2023 Dodge Hornet brings Charger and Challenger influences to small crossover segment

Dodge unveiled the Hornet, its entry into the small crossover SUV game, on Tuesday at Speed ​​Week celebrations in Pontiac, Michigan, but it won’t be just a daily commuter. Offered in two models with two powerful engines and focused on performance, the Hornet borrows from the Charger and Challenger playbook.

The Hornet will arrive in December as a GT model with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that delivers 268 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Paired with standard four-wheel drive and a 9-speed automatic transmission, the Hornet will be good for a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds, according to Dodge.

Coming next spring, the Hornet R/T PHEV will feature a 1.3-liter turbo-4 paired with a rear engine that produces 121 hp and 184 lb-ft to make a total of 288 hp and 383 lb-ft. The rear engine provides four-wheel drive and makes the Hornet Dodge’s first electric vehicle. A PowerShot function, activated by pulling both steering paddles and pressing the accelerator, adds a 25hp boost for 15 second bursts (with 15 second cool down) and shortens 0-100km/h time with one second to 6.1 seconds.

2023 Dodge Hornet

The R/T uses a six-speed automatic transmission and comes with Hybrid, Electric and E-Save driving modes, allowing drivers to achieve the best efficiency, use only electricity or save the electricity for later use, respectively. Dodge claims the R/T’s 15.5kWh battery pack gives it over 30 miles of electric range, and a 7.4kW onboard charger means it can be fully charged in 2.5 hours from a standard wall outlet. level 2.

The Hornet rides on the platform of the Alfa Romeo Tonale and uses a front suspension with MacPherson struts and an independent rear suspension with Chapman struts. Koni shocks come standard and adjustable dampers are optional for both models in the Track package. Dodge says it has an improved body structure for better control. Standard performance bits on the R/T include dual exhaust, handlebar shift paddles and Brembo front brake calipers. The Brembos will be optional for the GT. Dodge quotes skidpad traction figures of 0.9g for the R/T and 0.87g for the GT. A Sport mode for both models will increase performance and speed up vehicle reactions.

The Hornet enters a busy little crossover market with an attitude. It inherits well-known Dodge styling cues, including a hood with integrated heat extractors, a post-slot grille and a full-length Dodge ‘Rhombi’ taillight design. It also features matte black body trim, LED headlights and standard 17-inch wheels. The Dodge name does not appear on the outside.

2023 Dodge Hornet

2023 Dodge Hornet

Inside, the Hornet features a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 10.3-inch touchscreen in the center to operate the brand’s Android-based Uconnect 5 infotainment system. It also comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a built-in virtual Alexa assistant, and it offers a Harman Kardon audio system with 14 speakers and 465 watts. Dodge says the screens and other interior controls face the driver for a driver-focused cockpit. A flat-bottomed handlebar with red stitching adds a sporty flavor. Black leather upholstery will be standard, and buyers will be able to opt for red seats for more attitude. Alcantara-covered seats will be available in the Track package, which will also include 20-inch wheels.

In terms of safety, the Hornet comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, active lane control, blind spot monitors with rear cross traffic alerts, rear parking sensors and a rear seat reminder system. It also offers adaptive cruise control, driver warning and road sign recognition.

2023 Dodge Hornet

2023 Dodge Hornet

2023 Dodge Hornet

2023 Dodge Hornet

2023 Dodge Hornet

2023 Dodge Hornet

Dodge showed three Hornets at Speed ​​Week: the GT, R/T PHEV and a vehicle called the Hornet GT GLH Concept. A nod to the Carroll Shelby-influenced Dodge Omni GLH of the 1980s, the Hornet GLH is a showcase for the brand’s Direct Connection aftermarket parts portfolio. The GLH features a “Stage kit” with several performance upgrades for the GT, a kit that lowers the suspension by more than an inch, unrestricted dual exhaust with black chrome tips, special 20-inch wheels, GLH graphics and black painted lower trim with an exhaust cutout in the rear rear panel. Buyers can get these parts and more from their Dodge dealers.

Dodge says the Hornet will start under $30,000 and buyers can begin placing orders for the GT on Wednesday.

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