1973 Plymouth BarracudaEnlarge Photo
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] is currently holding its dealer group meeting in Las Vegas, during which it's showing the people who sell its vehicles the future of the company. Late last night our sources informed us that a new Barracuda is not only coming, but that it was shown in convertible form.
For years the return of the Barracuda nameplate has been teased. First, it was to be an SRT-only special model when the performance division was a standalone brand. When SRT was folded back into Dodge most assumed the Barracuda project was dead. Just two months ago we learned that FCA had filed a new trademark for "Barracuda" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Yesterday, a new Barracuda was rolled on stage in convertible form. Our unconfirmed sources tell us it looked good, though they aren't sure it will make it into production as a convertible. It's supposedly lighter, and smaller than the Challenger.
To put it in perspective, we were told it was a 7/8-scale Challenger in terms of size.
While this is sure to anger the enthusiast masses, we are being told the new Barracuda will wear a Dodge badge, since the car's original Plymouth brand no longer exists.
Sources couldn't confirm what platform or powertrains would make up the Barracuda. But based on information from previous reports, we believe it'll be based off of the new rear-wheel drive platform shared with the Alfa Romeo Giulia.
With a predicted launch time frame for either the 2019 or 2020 model years, it's possible that the Barracuda might not be powered by a HEMI, but in fact, a twin-turbocharged V-6 in top form. This is due to the latest rumor that all HEMIs—including the supercharged Hellcats—will die from SRT products by the 2019 model year.
In addition to the Barracuda, we were told a new Challenger ADR (American Drag Racer) with 315s on all four corners and rumors of up to 1,000 horsepower was shown as well. Alongside that was a Challenger T/A road course car with upgraded suspension, no rear seat (unlike the Challenger T/A concept that's been shown before), and blacked-out top graphics.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.