Will Chrysler Build The Ram SRT Hellcat Pickup?
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Who needs a V10 when you can have 700-hp of Hellcat HEMI?In an interview with Car and Driver, Ram Trucks CEO Robert Hegbloom responded to the question about the production of a Ram 1500 with the storied Hellcat engine: "At this time, I would say no." According to a recent press release, Hegbloom joined Chrysler in 1986 and moved up to director of Ram Trucks before being promoted to CEO in August this year. He was closely involved in the separation of the Ram Truck brand from Dodge.
The supercharged V8 Hellcat motor has caused quite a stir in the automotive world, first with its installation in the Dodge Challenger, followed by the four-door Charger. With 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, the Hellcat propels both cars to 60 mph on the low side of 3 seconds and a quarter mile is run in about 11 seconds. The bang-for-buck factor is huge, with the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat coming in at $59,995 and the Charger SRT Hellcat costing $63,995 with gas guzzler tax built in.
Chrysler has a good selection vehicles to choose from, and the engineering to wedge in the big 6.2-liter Hemi is already there, based on the brand's propensity to release high-performance variations of its trucks in past years. The current Grand Cherokee SRT has a 6.4-liter Hemi that produces 470 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. The Grand Cherokee SRT was also previously in production from 2006-2010.
The Dodge Ram SRT10 was a different story. Chrysler took the 8.3-liter motor from the vicious Dodge Viper and put it in a pickup, creating the fastest production truck in the world — zero to 60 mph took under five seconds. It sounds simple to just drop in a huge engine and watch the truck go, but it took a lot of engineering to make the thing drivable.
The SRT team opted for the 6-speed manual Tremec T-56 transmission, also lifted from the Viper, which could easily handle the motor's 500 horsepower and 525 pound-feet of torque. Performance-tuned Bilstein shocks were coupled with springs made just for this vehicle. A fifth shock was installed on the rear axle to prevent wheel-hop.
Modified 15-inch rotors up front and 14-inch rotors in the rear provided stopping power. The SRT10 debuted with two-piston rotors its first year, which were replaced by four pistons for its final two years.
An SRT10 Quad Cab was introduced in 2005 for drivers who wanted to bring friends or family along for the wild ride. The Quad Cab also had a greater towing capacity, but only came equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The Ram SRT10 was only in production for three years, from 2004-2006, but in that short time it made a huge impact and started a new trend in truck tuning. MSRP for the first year was about $45,000. Less than 10,000 of these trucks were made and they still draw crowds at auto shows or in the local supermarket parking lot; let's face it, that bed was really not designed for carrying construction materials.
Until 2010, there was an option for a Ram R/T, but since then it has not been offered as a standalone model. Rather, buyers who configure a standard cab 1500 Sport model with rear-wheel-drive, the V8 and a short bed will receive a 1500 Ram R/T Hemi (the badge in the grille, the vents in the hood and the 22-inch polished wheels magically appear when you configure a Sport this way on the Ram website). The MSRP for this truck is about $35K.
The R/T pickup mates the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with an eight-speed automatic transmission, producing 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 takes about five and a half seconds, which is not too far off from the SRT10, though that model was special in that it was purpose-built for speed.
So. Is there a possibility that we will see a Ram Hellcat go into production? Maybe not at this time, but if there is a time, it is now.
Man, I wish Chrysler would pull the trigger on the Hellcat RAM!