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    Is This the 2014 Barracuda Hiding Out in the Weeds?


    G. Noble

    Editor/Reporter

    CheersandGears.com

    March 28, 2012

    Recently, CBS’s staid block of news programming 60 Minutes sat down with Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and chatted about the roll coaster ride the company has been on for the last few years. Some of the topics discussed ranged from negotiating the controlled bankruptcy of Chrysler with the US government back in 2009, the horrible bureaucracy that plagued the company, to the recent introduction of the Dodge Dart. It’s all very interesting to listen to and, whether or not you care about Chrysler, you do gain a certain respect for Marchionne who, as it turns out, is one of the biggest workaholics in the automotive industry.

    As we’ve seen in the past, though, when 60 Minutes sits down with a notable auto exec and takes their cameras inside the halls and rooms around company headquarters, what’s usually out of focus in the background of certain shots can sometimes be more interesting than the story that’s being reported on. And it seems members of the Chrysler-centric website Allpar may have locked in on something.

    At around the 10 minute mark in the video, 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft takes a break from chatting with Marchionne to talk to Chrysler’s SRT Division CEO and head of design Ralph Gilles. In the background of the footage of the talking Gilles, there appears to be a design for a coupe of some sort painted in red paint. Okay, so it isn’t hiding out in the weeds, but whatever it could be is hiding out behind Ralph Gilles. Chrysler has reportedly been working on the revival of Plymouth’s old Barracuda muscle car to be sold either as a Dodge or underneath the Viper as another SRT-branded model. Could this be it? What do you think?

    When Automotive News picked up on Allpar’s findings, they contacted Chrysler where a representative responded and said the design was “just one of the many concepts and projects in our studios. That one [was] a student model.” While I have no reason to doubt any of that, the rep also didn’t say it wasn't a student design for a new Barracuda.

    The 60 Minutes segment can be viewed here. Again, the car comes in around the 10 minute mark. It’s also worth watching, if you haven’t already.

    Sources: Automotive News (Sub. Req.), Allpar

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    Very cool, I would not be surprised to see that this is the Barracuda in plain site. Allows them to get some feedback on it without admitting it is.

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    I'm with fullmoon here. If the Barracuda comes out, I think its going to either look very similar in shape to the Challenger or else the rear of the car will have a first/second gen roof/deckline... and the car pictured in the video is not striking me as either.

    I'll also go out on a limb and say the car in the video looks too small to be LX... perhaps a study for a possible Avenger-sized coupe?

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    I'm with fullmoon here. If the Barracuda comes out, I think its going to either look very similar in shape to the Challenger or else the rear of the car will have a first/second gen roof/deckline... and the car pictured in the video is not striking me as either.

    I'll also go out on a limb and say the car in the video looks too small to be LX... perhaps a study for a possible Avenger-sized coupe?

    The rumored new Barracuda is supposed to be a blend of contemporary styling and a few retro cues pulled from each generation of Barracuda. It won't just be a revival of the old E-Body Barracuda like the LC Challenger was a revival of the old E-Body Challenger. It's also hard to say if the roofline would be like a '68 or something completely different, too.

    It's interesting you mention the apparent size of the design study. There are rumors the new Barracuda may turn out to be Avenger-based, since the next Avenger may turn out to be rear-wheel drive and have a lot in common with a new rear-drive Alfa sedan. Chrysler is supposed to be working heavily in tandem with Fiat on a new "CUSW compliant" rear-drive architecture for a host of new mid-sized vehicles.

    There are also rumors that the revival of the Barracuda doesn't signal the end of the Challenger, either. The Belvedere plant is rumored to shut down for a period of time at the beginning of next year while a new car is also rumored to show up at the Brampton plant.

    If this new rear-drive architecture is supposed to be "CUSW compliant," then it makes sense Belvedere shuts down to tool up for two new models (the 'Cuda and new Alfa). Also the plant shutting down in early 2013 to tool up for a new vehicle or two could also mean it would've been shown to the public in the fall, which is when it's rumored Chrysler will show some sort of confirmation for the new Barracuda. If the 'Cuda is produced at Belvedere, then what will be the new car at the Brampton plant? It only makes sense the Challenger would be that car, since a larger Challenger would fill a different niche than the Barracuda. Also, if the Barracuda is branded as an SRT vehicle and not a Dodge, then it's completely logical to assume Dodge would want their sole coupe to continue on.

    The waters are certainly murky.

    Edited by black-knight
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    The rumored new Barracuda is supposed to be a blend of contemporary styling and a few retro cues pulled from each generation of Barracuda. It won't just be a revival of the old E-Body Barracuda like the LC Challenger was a revival of the old E-Body Challenger. It's also hard to say if the roofline would be like a '68 or something completely different, too.

    Yes, I've read that as well... what styling cues made the 1st/2nd gen Barracuda special?... the front end and the roofline/deck and taillights. The roofline in the video is clearly nothing like any previous 'Cuda roof/deck. Also, depending on how you look at the image in the video, there might be wraparound taillights (ala Altima Coupe)... which would also be not much like a 'Cuda. Hence, I do not feel this is the new Barracuda. After all, if the new Barracuda is nothing like the old one then, sure, the image in the video could be it... or it could just as likely be Jeep's not-so-upcoming new passenger coupe.

    To be honest, I don't like the car image in the video. I hope that any modern 'Cuda will have a healthy set of historic styling cues... at least something of a wraparound rear window... something that has been missing from the car industry for a decade.

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