In 1970, Plymouth released a car onto the market that would later be called a classic or, even bigger, a legend: The 70 Barracuda. The 1970 Barracuda marked the first production year of the third generation of the famous pony car.
The 70 Barracuda was built on the E-body and was available as a 2-door hatchback coupe and a 2-door convertible. The design of the car was also profoundly changed, as the body was now wider and longer and resembled more the look of a traditional muscle car than pony car. This was a strategic move of Plymouth, as they wanted to design a good looking car that would be able to hold the big block engines that Plymouth had developed over the past years. This was the first Plymouth model in which both the 440Ci and the Hemi could easily fit without having to abandon luxury add-ons such as an automatic air conditioning system.
Plymouth offered a large selection of engines for the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda: Eleven different engines were available to the customer. The smallest engine was a 125 horsepower 198 cubic inch slant six, while the largest engine was the 426 cubic inch Hemi which produced up to 425 horsepower.
As far as different models offered, there were four in the 1970 production year. There was the base Barracuda, the Gran Coupe, the ‘Cuda and the AAR ‘Cuda. As you can tell from the names of the different models, each one was aimed at a certain buyers segment. The base Barracuda was aimed at the average customer looking for a good car within a budget. The Gran Coupe was aimed at the more luxurious crowd, offering a variety of add-ons offering more comfort. The ‘Cuda was aimed at the performance crowd. The car with the ‘Cuda set-up could easily race the quarter mile in less than 14 seconds (closer to 13 seconds in fact) due to the large engines that were able to be fitted into the new chassis. The problem with these cars is that the larger engines hampered the handling immensely. The last version the ‘Cuda AAR was aimed at the crowd who didn’t want to purchase the ‘Cuda for the reasons mentioned above: The AAR (All American Racer) offered better handling and similar straight line performance in comparison to the extreme ‘Cuda model.
Many experts in the muscle car field call 1970 the pinnacle year of muscle car performance and technology, as the general consensus was that the manufacturers reached their technological limit for this time period.