|600 ft. Slalom||62.00mph (99.82kph)|
|Drivetrain||Front / Rear|
|Engine||8.3L Naturally Aspirated v 10|
1/4mile: 12.500 @ 115.800 mph (186.4kph)
Performance: 2004 Hennessey 650R Ram SRT-10
Why would Dodge build a Viper V-10 truck? Because they can
By John Kiewicz
Photography by the author
Truck Trend, December 2004
When the question was asked, "Why climb Mt. Everest?" George Mallory's answer was simple: "Because it's there." Similarly, why would Dodge build a Viper V-10 truck? Because it can. And, in doing so, the V-10's 505 cubes have the fortitude to make the Ram SRT-10 the quickest, fastest production truck ever. Yet for some, like Hennessey Performance, a truck with just 525 pound-feet of torque isn't enough.
As a premier Dodge Viper tuner, Hennessey owns countless pages in the record books, and it appears as if he's just nabbed another entry. His latest creation, a Venom 650R Ram SRT-10, blasted out a 12.56-second run in a recent Truck Trend test, making it the quickest Ram SRT-10 on the globe--and that was with the rear tires wildly spinning on acceleration. What's the secret? Hennessey feels the factory-supplied 505 cubic inches are too small. Out came the stock V-10 for a full rework to "Venom" standards. The 650R V-10 has a longer stroke crank, Manley Pro Forged steel rods with ARP bolts, and bigger JE 11:1 forged pistons.
Supplying enough air/fuel mixture to satisfy the 522-cubic-inch engine is a pair of fully ported cylinder heads. A free-breathing cold-air-intake system gets the charge ready, while a special computer program takes care of spark and fuel management.
As the name indicates, the Venom 650R engine package delivers a healthy punch in the form of 670 engine-dyno-proven horsepower (565 measured at the rear tires), according to Hennessey. That calculates to a solid 170 horsepower increase with a 150 pound-foot increase in torque. Power is linear and strong throughout the rev range, but it comes at a healthy price: $34,500, which includes the professional installation, road and dyno testing, and a two-year warranty.
Big power underhood is great for bragging rights, but what does the Hennessey 650R Ram do at a stoplight? Frankly, it shreds tires. Despite careful clutchwork, the 650R flat spanks the rear tires with too much throttle on launch. Yet once rolling, the 650R charges harder than anything we've seen. In addition, for those who know how impressive these numbers are, the Hennessey 650R runs 0-100-0 mph in 14.6 seconds...and it's a truck.
And if a truck that runs 12.50s just isn't enough, consider Hennessey's radical Venom 800R package. The 650R engine is the basis, but added to the mix are a pair of ball-bearing turbochargers, huffing through a suitcase-size front-mounted intercooler. The tuneup is worth a reported 840 pound-feet of torque at the rear tires, which could equate to a fistful of speeding tickets if you're not careful.
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