dodge challenger barracuda concept motorauthority 004Enlarge Photo
Just a few weeks back we presented the argument for keeping both in the product line, but the latest update from Car and Driver seems to indicate that the Barracuda will replace the Challenger. The decision likely won’t be based on sales, but rather on meeting ever-tightening CAFE requirements.
While we don’t know what the new Barracuda will look like, expect it to be comparable in size to the current Ford Mustang (which is reportedly shrinking with the 2015 redesign). Compared to the current Challenger, the Barracude will lose an estimated six inches of wheelbase and some eight inches in overall length.
Expect a narrower track, too, by a reported two inches, with front suspension evolving from control arms to struts and rear suspension getting new multilink geometry. Helping with both performance and fuel economy, the Barracuda is expected to be nearly 300 pounds lighter than the current Challenger.
Base models will see engine downsizing, too. Expect the least-expensive Barracudas to come to market with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder used in the Dart, possibly with forced induction. There may be no V-6 option, with the range-topping cars getting either the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 or the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8.
It’s unlikely that both engines will be offered, as is the case with the current Challenger. If SRT is picking one or the other, expect to see the 6.4-liter Hemi as the range-topping option.
Pricing remains a mystery, but the Challenger has a reputation for being the most expensive of the current muscle cars. If SRT wants to move Barracudas in quantity, we’d expect pricing to fall more in line with offerings from Ford and Chevy.