Dodge makes muscle automobiles. Individuals purchase extra sensible little crossovers.
Should you’re Dodge, this presents you with a problem: How do you flip the type of purchaser that desires a practical small SUV into somebody that can spend the following few a long time figuring out with Dominic Toretto and the lifelong followers Dodge calls “the Brotherhood of Muscle”?
Their reply? A gateway drug. A rocks glass of pragmatic compact crossover with a shot of muscle automotive angle again. Meet the 2023 Dodge Hornet.
Dodge hasn’t revealed the insect’s actual value but, however, assembly with reporters, CEO Tim Kuniskis referred to as it “probably the most highly effective SUV within the compact section below $30,000.” That determine seemingly represents the bottom mannequin’s sticker value.
An Alfa Romeo Via Dodge-Coloured Glasses
First issues first – the Hornet relies on the Alfa Romeo Tonale. It wasn’t designed from scratch as a Dodge.
It does it with a muscular Dodge entrance fascia grafted onto the Euro curves of the Tonale. Deep character traces within the hood draw again from a pair of horizontal slits (Dodge calls them “warmth extractors”) above a grille that might match on any Dodge muscle automotive from the final 10 years.
A single taillight stretches throughout the rear of the Hornet, with the 2 slash marks Dodge calls its “rhombi emblem” within the heart.
The entry-level GT mannequin rides on 17-inch alloy wheels. A step as much as the R/T mannequin brings 18-inch Graphite Gray alloys with black anodized Brembo entrance brake calipers carrying the Dodge emblem.
A Blacktop Package deal provides gloss black wheels, mirror caps, badges, and physique molding to create what Dodge calls… come on, you already know it’s coming… “the automotive model of a homicide Hornet.”
Driver-First Cabin, Premium Touches Even in Base Mannequin
Inside, the middle stack is barely canted towards the driving force for that cockpit really feel. The driving force’s digital instrument display screen is bigger than the central touchscreen – 12.3 inches in comparison with 10.25 – contributing to the sense that driving is the leisure right here.
Even lower-end trims get purple contrast-color stitching and a flat-bottom steering wheel – normally touches reserved for efficiency variations.
Wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are normal as a part of the Uconnect 5 consumer interface. It additionally permits homeowners to save lots of profiles that regulate the house display screen layouts, music preferences, HVAC controls, and seat positions to the preferences of every driver.
An accessible 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system places out 465 watts of energy.
This being a family-friendly Dodge, there’s additionally a rear-seat reminder system that “registers rear entry/exit with every key cycle and makes use of a chime and message show to remind the driving force to test the rear seat.”
Two Trims, One Hybrid
Dodge is aware of that most individuals who purchase small crossovers have totally different priorities than the everyday Dodge shopper.
“Energy, acceleration, fun-to-drive. This stuff are on the finish of the record” for the everyday compact SUV purchaser, Kuniskis says. However that creates a gap for a performance-centered model. “This appeared like the proper little politically-correct section for us to go in and rile up,” he explains.
The Hornet is available in two trim ranges, with one being a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model.
The bottom GT mannequin makes use of a 268-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine from Dodge’s new Hurricane lineup. It sends energy by means of a 9-speed automated transmission to a full-time all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Zero to 60 mph is available in 6.5 seconds – a fast determine for this class and an inexpensive case for Dodge’s argument that this automotive is gateway muscle.
A step as much as the R/T mannequin will get a smaller 1.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder mill however mates it to an electrical motor for a complete of 288 horsepower. More often than not.
Twenty-five extra horsepower can be found on the contact of a button. R/T fashions use a 6-speed automated transmission with paddle shifters. A lift Dodge calls “Powershot” kicks in for those who pull on one of many paddles, including a lift of “pull-to-pass” energy.
And, although Dodge advertises the R/T’s PHEV system as a efficiency characteristic, it’s good for “greater than 30 miles of all-electric vary” earlier than you must use a drop of gasoline.
A Place for Dodge in The Electrical Future
That, ultimately, stands out as the Hornet’s most vital trick.
Dodge plans to transition to electrical energy – it premiers a future “electric muscle car” tomorrow. However Dodge followers count on angle and efficiency above all else.
It’s one factor to argue that the Hornet is the “gateway to Dodge muscle.” It’s one other to suppose that what’s behind the gate seems to be something just like the Dodge muscle of right this moment.
Can the corporate promote a reskinned Alfa Romeo with an electrical motor as the purpose of entry to the Brotherhood of Muscle?
We’ll want a while within the seat to inform whether or not the Hornet is one thing completely totally different or a repackaged compact SUV like all of the others. If it’s every part it guarantees to be, it may assist lead the automotive model most carefully related to the burble of a V8 right into a high-performance future with out huge engines.
Third Mannequin Coming? Hints of a Excessive-Efficiency Model
Dodge displayed a 3rd Hornet mannequin at this week’s Pace Week occasion. That one is formally an idea. However it was constructed completely with components accessible from Dodge’s Direct Connection aftermarket components portfolio.
It’s referred to as the Hornet GLH idea (quick, Kuniskis says, for “goes like hell”). It’s “nothing that ought to be on this section,” the CEO says. With a lowered suspension, 20-inch wheels, and a cat-back exhaust, it pays tribute to the Dodge Omni GLH of the Eighties. However, Dodge claims, it has a greater power-to-weight ratio. There’s no phrase on whether or not it’s going to see manufacturing. However we are able to’t assist however word that Dodge already has all of the components to construct it.