Aside from creating the world’s first minivan, Plymouth, an old Fiat-Chrysler subsidiary, is best remembered for the Barracuda. First released in 1964, the Barracuda was an inexpensive and sporty compact intended to compete with cars like the Mustang and the Chevy Corvair. In its first year out on the market, the Mustang blew it out of the water with over 126,000 units sold compared to the Barracudas 23,000.
In the next few years, Plymouth revamped the Barracuda, improving the drivetrain that gave it more horsepower. In an ongoing race for higher sales numbers, pony cars like the Barracuda had to get faster and were outfitted with more and more powerful engine options. In 1970, Plymouth released the Hemi ‘Cuda, which boasted a 7.0L V8 with an unbelievable 425 horsepower and 490 ft-lb of torque. But sadly in 1974, the Barracuda was discontinued entirely, a victim of the oil embargo and fuel crisis of 1973. For years, muscle car fanatics have speculated on when and if the Barracuda will return. Some websites have even gone as far as suggesting Dodge will bring it back for the 2021 model year.
Although it seems that this prediction won’t come true, maybe Dodge should take the hint.
The biggest advantage a pony car like the barracuda would have over Dodge’s current muscle car offerings is a better power to weight ratio. The average Dodge Challenger can weight up to 4,429lbs, about as heavy as the average mini-van. Since the Barracuda was built as a pony car, we could expect it to be a lot lighter. Pair this with the new 6.2L, 717 horsepower engine that’s used in the Challenger Hellcat Redeye and you’d have the fastest accelerating production car on the market.
A Chance To Resurrect The Hemi’Cuda
By the time the Hemi ‘Cuda was brought onto the market in the early 1970s, interest in the overpowered cars of the muscle car golden era was already beginning to wane. In 1971, only 119 ‘Cudas were sold. But it is because of this limited release, along with its great looks and incredible power that the Hemi ‘Cuda has become one of the most sought-after classic cars of all time. At an auction in 2014, a 1971 4-speed convertible ‘Cuda, one of only 11 ever made, sold for $3.5 million dollars, making it the most expensive Mopar car ever sold. With numbers like these, it would make sense for FCA to capitalize on the hype around the old Hemi ‘Cudas by bringing them back.
The Only Dodge Convertible
In addition, bringing back the convertible version of the Barracuda would make a great addition to Dodge’s growing SRT series. Dodge, the FCA brand most likely to design the new Barracuda, hasn’t made a convertible since the 2010 Dodge Viper. Adding a Barracuda with an optional convertible version would spice up Dodge’s lineup and help sway buyers who would otherwise get a convertible Camaro, Mustang, or Corvette.
Next: Ford Mustang Vs Chevy Camaro: Who’s The Pony Car King?
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