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Hennessey Dodge Ram

 

Even in standard form, Dodge's Ram SRT-10 is by no ordinary pick-up: it's the world's fastest factory-built pick-up truck yet.

Producing 500bhp from a Dodge Viper 8.3-litre V10 engine, the standard 2.5-tonne ute peaks at a whopping 249km/h. Add two massive turbochargers into the mix, and the equation becomes even more outrageous.

Wheel spinning starts earlier and finishes later. Quarter mile times are 1.8-seconds quicker with a 12.4-second pass, and the 0-100km/h sprint drops to 4.4 seconds on street rubber. There's a further decrease of 1.1 seconds on drag racing tyres.

At higher speeds, the shock value of the truck's performance numbers increases. The Twin-turbo Ram accelerates from 0 to 190km/h in 13.1 seconds, or less than half the time it takes the standard version. And it now holds the world's quickest Ram SRT-10 title.

The 8.0-litre V10 make a monstrous, unforgettable and angry rumble, complemented by the whine of the turbochargers and the shrill howl of the wastegates.

Texas outfit Hennessey Performance Engineering produces the twin turbo Ram conversion. Known for builing the world's quickest, fastest and most powerful Dodge Vipers, John Hennessey created the Ram SRT-10 twin turbo upgrade which he calls the Venom 800.

 Installed and tuned by Hennessey, a Turbonetic ball-bearing turbocharger feeds each side of the V10. Both are mounted on Hennessey-made stainless steel exhaust manifolds. External Tial Wastegates are used. An air-to-air intercooler is mounted behind the grille for crisp cooling. Stainless steel exhaust dump pipes re-unite at the rear-mounted stainless performance muffler.

The forced induction demanded more petrol, so the fuel pump was graded and uprated injectors were installed.

Boost is kept at 10psi thanks to a GReddy PRofec B boost controller, and the factory SRT-10 computer has been retuned on the dynamometer. The results are spectacular, with 800 horsepower and 850 pound-feet of torque - that's 300bhp and an extra 325lb/ft than the factory SRT-10 can muster. With figures like that, it's no surprise that the standard four-speed automatic transmission needed beefing up.

Hennessey added a performance torque converter, and the transmission was rebuilt with a significantly more robust billet input shaft. The clutch packs can now hold on to gears long after the turbos spool up.

What is a performance upgrade with out a lowering job? Hennessey dropped the front of the truck 50mm and the rear 100mm. But the lowering has made for a stiffer ride and less grip on the skidpan.

The standard truck has 22-inch alloy wheels, but Hennessy made its own rims that are 0.5 of an inch wider and 900 grams lighter. Tyres are Pirelli Scorpion Zeroes.

Surprisingly, the mega powerful pick-up isn't too much of a handful to drive sedately if accelerator inputs remain light-footed and temptation is resisted.

 In hard driving the four-speed auto shifts abruptly and sometimes harshly, but so does the stock unit in the SRT10 Quad Cab.

Fuel consumption? The electronic gauge revealed an average of 4mpg when we passengered in the truck. we're told, though that the modified SRT-10 can do 10mpg with a light throttle foot.

John Hennessey gets the last words on his creation: "Spank the loud pedal on this beast, and you will want to yell out, 'Yeeeee-hawww,' even if you're not from Texas."


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