Bright-metal pedals have rubber stubs to grip your soles and the top section of the steering wheel has carbon-patterned leather to provide good grip for your hands. A special PVO gauge cluster features satin silver bezels with a separate oil temperature gauge mounted on the driver’s side A pillar.
If necessary, you can pivot up the big center arm rest/storage compartment upright and find a middle seat and seat belt, though anyone sitting in that seat has to make room between his or her knees for that handsome Hurst shifter.
We did our test drive of the Viper and Viper Competition Coupe earlier in the year at Firebird International Raceway just south of Phoenix. We drove the Viper-powered Ram on roads in and around Austin, Texas, and on an autocross course set up at the old Austin airport, where Dodge provided a Ford F-150 Lightning for back-to-back comparison runs through the orange cones.
On the roads, we were impressed -- needless to say, though we’ll say it anyway – by the truck’s torque. This Ram seemed content to cruise in third, fourth, fifth or sixth gear – and at 60 mph in sixth gear it was pulling only 1400 rpm.
The slightest touch of the accelerator pedal was met with immediate – and intense – reaction.
Fast? No. Very fast! Yet amazingly smooth riding, as well, with rear wheel hop only on the roughest pieces of broken pavement, and then only when we really we on the pedal. Steering was sure-footed and we felt in complete control with the truck well composed, even in fast left-right and right-left transitions on winding Texas hill country byways.
And you won’t believe the brakes. We remember one of our early laps at Firebird in the Viper racecar and how those brakes were so good we nearly stopped, embarrassingly short of the turn at the end of the straightaway. Well, the Viper-powered Ram has brakes as serious about whoa as its engine is about go.