Dodge adds the all-new ’23 Hornet CUV to its lineup of performance cars, offering a choice of plug-in hybrid or gasoline powertrains and priced under $30,000.
Dodge calls the Hornet R/T PHEV, its first-ever electrified performance vehicle, the most powerful utility vehicle in the segment with net combined 288 hp and 383 lb.-ft. (519 Nm) of torque. Its 15.5-kWh lithium-ion battery allows more than 30 miles (48 km) of all-electric range.
The Stellantis brand, meanwhile, says the Hornet GT’s Hurricane4 2.0L turbocharged I-4 is the CUV segment’s most powerful gasoline engine. It’s rated at 268 hp (using premium fuel) and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque.
Dubbed by Dodge the “Head of Hive,” the Hornet R/T features PowerShot, which supplies an additional burst of 25 hp that shaves a full second off its 0-60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration to 6.1 seconds.
Standard features on the PHEV include 18-in. Graphite Grey wheels, Dodge-branded Brembo front fixed calipers, dual exhaust and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The Hornet GT’s Sport mode offers sharper throttle, optimized upshifts, tighter steering and electronic limited-slip differential resulting in 0-60 mph acceleration in 6.5 seconds.
All-wheel drive is standard on both the ICE and PHEV versions of the 5-passenger Hornet.
Dodge says the Hornet brings the brand’s muscular design vocabulary to the CUV segment with characteristic Dodge styling cues, such as a hood with integrated heat extractors, “mail slot”-style grille opening and a vehicle-width taillamp with center illuminated Dodge Rhombi logo.
The CUV’s interior design (pictured, below) reflects the driver-centric cockpit feel of the entire Dodge vehicle lineup, with center stack controls, display screens and HVAC vents that angle toward the driver.
Hornet’s class-exclusive dynamic driving features include Koni shocks, Brembo four-piston brake calipers, dynamic torque vectoring and more to optimize suspension, braking, steering and handling performance.
User experience features include standard 12.3-in. (31-cm) digital cockpit cluster screen and 10.25-in. (26-cm) central display. Also standard is the Android-based Uconnect 5 infotainment system including home screens that can be personalized, dual connected phone support, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in-vehicle Amazon Alexa virtual assistant and 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
The Hornet offers available Level 2 autonomy, including intelligent speed assist with traffic sign recognition, driver attention assist, intelligent adaptive cruise control and more.
The Dodge “muscle CUV” version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale will be built in Naples, Italy.
The Hornet GT will open for orders Aug. 17 and begin arriving at dealers in December, followed by the Hornet R/T in spring 2023.
Dodge unveils the Hornet R/T and Hornet GT alongside the Dodge Hornet GT GLH Concept featuring available Direct Connection performance parts upgrades for the CUV models.
“The Dodge brand’s electrified transformation has left the starting line, with the all-new Dodge Hornet R/T representing the first electrified performance vehicle from Dodge,” Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand CEO-Stellantis, says in a statement. “The Dodge Hornet is poised to jolt the mainstream compact utility vehicle segment with looks, feel and performance that are unmistakably Dodge.”