Then there's the gearing, which is higher than Snoop Dogg at Mardi Gras. First gear is good for 50 mph, and second will break the speed limit on most highways in the country. At 50 mph in sixth, the V-10 is loping along at 1000 rpm. The gearing, tires, and suspension modifications mean that a 3500-rpm clutch drop results in a brief loss of traction followed by anticlimactic engine bogging. Rev it up to five grand and dump the clutch, however, and you'll be more popular than teased bangs with the girls in the Dairy Queen parking lot. And if you're charged with murdering those pricey Pirellis, it definitely will have been premeditated.
Smoke-show shenanigans aside, in real-world driving, the Ram's determination to hook up is crucial to its mission of sport-truck supremacy. Plant the throttle coming out of a corner, and there's little fear that forward motion will be compromised by wheelspin. It's telling that the Ram SRT-10's introduction included laps on a tight autocross course, which is not a place you'd usually expect to find a 5000-pound truck. Blasting from corner to corner, the SRT-10 is like an NFL lineman recovering a fumble and sprinting off to the end zone. It's amazing that something this big can be so quick and agile. The Ram also demonstrates unflappable poise, holding its line even over midcorner bumps. All this is accomplished without traction control or other electronic aids, which is refreshing in this era of speed limiters, stability control programs, and artificial brake assist. Ram SRT-10 drivers have no use for such things, for they are tough, mustache-wearing men and women who know they're nearing their trucks' limits when their spittoons start to spill.
Owners might want to think about swapping in a higher-ratio rear end to shave a few ticks off their quarter-mile times, but other than that, Dodge got its flagship truck right straight out of the box. It looks badass but not overwrought, the V-10 makes great sounds (particularly the wicked exhaust crackle on overrun), and its overall performance is beyond the realm of anything else with a cargo bed (notably the outgoing Ford Lightning). In fact, it would be redundant to adorn a Ram SRT-10 with a decal of Calvin peeing on a Ford logo, as the truck itself effectively communicates that message (feel free to airbrush VipeRam on the tailgate, however). Ford, for its part, has been making hyperbolic declarations about its next Lightning that would make the former Iraqi information minister weep with appreciation. But, for now, the Ram SRT-10 stands as the ultimate performance truck, a 500-horsepower adult toy.