2006 Dodge Ram SRT10
2006 Dodge Ram SRT10. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Peter Bleakney
Photo Gallery: 2006 Dodge Ram
Common sense dictates that installing a 500-hp Viper V10 engine in a tall, ungainly, four-door pickup is a bad idea: right up there with the impact-triggered parachute and Pat Boone’s heavy metal album.

After spending a few days burning through copious amounts of premium fuel in a Dodge Ram SRT-10 Quad Cab, I still think it’s a bad idea. But yeeehaaa! this butt-kickin’ truck sure is one helluva ride!

In 2004, Dodge’s Street and Racing Technology launched the 8.3-litre V10-powered Ram SRT-10 regular cab pickup, which was available only with a six-speed manual transmission sprouting a Hurst shifter. This micro-niche vehicle immediately vaulted to king-of-the-hill status in pickup-land, and is now recognized in The Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest production pickup with a measured top speed of 248.783 kph.

Zero to 100 km/h in the low-fives and the quarter mile in the mid-fourteens is all well and good, but what if you have a couple of kids, can’t drive stick, and still want to do smoky burnouts on the 400 while towing the Chris Craft up to the cottage?

2006 Dodge Ram SRT10
2006 Dodge Ram SRT10. Click image to enlarge

The deviant folks at SRT answered the call in 2005 with the SRT-10 Quad Cab, available only with a super-duty four-speed automatic. The truck has a towing capacity of 3,697 kilograms. Mike Accavitti, VP of Marketing DaimlerChrysler Canada says, “This Viper-powered truck is not only awe-inspiring, but it is also very practical and convenient with the ability to go, stow and tow.”

This “practical and convenient” truck now sits in my driveway, dwarfing my wife’s Mazda5. The imposing front end looks for all the world like Satan’s personal freight train – its gaping cross-hair maw, mesh airdam and functional “Viper Powered” hood scoop ready to suck small children away from their mother’s skirts, never to be seen again.

2006 Dodge Ram SRT10
2006 Dodge Ram SRT10
2006 Dodge Ram SRT10. Click image to enlarge

Haul yourself up into the cabin of this “family” truck, and your backside settles comfortably into the heated form-fitting sport seats with suede inserts. The dash has some SRT specific satin-silver and carbon fibre accents, a 280-km/h speedometer, and a 6000 rpm redline tach. But the red starter button really gets your attention. Will pressing this awaken the sleeping beast within?

Yes and no. The V10 fires up instantly and settles into a non descript sounding idle. Where’s the aural thunder? Blipping the throttle produces further un-sexy sounds. Disappointing to say the least.

Once underway, and with the happy pedal pressed firmly against the firewall, forward thrust is anything but disappointing. Granted, the Quad Cab’s considerable 2472 kg heft burdens the V10’s 500 hp and 525 lb.-ft. of torque somewhat, but it still produces eye-opening acceleration.
In the Dodge Viper, this OHV 20-valve V10 is diabolical. In the Ram SRT-10 Quad Cab, it’s merely very fast. And under full throttle, the V10 does produce a fairly intimidating bellow.

The Ram rides on 22-inch Viper-style wheels mounted with 305/40R Pirelli Scorpion all-season radials. Handling has been beefed up with modified front and rear strut assemblies and Bilstein monotube dampers. The ride is firm, but not jarring.

There is no wussy electronic stability control or traction control in the SRT-10, just a limited slip differential. Burnouts ‘R Us.

2006 Dodge Ram SRT10
2006 Dodge Ram SRT10. Click image to enlarge

New for 2006 is a hydroformed box frame on all Ram pickups that considerably increases torsional rigidity.

Braking is a priority in a vehicle such as this, and the massive vented 381 mm front discs and 356 mm rear discs, squeezed by four-pot calipers, are up to the task. The brakes feel incredibly strong and pedal feel is excellent. Dodge claims the binders will haul the brute to a standstill from 96 km/h in only 41 metres (135 feet).

For a gargantuan two-and-three-quarter tonne pickup, handling is� well, interesting. Steering is surprisingly sharp and responsive, although it lacks any feedback. Tuck into a bend and the truck hangs on and tracks obediently as long as you don’t encounter any bumps. Sharp impacts send quivers through the structure and the Ram will alter its course alarmingly.

2006 Dodge Ram SRT10
2006 Dodge Ram SRT10. Click image to enlarge

I jumped at the chance to test this truck because I needed to pick up a fridge from my sister and take my old beer fridge to the scrap yard. Great photo op as well, I thought, seeing one of these brutes actually doing some real work. But I was to be foiled by the foil. The permanent NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series-inspired rear spoiler spoiled any chance of me sliding anything in the bed over 53 cm high. How useless is that?

Okay, I admit it. I’m not a truck guy. Never have been and never will be. So my initiation into the culture of hi-performance pickups was eye-opening to say the least. One afternoon, while showing off the Viper engine to my curious neighbours, a big black Ram 2500 rattled up in front of my house. The driver leaned out of the window and hollered, “You should have bought a diesel! What kind of mileage are you getting with that?”

2006 Dodge Ram SRT10
2006 Dodge Ram SRT10. Click image to enlarge

“Somewhere between crap and obscene.” I answered.

He then proceeded to tell me what a waste of money the SRT-10 is because, after “chipping” his 5.9-litre Cummings Turbo Diesel, he was getting close to 500 hp and 1000 lb.-ft. of torque at the wheel. And he’d be happy to race me any time.

Since the gentleman weighed a good two of me, I decided not to challenge his claim.

I conceded, “I’m sure your big black truck could suck the headlights out of my big black truck. Have a nice day.”

Yeeesh. I never have to put up with this when I have a Porsche in the driveway.

On another occasion, while at the pool store with the SRT-10, I spotted a be-decaled limited edition 2004 Ram Rumble Bee pickup circling the parking lot – its 5.7-litre Hemi burbling menacingly. It eventually pulled up beside me. Here we go again, I thought.

2006 Dodge Ram SRT10
2006 Dodge Ram SRT10. Click image to enlarge

Much to my surprise, a very attractive and friendly young lady emerged. She was all smiles and questions. She showed me her truck (affectionately named Black Betty) and I showed her mine (hastily named Darth Nadir), and gosh, it was just one big Ram love fest. When I popped the hood, she went all silent, basking in the glory of that unadorned V10. It truly is an impressive looking piece.

I fired it up for her and she too was surprised at its wimpy voice. Nothing an aftermarket exhaust system couldn’t fix, she said. She invited me out to Toronto Motorsport Park for some bracket racing which I politely declined. Didn’t want to return the truck to the nice folks at DaimlerChrysler with bald rear tires.

Both 2006 SRT-10 models are available in Black, Inferno Red Crystal Pearl Coat and Mineral Grey Metallic. The interior comes only in Medium Slate Grey, and can be optioned with UConnect hands-free communication system with Bluetooth. A rear seat video entertainment system and door-mounted side impact airbags are optional on the Quad Cab.

2006 Dodge Ram SRT10
2006 Dodge Ram SRT10. Click image to enlarge

With the demise of the 380-hp Ford SVT F-150 Lightning a few years ago, the Ram SRT-10 is the only extremely sociopathic pickup available. It has no competition, and I doubt it ever will.

One could argue that the $67,290 Dodge Ram SRT-10 Quad Cab pickup is the answer to a question no sane person should ever have asked. It gets horrendous fuel mileage (22 L/100 km observed) and is severely utility-challenged by the ridiculous “lift-reducing” rear wing.

But when you’re perched in that snug sport seat, looking down on just about everything short of an 18-wheeler, and knowing that the gargantuan 8.3-litre push-rod lump on the other side of the footwell can melt the rear tires and your gas card simultaneously, it makes you want to scream “I’m king of the world! Big silly trucks are fun! Kyoto be damned!”



  • Base price: $67,290
  • Options: $345 (22-inch polished wheels, $810; under rail box bed-liner $385, supplemental side air bags, $460; rear window defroster, $40; Quick Order Package 2SX discounts these options by $1350, resulting in a total option price of $345)
  • Freight: $1,225
  • A/C tax: $100
  • Price as tested: $68,960 Click here for options, dealer invoice prices and factory incentives


  • Click here for complete specifications

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