Fiat Chrysler Files Trademark For 'Cuda' Name in America

Rumors are circulating that FCA has a brand-new Barracuda cooking.

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Readers of a certain age (and those who know how to Google) will likely fondly remember the Plymouth Barracuda—a muscular two-door pony car from Chrysler's Plymouth brand that was built from 1964 to 1974. Unbeknown to many, it was actually the original pony car, predating the Ford Mustang by a bit less than a month. It's also a car that still enjoys a rather fanatical following from the American performance car faithful for its adherence to the age-old formula of linking a big, powerful motor to the rear wheels in a sleek and stylish package.

Although the Plymouth marque was discontinued well over a decade ago, rumors are afloat that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles could introduce a brand-new Barracuda, likely with a Dodge badge on the grille, reviving a nameplate not seen since the Nixon administration. These rumors were reignited recently when FCA filed a new trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the common abbreviation of the name, "Cuda," according to Fiat Chrysler Authority. The automaker already filed for the rights to the full "Barracuda" name back in 2015.

What would a present-day take on the classic Plymouth Barracuda look like? Well, according to the rumors, the "Barracuda" name could adorn a convertible version of the next-generation Dodge Challenger, which is due out around 2020 and expected to ride on the same Giorgio platform that underpins the current Alfa Romeo Giulia. The current, fourth-generation Challenger is growing quite long in the tooth, having been introduced for 2008 on Chrysler's heavy LC platform.

A fresh new take on the much-loved Plymouth Barracuda could find widespread acceptance in the U.S. market, especially as those who would have been teens during the original car's reign on the streets cross into retirement age. But of course, just because an automaker trademarks a name doesn't necessarily mean it has any plans to use it. We'll just have to wait and see.