There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the upcoming C-SUV from the Dodge brand. The 2023 Dodge Hornet might just be one of the worst-kept secrets in the auto industry, thanks to the excitement of being the first all-new Dodge vehicle since the 2013 Dodge Dart. With the recent unveiling of the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale, we were able to confirm a lot of the speculation, thanks to both the Hornet and Tonale sharing a lot of features and being built on the same assembly line in Italy.
But now, thanks to a video that was posted on Facebook and quickly deleted after, we are getting our first quick look at the 2023 Dodge Hornet. A couple of quick pictures were saved from the video thanks to members of the Italian car enthusiast forum AutoPareri.com, allowing us to see a pre-production Hornet inside the Stellantis Pomigliano d’Arco Assembly Plant on the outskirts of Naples, Italy.
The proportions of the Hornet look to be near-identical to the all-new Tonale. Looking a lot like the teaser we saw from the Stellantis EV Day 2021 presentation last summer, the Hornet looks very similar to the Tonale. Instead of the signature Alfa Romeo “Scudetto” shield grille, the front fascia features styling similar to the current Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody. We also get a peek at the hood design, which features heat extractors towards the front of the vehicle.
Don’t mind the set of Tonale wheels, we believe this pre-production tester is designed for camouflage to start evaluations on public roads. If you look closely, you will see an engineering kill switch (or shut off) already sitting on top of the dash.
We are also getting our first look at the Hornet’s interior, which looks to be an almost identical clone to the Tonale’s. If you closely at the image of the interior, you will notice where the Tonale’s DNA drive mode selector is located it appears to have been replaced by the same push to start button found in the current Dodge vehicles. This means that the steering wheel could be just a leftover Tonale part, as it would be redundant to have a push to start button located on the wheel like the Alfa.
We can also see that Hornet will get the 10.25-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment system and 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster from the Tonale as well. We expect the interior to be a little more different than what the picture shows, once the Hornet makes its official debut.
As far as powertrains go, we know that the Dodge Hornet will use the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder engine from the Stellantis Global Medium Engine (GME) family. The GME-T4 is rated at 256 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque in the Tonale and is mated to a ZF-sourced 9-speed automatic transmission. On Tonale, the GME-T4 models come standard with all-wheel-drive (AWD).
According to our sources, the Hornet could see a boost in horsepower over the Tonale to more align it with Dodge’s performance attributes. The GME-T4 has shown horsepower levels around 270 horsepower to 280 horsepower, depending on the application. For example, the North American-spec 2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio equipped with the GME-T4 engine is rated at 280 horsepower and 306 lb.-ft. of torque on 91 octane premium unleaded fuel. We expect the Hornet to fall within those parameters.
There will also be a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant as well. The Tonale’s Q4 PHEV powertrain integrates two electric motors and a 15.5-kWh battery pack (4.1-kWh bigger than the Compass 4xe), with a fuel-efficient 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. This architecture provides two cars in one – a battery-electric vehicle featuring an electric motor (e-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 AWD. We expect a similar setup in the Hornet, once it makes its debut.
The Q4 PHEV system delivers a total output of 275 horsepower (180 horsepower from the ICE and the rest from its e-motor. It allows the Tonale to run from 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) acceleration in just 6.2 seconds while allowing the vehicle 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.
Dodge CEO, Tim Kuniskis has stated on the record in recent interviews that the Dodge brand will unveil two electrified vehicles this year. The first will be a concept version of the all-new eMuscle car that is scheduled for production in 2024, which should appear sometime this spring. The second is the introduction of a new PHEV vehicle, that will go into production by the end of 2022 (referring to the Hornet).
There has not been an official date announced for the unveiling of the 2023 Dodge Hornet, as of the writing of this article.
So what do you think of the Hornet so far? Would you be interested in a compact Dodge SUV? Do you think it will cannibalize the sales of the Tonale? What would you change? Let us know in the comments below or in the MoparInsiders.com forums.