We’ve recently been seeing a lot of spy shots of the 2023 Dodge Hornet floating around the interwebs. The most recent set comes from CNET on July 4, when a reporter posted a story about a camouflaged vehicle he saw in LA traffic.
So, what in the heck is the Dodge Hornet and when might we see it without camo?
Let’s start with the last question first.
Though we haven’t seen anything concrete from Dodge about the actual unveiling, the rumor mill places the reveal at the upcoming Dodge Speed Week, between August 15 and 17 at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan.
Dodge did say in a press release that it would include three consecutive days of worldwide product reveals. Specifically, the automaker vaguely announced:
Unless there’s a typo here, I think we’ll see the 2023 Dodge Hornet announced on the 15th – along with a few other Dodge products – possibly special edition trims of current models. Tuesday and Wednesday seem to hold a single announcement each, and we’ll bet our bottom dollar that Wednesday will be about the electric muscle car it alluded to during the Stellantis 2021 EV Day event.
— CNET Cars (@CNETCars) July 5, 2022
As far as we can tell from the scuttlebutt an spy photos, the 2023 Dodge Hornet will be a compact crossover built on the same platform as the recently revealed Alfa Romeo Tonale (pictured in our featured image). It will slot well below the three-row Dodge Durango with a length that will be smaller than a midsize sedan.
We saw the Tonale at the New York International Auto Show and fell in love with the petite proportions that are perfect for an urban environment.
As far as design tweaks go to fit the Dodge brand, the front and rear fascia will be completely different as will the wheels, but we anticipate the interior will have a similar look and feel to the Tonale – maybe even including the push-button start on the steering wheel.
The 23’ Dodge Hornet has been spied completely undisguised on the factory floor as a rebadged Alfa Romeo Tonale. The crossover will come equipped with the automaker’s latest UConnect 5 infotainment system and it will be offered with a 256 hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine pic.twitter.com/jYC7R6Smbq
— Cole Marzen (@cole_marzen) February 17, 2022
Some of the best renderings we’ve seen were by a Russian outlet and can be seen on the Muscle Cars & Trucks website.
As Stellantis and Dodge start to make a shift away from Hemified muscle vehicles, we anticipate the 2023 Dodge Hornet will follow the Tonale powertrain lineup, offering both a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine as well as a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle with a 1.3-liter turbocharged, four mated to a 90 kW electric motor.
Based on the power specs of the Tonale, the gas-only engine with 256 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque will be the base engine. The PHEV will likely have a combined power output of 272 horsepower and deliver 30 miles of all-electric range.
Since Stellantis has been very clear about its electrification aims, there’s one interesting twist on the powertrain possibilities I’d like to offer: What if the third variant were an EV? We have seen the Chrysler Airflow concept, which is an EV. And though we don’t know much about that vehicle either, the two compact SUVs do appear to be similarly proportioned. So, even if we don’t see an EV version of the Hornet next month, we probably will soon.
At the end of the day, what we know about the 2023 Dodge Hornet is the sum of a lot of guesses and extrapolations. Dodge did reveal a concept car back in 2006 with the Hornet name, but this newest iteration will have very little in common with that boxy utility vehicle – other than its petite proportions.
So, stay tuned for the mid-August reveal.