One of the most iconic vehicles of the 2000s, the Dodge Ram SRT-10 was the last true muscle truck. Produced only from 2004 to 2006, this distinctive street pickup is powered by one of the great American engines: the 8.3-liter V10 from the Dodge Viper.
The philosophy of using a pickup truck as a performance vehicle began with Dodge. All the way back in 1978, the company created their Dodge Lil’ Red Express. Though the Ram SRT-10 had nothing in common with this speedy pickup truck besides some long-separated lineage, it kept the same street truck philosophy. Along with the Ford SVT Lightning, the SRT-10 was one of the few muscle trucks of the 2000s.
Though you’ll see them at drag strips more often than work sites, street/muscle trucks are designed to offer incredible power and performance in the same practical package as the pickups they’re based on. Sure, you can still use the bed and do some towing, but the primary selling factors are horsepower and fun.
Designed by Dodge’s Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO), the SRT-10 looks similar to the regular Ram pickup truck. While the average person might not look twice, enthusiasts know this Viper-powered machine puts out impressive performance numbers. The Dodge Ram SRT-10’s horsepower output of 500 hp is enough to make it a legend. It offers an incredible driving experience, plus some upgrades inside and out that help it stand apart from regular trucks.
Dodge Ram SRT-10 Specs
Check out the table below for the full specs of the Dodge Ram SRT-10.
2004-2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10 Specs
|Specification||2004-2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10
|Starting MSRP (2004)
||8.3 liter V10
||6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic
|Max Towing Capacity
||7,500 lbs (4-door)
|Max Payload Capacity
||900 lbs (2-door), 1,010 lbs (4-door)
||203.1 inches (2-door), 227.7 inches (4-door)
||120.5 inches (2-door), 140.5 inches (4-door)
||5,139 lbs (2-door), 5,618 lbs (4-door)
||110 comb/ 14 highway/ 9 city (2-door)
9 comb/ 11 highway/ 8 city (4-door)
||4.9 seconds (2-door), 5.6 seconds (4-door)
|Quarter Mile Time
||13.6 seconds (2-door), 14.2 seconds (4-door)
||153 mph (2-door), 147 mph (4-door)
Dodge Ram SRT-10 Exterior
The Ram SRT-10 didn’t go too crazy with exterior add-ons. Still, there are some sporty elements that distinguish it from other Ram trucks of the time. Notice the unique billet grille and power hood dome up front.
You’ve also got massive 22-inch wheels wrapped by 305 performance tires and a special rear fascia. Most notably, there’s a large rear wing that provides 165 lbs of downforce. The Ram Daytona, a race car-inspired pickup with “only” a V8 under the hood, also had a wing on its tailgate. But it also had very large Daytona decals that differentiate it.
Apart from these exterior upgrades, the SRT-10 looks somewhat ordinary. It was available only as a regular cab with a short bed in 2004. For 2005-2006, a Quad Cab model joined the line-up. Some will find the extra seating and space a nice practical benefit. However, the Quad Cab is heavier than the regular cab. Because of this, enthusiasts tend to favor the quicker 6-speed regular cab version.
Dodge Ram SRT-10 Interior
The cabin of the Ram SRT-10 looks a bit mundane compared to modern performance cars and trucks. But it offered some noticeable upgrades compared to the lower Ram trims.
Notice the white instrument cluster, sporty red push-start button, and heavily bolstered sport seats. There’s seating for three in the regular cab, and the two outer seats have SRT-10 stitching and microsuede inserts. FCA calls them “Preferred Suede.”
Other cabin features include an 11-speaker sound system, 6-disc CD changer, dual airbags, and heated driver and passenger seats. None of these give the SRT-10 an upscale feel, but the sparse interior is par for the course here. What most drivers are interested in is the way this Ram performs.
Dodge Ram SRT-10 Engine and Performance
With 500 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque, the pushrod 8.3L V10 engine is an amazing motor, even by today’s standards. Power is sent to the rear wheels only, pushing the truck from 0-60 mph in around 4.9 seconds. Launches are aided by peak torque output that’s reached at just 1,500 RPM.
A six-speed manual transmission kicked off the production run, with a distinctive Hurst long-arm lever. It would remain the only transmission for the 2-door regular cab. But the 4-door Quad Cab was only available with a 4-speed automatic.
Though it has the heart of its stablemate, the Dodge Viper, the Ram SRT-10 is still a truck. The performance suspension and grippy tires make it suitable for pushing through corners, but you can’t get around the limitations of a pickup.
There’s not much weight in the rear end, meaning it’s easy to oversteer if you’re heavy on the throttle. Steering feel is precise but light, and you’ll definitely feel body roll through corners. This isn’t a sports car.
Still, the intoxicating sound and power of the 8.3L V10 engine alone are worth the price of admission. The use of four catalytic converters (!) means that there’s even more potential for performance, especially on the drag strip.
The End of the Sport Truck Era
It’s a bold claim, but there hasn’t been a truck like the Ram SRT-10 since it sunsetted in 2006. It represents not only one of the best examples of the street truck category, but the last. With only 10,046 trucks produced, it’s a rare and highly desirable model that holds a special place in performance vehicle history.
So what happened to sport trucks? If we’re being honest, the answer comes down to one event: the 2008 global recession. The automotive market was hit especially hard. And big, fuel-thirsty vehicles without much practicality fell out of favor with consumers. The ones that did stick around were SUVs, not trucks, such as FCA’s Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 and Dodge Durango SRT.
Performance trucks have made a comeback in recent years. But not in the form of street trucks. Off-roaders like the Ford F-150 Raptor and Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison have replaced muscle trucks at the top of the pickup food chain. This is due to increased consumer demand for off-road-capable lifestyle and adventure vehicles.
Sources: FCA | Dodge | Car and Driver | MotorTrend | MotorWeek | DodgeRam.Info | AutoWise | AutoBlog | Viper Truck Registry | The Viper Store | EPA
Image Credit: FCA
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