Why It Matters: A fresh update on the pony-car theme, the Barracuda keeps the SRT (Street and Racing Technology) portfolio stable at five models. Less weight and an expanded range of powertrains will give Chrysler a leg up in the CAFE battle.
Platform: Significantly smaller and lighter than the current Chrysler 300–based Challenger, the Barracuda will sport a strut front suspension and multilink rear. The 'Cuda's new platform is engineered for global markets and will also underpin Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and Maserati coupes, sedans, and spiders [see "Smoked-Fish Spread," October 2012].
Powertrain: Four-, six-, and eight-cylinder engines ranging from 2.0 liters to 6.2 liters, most with direct injection. At least one Hemi V-8 will continue, and a supercharged Hemi is a distinct possibility. The transmission choices should include conventional and dual-clutch automatics, plus a six- or seven-speed stick.
Competition: Traditional Camaro and Mustang foes, plus Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ.
What Might Go Wrong: New and improved Camaros and Mustangs could leave it in the dust of the Planet Fitness parking lot.
Estimated Arrival and Price: Late 2014 as a 2015 model, with base prices ranging from mid-$20Ks to high-$40Ks.