At first glance, the truck looks like a show truck. The plastic fairings, the wing, and the 22-inch wheels make you wonder if it's simply a poser. One of the Ford guys even commented that the wing would make it tough to throw a big screen TV in the back. Leave it to a Ford guy to worry about how to get his television home. After turning the key and pushing the start button-oh yeah, to start the truck you have to push the "Engine Start" button-I headed out into traffic. The SRT-10 is tame enough to drive around town without a hiccup. The 850-rpm idle and the docile nature of the truck (until you reach about 3,000 rpm) are great for everyday commuting. Not that you would commute with an SRT-10 unless you have a large bank account for fuel. We averaged about 8.4 mpg in town and squeaked out 12.4 on the highway. But let's remember, this truck was not designed to be an econobox. Things really come alive at about 3,500 rpm, and you can instantly throw passengers and cargo all the way to the back just by mashing the pedal. A quick acceleration test put the speedometer at triple digits, and that was even before we got to fourth gear.
What about cornering? It seems really odd to speak of cornering when talking about a truck, but this one does. The suspension on the SRT-10 is definitely race inspired. Road feel through the suspension is very evident, but understandable since this is not a New Yorker. If you like a nice smooth riding truck, you ain't looking at the SRT-10 anyway. We secured a private winding road and ran a couple passes to get a feel for it; then proceeded to let it all hang out. The quick turn rack-and-pinion steering means minimal effort at the wheel. At first, oversteering was a concern. We were amazed at how nimble a 5,000-pound half-ton truck can be. Body roll was nonexistent, and if you are not belted into the seat, cornering will throw you against the door.
We know what you guys are thinking-what about at the drag strip? We filled the tank up-again-and headed for Lakeland Motorsports Park. Our first shot at the eighth-mile went like this: GREEN LIGHT; throttle, lift, throttle, lift, throttle, lift, oh the heck with it, floor it. We had a 2.71 60-foot and tripped the lights with a 9.34 e.t. For our second pass, we warmed the tires up a little more (read: blistered them) and staged. Tires are the definite limiting factor when it comes to launching. The lack of sidewalls give the tires no chance of cushioning the shock of an all-out assault on a launch. When the light came down, a soft-footed launch netted a 2.10 60-foot time. For some reason, wheelhop occurred after hitting second gear. We did trip the lights at 8.80.3 at 85 mph. Pulling right back into the lane, we had a 2.14 60-foot time and the e.t. was 8.83 at 85 mph. We then gave the truck a rest; after about a half hour we headed to the staging lanes again. But while we were sitting in the staging lanes waiting our turn, some guy in a Chevelle decided to oil down the starting line. so there we sat. Just as we were getting tired of waiting for the clean up and ready to head home, the guys at the track decided to run everyone in the tower lane only. So we gave it one last try, and the truck ran an 8.79 e.t. at 86 mph with a 60-foot time of 1.99. When converted to quarter-mile time, that's roughly a 13.8 e.t. Even with a manual trans, it was fairly consistent. I know a lot of you guys are thinking that's not very fast. But keep in mind, this thing was built for top-end speed and weighs slightly over 5,000 pounds. The 300-pound driver and his driving ability may also have something to do with the times.