autoevolution

Plymouth Cuda "Hellacuda" Brought Back to Life as Hellcat-Based Muscle Car

The Cuda is credited by some with being the first pony car. However, while the Mustang survives to this day, the Barracuda is dead... along with the whole Plymouth brand.
Plymouth Cuda "Hellacuda" Brought Back to Life as Hellcat-Based Muscle Car 1 photo
Launched in 1928 by Chrysler to compete in the "low-priced" market segment that was dominated by Chevrolet and Ford, this brand introduced the Barracuda in 1964. It was supposed to go up against not only American rivals but also competitors from Europe.

The Barracuda isn't the same as the Cuda, though. Plymouth was in a sort of displacement war with the Mustang, and the cool car you're imagining right now is post-1970. The wide, low body of the Mk3 looked quite similar to a modern Dodge Challenger.

That's the best way we could find to segue this story into a cool rendering by chopping_pixels. Clearly based on a Hellcat model, this image still looks different enough for us to want such a car in production right now.

The original Cuda donates its cosmetic features that get modernized. You've got two round headlights that are way larger than those of the Challenger, the trademark grille that looks like it will bite plus some boxy bodywork. This is the best from 1970 and 1971 models mixed with 2020 reality.

The Plymouth came painted in some bold colors. Plum Crazy is one of the few that survived to this day and makes Dodges pretty cool. But we'd want our modern Cuda painted Sassy Grass with black stripes and parked right next to some overpriced Lamborghinis just to show them a thing or two.

So what about the engine? Well, the desirable Cuda setup was all about the 426, an even larger HEMI engine than the Hellcat (which is a 376). They're probably not going to develop something that big. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers.

The media has repeatedly spread rumors about a Cuda rebirth, and new ones have quietly emerged in the past few months. We may have come really close at one point, as back in 2013 during an interview video, a mockup concept was believed to have been seen behind SRT president Ralph Gilles. By the way, his 8-year-old Australian cattle dog is named "Cuda," so he clearly loves the car.



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