Dodge chief Tim Kuniskis came online last night with Bill Goldberg to introduce North Carolina guy Preston Patterson, the brand’s new chief donut maker. During a question-and-answer session with reporters, Kuniskis was asked about the upcoming electric and electrified vehicles. As part of a reply, he said, “I think we actually said that when we return to the small compact space this summer when we turn on the Hornet, we will have a PHEV or something like that.” In fact, it was news to everyone, confirming that a Hornet plug-in hybrid is coming in a few months.
Rumors have been circulating for some time that it was heated in 2020 when Fiat Chrysler America submitted the name Dodge Hornet for trademark. Temperatures rose again last August when Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stalantis, gave a presentation on how Dodge would launch a PHEV in 2022. Show glimpses of front fascia and cockpit of Hornet. The location was important because the Hornet is based on the Alfa Romeo Tonal (pictured) and is supposed to be built at the same plant, with the Tonal assembly taking place at that Naples facility. Last night, Kuniskis added that Hornet’s production site was already out of the bag, unofficially.
Dodge’s desired timeline for a compact PHEV crossover is the brand called Speed Week in August in Detroit, between the Roadkill Knights Street Racing event on Woodward Avenue and the Woodward Dream Cruise. The Roadkill Nights have not yet been finalized, but the cruise takes place on Saturday, August 20, so the Hornet’s planned window for the week of August 15. However, Kuniskis says the industrial turmoil has turned all plans into a prison-o, the August date is temporary.
For the drivetrain, we expect the Hornet to pack a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder tonal that rotates the front axle, coupled to an electric motor in the rear axle. In Tonel that system will bring 272 horsepower to the United States, but it’s not clear how the Hornet will be tuned. The Jeep could trim the Dodge Carroll similarly to the European Compass 4xe to offer the Alpha the obvious luxury, or it could get a few more ponies to push the Dodge’s muscle car vision. The next step could be to fulfill the promise of the Dodge Hornet concept since 2006. As stated by Sam Fiorani of Auto Forecast Solutions Detroit News“If [a crossover is] Below 30,000, it is usually packaged and sold as transportation, a lifetime vehicle whose value is original and fun-to-drive secondary. [The Hornet] It could potentially open up a market for Dodge, especially if they keep prices low enough. “
And speaking of the Dodge muscle car, Kuniskis said he would like to see a battery-electric snorter before the Hornet, but one problem is hindering the ability to nail a release “outside of our industry.”