Where was the last time you introduced a new Dodge car? Barely starting college, it was decade Ago. Dodge has been taken almost forever to replace Bad receptionSo, the 2023 Hornet gives Stellantis muscle builders a viable entry-level nameplate—actually this time around.
Dodge unveiled the Hornet as part of its Michigan Speed Week celebrations on Tuesday night. The brand is Alfa Romeo Tonali— a compact crossover based on the “gate muscle” product, which might seem like a more extension if we weren’t living through an industry-wide purge of coupes and sedans.
To its credit, the Hornet clearly aims to be the hottest vehicle among the countless small SUVs on offer today. It only comes in two flavors: the GT and the R/T. Both have all-wheel drive as standard, and the GT’s primary powertrain is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 265 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque paired to a nine-speed transmission—numbers A leader in this sector, Dodge is quickly highlighting. Pricing is supposed to start under $30,000.
Meanwhile, the higher-range R/T plug-in hybrid boosts output to 285 horsepower and 383 pound-feet, and combines a 1.3-liter engine with a 90-kW electric motor that shifts the rear axle, and is routed via a six-speed motor. It’ll reach 60 mph from a standstill in 6.1 seconds, provided you use the car’s “PowerShot” feature — a temporary 25-horsepower boost activated by pressing both the paddle shifters and the accelerator pedal. The R/T can also travel on battery alone for about 30 miles.
Power’s only part of the equation here. Every Hornet benefits from fully independent front and rear suspension, dynamic torque vectoring and an electronic limited-slip differential when Sport Mode is active. Brembo four-piston front fixed calipers are standard on the R/T and optional on the GT, while driver-selectable damping is available through the Track Pack option for both trims.
As with the Charger and Challenger, Dodge is pushing factory-backed upgrades hard with the Hornet. To illustrate this, the brand brought a Hornet GLH “concept” to Speed Week, inspired by the Shelby-upgraded Omni GLH of the ’80s.
This one-off has suspension and exhaust upgrades as well as GLH graphics, all of which will be available to consumers. It’s nice that an owner could make their own GLH if they so choose, but it’s disappointing Dodge isn’t simply offering this package straight from the factory. You’d think with All those new special editions coming for the ultimate run of Charger and Challengerthey will store GLH on a lot of proxies.
Like it or not, small crossovers for beginners like Hornet and Kuna are modern hot portals. There aren’t many players in this segment yet, at least on our side of the pond where we miss a chance Ford Puma ST The Cobra Formentor. It’ll be interesting to see how much muscle Dodge can add to our grocery package — at least until we get a real SRT version. This is something Dart did not have.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”