Caught: 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10
By: Michael Levine, Brenda Priddy
Photography © Brenda Priddy & Associates /, 2002
Posted: 07-28-02 22:00

Standing out amongst a group of Dodge Vipers while undergoing hot weather testing in the southern California desert, this pre-production 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 provides more information about this all new muscle truck from Chrysler's Performance Vehicle Operations team.

The most notable differences between this truck and the Ram SRT-10 first shown in Detroit are:

The slate-colored skin seems to giveaway the previously unknown third body color, joining red and black as paint options, while a standard mesh grille and chrome surround has replaced the custom bars and painted surfaces in the nose.

The unique wheel design builds upon the theme of the show truck's but reduces rim and tire size from 24" to 22". The tires are high performance Pirelli Scorpion Zeros.

Standard rocker panels have replaced the curved surfaces present on the earlier model.

Most surprising of all, Dodge has brought back the Ram 500 moniker (seen just behind the front wheel) indicating that the Ram will once again see duty as the official truck of the Indianapolis 500. In 1996, when the Viper GTS was the official Pace Car of the Indy 500, Dodge produced a limited number of Ram 500 trucks based on the Ram 1500 SLT pickup. The Ram 500 will probably be an exclusive version of the SRT-10.

Under the surface, PUTC's sources are also reporting that Chrysler PVO has gone to great lengths to reduce the truck's weight using high amounts of alloy materials and special framing construction. The end result should be a truck that weighs less than the Ford SVT F-150 Lightning.

Other performance enhancements include a modified differential to handle the torque factor load, progressive coils and racing shocks, a large rear sway bar and new driveshaft line.