The short-lived Mercedes X-Class pick-up truck wasn’t much of a Merc at all. It was built at a Nissan factory in Barcelona using Navara underpinnings, with a good chunk of the line-up adopting engines from the Japanese manufacturer.
You could at least buy one (for a brief period) with a 3.0-litre Mercedes diesel V6, but that was as interesting as it got. Decrying the lack of a “proper” engine in the pick-up, a chap in South Africa called Quentin Boylan decided to do something about it. His starting point wasn’t the mediocre X-Class, rather the tried and tested, super-dependable Toyota Hilux.
Using the recently facelifted Hilux, Boylan added a 6.2-litre ‘M156’ naturally-aspirated V8, AMG’s first ground-up developed engine that saw service in numerous cars including the W204 C63 and the legendary CLK 63 Black Series.
The rumbly so-and-so runs off a MoTeC M150 engine management system and powers the rear wheels through a Toyota automatic gearbox which joined by a custom adaptor. The Hilux sits noticeably lower than before on new wheels with an AMGish look, and under the front rims, you’ll see AMG-sourced brakes.
Boylan’s also added AMG 6.3 badges to the doors, which most people surely write off as an ill-advised eBay purchase. Unless, of course, they hear it pulling away. Good lord does it sound good.
The interior’s had a makeover too, now featuring bespoke AMG lookalike seats with some neat quilting. The whole project had a big emphasis on useability - this is Boylan’s daily driver.
The most bonkers thing about all this is that Boylan has made an AMG’d Hilux before, using the pre-update eight-gen version of the pick-up. Plus, that one had a manual gearbox, although he admits it was “terrible” to drive with that transmission.
Like his latest V8-converted Hilux, it was used for towing around some of the man’s other projects, one of which is an AMG V8-engined Lotus Exige. Now Lotus has revealed the Emira with its AMG inline-four option, it seems Boylan was ahead of the curve.