Outrageously powerful, but too big to be practical and left-hand drive only
16 February 2006
What's new?
AT 50mph, in the wet, when a Dodge Ram pick-up kicks-down and the rear tyres spin, there are better places to be. Sitting on the sofa at home with a cup of tea, for example. When 2477kg of truck begings to slide, it's a while before it is inclined to stop, especially if, like this particular Ram, it's lightly loaded, leaf-sprung, live rear axle is driven by an 8.3-litre V10 engine (4x4 is not an option on this model).
What's it like?
An 8.3-litre V10, you say? Yep, it's the one from the Viper muscle car (badged SRT-10 in the UK because of copyright shenanigans), developing 500bhp and 525lb ft, and driving through a crude, four-speed overdriven automatic gearbox.
And it's being officially imported, too: tired of seeing Rams find their way here via grey import, DaimlerChrysler UK has opted to put 50 Rams through Single Vehicle Approval and sell 'em at dealerships. SRT-10s are priced at £37,995, but there are some (marginally) more sensible 5.7-litre 1500 4x4 models, too, at £25,995.
Should I buy one?
Those latter prices exclude VAT though, because the Ram is a commercial vehicle - and, in truth, probably quite a good one in the wide expanses of the US. Even this quad cab SRT-10, the world's fastest production pick-up, has a 2m x 1.7m load bay and can tow 3.3 tonnes.
In the UK though, a 14m turning circle and (at best) 10mpg means that its appeal is limited to the wealthy who want to get noticed (the bodykit and 22-inch alloys cover that). But for everyone else in the vicinity's sake, let's hope they choose not to drive it too fast in the wet.
Matt Prior

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