By Nat Shirley
Tuesday, Jan 10th, 2012 @ 1:38 pm
The follow-up to a retro-themed design like the current Dodge Challenger often takes one of of two routes: either the basic look stays the same with minor detail changes, or else a new, non-retro style is adopted. Chrysler reportedly has plans to sidestep the entire issue and instead replace the Challenger with a new model in 2014: the Barracuda.

Two sources suggested to Motor Trend that the successor to the Challenger will be a 'Cuda riding on a downsized rear-wheel-drive platform. The new architecture would be shared with an Alfa Romeo sports car (to make the scheme economically feasible) and ensure that the Barracuda would be a smaller, lighter and nimbler car than the one it replaces.

As for styling, the new Barracuda could incorporate cues from the original fastback Valiant as well as the 70-74 model (which rode on a shorter version of the Challenger's platform). Chrysler would most likely give it a notchback to better facilitate a convertible model, something the current Challenger lacks.

Just what brand the Barracuda would be sold under is still a unanswered question. Plymouth is not coming back from the dead. It could be badged as a Dodge, although "Dodge Barracuda" just doesn't sound quite right. Another possibility is that it could joint the Viper as an SRT model, allowing Chrysler one brand for its sports cars just as it has one brand (Ram) for its trucks.

1.'Detroit's hottest rumor...' view

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