If we’ve learned anything from extensively covering the automotive industry over the years, it’s never to allow yourself to get too excited over unverified, speculative news.
That said, if we’ve learned anything else, it’s that camping out and watching for USPTO filings from automakers can provide some piercing insight into their future plans.
Bear both of these things in mind in equal measure when we tell you that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has filed with the USPTO to again trademark the “Barracuda” name, last seen on every petrolhead’s favorite Plymouth from 1964 to 1974. A big thanks to the folks over at Allpar.com from uncovering the news.
Of course, there are several legitimate reasons to remain skeptical of a rebirth of the beloved Barracuda, foremost of which is the simple fact that the Plymouth brand has long been defunct, with no indication of an impeding revival. If the Barracuda name were to be used on a future model – a rumor that has been floating around unrealized for several years now – it would most likely be sold as a Dodge model, which would upset a great number of Mopar purists.
And then, there’s the simple fact that automakers reclaim old trademarks on a regular basis in order to dissuade would-be copycats. In fact, Allpar.com reports that this is far from the first time that Mopar has re-trademarked the historic nameplate.
However, to the rumor’s credit, the introduction of the supercharged Hellcat engine late last year has provided a huge boost to sales of all Dodge Charger and Challenger models – Hellcat-powered or no. It’s not unreasonable to suspect that FCA might be looking to further expand its muscle/pony car portfolio with a new Barracuda, likely utilizing the Alfa Giulia platform for a fastback with a distinctly shorter wheelbase than that of the Challenger.