By Patrick Rall
All of the hoopla around the introduction of the 2014 SRT Viper TA at the New York International Auto Show had one downside – a great many people paid no attention to the brief comments by SRT boss Ralph Gilles about the future of the expected “Cuda”. It has long been rumored that the Chrysler Group is working on a variant of the Dodge Challenger that will be named the SRT Cuda (after the Plymouth Cuda of the 1970s) but there has never really been much company acknowledgement.
During a discussion that centered primarily around the new Chevrolet Camaro Z28, the alleged Cuda project was brought up to Ralph Gilles. He explained that the company has considered making a higher performance version of the Challenger but the Cuda needed to be more than just a rebadged Challenger with some extra power. Gilles went on to explain that the Cuda was a couple years out and that the platform on which the Cuda will ride is not yet ready.
Later in this same conversation, Gilles revealed that the next generation Dodge Challenger will debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show and it is widely expected that the new Challenger will ride on a new chassis platform. There is a chance that the next generation Challenger’s chassis platform is being developed with the Cuda in mind so that this new chassis can service two distinct vehicles that are closely related but uniquely their own. One would be the new Dodge Challenger and the other, the new SRT Cuda.
While there will likely be more rumors on the future of the Challenger and the Cuda over the next year, it will be almost eleven months before we get a good look at the next generation Challenger. However, once that new Challenger is revealed we could have a much better idea as to whether or not the SRT Cuda is realistic.
Vehicle shown is a 1971 Plymouth Cuda at the Woodward Dream Cruise