Unlike a bee, a hornet stings more than once and so does Dodge’s newest vehicle. While Hornet GT owners are open now, the first electrified Dodge vehicle: the Hornet R/T plug-in hybrid (PHEV) will start arriving in dealer showrooms in Spring 2023.
But unlike most hybrid vehicles which are focused on efficiency, the Hornet R/T PHEV is focused more on performance.
Hybrid Powertrain –
The Hornet R/T PHEV achieves a segment-leading 285 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of combined torque, thanks to an all-aluminum turbocharged 1.3-liter inline-four-cylinder from the Stellantis Global Small Engine (GSE) family, which includes exclusive third-generation MultiAir technology that improves combustion efficiency by adjusting valve lift and timing.
An electric induction motor powers the rear axle; the 90-kW electric motor can deliver 184 lb.-ft. (250 Nm) of torque from 0 rpm. The 15.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is fitted with a refrigerant gas cooling circuit to keep the battery at its optimum temperature. A starter generator delivers torque to the engine belt, aiding in dynamic response and recharging of the battery.
A high-power inverter and 7.4-kW charging module allow for a full battery charge to be reached in approximately 2.5 hours using a Level 2 charger. The R/T PHEV system is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that optimizes the performance and efficiency of the turbocharged engine.
A Sport Mode for the Hornet R/T PHEV is performance focused and accessible by a dedicated button on the center console, unlocking a sharper throttle, optimized shift schedule, access to the hybrid system’s optimized power and torque and a tighter steering wheel feel.
PowerShot Push-To-Pass –
The Hornet R/T PHEV has extra “sting” in reserve, ready to be unleashed through a class-exclusive PowerShot feature that provides a boost of 25 horsepower and delivers instant torque. Available only for the R/T, the PowerShot feature:
- Shaves one second off the normal 0 to 60 mph times by boosting horsepower and acceleration using bursts of extra power deployed by the battery and electric motor
- Provides 15 seconds of extra horsepower, and can be repeated after a 15-second cooldown period
- Activates by pulling both steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and performing a pedal kick down
- The system checks battery charge and temperature levels before performing the PowerShot function
- When activated, a PowerShot symbol in the instrument cluster provides real-time feedback to the driver
Drivers also have the capability to select from among three hybrid driving modes to customize the Hornet R/T PHEV to best fit their driving needs. Operated by a dedicated button conveniently located on the steering wheel, available driving modes include:
- 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 kick down
- 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
The Hornet R/T PHEV also works to replenish battery power with a regenerative braking feature that recovers kinetic energy and stores it in the battery for future deployment, as well as an e-Coasting function, activated during throttle release, that allows for shorter stopping distances and additional energy recovery.
All-Wheel Drive Is Standard –
Hornet R/T PHEV’s all-wheel drive (AWD) system adjusts power automatically between the 1.3-liter engine that powers the front axle and the electric motor that drives the rear wheels, providing instant torque and optimal traction and control to all four wheels.
When used with Sport Mode, the system acts as an electronic limited slip differential with the ability to deliver more traction. The result is more grip and control on slippery surfaces, enhanced stability through mid-corner acceleration and greater cornering speed and control, as well as neutralization of understeer.
Handling, Braking, Steering, & Handling Performance –
The 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV will arrive with a swarm of class-exclusive and best-in-class performance features that optimize driving dynamics such as suspension, braking, steering and handling performance.
Hornet R/T PHEV class-exclusive or best-in-class performance features include:
- Class-exclusive Koni® frequency selective damping shocks improve handling and ride comfort — standard on R/T PHEV.
- Class-exclusive Brembo four-piston front fixed calipers — the only front fixed calipers in the segment — offer ultimate braking power and are standard on the R/T PHEV.
- Class-exclusive brake-by-wire Intelligent Braking System technology offers consistent performance and pedal feel under multiple driving conditions and is standard on R/T PHEV.
- Class-exclusive available dual-stage-valve suspension provides for driver-selectable suspension damping and can be customized while behind the wheel, available with the Track Pack option for R/T PHEV.
- Best-in-class front and rear fully independent suspension, standard on the Hornet R/T PHEV, features an optimized front MacPherson geometry and unique rear 3-link Chapman suspension
- Best-in-class dynamic torque vectoring delivers torque with electronic precision, and when used with Sport Mode the system acts as an electronic limited slip differential — standard on R/T PHEV.
- Enhanced body stiffness offers greater rigidity and gives the driver confidence and control under cornering, and best-in-class weight distribution on the Hornet R/T PHEV provides optimal balance of masses on the AWD base to optimize torque delivery and handling — standard on R/T PHEV.
The extensive menu of performance features isn’t simply a list of claims. Dodge Hornet performance features brought to the mainstream pay real-world dividends: the Hornet delivers best-in-class maximum lateral g-force numbers of 0.90 for the R/T PHEV model compared to 0.87 for the GT.
The Hornet’s steering system is also highly responsive, with precise control and connection to the road, and is optimized to the weight of the R/T PHEV. The R/T PHEV boasts a direct steering ratio of 14.5.
Infortainment / Tech –
The Dodge Hornet delivers a technologically advanced user experience, maintaining the Dodge driver-centric user feel through a best-in-class standard 12.3-inch digital cockpit cluster screen and standard 10.25-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment system central display. Combined, the Hornet offers 22.5-inches of in-vehicle display screen space.
The 12.3-inch digital cockpit cluster displays three separate information zones, allowing the driver to select within each area to customize the crisp, clear display graphics. Options include an “Evolved” theme that crops gauge displays to maximize the center display area. Drivers can choose from center display content options such as speedometer, performance, navigation, phone and more, including charge/power and efficiency coach content for the R/T PHEV.
The Uconnect 5 infotainment system, standard on Hornet, is Android-based, easy to use and intuitive. Favorite home screen layouts, music preferences, HVAC controls, seat positions and more can be customized and linked to individual profiles. The system can be connected to two phones simultaneously, and Wireless Android and Apple CarPlay allow easy, cord-free connectivity.
The Uconnect 5 system features content-rich features to keep occupants connected to their digital lifestyles, including Amazon Alexa in-vehicle interaction. Users can ask Alexa to perform functions such as close a garage door at home while inside the vehicle or use Alexa-enabled devices at home to start the car, lock/unlock doors and more.
Additional comfort, safety and technology features include a best-in-class Harman-Kardon® premium sound system, standard on the R/T Plus, equipped with 14 speakers powered by 465 watts of total system output. Wireless charging is also standard on R/T Plus. A few of the many standard comfort and convenience features across all Hornet models include passive entry via the vehicle key fob, rain-sensing wipers, and a rear seat reminder system that registers rear entry/exit with each key cycle and uses a chime and message display to remind the driver to check rear seat. Optional comfort features for Hornet include a heated steering wheel, heated seats, handsfree power liftgate and many more.
The Hornet takes advantage of advanced technology to offer a slate of innovative safety features that are new for the Dodge brand. Standard Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and safety features for the Hornet 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
Hornet also offers three levels of parking assistance with acoustic and visual warnings displayed on the 10.25-inch main screen. Standard features include four rear parking sensors along with a high-definition back-up camera with guidelines, with additional available parking assistance on the Tech Pack.
Level 2 autonomous driving, with new ADAS features that take safety and comfort to the next level, are optional with the Tech Pack, and include:
- 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
Wheels/Track Pack/Blacktop –
The Hornet R/T PHEV rolls on standard 18-inch Graphite Grey alloy wheels. A Blacktop package, available for the R/T PHEV, brings to life an automotive version of a “murder Hornet” achieving a blacked-out look through:
- 18-Inch Abyss Aluminum Wheels
- Gloss Black Hornet Badge
- Gloss Black Badging
- Gloss Black Mirror Caps
- Gloss Black Painted Day Light Opening (DLO) Molding
A Track Pack package, offering the most performance-oriented configuration, is available and upgrades to 20-Inch Abyss wheels, Bright Pedals, Dual Mode Suspension, Sporty Leather Steering Wheel, Steel Door Sills, and Red Brake Calipers.
The 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV will be available in 7 exterior colors. Those colors include…
- Acapulco Gold
- Blu Bayou
- Blue Steele
- Gray Cray
- Hot Tamale
- Q Ball
- 8 Ball
Direct Connection Performance Parts –
Dodge has already announced that the Hornet GT a portfolio of aftermarket performance parts through the Mopar Direct Connection catalog. Direct Connection parts will also be available to upgrade the Hornet R/T PHEV. Additional details including horsepower numbers, pricing, and availability of Direct Connection parts for the Hornet, will be announced at a later date.
The 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV will have a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) of $39,995. The R/T PHEV comes standard with:
- 1.3L T4 PHEV Powertrain
- 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
- P1f+P4 eAWD Architecture
- 18-Inch Aluminum Wheels
- Black Painted Side Molding
- Dual Exhaust Tips
- Brembo Front Fixed Brakes Calipers
- Column-Mounted Aluminum Paddle Shifters
- 8-Way Power Driver Seat
- Driver Memory Seat – 2 Settings
- Heated Front Seats
- Heated Steering Wheel
- Remote Start
- Auto-Dimming Rear-View Mirror
- HomeLink Universal Garage Door Opener
- Mode 2 Charge Cord (Home Charging)
Those who are looking for more, can choose the R/T Plus. The R/T Plus PHEV has a starting U.S. MSRP of $44,995. It includes all of the standard features of the R/T, but adds the following:
- Full-Leather Seating Surfaces
- 8-Way Power Passenger Seat
- Ventilated Front Seats
- Power Sunroof
- Harman/Kardon Premium Sound System
- Hands-Free Power Liftgate
- Wireless Charging
For more information on the 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV, you can visit your local Dodge dealer.