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Side Story: Trucks

Regulation at the state (especially California) and national level has caused most car manufacturers to cut back on the number and types of options available. Customers can no longer pick and choose from a wide variety of power and performance options because the manufacturers don't — and in many cases, can't — certify all the permutations and combinations. So we end up with a short list of choices when looking at new cars.

Not quite the same with trucks, however. Fewer regulations allow truck companies to offer combinations that don't need to be certified for the same level of emissions or meet car mileage requirements. So we have performance options in trucks that are not available to car buyers. Maybe that's one reason trucks are so popular with people who never haul more than a few grocery bags in back?

Take for example the Dodge Ram 1500 SRT-10. By canvassing the parts bins of Chrysler, Dodge Trucks has been able to drop the Viper V-10, 8.3L (505 cu. in.) engine under the hood. What does a 500 HP engine do for a pickup truck? Can you say, "Pick up and go!"

The Ford F-150 Lightening may have started this trend in full-sized pickups but Dodge has certainly raised the bar. This normal looking truck can top 150 MPH and sprint zero to 60 in a tad over five seconds. Wolfgang Bernhard, Chief Operating Officer-Chrysler Group, remarked, "The Ram SRT-10 is true to the performance ideals that created the original Dodge Viper: keep it simple and make it fast. There is no replacement for displacement."

Various performance parts, such as Bilstein mono-tube shock absorbers and performance-tuned springs, keep the SRT-10 on the road at high speeds. The 22-inch custom "Viper-style" wheels fitted with 305/40 R22 Pirelli Scorpion tires also help.

All in all, the SRT-10 is probably not the best truck for crawling around a large job site, picking up debris, and hauling the mixer to a new location. For one thing, they've lowered the truck 2.5 inches for better road handling. Less ground clearance isn't popular in the mud, however. The fun is made when that F-150 driver sneers at you at a stoplight. This is one pickup with pick up.

Full-sized and Full of Power



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