It’s been long rumored that we could see a new Barracuda come back to us in the near future. We asked our friend Ralph Gilles about it at an interview where he was the guest star, and even back then we could only see a glimmer of hope from the then CEO of Mopar’s SRT division. He remained tight-lipped, but as they say – he didn’t deny it.
With the Hellcats creating both a pleasant and disheartening buzz much of 2014 and nearly all of 2015, other vehicles that the Mopar brand introduced almost paled by comparison, even though they are definitely worthy of some serious attention.
The Scat Pack Challengers and Chargers are not a disappointment, and they maintain the legend their namesake implies. Our test drives left us highly impressed with the 485 horsepower Hemis, and they’re a less expensive adrenaline rush to the Hellcat’s 707 horsepower.
The Viper ACR was introduced and it turned out to be a beastly track car that begs for more battle with the Corvette at Laguna Seca. Chevrolet? Are you listening to the call of the wild? The ACR spent the latter part of 2015 kicking ass and taking names.
As the Hellcat Charger and Challenger smoke begins to clear a little, the next big thing on the horizon is the much anticipated Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, which we mentioned to you back in February this year. Our sources initially told us about this vehicle and a potential RAM Hellcat, but that truck was just a toy for the former Pentastar (we refuse to give up on our five sided logo even if FCA did).
When asked about the RAM Hellcat, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis has stated that the market isn’t ready for a Hellcat truck at this time. It appears that the idea wouldn’t be profitable, so it may just be another toy – though it would be a nice Rumble Bee comeback if we ever saw one. It might even taunt the Ford guys to make a street Raptor, and Chevy to ramp up the Reaper.
At the August conference in Las Vegas, FCA told its dealers in an exclusive meeting that the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a go, and from what we’re told it should have all 707 horsepower and should be able to scoot to 60 mph in under four seconds. Will the fenders wear the Hellcat emblem? That’s hard to say because although we were told by our rep that Hellcat applies to the engine, not the vehicle, Jeep is not calling this version of the Grand Cherokee a Hellcat. We’d like to see FCA bring back the “SUPERCHARGED” emblem, wouldn’t you?
What we do know from what we’re told that the Hellcat’s 6.2 Hemi has far more potential than the current 707 horsepower. It seems FCA is standing by, with their proverbial finger on the trigger, to launch the next phase of Hellcatness on the world. When the competition brings a little more heat, FCA plans on bringing it just a little further, our sources tell us.
That brings us to a few more vehicles that are on everyone’s collective minds: the Chrysler 300, a revised Dodge Charger, and the new Dodge Barracuda. We’re told that the 300, sadly, is on its last legs and the hopes of a 300 SRT Hellcat is just a wet dream at this point. But this was somewhat obvious when the 2015 models were released sans the Hemi. The SEMA vehicle was a bit of a tease, more of a toy for factory gearheads than for us.
The revised Charger that we were teased with a few months back may not happen for a while, if it does. Most of the desire for a change in the Charger’s looks would be for a two-door version, but that idea is likely parked next to the 300 SRT Hellcat.
That brings us to the Barracuda. When Plymouth left the Mopar ship (see what we did there?) it meant that some of our favorite vehicles wouldn’t be back. Or did it? We weren’t really that fond of the Prowler, so when it became a Chrysler it wasn’t a big deal.
But that left us wondering, with the Challenger’s comeback in 2008, where would its cousin, the ‘Cuda, fit in with the rest of the family? Plymouth isn’t coming back, but that doesn’t stop the Moparistas from wanting a new ‘Cuda, and that means that cousin Dodge will have to make an adoption. And please, Chrysler, we don’t want a FWD Valiant to make a presence, not even as a Dodge.
We have been told that while the Hellcat Challenger has so much interest lately, the Dodge Barracuda might not show up until Challenger sales have dwindled a bit. We’re also under the impression that the new Barracuda could be on an Alfa Romeo platform, and not the same as the Challenger. Time will only tell, as they say.
What would you like to see come back to the table with FCA and Mopar? Being realistic, are there any vehicles that you feel will do well and be lucrative for Dodge/Chrysler?