So what do you do if you are Dodge and you want to kick Ford out of its throne as manufacturer of the world's fastest production truck? Grab a regular-cab Ram and toss in a 505ci Viper V-10 backed up by the Viper's very own Tremec T-6 tranny, of course. So for 2004, Dodge and their PVO team decided to do just that, making Ford's dominance in factory sport truck arena history. Once it was discovered that the drivetrain would fit, the rest of the truck was built around it, and the look of the demonic truck took shape.
Our tester arrived in the devil's own monochromatic red paint scheme with a fitting charcoal leather interior. The newly added Auto Meter oil temp gauge in its own pillar pod tells you the Dodge means business, and the 508-watt stereo easily covers up the cries from your passenger pleading for you to slow down. With a push of the red start button, the 8.3L V-10 puts out an astonishing 500 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque. With so much power on tap, every shift of the Hurst gear selector resulted in light-speed acceleration. Our judges were addicted to the sounds and smells of the SRT-10's wide-open acceleration and deemed the exhaust note pure evil. In fact, we are pretty sure if you were to play the sounds of the SRT-10 backward it would say things such as, "Ignore the flashing lights behind you. You can out-run them. Come on, give it all up and let's go to Mexico!" Power meets the pavement in the form of massive P305/40R22 Pirelli Scorpion Zero, and even those wide treads have trouble containing the beast within the Dodge.
Around town, the ride is stiff but not harsh, as you might expect. The big Dodge, with its supportive buckets, could easily be used for daily errands. The truck, while heavy, holds its own in spirited onramp rampages, easily outclassing most drivers. The Bilstein shocks do an excellent job of controlling the chassis and kept the tester's kidneys in working condition. Despite a slightly soft pedal feel, the world-class brakes impressed our judges and laid down the best braking distance of this test.
The interior is understated and serious. With dark hues highlighted only by the full complement of race-inspired silver-face gauges and aluminum accents, the cockpit of the Dodge is a place of business.
Despite all of the dark-side tendencies of the Dodge to push you further and further as a driver, our guardian angels must have been watching over us, because it is a miracle none of our staff were arrested in the Dodge during its two-week stay. We're not sure what kind of example we set for other drivers, but we would like to apologize to anyone we may have passed at triple-digit speeds. You see, when you are in the Dodge, you just can't drive slow.
What we are sure of is all of the approximately 2,000 SRT-10s are spoken for, but if you are one of the few with an extra $45,000 ready to jump out of your pocket as well as a need for thrills every morning on your way to work, we highly recommend the SRT-10.