UPDATED TopSpeed Exclusive: Leaked Image Shows the New Barracuda in an Italian Suit

Oh there are some really, really savvy spy photographers out and about these days and this time they caught the mother of all shots. The Barracuda has been an on-and-off venture for Chrysler for some time now, but we now have proof — via these exclusive spy shots — that it will debut this year at the New York International Auto Show in April. What’s more, it’s nothing like any of us imagined it would be...

We so happen to have a little "birdie" that works in the printing department at a large monthly automotive publication, and he noticed that the "boss man" was making sure only a select few saw the inside of this magazine. When he happened across a stray copy, he was as shocked as we are to see that the Barracuda will return not as a muscle car , but as a rebadged Dodge Dart .... sigh.... Our dreams are now crushed.

He managed to whip out his cell and snap off a few quick pictures, and this was the clearest one he could get, as he worried his boss could come around the corner at any second. We cleaned it up a bit by changing it to black and white, as the colors were a little messy from the poor lighting.

According to our source, the Barracuda features the same Fiat Compact platform as the Dart and Chrysler 200, but with some extra performance goodies. On top of the images, he scanned the page for as much information as he could absorb, and managed to catch that it will feature turbocharged four-cylinder with somewhere in the 250-horsepower and 260-pound-feet range, and that it will debut in New York this year. Unfortunately, that is all the information he could grab in the short amount of time he had alone with the stray mag.

Though the image is blurry, he described it as "a Dodge Dart with SRT aero mods and rims, and a dark grille." He couldn’t tell if it was an SRT model or a Plymouth , but the chances of Chrysler bringing back Plymouth for just this one model are slim to none.

So there you have it folks; Fiat has struck again by releasing another Chrysler icon from the muscle car years as a front-driven sedan, a la the Dodge Dart. We’ll go bury our heads in the sand until the NYIAS is over...

Update 4/1/2014: In case you haven’t figured it out just yet, this is a figment of our crazy imaginations here at the TopSpeed offices. Our rendering artist extraordinaire put a modified Dodge Dart on the pages of some random magazine, blurred the text a little and pasted in a Barracuda emblem and even a swimming barracuda in the background for the added "cheesy" effect. Thanks for playing along, we’ll be here all night; make sure to tip you waiters and waitresses...


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