Dodge RAM SS/T Specificationsby Michael G. Sanchez
Pickup trucks are typically known for off-road ruggedness rather than on-road performance. Exceptions exist, though. "Sport trucks," such as Dodge's Ram SS/T, are designed for going fast and looking good on the pavement rather than off it. Inspired by the success of the limited-edition 1996 Indy Ram -- which commemorated the truck's pace-vehicle duties at that year's Indianapolis 500 auto race -- the SS/T combined extroverted styling with a modest but noticeable bump in power. The truck was produced for only two years: 1997 and 1998. There were no significant changes between the two model years.
The sporty Ram came with special 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with P275/60R17 performance tires, polished-chrome exhaust tips, fog lamps, a tachometer, and color-keyed front and rear bumpers and rear valance. Perhaps the most memorable special feature of the SS/T, though, was its paint job. It came in four bold colors, each with contrasting dual racing stripes. To many Dodge fans, the eye-catching stripes evoked the brand's recently released Viper GTS sports car. The SS/T was available in the following color combinations: bright red with silver stripes, emerald green with silver stripes, black with silver stripes and white with blue stripes.
The Ram SS/T was available as a regular-cab truck only. It measured 204.1 inches in length, 79.4 inches in width and 71.9 inches in height, and it sat on a 118.7-inch wheelbase. The truck's bed length was 6.5 feet, which was the shorter of the two lengths normally offered on regular-cab Rams. Because the SS/T was more about performance and style than utility, though, most buyers likely didn't miss the greater cargo capacity of the long bed. The truck's cab provided 40.2 inches of headroom, 66 inches of shoulder room, 65.6 inches of hip room and 41 inches of legroom.
The Ram SS/T was powered by an enhanced version of the same 5.9-liter V-8 available in other Rams of its vintage. In the SS/T, it generated a healthy 245 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 335 foot-pounds of torque at 3,200 rpm. This was 10 more horsepower and 5 more foot-pounds of torque than the standard version. The increase in power was primarily due to the SS/T's low-restriction exhaust system. Keeping with its sporty nature, the truck was available exclusively with rear-wheel drive. A four-speed autobox was the sole transmission choice; however, it was tuned to shift more aggressively in the SS/T. The Dodge came standard with four-wheel disc brakes with rear-wheel ABS. Four-wheel ABS was optional.
Although the Ram SS/T wasn't wildly fast, it was definitely on the quick side for a factory-spec, full-size pickup circa the late 1990s. It could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a brisk 6.9 seconds and rush through the quarter mile in 15.2 seconds.
Fuel economy was less of a concern for many buyers in the 1990s, due to historically low gas prices. This was fortunate for Dodge, as the Ram SS/T's fuel economy numbers were particularly abysmal. The sporty truck was EPA-rated at 11 mpg in the city and 16 mpg on the highway.
When new, the 1997 model had a base price of $20,025, while the 1998 version started at $20,480. Kelley Blue Book reports that, as of 2014, a nicely maintained 1997 model is worth about $1,957, while an equivalent 1998 should go for around $2,105.
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