A 2-door coupe, named Plymouth Barracuda, was based on the Plymouth Valiant (sharing the A-body platform with it) and became available in 1964. Being popular in the U.S. in the early-mid 1960s, the sporty compact car had a wraparound back glass. After it premiered on the first of April, in 1964, it took two weeks for this vehicle to beat Ford Mustang, which named this type of vehicle "a pony car". Plymouth Barracuda was planned to bear the name "Panda" (which was not popular with the car's designers), but after all "Barracuda", which John Samsen (a Chrysler designer) suggested, was chosen. The main similarities between the Valiant and the Barracuda were the same wheelbase (106 inches), bumpers, quarter panels, the hood, vent windows, windshield, and headlamp bezels. The first generation model boasted the largest ever rear window (14,4 ft?) for a standard production car, new sheet metal and glass.
Equipped with standard 2.8-liter engine, the vehicle had an output of 101 hp, and with optional 3.7-liter engine the output was 145 hp. The high-end 4.5-liter engine (compact and rather light) made 180 hp. As for the 1964 model year, the optional Torqueflite automatic transmission was available on Barracuda, but it was the only a year that it lasted. Due to the intensified competition between pony cars in 1995, Plymouth Barracuda was powered by the revised engine with the increased ouptput of 235 hp. The Formula "S" package appeared in 1965 with the Commando V8 engine, larger wheels, suspension upgrades, tachometer, air conditioning, disc brakes, and special emblems. Significant changes were made to the car in 1966 with such Barracuda parts as larger bumpers, more rectilinear contour of fenders, new taillights, the grille with a strong grid theme, new dashboard, and optional center console.
Redesigned with specific sheet metal styling, the second generation model arrived with a longer wheelbase (108 inches) and was offered as convertible, fastback, and notchback hardtop. The notchback's design cues were wider wheel openings, S-curved roof pillars, curved side glass, and concave rear deck panel. New fastback coupe had more streamlined rear portion of the roof and smaller back glass. Chrome trim was less used on the exterior. The improved engines for the second generation models were the 273 (4.5-liter engine), the 383 (6.3-liter engine), the 318 (5.2-liter) LA engine, and new 340 (5.6- liter) LA engine. Mod Top (a vinyl roof with floral motif), a new option was offered in 1969 and 1970. In the last year of second generation model production the 'Cuda, a new trim package premiered. It was based on the Formula S option and came with 340, 383, and new 440 Super Commando V8 engines. The third genenaration Plymouth Barracuda (now came as coupe and convertible) was built on Chrysler's B platform, known as the E-body. Available in three trims (base, Gran coupe, and sport 'Cuda), the model came with two six-cylinder engines (new 198 and 225), also six different V8s were available. There was also a street version of the AAR 'Cuda, which carried the 340 engine. Almost unchanged through 1974, the Barracuda had a new grille, dual headlights and four circular taillights. The powertrain consisted of a 225 six, the 318, and 340 engines.
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