Lets get all the good stuff out of the
way up front. Under the hood is a Dodge Viper V10 8.3-liter engine, thats 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 didnt get it going that fast. Hey,
Im 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
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
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.
Thats not to say the SRT-10 is not capable of carrying anything. The published
weight is 5,150 lbs. and right there on the drivers 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 drivers windshield pillar
is an oil temperature gauge. Bring the temp up to a good operating range and youre
ready for some fun but be careful how you launch the SRT-10 or those expensive
Pirellis will go up in smoke. Get it just right and youll have a little wheel
spin and then youre 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 youre 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.