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O.K., so you won’t be towing a horse trailer or a boat behind this truck, but there is plenty of room between the top of the engine and hood’s functional air scoop for things such as aftermarket headers and a supercharger, should 500 hp not be quite enough to suit your fancy.

“Why put a Viper engine in a pickup truck?” asks Dan Knott, director of Dodge’s Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO).

“’Cause we could,” he answers his own question, “and we’re the only ones who can!”

But the Knott hole gang at PVO did a lot more than just put the Viper V10 into a pickup truck. They made many other modifications, 165 by their own count, to turn a routine Ram into a venomous pickup that can put ‘em down, and shut ‘em down.

Dodge will put out 1,000 Rams SRT-10s a year for the next few years, and you can put one in your garage for $45,000 plus destination fees.

You have the option of selecting yours in red, black or silver paint, but don’t fret about options, at least not yet. On the other hand, consider that in addition to building vehicles such as the Viper and SRT-10, PVO manages Dodge’s motorsports program and Mopar Performance Parts, and for only $400 Mopar Performance Parts sells a turbocharger upgrade that provides nearly a 12 percent horsepower boost for PVO’s Neon SRT-4, so it could have some similar tricks planned somewhere down the road for the SRT-10 as well.

Not that this truck isn’t trick enough already.

The tricks include borrowing Dodge’s top NASCAR aerodynamics engineer to work with the design staff on the Ram SRT-10’s body. Work in the wind tunnel produced such subtle but effective touches as a front splitter that increases downforce, yet is designed with a small lip at its rear-most edge so air doesn’t simply dump directly into the front tires, but flows around them.

The revised front fascia also provides cooling for those huge front brakes and to the radiator as well. Dodge needed a substantial system to cool the big V10 and found one right there in the parts bin. Using the same cooling system already in place on the Ram turbo diesel also helped to keep component costs under control.

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