2015 SRT Barracuda: the rumored SRT/Dodge muscle car
For over a year, sources have talked about a new mid-sized rear-drive car for Dodge and Alfa Romeo. The “D-RWD” platform would give Dodge a muscle car sized against the Camaro and Mustang, while bolstering Alfa Romeo credibility with a car worthy of the name. D-RWD is a joint project, centered in Auburn Hills, with embedded Fiat/Alfa engineers.
The new cars appear to be “CUSW compliant,” with most of the same hard points as the Dodge Dart. It could, in theory, be built on the same line as Dart or 200 replacement.
The original plan, later confirmed by Ralph Gilles, was to create a 2014 Barracuda SRT8 based on the new Challenger. That plan was dropped, though its 6.2 liter supercharged Hemi, rated at 600 hp or more, remains. The 2015 Dodge Challenger is said to be moving to a modified platform, coded LA, so it can use the 6.2 Hemi and 8-speed.
The 2015 SRT Barracuda seems to show up on Chrysler’s long-term plans as a separate new model. Sergio Marchionne said that the only way they could afford to do the planned Alfa mid-sized, rear-wheel-drive car was to do a Dodge at the same time.
Now come the big questions: will this car be produced as a Dodge and an SRT, or just as an SRT? And will it really be called Barracuda?
A new D-segment, rear wheel drive 2015 Dodge Barracuda or 2015 Dodge Avenger would give Dodge cars a natural size range: Dart, Avenger/Barracuda, Challenger, Charger. It would also help amortize the work done on the new design across hundreds of thousands of additional cars. Our speculation was confirmed when Sergio Marchionne said that yes, the Alfa would be made possible by having a Dodge counterpart. (He did not mention SRT.) Thus, the Dodge, presumably with a standard Pentastar V6, is a given.
As for the name — In June 2013, we were told that the name Barracuda had been dropped, after enthusiasts were less than enthusiastic about re-use of the name by Dodge, on a car that bore little outward resemblance to the original; we expect Avenger to be revived instead. Indeed, it’s possible that some form of Avenger will be produced until the new cars are ready.
In 2012, we were told that Barracuda styling was already in progress, with inside reports saying it was much more modern than the Challenger, with only a few “Barracuda cues.” In April 2013, we were told that some body parts were being made for testing.
The original Plymouth Barracuda was not a muscle car at first; a Valiant with a fastback rear, Barracuda was praised for its fine “European style” handling. Some critics said the Formula S version could beat comparable German cars on twists and turns. In 1970, the name was moved over to a brand new car, largely so Plymouth could stuff the big 440 and 426 Hemi engines into it; ironically, the Plymouth Duster, which had the same formula as the older Barracudas, was a major sales success... with nothing larger than a 340 under the hood.