In order to better compete with Mustang and Camaro, the new Barracuda will be considerably smaller and lighter than the Challenger.
Chrysler's recently-emancipated performance brand SRT is proving itself with the new Viper, but it's going to need a solid follow-up. That next act is expected to come in the form of a new Barracuda. The original Cuda was a product of the Plymouth division that has since been retired. The 2015 Barracuda, however, is tipped to fall under the SRT brand as a replacement for the Dodge Challenger, a vehicle whose architecture - based on a decade-old Mercedes E-Class - has long since grown long in the proverbial tooth.
With both Ford and Chevrolet preparing to downsize the next-gen Mustang and Camaro, respectively, Car and Driver is now claiming that Chrysler will follow suite with a new platform that will not only be used for the Barracuda, but also for future models from Fiat, Lancia and maybe even Maserati. As a result, expect for the new Cuda's wheelbase to be more than six inches shorter than the Challenger's and eight inches shorter in overall body length. More importantly, weight will be reduced by as much as 300 pounds - a vital factor in meeting upcoming CAFE standards. Those restrictions may also drive Chrysler to downsize the engine offerings, too.
Fiat's new 2.4-liter Tigershark inline-four may be slotted in as the base engine, but Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will likely be available as well with a new direct-injection system. Performance enthusiasts needn't fret, however, as the Hemi V8 is also tipped to return, though it's still unclear whether it will carry over in 5.7- or 6.4-liter versions. Leaner and meaner, the new Barracuda looks like it might be better suited to taking on Ford's next-gen Mustang and Chevy's new Camaro than the bloated and outdated Challenger.