New Details On Chrysler's Alleged Barracuda Comeback

1967 Plymouth Barracuda

1967 Plymouth Barracuda

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If rumors from January’s Detroit Auto Show are correct, the current Dodge Challenger is living on borrowed time.

Even in SRT8 trim, the Challenger is more of a Grand Touring coupe than a pony car, which limits its appeal to the Mopar faithful.

Chrysler thinks it can sell more units of a smaller, more mainstream rear-wheel drive muscle car, and Motor Trend reports that Ralph Gilles is already at work on the design of a new Barracuda. Like the upcoming Viper, this model will probably be sold under the SRT nameplate.

Don’t expect the new Barracuda to be a retro design, though it will likely employ some styling influences from all three generations of Plymouth Barracuda, originally built from 1964 to 1974. The Chrysler group rear-wheel drive platform to be used is currently under development, and will likely be shared with future Alfa Romeo models.

With new versions of the Mustang and Camaro coming for the 2014 or 2015 model year, expect the SRT Barracuda to launch around the same time. The current pony car performance bar will likely be raised, as the next Mustang is expected to get an independent rear suspension, while the Camaro is said to be moving to a smaller (and lighter) platform.

We’ve got mixed emotions on this, since we’re fans of the current Challenger’s styling. As much as we like the car, it’s simply too big for track-day fun, so we’d welcome a more sporting muscle car from Chrysler. The Challenger’s LY platform is also getting up in years, and there simply isn’t enough demand to warrant a redesign.

We’ll miss the Dodge Challenger when it’s gone, but we’re confident that an SRT Barracuda will keep our grieving process short. 
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Comments (5)
  1. I believe in terms of a Mustang and Camaro competitor, Chrysler needs to launch this Barracuda, but I do believe that Challenger put up a damn good fight. If Chrysler were to keep their investment in the Challenger, they would need to throw in a bit more technology to keep it on-par with both of its lead competitors. With the AWESOME LED taillight design in the Charger, the Challengers would need something as unique. A convertible variant would be necessary. I'm excited to see this new Barracuda, but I wonder if it's built off the SRT line, if people will choose it over more standards like Mustang or Camaro.

  2. @Will, the Mopar faithful will. SRT also has a good shot at claiming customers without allegiance to either the Mustang or the Camaro.

    Assuming, of course, that the new Barracuda's performance and price are on par with its rivals.

  3. the Challenger is the best looking of the retro revolution american sports cars, in maintaining the classic styling, with the camaro being a great new Age interpretation. a smaller same designed car woudl be ideal. Stick it on a 200c or shortened 300c platofrm for rigidity and they will have a winner

  4. @WizardsLore, I completely agree that the Challenger is the best looking of the current pony cars, but it's also the biggest. I think Fiat / Chrysler is doing the right thing by developing an all-new platform for the Barracuda, and I trust Ralph Gilles' eye for design. If the Barracuda does see production, I've got some lofty expectations for both performance and styling.

  5. Maybe they won't screw this one up like they did with the Charger. The concept was much closer in feel to the original than the brick that eventually ended up on the sales floor.

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