a few times down the road for pictures, sightseeing and other tourist
activities such as buying gifts for family members. The coast highway
is highly regulated and hardly developed, but there are exclusive restaurants,
lodges and art galleries along the way. There are also landmarks such
as the Hearst castle, beaches reserved for sea otters and elephant seals
and Morro Rock. The relaxing late afternoon drive allowed time for thoughts
and comparisons on the SRT, LRT and Lightning:
says about 3000 Ram SRT-10 trucks will be produced. The 1978 LRT had
a production run of 2188 followed by 5118 in 1979.
- The MSRP
on our test truck was $45,795. Base price was $22,425 and the SRT option
- The one
big difference between the SRT-10 and the LRT is the exhaust note. The
LRT barely passed local noise abatement levels and featured an unmistakable
raucous V8 thunder. The SRT is over muffled and with good reason: V10
engines inherently sound like a UPS truck at low rpm. At full throttle
they sound like a Formula 1 engine on steroids; but through most driving
conditions on the street, the tone is hardly aggressive. You can make
them loud but you can’t make ‘em nasty with just mufflers.
won’t let the SRT-10 hold the crown for long. But what does the
SVT group have to challenge 500 horsepower? How about 550 ponies? SVT
is behind the 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine in the new Ford GT. There
may be packaging issues with the intake and exhaust if that engine was
slipped under the hood of the new Lightning, but it would still be good
for 525 to 530 horsepower. The big question: What transmission will
Ford use? The GT has a transaxle, and the current 4-speed automatic
in the Lightning would need serious upgrades to handle the extra 150
or so horsepower. Maybe Ford will offer a 6-speed Tremec similar to
the one in the 2000 Cobra R? Of course, Dodge still has time to add
more power before the next Lightning arrives.
- The current
Lightning is about 450 pounds lighter than the SRT-10. But the new Ford
F-150 gained a lot of weight with the new platform. We’re curious
to see how SVT will address that issue.
SRT has raised the bar so high in performance pickups, the $45,850 sticker
price shouldn’t scare Ford. The current Lightning is about $12,000
cheaper than the SRT-10. Since SVT vehicles are meant to be exclusive,
we say go all out and match the SRT-10 in features and horsepower while
significantly reducing weight.
to the Automotive Lease Guide (May, 2004), the industry standard for
residual values, the current Lightning—which is in its last run
of the old generation—would retain a higher percentage of its
value than the new SVT-10 as a used vehicle. Guess than means SVT has
done an outstanding job with brand management, customer satisfaction
ratings and dealer training not to mention building collectable value
into its vehicles.
fuel economy report: 865 miles, 67.9 gallons of 91 octane fuel, 12.74mpg,
$176.87 total fuel bill. The final leg of my weeklong test covered 272
miles—half on the highway and half in congested traffic for 10.78mpg.
- If you’re
wondering, I had to get rid of my LRT about nine years ago after the
Northridge earthquake. Last I heard, it found a good home at a Dodge
dealership near New York City.
starting to rant now. Time to concentrate on LA traffic as I head toward
home. Many of you were probably hoping I would try a Cannonball-style,
bonzai run through California. Trust me, this truck draw too many radar
waves, even on city boulevards. But I’m convinced this is the most
exciting, most capable performance truck ever built. I ran consistent
low 13-second quarter mile times with one of the first Syclones built
in 1989 and thought that truck was truly an engineering marvel and a bold
move by GMC. Too bad the recession killed any chances of that milestone
sport truck continuing. The SRT-10 runs the quarter mile in mid to high
13-second times but is more useful as a truck and better looking. I just
wish Dodge would’ve put a little wood and chrome on it.
here for a report on the SRT-10 from the 2003 Chicago Auto Show.
for PUTC’s first drive in the SRT-10 and closer look at the vehicle.