With the new Hornet, Dodge presents an offshoot of the Alfa Romeo Tonale. The compact SUV is announced with a 288 hp plug-in hybrid.
The US brand Dodge, usually responsible for macho muscle machines in the Stellantis group, is now also making an entry for the compact SUV mass market. The Hornet-baptized SUV is based on the new Alfa Romeo Tonale and will be the brand's first electrified model. In addition, Dodge wants to offer the new Hornet (at least in the US) at competitive prices.
The Dodge Hornet in the video
With the Hornet, there is another Stellantis model on the Small Wide 4x4 LWB platform, on which the Jeep Compass was the first Stellantis model to be built. This close relationship also makes it clear that the drive trains are at least conceptually the same, while Dodge is sometimes thicker when it comes to performance data. The standard engine of the new Dodge Hornet will be the two-liter, four-cylinder turbo that we know from the Jeep Wrangler, for example. In the Hornet, the performance of the machine is given as 268 hp, which should guarantee a sprint time of 6.5 seconds from zero to 100 km/h.
Hornet hybrid gets more power
The PHEV drive train used in the Dodge Hornet R/T is literally more exciting, also from a European perspective. We already know this from some Stellantis models such as the Jeep Renegade and Compass siblings, and it is also used in the Alfa Romeo Tonale. A 1.3-liter petrol engine takes over the combustion part and an electric motor with 90 kW on the rear axle takes care of the power drive. The 15.5 kWh battery in the Hornet should guarantee an electric range of around 50 kilometers.
However, if you believe Dodge's technical data, the Hornet R/T will be the model with the most powerful design of this PHEV system within the group. With 288 hp, it is well above the 240 hp in the Jeep Compass 4xe and also above the 275 system hp announced for the Alfa Romeo Tonale. This higher maximum performance is said to be made possible by a function called "Powershot", which is activated by simultaneously pulling the two shift paddles. This increases the performance of the electric motor for 15 seconds and shortens the sprint time from zero to 100 km/h by one second, 6.1 seconds are specified for this discipline.
The Dodge Hornet adopts the basic shape of the body from the Alfa Romeo Tonale, a classic compact SUV silhouette with a slightly coupé-like roof line that slopes backwards and a characteristic "rump" above the taillights. Of course, the front design differs, the classic Scudetto radiator grille from Alfa would also be difficult to convey on a Dodge.The Hornet distances itself above the apron from the Tonale in particular, but the bonnet with the side air outlets is also a styling feature in its own right. The rear view, on the other hand, is identical except for the lower apron and differs mainly in the graphics of the narrow LED light strip, which runs across the entire width of the tailgate on both the Hornet and the Tonale.
The presentation of the Hornet in the USA
On the other hand, the interior of the Hornet and Tonale are almost identical. Only two details are different: the upper cover of the dashboard with the side air vents, round on the Alfa Romeo, oval on the Dodge. And the start-stop switch, which the Tonale carries in the steering wheel, has moved to the center console in the Hornet where the dial for the driving programs is located in the Alfa. The rest, from the steering wheel to the center console and the individual switch groups are completely the same, of course the logo in the impact absorber is different. Accordingly, you can use our first seat fitting in the Alfa Romeo Tonale to get in the mood for the interior of the Dodge Hornet.
Dodge Hornet – the prices
No major differences are to be expected in the prices either, because Dodge has already mentioned the entry-level tariffs for the US market. The Hornet with the two-liter petrol engine starts at the equivalent of 29,500 euros (29,995 dollars), for the R/T with plug-in hybrid 39,995 dollars (around 39,300 euros) are due as an entry price. Since US prices are always net prices, the respective sales tax is added to this. An imported Hornet instead of a Tonale purchased from an Alfa Romeo dealer should therefore not be financially worthwhile.
Whether there will even be an official Europe offer via the Dodge sales organization is not yet certain. It would not be a logistical problem, because the Tonale and Hornet run off the same assembly line at the Stellantis factory in Pomigliano d'Arco/Naples.
The brand network of the Stellantis Group gives birth to another baby on a well-known platform: the Dodge Hornet becomes a close relative of Jeep Compass and Alfa Romeo Tonale. However, for Dodge, the most power will jump out, at least with the upcoming plug-in hybrid. Visual differences to the Alfa Romeo relate mainly to the front design, inside the Tonale and Hornet are practically identical. They are also produced in the same factory in Italy. It is not yet clear whether the Dodge Hornet will be officially offered in Europe.