America’s SEMA show opens its doors later today. The Speciality Equipment Manufacturer’s Association’s annual exhibition of tuned up, slammed down metal is growing both in appeal within the US car market, and in reputation amongst the world’s various car-makers. And this year it’s set to have a bigger impact than ever.Autocar news editor Dan Stevens will be reporting from the show later this week. For the time being though, we thought we’d give you a rundown of the most interesting new cars that will be on show in Las Vegas’ Convention Centre.Among the unseen cars due to make appearances are hot versions of the Dodge Avenger, Hummer H3, Volvo XC70 and Suzuki SX4 – all models well known to us Brits – but more important than all of those could be the unveiling of an all-new modern version of a classic American muscle car. It's only an outside chance but, following in the mould of the recent re-imaginings of the Ford Mustang, Ford Thunderbird, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger, Chrysler could unveil a new version of the 1964 Plymouth Barracuda, and we’ve got the pictures to prove it.
A 21st century ‘Cuda’?
Pictures of this unknown muscle coupe surfaced late yesterday on various US-based internet forums. As you can see in our gallery, they show a hitherto unseen two-door muscle car coupe with a carbon fibre-style bonnet.The car bears more than a passing resemblance to the Dodge Challenger concept shown at the 2006 Detroit show, but it has its own bonnet, bumper, grille and tail styling, all of which is reminiscent of the original ’64 Barracuda.You’ll also notice that the car is missing any distinguishing badges. Some US industry commentators have speculated that it is the first sign that Chrysler’s new owners plan to produce a Chrysler-badged version of the Dodge Challenger, which itself enters production next year; others have suggested that it's simply a one-off special built to order for a particular customer.If it's real, the new Barracuda could use the same 425bhp 6.1-litre Hemi V8 as the Challenger, an engine which is also found in the Chrysler 300C SRT-8. Expect more pictures of the car, and further information on its origin, later this week.