America’s Next New Retro Muscle Car: Barracuda?

1970 Plymouth Barracuda

Do we really need a new one?

Ralph Gilles, the young CEO of Dodge, has been impressive in his handling of the brand, but may be on the verge of his first questionable decision.

Gilles was responsible for Chrysler’s “baby Bentley,” the well-received 300, while working as a designer and now is receiving credit for re-energizing Dodge with cars like the redesigned 2011 Charger. This is a guy who personally drives a custom Dodge Viper ACR that pumps out 600 horsepower on the track. There’s no denying he’s a smart businessman and a genuine car enthusiast.

So why on earth would he consider bringing back the Barracuda?

2010 Dodge Challenger

According to USA Today, Gilles indicated to a Mopar-obsessed crowd at the 2010 SEMA Show that a resurrection of the classic ‘Cuda is indeed a possibility.

Remember, of course, that Dodge has already released version 2.0 of the Challenger, which was the Barracuda’s cousin in the ’70s, so the car’s platform is theoretically already there. I just don’t see how (or why) Dodge could differentiate the two models if they shared a platform and featured similar styling. If it could somehow chip around 700 pounds off the car, give it a new look, and position it more as a competitor to the Mustang GT, it might make sense. That would mean starting fresh, though, which Chrysler is hardly in a position to do.

There’s also the issue that any resurrected ‘Cuda couldn’t come back as a Plymouth, and might even become a Chrysler. That might throw purists into a tizzy, but then again, those purists seem to have had no trouble accepting a four-door Charger, so you never know.

Gilles has worked hard to position Dodge as the most youthful, fun, and performance-oriented of Chrysler’s brands, so why would he be interested in developing a retro muscle car that either wears the Chrysler logo or is just a rebadged Challenger? It doesn’t make any sense.

I suppose Chrysler could use a sports car to help fill out its lineup, but another 4,000-pound road hog based on nostalgia isn’t going to cut the mustard.

Should Chrysler bring back the Barracuda?

-tgriffith

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6 Comments

  1. Yes, bring back the Barracuda,Cuda but be true to the actual body line and contours. The Challenger is a nice Vehicle but too bulky, adhere to to the original designs that cannot be beat. Also, the new style for the Charger is less than desirable. Stop kidding yourself and snap out of it. It’s time to be a purist. I love Mustangs but I’m a secret admirer.

  2. Gosh, just what Chrysler needs, a lukewarm copy of an old car, with niche sales and expensive development costs. Know why the idiots at Chrysler want to make products like this? 1. It’s easy, they don’t have to come up with new styling, just copy the old one. 2. They know there are enough old geezers out there with money to sell enough of them to break even. 3. The bored, jaded automotive press will go ga ga goo goo and give them free press.
    Just like clueless GM, who wastes money on crap like the Camaro when they should be spending the same amount of money to develop vehicles that will sell in large quantities and make some profits. In other words, they’re still doing it like they did before bankruptcy.

  3. Both Challenger and Barracuda should go, honestly. Let’s get on to something new, Chrysler.

  4. I can only speak as a loyal MOPAR fanatic…(I have owned 6 roadrunners,1 charger R/T,1 challenger,1 fury,1 durango),…I would absolutely LOVE to see a new `CUDA with todays technology that took design cues from the `70 CUDA( the MR. NORM`S barracuda/challenger project using the `71 cuda`s features looked very weak in regards to it being done in a half-hearted attempt,looked like it was done in a high school shop class),I bet you many folk`s would love to say they have a NEW `CUDA in their garage/driveway,I know I would!!!!

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