For all its performance creds, the late Dodge Viper was left wanting when it came to carrying home bags of fertilizer. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Ram SRT-10, however, will haul both manure and ass.
Yesterday's Porsche Boxster had been modified by its owner in an attempt to make it a Super Boxster, but which apparently resulted only in it becoming a full-on Douchebagatti, at least according to the 83.34% of you who shamed it with a Crack Pipe loss. Man, that last .34% must have really hurt.
A modified vehicle is usually much more palatable when the changes are undertaken by folks who have the original manufacturer's name on their pay stubs. That's the case with today's 33,000-mile Dodge Ram SRT-10, which has received - at the hands of Dodge's Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO) - a heart transplant from a snake.
The Dodge Viper, lamentably late of this Earth, proved that the perfect tool for nearly any job is a hammer - a big-ass hammer. But Vipers are cars of compromise, and their sexy beast styling attracts cops like Kanye attracts the haters. Dodge built another two-seater that was powered by the company's all-alloy V10, however, and unlike Viper with its immutable S-plastered chest, this one can be Clark Kent when needed.
Dropping the 500-bhp engine in the Ram should have been a no-brainer as the platform was designed to handle the less staccato iron-block version. Along with that Perfect 10, this rabid Ram comes with a Tremec T56 lickity-six speed, and massive 22" alloys- bigger brothers to those on the Viper GTS. Performance figures for the 5,130-lb standard cab were 4.9-ticks to sixty and a 156 mile per hour top speed, with quarter mile jumps being made in under 14 seconds. Fuel economy is. . .well, not something you'd care about once you get the Ram SRT-10's loud pedal under your suddenly leaden right foot.
Both of your feet will have plenty of room inside the Ram's cab, although the seats are not as comfortable - and offer less help in corners - than they first appear. At least they look good, as does the rest of the clean, if overly plasticky interior. One piece of metal available to you in here is the donkey's dong of a shift lever, topped with a generous leather and silver knob. That bit of bling stands in stark contrast to the rest of the cabin, which is black as a Deathly Hallow, broken only by some silver plastic bits, and is mirrored outside by the chrome GTS-esque rims offsetting shiny ebony paint. That color happens to have been the most popular for the SRT-10 (1,269 of the 3,059 trucks built for 2004), and also covers the truck's bespoke bed-capping wing. This one lacks any kind of go-faster stripes, making it a little more innocuous in appearance – at least as far as it can go with chrome wheels, a honkin'-big hood scoop, and harlot red brake calipers. The exhaust note on these things also falls in the sauropod beer fart category so on second thought, maybe it's not so much Clark Kent.
But then, if you're driving what amounts to a two and a half ton Viper, maybe covert action isn't your goal. And driving this SRT-10 will require a deft hand, er foot, as you'd be planting over 525 ft-lbs of torque under its relatively unburdened bed, potentially making for tire-melting smoke screens while leaving lights, picking up grandma, or attempting to play it cool around the local po-po. That's just something you'd just have to learn how to manage.
But before you get to be schooled on the nuances of clutch-throttle timing, you'd need to pass a pop quiz, the most important question of which is whether this '04 SRT-10 is worth its $23,900 asking price? What do you think, does that price move this snake-powered pickup to the head of the class? Or, does that give it an F in econ?
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