Back in October 2020, FCA US applied for a trademark on the word Cuda, in the category of “Land vehicles, namely, passenger automobiles.” The trademark was published for opposition on February 23, 2021. It seems there wasn’t any.
As far as we can tell, there was no opposition to FCA US (a division of Stellantis) using the Cuda name; but no vehicle, not even a concept, ever came out with that name. On October 20, 2021, FCA asked for an extension, which was immediately granted. On April 20, 2022, FCA asked for another extension, which was also approved.
That is the status right now—FCA US has the right to the Cuda name, but only if they actually use it on a land vehicle.
The original ’Cuda name was given to some performance Plymouth Barracudas. The original Barracuda was a 1964 Valiant fastback; the 1970 Barracuda was brand new, on a new “E-body” platform shared with the somewhat-longer Dodge Challenger. The company estimated healthy sales for the pair, but it never arrived, partly because of some problems with the cars themselves, and partly because the Plymouth Duster 340 was a much better deal for most performance-minded owners. Today, E-body ’Cudas earn big bucks at auction—in some cases, seven figures.
For years there has been speculation that the Cuda name might go onto a special edition Challenger; some may also see it as a way to have a similar-looking car with gasoline and electric power, sharing some of their body but having different names. That could allow the LB Challenger to continue as a powerful gasoline-powered muscle car, with a new Cuda having electric motivation—but that’s pure speculation. So is a super-duper Challenger Cuda model to let the current muscle car go out with a bang.
What will the reality be? Time will tell.