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American V10 Voodoo


It's not every day that one gets to drive something with a V10 under the bonnet, but thanks to US Truck Sales in Richards Bay, we had the privilege to test a rare Dodge RAM SRT10 Quad Cab.

This American beast, in single cab form, held the Guiness World Record for being the fastest production truck from 2004 to 2014, clocking an average speed of 248.7km/h with NASCAR driver Brendan Gaughan behind the wheel.

Of the Quad Cab version, Dodge built only 3994 before production was halted. To put that in perspective, that’s about how many Hilux’s Toyota sells in SA every month. The RAM SRT10 tested here is one of only four Quad Cabs in SA.

Built for speed

The idea behind the RAM SRT10 was to build a strictly performance-based truck, so Dodge dropped a Chrysler 8.3-litre, V10 Viper motor into the pick-up. In the RAM SRT10, this unit delivers 373kW at 5600rpm and 712Nm at 4200rpm. The V10 Viper engine is driven through a four-speed automatic transmission.

To make the big pick-up suitable for speed, engineers dropped the suspension 2.5 inches and fitted Bilstein shocks, performance-tuned springs, 15-inch (380mm) disks in front and 14-inchers (360mm) in the rear. The test vehicle is fitted with a set of huge, 22-inch Cooper tyres. Dry weight of the truck is 2548kg.

The viper strikes

In our test the big Dodge had to do battle with a very strong headwind. Outside temperature was 24°C and the GPS managed to find 11 satellites. Besides driver and co-driver, the RAM SRT10 also had to lug a full tank of fuel along, 98-litres in this case.

The truck charged the 0-100km test down in an amazing time of 5.43 seconds, making the Golf GTi’s 6.50 seconds ‘glacially’ slow in comparison. In our ¼ mile test the vehicle managed a cool 13.8 seconds, whilst reaching 161.8km/h.

Again, this is an amazing result, especially when taking into consideration that it weighs twice as much as the Renault Clio RS (1204kg), the little Clio only managing a ‘seasonal’ 14.59 seconds.

Sanity vs madness

The big American truck completed the 1 mile, from a standing start, in 36.8 seconds reaching a speed of 209.2km/h while doing so. This means that it will outrun a Focus ST (37.61sec). In the top-end run, though, the strong wind proved to be too dangerous. 

It was a case of sanity vs madness, with the former easing up the throttle when we were on 220km/h and felt the nose starting to drift. You will just have to trust Dodge’s claim of a 237km/h top speed for the RAM SRT10.

Regardless, a 5.43 second 0-100 and sub 14 second ¼ mile are proof enough that the Dodge RAM SRT10 has some wicked 10 cylinder voodoo.

Test conditions:

  • Outside temperature – 24C°
  • Strong headwind
  • Full tank fuel (98-litres)
  • Driver and co-driver
  • 11 satellites

Vehicle specifications:

  • Engine – 8.3-litre, V10
  • Power – 373kW @ 5600rpm
  • Torque – 712Nm @ 4200rpm
  • Transmission – four-speed 48RE
  • Tyres – Pirelli Pzero 255/30R20 (rear), 225/35R20 (front)
  • Suspension - Dana 60 solid rear axle and independent front suspension

Test results:

  • 0-100km/h – 5.43sec
  • 1/4mile (400m) – 13.80sec @ 161.8km/h
  • 1mile (1600m) – 36.42sec @209.2km/h
  • Top Speed – We are not crazy but Dodge claims 237km/h 

Article by: Val van der Walt and Zahid Hassim


Article written by Val van der Walt
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