Report: New Barracuda to Replace Challenger?

Rumor

Here's something that'll go well with your Sunday morning coffee.

This isn't the first time we've heard this rumor, but for now nothing has been 100 percent confirmed by Chrysler. However, Motor Trend is reporting that the American automaker has hinted that SRT division head and Chrysler design chief Ralph Gilles is looking to replace the current Dodge Challenger with a reborn Barracuda. Yes, we all know that the Plymouth brand, from which the original Barracuda was sold under, has been gone since 2001.

However, Gilles has wanted to do a new Barracuda for some time now and since the Challenger is aging fast, the timing could work out well. More than likely, it would be badged as an SRT alongside the new Viper. A replacement of some sort is needed because both the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro are due for major updates in or around 2015. The Camaro will ride on GM's new Alpha platform, which also underpins the new Cadillac ATS, while the Mustang will remain on its current rear-wheel-drive platform, but will likely lose its live rear axle in place of an independent rear suspension.

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The current Challenger had to be similar to the original's large proportions, but Gilles wants the Barracuda to be smaller, and it will remain RWD. According to the same report, Chrysler and Fiat are jointly developing a new platform that will be smaller than the LY, which underpins the Charger, Challenger, and Chrysler 300. In addition, this platform could even be the basis for a number of future Alfa Romeos, such as a sports coupe and sedan. The idea is to bring Alfa more into BMW territory. No exact date has been given as to when a new Barracuda could appear, but we wouldn't be surprised to see it in concept form at next year's Detroit Auto Show.

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