I think it needs to be more the just an engine upgrade if they are going to give it the name Cuda. I know a lot of people are against using the name but if it is a stand alone car under the SRT brand only, I personally think it would be cool to have the name Cuda back on the market.
Chrysler’s application to trademark the name “Cuda” reported by Allpar last December has been turned down by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. According to a communication sent to Chrysler by Kim Teresa Monighoff, the USPTO attorney assigned to the application, Chrysler failed to overcome objections raised by the examiner in August of this year. The determination was that “Cuda” conflicted with “AAR Cuda” which has been registered to Dan Gurney’s All-American Racers of Santa Ana, California, since February of 2009. All American Racers uses the trademark primarily for collectible merchandise. While Plymouth produced an AAR Cuda, the sibling to the Dodge Challenger T/A, All American Racers’ claim to ownership is the three Plymouth Barracudas built by Gurney’s company in 1970.
Chrysler attorneys said the automaker was attempting to get All-American Racing to surrender the trademark but the timeframe for an appeal is running out.
I checked the PTO website and Chrysler did indeed file for the mark CUDA (s/n 85-198,502) in Dec. 2010, for the goods "motor vehicles" as an "intent-to-use" mark. Meaning they weren't using the mark yet, but planned to use it soon. Well, that's a long time ago, but the current status shows "Published for Opposition" on April 22, 2014. And that means it has been allowed by the Trademark Office. Now, you cannot lawfully maintain an intent-to-use trademark application without a bona fide business plan to actually produce a product with that brand. And, I bet Chrysler's trademark attorneys do follow the letter of the law. So, it looks like a CUDA is coming.
As much we are shocked at the thought of a $70,000 "Dodge" (btw, if us Dodge owners find this difficult to stomach, just imagine what other owners think), Chrysler has no choice but to compete.
American automakers lost the initiative decades ago because they were building high-end cars to fit a price, while the Germans (and later the Japanese) were building cars to fit a demographic.
This is an important distinction:
Up to about the 1960s, chances were the most expensive production car you could buy was a Cadillac (or a high-end Lincoln or Chrysler).
By the 1970s, this was not the case anymore. In some instances it would be a Mercedes. By the 1990s, the most expensive American production car topped around $50,000, while a top-of-the-line German sedan cost twice that.
The problem is, this business of limiting your own achievements may have worked in the Soviet Union but was not fit for an open market, because it did not adjust well to growing inflation, consumer expectations, technological advances, and regulations. So American automakers were forced to make ever increasing compromises. Unfortunately, "high-end" and "compromise" make a bad oxymoron.
This led to GM's entire multi-brand portfolio (back then GM had 50% share and dictated the US industry) to get squeezed at the top by management, and at the bottom by ever-growing consumer demand for performance, features and content, by regulations and by inflation. By the late 1990s, the whole GM portfolio operated within a narrow band, with little price difference between a Buick and an Oldsmobile, a Pontiac and a Chevrolet --or a Dodge and a Plymouth.
To grow and prosper, automakers need the breathing space to support a wide vehicle portfolio. This breathing space is set at the top by their most expensive models, at the bottom by creeping costs, consumer and government demands, and global competitive pressures.
Because of this, we should welcome, not disdain, Chrysler's effort to launch a very expensive Hellcat --as long as it can legitimately justify its steep price.