If you fire a 12-gauge shotgun packed with 00 buck, you'll get a sense of what it's like to pull the trigger on a Ram SRT-10: a loud roar, followed by a cloud of smoke, and, suddenly, heavy metal flying through space. The only difference is that this truck's Viper-sourced V-10 firepower, good for a 5.2-second 0-to-60 run, surges smoothly at your back and not abruptly against your shoulder.
Dodge's Performance Vehicle Operations group has created more than just a Pirelli-melting, 500-horse cargo bed in search of a chassis. The Ram SRT-10 is a comprehensively well-matched 5150-pound performance recipe that turns a short-bed, standard-cab Ram into a sport-truck-cum-Trans-Am racer.
Installing the Viper's 8.3-liter, OHV, aluminum V-10 into the Ram's platform is philosophically straightforward, as the truck is factory-offered with a 300-horsepower, iron-block V-10 in HD form. Getting the job done, however, required numerous detail changes, including a revised intake system, oil pan, mounts, and cooling revisions. The only transmission offered is the same Tremec T56 six-speed manual used in the Viper.
And does this thing go. Our only complaint about the Ram SRT-10's iron-fisted powertrain is occasionally notchy shift action, due to the long, truck-style shift lever employed; it feels a bit remote during rushed, dragstrip shifts.
We'd also enjoy a bit more auditory personality: The V-10's voice is almost too muffled, although some will feel that's an asset. Only under a properly mashed throttle does the Viper motor really bellow.
Steering-rack response is crisp, and there's braking muscle to spare in the form of 15-inch front rotors and 14-inchers in the rear. Viper power requires a massive tire-contact patch to be remotely useful. So, in the interest of "usefulness," Dodge fitted the SRT-10 with steamroller-like 305/40ZR22 Pirelli Scorpions.