There have been rumors lately that rather than changing the next generation Dodge Challenger to be smaller and compete more closely with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro – the Chrysler Group’s SRT Group will reincarnate the Barracuda name for a new model to join the 2013 Viper in the SRT brand lineup. Original speculation suggested that the 2015 SRT Barracuda would be a super muscle car intended to compete with the likes of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang but a new report from Car and Driver suggests that the Barracuda will be a full range muscle car with a variety of engine options as an effort to conform to the nonsensical CAFÉ laws.
The 2015 SRT Barracuda will likely be smaller than the Dodge Challenger, allowing this new Mopar muscle car to pack a similar curb weight to the other Detroit muscle cars. Should the Barracuda be a full range model rather than just a halo muscle car, we can expect to see a variant powered by some version of the Pentastar V6 along with at least one version of Chrysler’s Hemi V8. Considering the direction that the Detroit muscle cars have been going in terms of power output – the Pentastar V6 could pack somewhere in the range of 350 horsepower while an entry V8 would offer around 450hp. Hopefully both of these packages would be available with a proper manual transmission as the lack of a clutch pedal has long been a complaint for those buying a V6 Challenger.
Whether or not the 2015 SRT Barracuda offers a full range of engine options or just a single, ultra high output engine, we can expect it to be a massive Hemi V8. The current 6.4L Hemi V8 packs an impressive 470hp and 470lb-ft of torque but that won’t be enough for the Barracuda to keep up with the likes of the 662hp Shelby GT500 or the 556hp Camaro ZL1. There are rumors that a larger 6.5L Hemi is on the way with factory forced induction that would push the power up into the 600 range…which would certainly give the new Cuda a much better shot at taking down the cross town rivals. A 600+ horsepower supercharged Hemi, a 6-speed manual transmission, an advanced suspension system featuring Chrysler’s dual mode handling program and a lightweight chassis would finally give Mopar lovers a 2-door muscle car that will (in stock form) go head to head with the best from Ford and GM.
Unfortunately, with no real proof that the car even exists, all that we can do is speculate as to what the 2015 SRT Barracuda could look like. I would expect that it would offer some sort of retro styling that harkens back to the glory days of the American muscle car era but do they offer cues from the slimmer 1st generation Barracuda or the brawnier 2nd generation Cuda like the one shown on the left? Only time will tell.
By the way, the 1960s Plymouth Barracuda was also available as a convertible…just sayin’.