This is a working Warthog from Halo and now we can’t think about anything else | Top Gear
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This is a working Warthog from Halo and now we can’t think about anything else

Two decades after the original graced our tiny TVs, behold the real-life, 1,000bhp Warthog

Published: 20 Sep 2021
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If you’re like us, you’ll probably have sunk countless hours into Halo: Combat Evolved (or one of its many, many sequels and spinoffs). No, really – we can’t count how many hours we’ve spent on the original game on the original Xbox, but the fact that we can replay the entirety of the Silent Cartographer (i.e. the best) mission in our heads more than a decade after we stopped playing might give you some indication.

Yes, there were more cerebral games in the world. But if you wanted something clever back then, there was always Grim Fandango or Deus Ex. If you wanted to smack an alien in the face with the butt of your shotgun, there’s Halo. And if you wanted to pilot a four-wheel-steer leviathan called a Warthog through an exploding interstellar weapon... well.

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A real-life Warthog is one of those things we just sort of assumed wouldn’t really be a thing, like seeing an X-Wing fly overhead or watching Amazon warehouse employees using the Power Loader from Aliens. But then the folks at Hoonigan just sort of went and did it. This might be the only time in recent memory that we’ve been wrong and not immediately crushingly disappointed in humanity as a whole, so we’ll take it. And a Power Loader please. Our reasons are our own.

As you might expect, Hoonigan decided against building its own hydrogen-combustion engine and CVT gearbox, as per the original specs, instead plumping for a twin-turbo, 7.2-litre V8, two-speed transfer case, beefy auto gearbox and – crucially – four-wheel steering. No word yet on how easily Hoonigan’s Warthog tips over and comically ejects your passengers, but nothing really holds a candle to the digital original anyways.

It’s not the first real-life Warthog ever built, but this one was sanctioned / commissioned by Microsoft, who rather built the house the Warthog lives in. Which makes it close enough to be official for a completely fantastical project. And while it might not get the 12-litre, hydrogen-fuelled engine or infinitely variable transmission as per Halo canon – or indeed the actual cannon (OK, fine, chaingun) mounted on the back – it’s probably as good a mix of fantasy and reality as we can imagine. And definitely good enough for the Halo song to be properly lodged in our heads.

Dun dun dun daaaah... dun dun dun daaaaaah... dun dun dun DAAAAAH... dun dun dun DAAAHH... dun DAH DAH DAH. And, if you’re like us, now it’s lodged in yours.

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