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Sunday night’s profile on the Chrysler turnaround and on Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne may have seemed a bit light on actual content, but perhaps you weren’t looking closely enough. Don’t worry, the folks at Allpar.com were.
A part of the piece involved an interview with Ralph Gilles, the man in charge of Chrysler design and the head of the newly minted SRT (Street and Racing Technology) brand. It’s not what Gilles said, however, but what he was standing in front of that’s so interesting.
Tucked behind his head in the shot is the majority of what appears to be a sleek coupe – one that isn’t currently in production. It’s bright red, with a sloping A-pillar and a short trunk.
Earlier this year, Chrysler filed for a trademark on the ‘Cuda name, hinting at a possible resurrection of the Barracuda – an iconic muscle car that ran under the now defunct Plymouth badge. PAst reports have indicated that Chrysler is planning to resurrect the car, with some saying it would be a higher-performance model based on the current Dodge Challenger platform, while other reports say it would used a downsized
With Chrysler planning a to reveal the all new 2013 SRT Viper at the New York Auto Show next week, perhaps we’ll learn more then.
American automaker Chrysler is reportedly considering which upcoming model will replace the Dodge Challenger. The newest rumor to sneak out is that Ralph Gilles, Chrysler Design Chief and head of the new SRT division, is looking to roll out a modern Barracuda.
It is believed that if a new-generation Barracuda was to replace the Challenger, it would be lighter and smaller but will be rear-wheel drive. Presently, Chrysler and Fiat together are developing a new platform that’s smaller than the current Charger/300s. And unlike the current Challenger which was made long in order to mimic the 1970 to 1974 Challenger’s proportions, the new Barracuda won’t be such a literal interpretation of its classic models.
“Ralph’s always wanted to do a new Barracuda,” one well-placed source told Motor Trend.
It would even be more interesting to see if Chrysler brands the new Barracuda as an SRT model, like the upcoming Viper, rather than a Dodge vehicle.
[Source: Motor Trend]
Built by Time Machines in Hudson, Florida, this 1971 Plymouth Barracuda started its life at the shop by combining it with a chassis from a 2001 Dodge Viper complete with its 450-hp V10 powerplant and 6-speed manual transmission. From there, the entire body was refinished to stock form, using 100-percent Barracuda sheetmetal and no fiberglass. Giving the car new life, it was aptly painted Dodge Viper Red.
Subtle details on the outside of the restoration project include Viper logos and a forward-tilting hood, a tribute to the original Dodge Viper setup. Hardcore Barracuda fans will notice that all of the original chrome and trim remain intact while the stock hood sports a set of “Viper Powered” badges from an SRT-10 pickup donor. This gives the Barracuda a clean look similar to its factory form but clearly hints that it packs a real punch.
In order to accommodate the Viper’s chassis, the Barracuda got custom fabricated floors and the suspension was beefed up with a set of Aldan coilovers. To enhance the natural throaty note of the Viper’s V10, a custom dual exhaust was built for the Barracuda. To retain the whole factory-theme of the vehicle, stock Viper SRT 6-lug wheels can be seen on all four corners, wrapped with Michelin Pilot rubber in stock Viper sizing.
All the impressive custom fabrication didn’t stop with just the outside and the chassis, the interior received an impressive 5-passenger to 2-seater conversion. A custom all-steel dashboard was built housing original Viper gauges. Even the seats are factory Viper bucket seats.
The entire build is thoroughly remarkable and can be had for $199,900. The Barracuda only sports 40,319 miles on it.
GALLERY: Viper-Powered 1971 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible
[Source: RK Motors]
At this year’s SEMA Show, Dodge boss Ralph Gilles hinted that he’s looking to bring back the Cuda, a car that just came another step closer to production with Chrysler having just registered the name.
Combined with the fact that the muscle car wars have been heating up for several years now, the introduction of the Barracuda (easily one of the most iconic names in the auto industry) is a certainty. What isn’t clear are the details, especially considering the Cuda was a Plymouth product – and Chrysler killed-off the Plymouth brand in 2001.
The car will most certainly be based on the Dodge Challenger underpinnings, and we sincerely hope that like the historic cars it will be slightly smaller overall – as doubtful as that may be.