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2004 Dodge SRT 10

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San Francisco: The 2004 Dodge SRT-10. So this is the world’s fastest production pickup truck. At least for now. There’s always someone waiting to get the famous gunslinger but let’s revel in the glory and power that is here today. The Dodge Boys are building a Viper Powered Pickup.

Let’s get all the good stuff out of the way up front. Under the hood is a Dodge Viper V10 8.3-liter engine, that’s 500 cubic inches making 505 hp and 525 lb.-ft. of tire melting torque. The only transmission available is a Tremec T56 6-speed manual with fifth and sixth being overdrives. All this gets the SRT-10 to just over 150 mph. No, I didn’t get it going that fast. Hey, I’m a good boy.

To get all that power, or to try and get it, to the pavement, the SRT-10 has massive 305/40YR22 inch Pirelli tires all around mounted on great looking 22" chrome rims. To stop it, the front rotors are 15 inches and the rears are 14 inches.

The differential is a Dana 60 with a 4.11:1 final drive ration, hence the need for those two overdrives. To aid in those drag race starts, there is an extra shock absorber added to the rear axle to prevent spring wrap-up.

The SRT-10 is a specially built Ram 1500. It has been lowered one inch in the front and 2.5 inches in the rear. The suspension has been modified so that this truck will corner too. There is a rear sway bar and quicker steering.

For looks the front has been modified with additional air intakes in the bumper and a huge hood scoop. Body side cladding has been added to give a more "aero" look and there is a "basket handle" wing at the rear of the bed rails.

Inside the SRT-10 is a well-equipped truck, better than many sporty cars. There are two supportive sport seats that actually fit us older guys. (Hey who do you think is going to buy this?) All the options you want including adjustable pedals and a 6-CD changer. Dodge has jumped on the retro bandwagon by using a bright red starter button, an affectation I could live without, but it still looks cool.

Strangely Dodge does not publish a payload or towing capacity. That’s not to say the SRT-10 is not capable of carrying anything. The published weight is 5,150 lbs. and right there on the driver’s doorpost is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 6,350 lbs. That means it has a carrying capacity of 1,200 lbs. I doubt that too many SRT-10 buyers will be loading too much lumber back there anyway.

Start that huge V10 Viper motor and it purrs … LIKE AN ANGRY LION! The exhaust on the SRT-10 is loud, but not too loud, and it has that sweet sound of power and just a slightly lumpy idle. On the inside of the driver’s windshield pillar is an oil temperature gauge. Bring the temp up to a good operating range and you’re ready for some fun but be careful how you launch the SRT-10 or those expensive Pirelli’s will go up in smoke. Get it just right and you’ll have a little wheel spin and then you’re off.

Unfortunately power shifting, even with the Hurst shifter, is difficult if not impossible. The faster you try to shift, the balkier the transmission becomes. This is a transmission that rewards slow and steady. I am sure some of this is due to modifications that were needed to let the transmission stand up to the tremendous torque but it was annoying.

The suspension works both in keeping the rear planted when you launch and when you’re doing some canyon carving. It did take me a bit to get used to the steering – it turns in very quickly and I found myself cutting a few corners too close. The SRT-10 does not work well on anything but smooth roads though. Most interstates that seem smooth in your family car feel like a gravel road in the SRT-10.

Fuel economy really had me worried. The SRT-10 has a digital readout that shows the average fuel economy. Around town it was dismal, around 7.5 mpg, and on my daily commute, which includes some stop and go, it averaged just over 12 mpg. So when I had to drive 100 miles on the highway I was checking my bank balance before I left. Was I surprised when I averaged 18 mpg at a steady 75 mph! Of course the engine was only turning 1,500 rpm in sixth gear.

Pricing of the SRT-10 seems weird. The price sheet shows a base price of $22,425 but that is for a Ram 1500. The optional equipment package adds $22,575 – the optional package price for the SRT-10. Add in the destination charge of $795 and the total MSRP is $45,795. Seems a bit pricey for a pickup, but remember this is a V10 Viper powered pickup truck, and it IS the faster production pickup truck in the world.

Perhaps the strangest thing about the SRT-10 is that most of the folks who buy it will never really experience all that power. I am willing to guess that most of the buyers will be middle age guys who have another car, maybe several more, and will drive the SRT-10 infrequently. That may be a good thing. I would hate to see too many SRT-10s in the hands of testosterone fueled teenage boys even if they have $50 grand to spend on a truck.  By Bruce Hotchkiss AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

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Byline:  Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo AutoWire.Net
Column Name:  The Dodge Boys build a Viper Powered Pickup
Topic:  The 2004 Dodge SRT-10
Word Count:   990
Photo Caption:  The 2004 Dodge SRT-10
Photo Credits:  Dodge Internet Media
Series #:   2004 - 26

Download the Microsoft Word version here:   2004 Dodge SRT 10

Download the original image file here:  2004 Dodge SRT 10 38k

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