The all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet is the first-ever Dodge vehicle to offer some type of electrification. The Hornet R/T plug-in hybrid (PHEV) form can provide more than 30 miles of all-electric range to the performance-based C-UV, while also increasing performance.
With a total of 285 horsepower and an outstanding 383 lb.-ft. of torque, the Hornet R/T PHEV is powered by a turbocharged 1.3-liter inline-four-cylinder and an electric induction motor powering the rear axle. The 90 kW e-motor can provide 184 lb.-ft. of torque from 0 rpm.
To help power the e-motor, the Hornet R/T was equipped with a 15.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack 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 while 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.
If the driver pushes the Hornet R/T’s “Sport” mode button, it unlocks sharper throttle response, optimized shift schedule, access to the hybrid system’s optimized power and torque and a tighter steering wheel feel.
Another new feature of the Hornet R/T is the “PowerShot” button. The class-exclusive PowerShot feature provides a boost of 25 horsepower and delivers instant torque. It allows the Hornet R/T to shave one second off the normal 0 to 60 mph time by boosting horsepower and acceleration using bursts of extra power deployed by the battery and electric motor. PowerShot provides 15 seconds of extra horsepower and can be repeated after a 15-second cooldown period.
It can be activated by pulling both steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and performing a pedal kick-down. The system checks the battery charge and temperature levels before performing the PowerShot function. When activated, a PowerShot “symbol” in the instrument cluster tells the driver in real time when the system is active.
Besides the PowerShot feature, 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. The dedicated button is located on the steering wheel and can activate the three modes which include…
- HYBRID – 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 – 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 – 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.
While Dodge has yet to release any pricing on the 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV, we do know it will start just under the $40,000 mark in the United States.
As a PHEV, some people may be looking to capitalize on the $7,500 EV tax credit. However, since President Biden signed the $739 billion Inflation Reduction Act into law, it seems to disqualify the Hornet R/T PHEV for the tax credit.
The Inflation Reduction Act has a stipulation on parts, content, and final assembly of an electrified vehicle in North America in order to qualify for the renewed $7,500 credit.
As the Dodge Hornet is built alongside the all-new Alfa Romeo Tonale at the Stellantis Pomigliano d’Arco in Italy, it does not meet the domestic production requirement of the new bill. There is a grandfather clause for those who purchased an electrified vehicle with foreign components prior to Tuesday, August 16th, 2022. And since Hornet officially opened on Wednesday, August 17th, with only the non-PHEV Hornet GT being available, the Hornet R/T PHEV still would not qualify.
So would this deter you from purchasing a new 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV? Let us know in the comments below or in the MoparInsiders.com forums.