Cover Story - 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,594
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    [​IMG]

    Sports Truck? With the Ram SRT-10, Dodge aims to build a Viper with a truck body

    [​IMG]

    By JOE KOVACH
    (00:01 Dec. 01, 2003)

    Numbers play a big role in the new Dodge Ram SRT-10. We’ll start with 500, which the truck’s engineers reached or exceeded four times: in hp (500 at 5600 rpm), torque (525 lb-ft at 4200 rpm), engine displacement (505 cid) and in its stereo (505-watt Infinity sound system).

    With help from Chrysler Group’s Performance Vehicle Operations, the changes from the ’03 Ram made to the new SRT-10 number 165. Some of those changes resulted in an even meaner-looking exterior, while others transformed the SRT-10’s interior and handling from trucky to sporty—bordering even on sports car. More than one engineer said the project was “like building a Viper with a truck body.” With 500 horses under the hood of the SRT-10, we understand what they’re talking about.

    Dodge senior manager of design Dennis Myles said designing trucks is the best assignment you can get, and not just because trucks have taken over as the big moneymakers for automakers.

    “I love the challenge that while everything we do here design-wise needs to look good, there’s a rationale behind it,” Myles said. “It’s all about functionality throughout the vehicle.”

    Designing trucks differs from doing a typical coupe or sedan, in which most buyers seek attractive looks, a comfortable interior and a decent price. Today’s truck guy demands more talents from his vehicle, for daily driving as well as for play and work duty.

    Myles declares the new Ram SRT-10, with its ’04 Durango sibling, to be the most rewarding project of his career, more so even than his work with Lamborghini, back when Chrysler owned the Italian company.

    To fit the truck, Dodge changed the oil pan and the engine and transmission mounts of the 8.3-liter V10. It installed the strongest cooling system from the Dodge parts bin, the turbodiesel Ram’s, the largest that can fit. The SRT-10’s high-flow exhaust manifold system connects to 2.5-inch dual exhaust pipes running into a large muffler resonator and dumping out the back through 3.5-inch tail pieces. Also helping cooling is a big power dome and hood scoop (with “Viper Powered” badges on the sides) and the large horse-collar grille. “It has a ‘Get out of my way’ front end,” Myles noted.

    The SRT-10 spent a lot of time in Chrysler Group’s new wind tunnel. If the front splitter reminds you of a NASCAR truck, that’s because the same engineer who worked on it came from the Craftsman Series, Myles says. “The splitter works in unison with the rear wing,” he adds. “The wing reduces lift, but it’s rare in that the wing also reduces drag.” That wing can be easily removed to improve access to the six-foot, three-inch box.

    Dodge doesn’t recommend towing, but as a company executive noted, some owners will still probably tow small loads such as jet skis. The payload of the SRT-10 is about 1000 pounds.

    As for the aurally pleasing exhaust note, one engineer said, “Start this baby up in the morning and people will know what you’re driving.” A couple of journalists wished the note were louder. We wouldn’t argue with that.

    The Ram SRT-10’s six-speed manual transmission is the T56 Tremec unit found in the Viper and in Corvettes, with Hurst linkage and a tall shifter topped by a Viper shift knob. It’s easy to reach, like a car’s would be, and the throws aren’t typical truck-long. (No automatic is offered.)

    [​IMG]

    Adding to the SRT-10’s rugged looks are 22-inch 305/40 Pirelli PZero Scorpion Asimmetricos riding on aluminum, Viper-style Speedline wheels from Italy. Pirelli engineers redesigned the tire tread pattern to better suit the truck.

    The attractive, user-friendly black interior offers inclusive, silver-rimmed gauges with an A-pillar-mounted oil temp gauge about eye-high to the driver. The Ram retains the Viper’s red start button, the center console still can hold a laptop, and it folds up for a third seat. Behind the driver’s arm is a 10-inch Crutchfield sub-woofer for the eight-speaker, six-CD-player/ AM/FM stereo.

    The heavily bolstered seats with textured suede inserts are designed to keep you from sliding, as Dodge engineer James Fink points out the SRT-10 can corner at nearly 1 g and decelerate at 1 g plus.

    With 90 percent of the V10’s torque available from 1500 rpm to 5600 rpm, engineers gave the truck a Dana 60 rear end. To prevent wheel hop, it is underslung from the longitudinal leaf springs (wearing rubber snubbers to soak up bounce), and further aided by a Bilstein gas-pressure shock absorber used as a power-hop damper, attached to the axle and the frame. The axle has a 4:10 gear ratio and a limited-slip differential. The back is lowered 2.5 inches from the stock Ram, and PVO adds a 0.9-inch antiroll bar.

    The front suspension, lowered by one inch, is a short/long-arm configuration with stiffer coil springs and Bilstein monotube shocks. It uses a larger solid antiroll bar than is found in the standard Ram, 1.3 inches. Brakes are all discs, 15-inch rotors in front, 14-inch in back, from the Ram Heavy Duty model, with red calipers. Four-wheel ABS is standard, but traction control is the driver’s job.


    The SRT-10 stayed well planted in our test drives, except when we wanted to kick out the rear with power, which was easy to do and controllable. We got to drive the Ram on curvy, hilly, fast country roads, and on a parking-lot autocross course. For a truck that looks beastly, it’s a surprisingly sweet handler.

    The engine and transmission are obliging no matter what gear, it seems, and passing is a cinch. Through the leather-wrapped steering wheel, the modified rack-and-pinion gear from the Ram Heavy Duty felt fine.

    Looking further at the Ram SRT-10’s numbers, the steering ratio is 18.4:1 with a 45.75-foot turning circle. Dodge projects a fuel economy rating of 9.5/14.5 mpg city/highway. Drag coefficient is estimated at 0.43. The only options are side airbag curtains ($495), and a bedliner and nav/radio setup that aren’t priced yet. Red, black and silver are the exterior colors. About 2500 of the trucks will be built annually, Dodge says.

    We compared some of SRT-10’s numbers with its high-performance pickup rival, the Ford F-150 Lightning. The Ram’s power-to-weight ratio of 1 hp to 10.3 pounds is impressive, beating the Lightning, which moves 12.28 pounds with each unit of horsepower. The Lightning is 480 pounds lighter, and its 5.4-liter supercharged V8 makes 380 hp (along with 450 lb-ft of torque). But the Lightning can haul 1400 pounds or tow 5000 pounds.

    We don’t think less payload capacity will keep Dodge guys from buying the Hemi Ram. For one thing, its top speed is rated at 150 mph, and we expect it to beat the Lightning’s production-pickup world speed record of 147 mph set in August.

    Besides its more provocative looks, the fun factor of the Ram SRT-10 makes it feel like a larger version of a sport compact. We would have never dreamed that the Ram would provide the most fun we’ve experienced while fooling around on an autocross, storming and drifting around the cones. But it did. No lie.

    2004 DODGE RAM SRT-10

    [​IMG]

    ON SALE: Late December
    BASE PRICE: $45,795
    POWERTRAIN: 8.3-liter, 500-hp, 525-lb-ft V10; rwd, six-speed manual
    CURB WEIGHT: 5150 pounds
    0-60 MPH: 5.0 seconds

    [​IMG]
     
  2. midnite

    midnite OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    84,770
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    the new lightning is gonna rape it :big grin:
     
  3. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,903
    Likes Received:
    2,968
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    500 lbs heavier than the lightning :eek3: ;)
     
  4. Section8

    Section8 .

    Joined:
    May 29, 2001
    Messages:
    99,761
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Golden, CO
    :cool:

    I like the look of the next Lightning better though
     
  5. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,903
    Likes Received:
    2,968
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I will say that it looks very nice (although i would delete the wing and get the wheels powdercoated black before i parked it in my driveway). The 6 speed is very nice, although i still have my doubts as to whether I'd prefer it over a strong auto.
     
  6. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,594
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Not running 0-60 mph in 6.04 sec. it won't.
     
  7. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,903
    Likes Received:
    2,968
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    "dodge doesn't recommend towing" :ugh: :ugh: :ugh: :ugh:

    I'm betting this is still fallout from them lying about the dakota r/t's towing capacity. They had to buy back a bunch of those :rofl:
     

  8. the 2nd gen lightning does the 60 in the mid 5 second range, 5.4ish
     
  9. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,594
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Ford's website quotes "a shade over 5 seconds" to 60 for the 2004 Lightning, and a $33,310 MSRP. :cool:
     
  10. SaintGRW

    SaintGRW OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Messages:
    157,313
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    SoCal
    :love: best truck EvAR!
     
  11. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,903
    Likes Received:
    2,968
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    even edmunds got a 5.6 0-60 out of it, and they only managed a pathetic 14.1 1/4 in one. I've witnessed brand new stock trucks in the mid 13s.
     
  12. DMClark

    DMClark Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    37,589
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nah they'll just wave as the pass the more expensive truck.
     
  13. Melvin_91GT

    Melvin_91GT New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Messages:
    10,740
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Woodstock, GA
    :werd:
     
  14. Chadder007

    Chadder007 OG Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    15,326
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    :eek3: :rofl: No fucking way man.
     
  15. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    20,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    What is more American in spirit than this? :bowdown:
     
  16. SaintGRW

    SaintGRW OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Messages:
    157,313
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    SoCal
    I was close, I was figuring 47k-48k
     
  17. i wonder what a chipe pully and filter will do to the new L :eek3:
     
  18. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    20,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    :ugh: What are you laughing about? That's $35k less than the Viper. :slap:
     
  19. DMClark

    DMClark Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    37,589
    Likes Received:
    0
    Selling the name "Hemi".
     
  20. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,903
    Likes Received:
    2,968
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    :ugh: and more than 10k more expensive than the lightning which it barely outperforms, and which functions better as a truck.
     
  21. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,594
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    You're right, I looked it up elsewhere and I guess Autoweek sucks at timing or driving. I didn't realize the Lightnings MSRP was so low too.

    Nice.
     
  22. F=ma

    F=ma Guest

    for 45k? why would you ever drive anything else? When has 500 hp ever been so cheap straight from the factory?
     
  23. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,903
    Likes Received:
    2,968
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Lightnings are usually available under MSRP for the crafty buyer as well :o I know 3 people personally who have gotten trucks for just over 28k :big grin:
     
  24. SaintGRW

    SaintGRW OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2002
    Messages:
    157,313
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    SoCal
    i'd pay 15k more for the Ram SRT-10 rather than the lightning.

    personal preferences.
     
  25. Bernout

    Bernout OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    20,687
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    So is Ford really gonna put the GT's 500hp motor in the next Lightning and sell it for $35k? Yeah right. :rolleyes:
     

Share This Page