The company just filed a new trademark on "'Cuda" in the US.
In 1964, Chrysler narrowly beat Ford to the punch in creating the all-American "pony car" class of sporty passenger cars with the Plymouth Barracuda. It's since become a legend, owing its extraordinary collectability to the fact that not all that many were built - comparatively speaking - and in fact, it's one of the most sought-after classic pony cars ever built.
"Barracuda" is a name practically overflowing with cachet, in other words, and that helps explain the latest news out of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: the automaker has filed to again trademark the "'Cuda" name in the US, reigniting speculation that FCA could be plotting something of a return.
Before we go any further, we should clarify: "Barracuda" was the name of the Plymouth-branded pony car model line, whereas "'Cuda" was the name for its most desirable, most sport-oriented trim level. That's important to know because FCA has also, separately, been keeping up with a trademark on the "Barracuda" name for some years. June 2015 is the last time Plymouth filed to trademark "Barracuda," while "'Cuda" was last trademarked more recently in June 2017.
Is this in any way consequential information? Maybe, but maybe not. Rumors of the Barracuda's return as a Dodge model instead of a Plymouth have been around pretty much since the modern LC-platform Challenger was born for the 2008 model year, spawning a devilishly handsome Barracuda concept that appeared at SEMA that year. Yet we believe we're correct in saying that so far, no such car has reached volume production.
If FCA plans on using the Cuda name at all - and the short interval between this trademark filing and the previous one suggests they might - it seems it would most likely be destined for another concept. Then again, both the Dodge Charger and the Challenger have been selling well enough that Chrysler might well decide it can safely expand the lineup without losing its shirt.
We tend to favor old reports that the Cuda/Barracuda was to be a convertible version of the current third-generation Challenger, as that remains a glaring gap in Dodge's pony car lineup. But only time will tell whether our theory holds any water.