Motor Trend reports that Chrysler may forsake the Dodge Challenger for a resurrected Barracuda. The magazine cites two unnamed sources as saying the nameplate will surface in time to celebrate the vehicle's 50th anniversary in 2014. If true, the Barracuda will ride on a new smaller and lighter platform that's more fit to compete with the likes of the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. The vehicle's bones will likely be shared with Alfa Romeo, which means a turbo four-cylinder may show up behind the Barracuda headlights as well as a fire-breathing V8. MT suggests the design may pull from the original fastback Barracuda, though a notch-back version would allow Chrysler to more effectively compete against the drop-top hardware from Ford and Chevrolet.

We have no doubt Chrysler and Fiat are currently investigating ways to breathe new life into the Challenger. The vehicle has been content to plod along as a distant third to its muscle-car rivals, but pulling the Barracuda name back into play seems unlikely. For starters, the Barracuda sailed under the long-dead Plymouth banner, and both Dodge and Chrysler have a long list of hallowed names from which to choose. Stay tuned.


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  • 113 Comments
      Andrew L
      • 3 Years Ago
      IF, and that's a big IF, it does come back it would probably be a Chrysler Barracuda. Makes me wonder... I have heard some speculation that they may be trying to phase out the Dodge brand. First the Rams trucks become just Ram instead of Dodge Ram. Then the Caravan is going away. Then the Viper is no longer a Dodge and the possibly this? Makes me wonder....
        MyerShift
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andrew L
        I agree. It does seem like they are trying to phase out Dodge. Ultra stupid of them.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Andrew L
        I don't see that happening. Given Dodge's history, and name recognition, that would be beyond stupid. There's just too many questions like what to do with the Charger, or the up and coming Dart.
      vegaking
      • 3 Years Ago
      bring the cuda back under the SRT brand, problem solved
        Termin8
        • 3 Years Ago
        @vegaking
        I kind of like this idea. Make the 'Cuda strickly an SRT nameplate like Viper. I had a '70 'Cuda back in the mid 70's and I have to say, it was a real sharp car. Total trash with respect to build quality or reliability but, I think that was pretty much the state of most American cars back then. Not just American car to be fair. 'Cudas routinely pull huge money at auctions so, it would appear that the name is well respected, and would represent an (as yet) untapped source of revenue for the company. Not much exterior design tweaking needed either since the current Challenger body is actually more like the old 'Cuda than the old Challenger.
      sirjaysmith
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just because Plymouth is gone doesn't mean it wouldn't show up as an SRT model. SRT Barracuda?
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sirjaysmith
        I calling it an SRT Barracuda would be a nice compromise, especially for those of us who associate the nameplate with the Plymouth brand. Even calling it a Chrysler would be okay, but calling it a Dodge would seem so strange to me.
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Honestly, I'm sure MT has "sources" within Chrysler, but this seems like a strange and off-the-wall plan to me. The Challenger may not sell as well as the Camaro and Mustang, but with some tweaks in the right areas I think that could change, and I don't think replacing it is the answer. Most people I know love the looks of the Challenger but want it to handle and perform as well as the Mustang while having a more attractive interior. I think these are areas that the new and revamped Chrysler can easily modify while keeping the already attractive exterior of the car intact, and I think that if they did so, they could capture Mustang and Camaro sales. I think bringing back the Cuda is a fine plan, but if they bring it back in a smaller form on an Alfa platform with a four cylinder, expect much outcry from the same old-guard that complained that the Charger was a four-door. The first generation A-body Barracuda did not sell very well compared to its GM/Ford counterparts, despite being a very attractive car, and only the revamped E-body car sold well. For this reason, it'll be a strange departure if Chrysler decides to celebrate the heritage of the "Barracuda" name by resurrecting the looks of the first generation car rather than the last. When most people think of a "Cuda" they think of that second generation E-body style. Instead, Chrysler ought to address the issues that currently exist on the Challenger now, and then rework the exterior and interior in "Cuda"-esque ways so that they have a true Cuda that can stand on its own as a (halo of a halo) car for Chrysler. Either that, or they've gotta find a way to recreate the look of the second generation Cuda on this new, smaller and lighter platform. That seems infinitely harder to me.
        atc98092
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ryan
        I had a '67 Barracuda fastback (in '73), and I liked it a lot. I agree that the very first year wasn't the best for looks, but from 67 on it was great. Small block V8 was a great engine. I can't remember if mine had the 273 or 318. Did have the four speed. Fitting headers in that tight body was a challenge!
      CEC
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm kind of like this idea. Chrysler Corp. could possibly get 3 cars off of this platform. 1) Chrysler Cuda': It could be a luxury 2 door, think Audi A5. 2) Chrysler 200 (Next Generation): Stretch the platform a bit and make a midsize RWD 4dr, think A6/CTS/5 series. Doing this would also help Lancia be more competitive in Europe 3) Dodge Challenger: By making it smaller, it can be an actual competitor for the Mustang and Camaro Also, by moving the Challenger down in size, this can fix the "Charger should be a two door" argument. By putting the Charger on the shorter Challenger platform, an option for a 2dr Charger Coup can be offered.
      bergfuhrer
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had a 70 AAR Cuda and a 71 340 Cuda, Love them both.
      mastershipbldr1
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bring back the SUPER BIRD.
      gaswholesa
      • 3 Years Ago
      how about a R O A D R U N E R........VERSION
        dmil4ever
        • 3 Years Ago
        @gaswholesa
        I remember them with the big spoiler!!! My buddy had one and I had a 1970 Mach 1 and we would drag!!
      nickms3
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't know how Dodge can refresh the Challenger besides giving it a proper interior. The exterior design is perfect. Use of lighter materials to bring down the weight obviously would do wonders to bring it more in line with its competitors. Also, add just a bit more horsepower for the RT models and you have the perfect muscle car.
        ROB
        • 3 Years Ago
        @nickms3
        They really can't other than to promote new packages on it. I would like to see optional front clips to look like the old Charger with the hideaway lights and the Cuda and that will breath new life into it. A convertable challenger would also be nice..otherwise they will need a new model soon. The problem with a retro model is the shelf life is only about 5 to 6 years
      N2
      • 3 Years Ago
      good move. Marchioni(sp) the ceo has his head on right.. he kept those that know the american market and gives us what we want. smart man growing a great company.
      Sharon
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had a 1970 Barracuda - the looks had changed dramatically from the 1964-1966 ones with the big glass rear window. The '70 looked like a smaller Charger, and it would run! Had a Hurst shifter - loved that car. Had to sell it when the 2nd child came along......I'd love to see the Barracuda rise again!
      espina
      • 3 Years Ago
      Chrysler Barracuda does sound good.. but it should be based on the 67-69 Cuda series and not the 64-66 series, the large glass rear window is not the way to go, also have a convertible verison. The current Challenger needs to go a diet, it's a bloated restyle of the original. All automakers need to decontent the cars to keep prices down and affordable to the younger market and increase sales. Do we need so much tech stuff in cars these days? Keep a base price version for about $18,000 and sales will leap. Dodge's new compact will be called the Dart, then they should change the name of the Charger to Cordoba unless they make a real Charger 2 door. The 68-70 Chargers were a classic style, 2 door hardtop. No four door called Charger can do justice.
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