Throttle First Drive: 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10
Maybe the best way to appreciate the 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 pickup truck is to spend some time behind the steering wheel of the Dodge Viper, the impractical but high-performance sports car that donates its V10 engine, six-speed manual gearbox and some other components to the pickup truck.
Oh, anyone who sees the biggest and baddest of the Rams surely will notice its fat, 22-inch Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires mounted on Viper-style forged-aluminum wheels that let the bright red brake calipers show through.
And those wheels and tires and thick, 15-inch front and 14-inch rear brake rotors are just the foundation of an in-your-face stance assumed by a truck that wears a NASCAR Craftsman Series-style aero body kit that was tweaked and tuned in the wind tunnel to deal with the racetrack speeds the Ram can reach on public roads.
Certainly, anyone who drives an SRT-10, who pushes the red start button, snicks the Hurst shift lever into the first of the truck’s six gears and then stomps on the gas pedal will immediately appreciate the 500 horsepower and 525 pound-feet of tire-smoking torque provided by the 8.3-liter V10 engine the Ram shares with the Viper.
And if the sound of ten cylinders exhaling through twin 3 ½-inch chromed pipes isn’t aurally satisfying enough for you, just rotate the knob that controls the 508 watts of audio power provided by an Infinity sound system that comes with a big sub-woofer mounted behind the truck’s wide center arm rest.
But perhaps only those who have seat time in the Viper will truly understand that the Ram SRT-10 isn’t just the world’s most powerful and fastest – and best-braking – production pickup truck. Because what the Ram SRT-10 really is is a Viper with a practical side: lots of interior space, with cup holders and bottle holders and storage bins and even room for a third person in a pinch, plus a full-size pickup bed that can actually haul stuff, and when you need to do that the functional rear wing can be remounted to just behind the cab instead of just above the tailgate.