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Details Emerge on 2015 SRT Barracuda As Replacement for Dodge Challenger 24
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, Chrysler, Dodge, Dodge Barracuda, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Challenger SRT8, Dodge Challenger SRT8 392, Fiat, News, SRT, SRT Barracuda on 09 24th, 2012

Speculative Rendering: Jon Sibal

Chrysler, with their newfound joint efforts at Fiat, is set to make additional changes to the lineup to appease the main-stream and enthusiast segments. The latest details to emerge from Chrysler are plans to introduce a 2015 Barracuda to first join the SRT line of vehicles ultimately replacing the current Dodge Challenger. The Barracuda will join the SRT Viper’s paved outlet for a more common-placed performance vehicle.

The Dodge Challenger, built on Chrysler’s LX platform (incl. Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum) is undeniably a big vehicle carrying around some serious heft to it. With the automotive market moving towards more efficient vehicles, the ideal decision would be to scale down these vehicles and that is where a new Barracuda would come into place to be the successor for the Challenger.

Speculative Rendering: Jon Sibal

With the strong and growing alliance of Chrysler and Fiat, the companies have a wider range of platforms to share. Yet Chrysler is still using platform setups derived from the Benz E-Class on their LX platform, the Fiat brand has been on the search for rear-drive offerings, from Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Maserati, which could easily be a choice replacement to ultimately underpin the new Barracuda.

The new Barracuda, set to initially be an SRT-branded vehicle, will be the first of a new generation of rear-wheel-drive Chrysler vehicles. Engine choices could start with force-fed 4-cylinders, maybe a direct-injection V6, and top out with the infamous 5.7 or 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engines. The 2015 Cuda is expected to lose over 6 inches of the Challenger’s wheelbase. Width is expected to be down about 2 inches while the vehicle will weigh in about 250 to 300 pounds less.

Having a smaller footprint and lighter weight, the new Cuda could be a candidate for export further expanding the Chrysler SRT brand’s reach.

[source: Car and Driver  / images: Jon Sibal]

Will Dodge Drop The Challenger From Its Lineup In 2013? 11
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Chrysler, Dodge, Dodge Barracuda, Dodge Challenger, Kurt, rumors on 01 11th, 2012

The 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

If you’re in the market for a pony car, it’s easy to overlook the Dodge Challenger. In SRT8 form, it’s more expensive than a Mustang GT or a Camaro 2SS, and it’s a noticeably larger car. That’s a plus when you’re on a long-distance roadtrip, where the big Dodge swallows miles like a sumo wrestler downing a plate of freshly-rolled toro maki. It’s a big minus when it comes to things like track days, where the super-sized Challenger just can’t keep up with its pony car rivals.

The Challenger’s platform, which came from Mercedes-Benz and also underpins the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, is also getting up in years. With new CAFE standards looming on the horizon, Chrysler may not be able to justify three XXL, Hemi-powered muscle cars. That’s why rumors of the Challenger’s potential demise don’t surprise us all that much.

Motor Trend is reporting that the Challenger could be dropped from the Dodge lineup after the 2013 model year, replaced by a new front-engine, rear-drive pony car called the Barracuda. It would be smaller and lighter than the current Challenger, and could even share a platform with a range of Alfa Romeo coupes and sedans. It would also revive a legendary brand, even if the nameplate’s originator (Plymouth) has been resigned to the dustbin of automotive history.

What Chrysler would use to power the car is anyone’s guess. Dropping in the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 from the current Challenger would make a smaller car far too nose-heavy, and it wouldn’t do much to bring up Chrysler’s fuel economy numbers. Ditto with its existing 5.7-liter V-8, which seems to call for an entirely new V-8 engine. Unless, that is, Ford and Chevy go the forced-induction V-6 route for future Camaros and Mustangs, in which case expect the same from Chrysler.

We’re fans of the current Challenger, but we don’t love it enough to want one in our garage. A smaller, more sporting rear-drive coupe from Chrysler would certainly be interesting to us, especially if it’s priced on par with the Mustang and Camaro.