickup trucks with V8s, the US manufacturer deeming it prudent to whack a socking 8.3-litre V10 into its Ram SRT-10. Welcome to the End of the World.

The Ram, created back in 2004, borrowed its V10 from the Viper, here producing 500bhp and 525lb-ft of torque, good enough to hit 60mph in less than five seconds, and on to a top speed of, well, a lot.

In February 2004, Nascar driver Brendan Gaughan set a Guinness World Record for the world's fastest production pickup, taking a standard SRT-10 (if you can call it “standard”), and maxing it to a 154.587mph average.

Straight-line speed sorted, then. Corners? Where we're going, we don't need corners...

GMC Syclone

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Poor spelling, mad car. This square-jawed chunk of early ‘90s American muscle was the world's fastest production truck back in its heyday, and is still capable of embarrassing some serious sports cars. In a straight line at least.

The GMC Syclone featured a 4.3-litre V6 bolstered by a turbo, with a resulting 280bhp of power. Not much by modern standards, but with all-wheel-drive and much witchcraft, the Syclone still managed to get from zero to 60mph in a reported 4.3 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 13.6 seconds. That's... lairy.

The best thing about it though? It'd only come in black. We'll take three, if anyone's got a few lying around.

Mini Paceman Adventure pickup

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OK, so it's the weediest, littlest ute on our list, but at least it's a Paceman we can get on board with. Built as a one-off by BMW's apprentices, the Paceman Adventure was aimed to show off a “creative vision” for Mini.

Mini took a standard Cooper S Paceman, and chopped off the rear. There's no rear bench, but there is a solid roof rack with lights, a modified chassis for greater ground clearance, four-wheel-drive and a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-pot up front with 184bhp. Zero to 62mph? 7.8 seconds, which isn't too shabby.

And look, there's even a little “snorkel-like” roof-level air intake. Aww!

Top Gear's Arctic Toyota Hilux

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TG has done many dreadful things to the venerable Hilux: running it into a tree, detonating a building with it on top, leaving it on a beach to get flooded and even smashing it with a wrecking ball. Nothing could kill it. It was indestructible.

But even the most immortal of pick-ups required a mild overhaul to conquer the North Pole. JC and James's Toyota received modification by Icelandic specialists Arctic Trucks: lightly strengthened throughout, Arctic-spec wheels and tyres, much equipment (including much gin), and of course, a unique application to make “movements” more humane...

Volkswagen Amarok Power-Pickup

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It's only a concept, but it's a concept that really needs to be made. At the 2013 Worthersee tuning meet, Volkswagen unveiled this wide-arch, blinged-up version of its Amarok pickup, sporting 22in wheels and a ride height 80mm lower than standard.

Sadly the grunt didn't quite match the stance, the Power-Pickup employing a 3-litre V6 diesel that produced 268bhp and 443lb-ft. Zero to 60mph, VW reckoned, took around eight seconds.

What the Amarok lacked in outright pace, however, it made up for in versatility: on its loadbed lurked a kart. The perfect one-car, two-car garage?

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