Monday, November 8, 2010

Dodge Boss Says Chrysler is considering New Barracuda

Is there room in the U.S. market for an another retro-style muscle car? According to Ralph Gilles, Chrysler's chief designer and boss of the Dodge brand, the answer to that question is yes. At last week's SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas, Gilles told show-goers at the Mopar stand that he is "seriously thinking of how to revive the Plymouth Barracuda."

"There's a lot of pressure on us to bring the 'Cuda back," said Ralph Gilles. Speaking with reporters he added that "the customers have (been) stomping their feet for it."

Being that the Plymouth brand was phased out from the Chrysler Group's portfolio back in 2001, if the 'Cuda were to be revived, it would probably be marketed under the Chrysler brand. And like the original 1970s model, it would be based off the current Dodge Challenger.

This is not the first time that Chrysler Group has toyed around with the idea of bringing back the 'Cuda nameplate, but due to ownership changes and of course, last year's bailout, the company was forced to put all plans on hold.

Over the past years, we've seen a few concept models of the Cuda. At the 2007 edition of the SEMA Show, there was a custom-made build called the "BBP Project 'Cuda". That's the one featured in our photo gallery here.

The 'Cuda concept was handcrafted by Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters, which coincidentally, was the same company that manufactured the original Challenger Concept that lead to the current production model.

Though many might think that it isbased on the Challenger, the 'Cuda study is actually built on shortened version of a brand new 2007 Charger SRT8. The design of the car was inspired by its 1970-74 "E" Body ancestors. It was auctioned off by Barret Jackson in 2008 for $159,500. Metalcrafters also created a convertible version of the 'Cuda concept, which you can check out here.

Source: USA Today , Concept photos: Barret Jackson