Even before the SRT brand was formed as a separate entity, then Dodge boss Ralph Gilles was already thinking about how to revive the legendary Plymouth Barracuda.
At the 2010 SEMA show, Gilles had told reporters that “there’s a lot of pressure to bring the ‘Cuda back; the customers have been stomping their feet for it.”
According to the publication, the new ‘Cuda will bear no resemblance to the model it replaces. That’s because the current Challenger is based on a version of Chrysler’s LX platform, which was “borrowed” from Mercedes-Benz during the Daimler era and also underpinned the Dodge Magnum and Charger and the Chrysler 300.
The platform is deemed too big for a modern Barracuda, which is expected to be more than eight inches shorter than the Challenger and feature a wheelbase reduced by six inches making it similar in size to the Ford Mustang. It is also said to shed up to 350 pounds (160 kg) over the Challenger.
With partner Fiat needing a rear-wheel drive platform for its Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands, it makes sense for the group to develop a more compact RWD architecture that will not feel cumbersome in overseas markets.
While a Hemi V8 will power the flagship version, CAFE requirements dictate the use of smaller engines, too. C&D says that “at least one variant” of the new 2.4-liter “Tigershark” four-cylinder, probably with forced induction, will be offered along with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which will gain direct injection.
Note: The orange Chrysler 'Cuda seen in these pictures is a one-off special based on the current Challenger that was unveiled at the 2007 SEMA Show.
By Andrew Tsaousis