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Is the Barracuda the Next Revamped Model in the Mopar Lineup?

Topics:  Plymouth Barracuda

Is the Barracuda the Next Revamped Model in the Mopar Lineup?

Jason Lancaster
August 28, 2013

Classic Plymouth Barracuda New Sox & Martin Plymouth Barracuda New Sox & Martin Plymouth BarracudaClassic Barracuda (above) and Challenger-based 2011 Sox & Martin Collectors Series Super Street Cuda (below)

News about the discontinuation of the Dodge Challenger has people speculating about what Mopar plans to do to replace this model in its lineup -- many fingers are pointing at the Barracuda for the next seat in the sports car fleet. It is wildly speculated that Chrysler's design chief, Ralph Gilles, is in the process of designing a modern version of the Cuda in order to replace the Challenger. Is the possibility of a modern Barracuda likely a reality?

Chrysler is going to have to find a good replacement for the Dodge Challenger before it leaves the market in 2015. The most recent, and excitable, rumor cultivated during the Detroit Auto Show in January, is that many believe that the design chief for Chrysler, Ralph Gilles, has a revamped, modernized Barracuda in the works to replace the Challenger.

The two top competitors for Chrysler, the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang, are each getting ready for some major changes in 2015, the same year we say our last goodbyes to the Challenger.

Mustang is set to continue on as Ford’s only remaining rear wheel drive platform. For 2015, it is rumored that the car will then be transformed from a live axle car into one with an independent rear suspension.

The Camaro’s platform is set to undergo a change in 2015 that will give it a new Alpha platform similar to the Cadillac ATS that goes on sale later in 2013, as well as the Chevy Code concept.

The Challenger is the largest car in the American sports car class, based on the Dodge/Chrysler 300 latest generation platform. This beefy sports car comes in at 197.7” long, has a wheelbase of 116” (a mere 4.2” shorter than the Charger). This current Challenger design is so long because the maker wanted to mimic the model’s original appearance, which has contributed to the downfall of the Challenger.

If the Barracuda is the successor to the Mopar sports car throne, it will likely be a lot more trim than its former generations, as well as other heavy Chrysler models. The new Cuda would have to be on the rear wheel drive platform to keep American sports car fans from rioting, but the platform would be much smaller than the Charger/300's current LX design.

There were three different body styles when the Barracuda was made from 1964 to 1974 that Chrysler designers could choose from. It’s possible that the design team will draw inspiration from each and integrate them into the new model -- it’s not likely that we’ll see another retro inspired/looking car like the Challenger out of Chrysler.

So what does this mean for the Plymouth name since that brand has since been retired? The Barracuda will probably be badged as a SRT model instead of being aligned as part of the Dodge family or bringing back the Plymouth brand.

Regardless of if the Barracuda returns or not, people are anxious to see what's next from Chrysler and what they have up their sleeves in order to keep the Camaro and Mustang in check.

Author Jason Lancaster is a huge fan of the Barracuda and hopes it will get included in the Mopar lineup. He works with WeRMopar.com – a site that sells OEM Mopar parts online at wholesale prices.

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