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Rehash: LA-body Barracuda

by David Zatz on

Several sites have been rehashing rumors around the upcoming SRT Barracuda, reported months ago at Allpar.com, and the continuation of the Dodge Challenger.

The LA body is, according to our sources, less than a year away from full production at the Brampton plant; our sources also tell us the current LC body will be dropped at that time, while LX (300/Thema) and LD (Charger) will continue. We have been given different rumors at different times, but it appears now that, as we predicted in one of our two “likely” alternatives for Barracuda, the SRT Barracuda name will be given to a version of the Challenger with a different front fascia and, more important, the brand new 6.2 liter supercharged Hemi V8 engine. This engine is all but certain to see production.

Given the rear wheel drive mid-sized car line under construction now, we had thought the Barracuda name might be applied to that. However, that option is becoming increasingly less likely.

Insiders also tell us that the Dodge Challenger will continue. The SRT Barracuda may be an internal name assigned to the 6.2 Hemi version of the Challenger, or it might be part of a strategy to give SRT more “brand status” by selling cars under different model names when they are SRT-modified. It may simply be a limited edition variant designed to grab attention and media coverage; the SRT brand does more than sell cars and earn profits, it also, in theory, increases the “street cred” of the non-SRT versions of the Charger, Challenger, and 300C. If the names of the cars were changed, the marketing boost would likely be much smaller — though that might be a price Chrysler is willing to pay.

The original Plymouth Barracuda was, like the Plymouth Duster, a takeoff on the Plymouth Valiant; while it had muscle under the hood, especially in later years, it was praised mainly for its superior cornering. Most people, though, associate the Barracuda with the later 1970-74 version, which was similar in construction to the Dodge Challenger.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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