Dodge took the wraps off a muscular new compact crossover that packs quite the sting. The 2023 Dodge Hornet will be one of the quickest and most powerful entries into the compact crossover segment with even the base model having best in class performance. Based on the same sporty platform as the Alfa-Romeo Tonale, the 2023 Hornet gets the Dodge Brother's take on what a compact crossover should be.
The Hornet packs two powertrain options. The base Hornet GT comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with direct injection and start-stop producing an estimated 265+ horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque running to all wheels, standard, via a 9-speed automatic transmission. Priced under $30k, this makes the Hornet GT the most powerful vehicle available under that price point. In normal driving, the power is dialed back for fuel efficiency and emissions, however, the GT has a Sport Mode button on the steering wheel that unlocks a quicker throttle response, tighter steering feel, and if equipped with Dual Stage shocks a stiffer suspension setting, along with releasing the full horsepower and torque specs. The base GT gets from 0-60 in 6.5 seconds.
The Hornet R/T PHEV is the first electrified performance vehicle. (The first electrified Dodge was the 2009-only Dodge Durango Hemi-Hybrid). The R/T features a 1.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with third-generation MultiAir technology and 6-speed automatic combined with a 90-kW electric motor that powers the rear wheels. Combines, the powertrain deploys 285 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Takeoffs should be brisk with the electric motor alone delivering 184 lb-ft of torque at 0 rpm.
The Hornet R/T carries a 15.5-kWh lithium-ion refrigerant cooled battery pack, while a belt starter-generator adds and smooths torque from the internal combustion engine while also providing some battery regeneration capabilities. A 7.4-kW charging inverter allows for the battery to be charged from zero to full in about 2.5 hours from a household Level-2 charging. The battery is capable of delivering up to 30 miles of EV-only range. The same Sport Mode is available on the R/T as the GT, however the R/T PHEV gets an extra "sting" in reserve with its PowerShot feature.
The Powershot feature boosts horsepower by 25 and increases torque for 15 seconds which shaves a full second off the 0-60 time, down to 6.1 seconds. Powershot is activated by pulling both steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and stomping the pedal. After 15 seconds, the vehicle enters a 15 second cool down period before the PowerShot can be repeated.
When you're not hooning it, the Hornet R/T has several efficiency modes.
- Hybrid Mode: Provides maximum combined efficiency of the conventional engine and e-Motor, minimizing fuel consumption by setting electric priority until a minimum battery level is met.
- Electric Mode: Offers an all-electric, zero emission mode, and automatically switches to hybrid when the battery is depleted or when extra power is requested by driver pedal kickdown.
- E-Save Mode: Gives priority to the conventional engine to preserve battery charge, with a Passive option to maintain the charge and an Active option to help recharge the battery.
Dodge also showed the Dodge Hornet GT GLH (Goes Like Hell) Concept that previews additional dealer-added parts via the Dodge Direct Connection pack. Some of the options shown on the GLH Concept are:
- Stage kit that offers stackable performance upgrades for the GT model
- Suspension lowering kit drops the Hornet more than an inch, creating a lower center of gravity and enhanced cornering dynamics
- Unrestricted dual exhaust with black chrome tips provide a throaty performance note
- Exclusive Direction Connection GLH 20-inch painted and machine-faced wheels
- Exclusive Direct Connection GLH graphics, including stripes and logos
- Black-painted lower trim with exhaust cutout rear fascia
Horsepower, performance, and pricing numbers for the Direct Connection parts will be available at a later date.
What is all that power without the power to control it? The 2023 Hornet leads in this department as well with a hive of class exclusive driving performance features.
- Koni frequency selective damping shocks - Standard on GT and R/T - Class Exclusive
- Front Brembo four-piston fixed calipers - Optional on GT / Standard on R/T - Class Exclusive
- Brake-by-wire - Standard on R/T - Class Exclusive
- Driver-selectable Dual-Stage-Valve suspension - Optional with Track Pack option on GT and R/T - Class Exclusive
- Fully Independent suspension with 3-link rear Chapman suspension - Standard on GT and R/T
- Dynamic Torque Vectoring that can act as an electronic limited-slip differential in Sport Mode - Standard on GT and R/T
- Best-in-class weight distribution - Standard on GT and R/T
Dodge didn't skimp on technology on the Hornet's interior. Coming standard is a 12.3-inch digital cockpit cluster screen and a 10.25-inch Uconnect 5 Infotainment display. The gauge screen is split into three zones that the driver can customize.
The Android-based Uconnect 5 system allows for HVAC, seat controls, and more to be customized and linked to driver profiles. Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto is standard, while Amazon Alexa is built in, allowing for control of home devices or using home-based Alexa devices to control the car remotely. Wireless charging is standard on GT and R/T plus.
Standard on the GT Plus and R/T Plus is a Harman-Kardon premium sound system with 14 speakers and 465 watts of power.
The Hornet gets a honeycomb of advanced safety features including Level 2 autonomous driving with the optional Tech Pack.
Standard Advanced Driver-Assistance System features for all models include:
- Automatic Emergency Braking, which detects pedestrians or cyclists on the road and delivers a visual and acoustic warning, and can bring the vehicle to a full stop to mitigate collision
- Lane Support System gives a visual and haptic warning when straying from a vehicle lane while driving and performs automatic counter steering
- Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Path alerts drivers via a visual warning through a triangular icon on the side mirrors, chimes with a warning when the turn signal is active, and the system also detects approaching vehicles or objects when backing up
Optional with the Tech Pack:
- Intelligent Speed Assist w/Traffic Sign Recognition detects the speed limit and provides the driver a one-click option to adjust speeds
- Driver Attention Assist detects signs of fatigue and alerts weary drivers with a visual and acoustic warning on the cluster
- Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (IACC) maintains an appropriate speed and distance with functionality that supports stop and go traffic
- Lateral Control/Lane Support system combines Lane Control and Traffic Jam Assist to keep the vehicle centered on the lane
The 2023 Dodge Hornet will be built in Stellantis's Giambattista Vico Stellantis plant in Pomigliano d’Arco, Naples, Italy, with the GT available later in 2022 and R/T PHEV arriving in Spring 2023