After the Dodge brand announced the winner of its “Chief Donut Maker” contest earlier this week, both Dodge CEO, Tim Kuniskis and Brand Ambassador, Bill Goldberg held an online press conference to discuss the contest. During a Q&A session with reports, Kuniskis was asked about the future of electric vehicles with the brand. Kuniskis responded “I think we’ve actually even said when we get back into the small compact space this summer when we launch the Hornet, we will have a PHEV or variant of that.”
It isn’t the first time Kuniskis had talked about a PHEV vehicle coming to market by the end of 2022. Leaked photos of the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet inside the Stellantis Pomigliano d’Arco Assembly Plant on the outskirts of Naples, Italy, hit the interwebs back in February.
Very similar to all-new 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale, the new Dodge Hornet will be a two-row C-segment SUV based on the Small Wide 4×4 LWB architecture (which also underpins the Jeep® Compass). While the Tonale will be a global vehicle, the Hornet will be intended only for the North American market. Once it appears on the market, it will be the first all-new vehicle from the brand in over a decade (since the launch of the current Dodge Durango in 2011).
Thanks to a post on the Italian car enthusiast forum, AutoPareri.com, we have seen leaked documents confirming that the Hornet will feature the turbocharged 2.0-liter (GME-T4) inline-four-cylinder engine. An engine that will also make its way under the hood of the North American Tonale. The other offering for the Tonale is a variant of the Jeep Renegade and Compass 4xe PHEV propulsion system.
The Tonale Q4 PHEV propulsion system integrates two electric motors and a 15.5-kWh battery pack (4.1-kWh bigger than the Jeep Renegade and Compass 4xe), with a fuel-efficient turbocharged 1.3-liter (GSE-T4) inline-four-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. This architecture provides two cars in one – a battery-electric vehicle featuring an electric motor and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack on the rear axle and a conventional vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE) fitted on the front axle, creating all-wheel-drive (AWD).
The Q4 system delivers a total output of 275 horsepower and makes the Q4 PHEV system the sportiest offering in its class-leading 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) acceleration in just 6.2 seconds. The Q4 PHEV system allows the Tonale to have an all-electric range of up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) in the city cycle and 37.2 miles (60 kilometers) when city and highway are combined.
A full-battery charge for the Tonale Q4 takes 2.5 hours when using the 7.4-kW fast charger.
It still isn’t clear if the Hornet will have the same battery pack as the Renegade and Compass 4xe, or the bigger battery pack from the Tonale.
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When it comes to the turbocharged 2.0-liter GME-T4 inline-four-cylinder engine, the Tonale is rated at 256 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. Our sources have indicated that the Hornet could have a specific engine tuning allowing for up to a 270 horsepower rating.
The GME-T4 features a twin-scroll, low inertia turbocharger, direct fuel injection, and engine stop-start (ESS) technology. The GME-T4 is mated to a ZF-sourced 9-speed automatic transmission and comes standard with Q4 AWD on the Tonale. The Dodge Hornet could offer a front-wheel-drive (FWD) option as well.
According to Kuniskis, we should be expecting the Hornet to make its official debut this summer. “Right now, we’re targeting August,” Kuniskis told reporters.
Dodge has held unveilings of vehicles in August before, during the week of the annual Woodward Dream Cruise in Metro Detroit. Dodge does host the Roadkill Nights event the weekend before the Dream Cruise, so we could see something official between those two dates.