Ex * cess n. 1) Action or conduct that goes beyond the usual, reasonable, or lawful limit 2) Dodge SRT-10

It's official. the ultimate performance pickup is here-and it's a Dodge. Dodge pulled no punches when they pulled an all-aluminum V-10 directly off the Viper assembly line and stuffed it into a '04 Ram pickup. Sitting on specially built engine mounting points, the V-10 engine delivers 90 percent of its 525 lb-ft of torque between 1,500 to 5,600 rpm. The V-10 features a six main-bearing-cap crankshaft and cross-bolted main-bearing caps. Despite using larger diameter aluminum alloy pistons than the previous generation's 8.0-liter Viper engine, the pistons weigh less and are included along with new, lighter, and stronger connecting rods. The cylinder heads on the V-10 are semipermanent mold (SPM) 356 T6 aluminum alloy with low-profile, die-cast, magnesium, cylinder head covers featuring steel internal baffles and anti-slosh foam. The valve covers were our only disappointment with the under hood appearance. We thought the valve covers should say SRT-10 and have a Ram logo, but that's just us. A heavy-duty cooling system is employed to handle the needs of the new Viper engine, and a custom dual-exhaust system is mounted to new exhaust manifolds. It may have a dual exhaust, but it enters and leaves a single muffler. A modified Tremec T56 six-speed manual transmission is shifted by a chrome Hurst shifter and grabbing gears is a cinch. The T56 is fully synchronized with an electronic reverse lockout, and a new 4.5-inch aluminum driveshaft runs from the Viper-sourced transmission to a Dana 60 rear axle with 4.11 gears.

Don't Think for a minute that this truck can only go straight. We put it through the paces on a winding road, and on 30-mph-rated corners we felt nary a lean at 80 mph. For a truck that weighs a tick over 5,000 pounds, this thing flat out handles! Working with the hydroformed Ram 1500 frame, PVO dropped the Ram SRT-10 an inch in the front and 2.5 inches in the rear. New front-and-rear strut assemblies and a rear sway bar were added to handle the increased cornering loads and virtually eliminate body roll. This truck corners better than some performance cars we've driven. The PVO engineers added Bilstein monotube shock absorbers, a new front knuckle design, and shorter, stiffer, performance-tuned springs. Custom, 22-inch, Viper-style wheels were fitted with 305/40 R22 Pirelli Scorpion tires for extra adhesion. the rear leaf springs were modified with the addition of leaf-spring snubbers for power launches. It's basically a traction bar from the factory. To bring the SRT-10 to a put-you-through-the-windshield halt, the standard ABS-equipped brakes are fitted with new 15-inch rotors on the front and 14-inch rotors on the rear.

The Proof Is In The BeatingWhen the truck arrived on Tuesday for our thrashing...er, I mean evaluation, I signed my life over and went back to my office to finish the day's work. fifteen minutes after I sat down, I realized-I have the keys to an SRT-10, and here I am sitting at my desk! I left the office.