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We knew the 2023 Dodge Hornet was coming, and we figured it’d be during the Dodge Speed Week. So, ta-da! Here it is. But we still don’t have a lot of the details, such as pricing.

So, let’s dig into this new performance-oriented compact SUV and see what we have to look forward to — and when.

GT and R/T trims, to start?

Dodge only mentions two trims for the 2023 Hornet GT and R/T. We also saw mentions of the GT Plus and R/T Plus. We’re not sure if that means there’s more to come or if that’s all you get. In other Dodge vehicles, you see a base SXT as well as more premium Scat Pack and Hellcat models. So, this is TBD.

PHEV confirmed

In our preview article, we used the rumor mill to surmise the new Hornet would be based on the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale. We still think this is the case, especially since Dodge confirmed the R/T trim will be a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), delivering best-in-class g-force numbers of 0.90. Oh, and it’s going to be built in Naples, Italy, which is where the Tonale is also built.

Even though the Hornet R/T will get the same 1.3-liter turbocharged engine and 90 kW motor, it will deliver 285 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. In case you were wondering, that’s more power than the Tonale gets. It’s estimated to go from 0 to 60 in 6.1 seconds as well as deliver 30 miles of all-electric range.

The second powertrain, which we’ll see on the GT, is the 2.0-liter, inline 4-cylinder turbo that delivers 265 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. And, yep, that’s in the Tonale, too.

2023 Dodge Hornet bred for the track

While we assume there will be additional trims, the only trims we know about so far are the GT and R/T because, well, Speed Week. The press release throws around phrases like “best-in-class body stiffness” and “near perfect” weight distribution – and with the list of standard performance parts this compact SUV will get, it better.

Dodge is calling this a “gateway” muscle car as it makes the transition to an electrified future. With its PHEV powertrain and SUV shape, this is supposed to get your SRT and Hellcat enthusiasts plugged in to the next step of all-electric muscle.

So, what performance goodies do we have to look forward to on the 2023 Dodge Hornet? Following is just a sample of the standard and available features:

  • Koni Frequency Selective Damping Shocks, standard on GT and R/T
  • Brembo brake calipers, standard on the R/T and available on the GT
  • Intelligent braking system, standard on the R/T
  • Dual-stage valve suspension, available on the R/T and GT
  • Dynamic torque vectoring, standard on R/T and GT
  • Independent suspension, standard on R/T and GT
  • Balanced chassis with a 52/48 weight distribution, standard on the R/T

PowerShot boost

The Hornet R/T will have a 25-horsepower boost that Dodge is calling “PowerShot.” It’ll shave 1 second off the 0-to-60-MPH time by providing 15 seconds of extra horsepower, which are boosted by the battery and electric motor. You can employ the PowerShot more than once, but it requires a 15-second cool-down period.

2023 Dodge Hornet

The identity of the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet shines through at the rear, with a taillamp that extends the width of the vehicle and features a lighted red signature, as well as an illuminated Dodge Rhombi logo in the center — featured for the first time on a Dodge vehicle — identifying from a distance that it’s a Dodge. (Image courtesy of Stellantis North America)

Cool tech galore

Both the GT and R/T will come standard with the Stellantis Uconnect 5 infotainment system, which brings screen customization, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, dual connected Bluetooth phones and Amazon Alexa connectivity. Other cool tech you’ll see on the 2023 Dodge Hornet includes a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, 12.3-inch digital cluster, an available 14-speaker Harmon Kardon premium sound system and available wireless charging.

When can I get the 2023 Dodge Hornet?

You can begin placing your orders for the GT on August 17, 2022, and it will hit dealers late in 2022. If you want the R/T and all its PowerShot glory, you’ll have to wait until spring of 2023.

And the price is …

Dodge is still mum on the full range of pricing, but it did release one snippet: The GT will be priced under $30k. If the R/T is the top trim, we expect it to start around $40k.

The bottom line 

Since this is a gateway vehicle with a plug-in powertrain, we’re going to be very curious about Dodge fan reactions. They are a very special and specific subset of buyers that Dodge has always taken pains to cultivate. The 2023 Dodge Hornet looks like it’s going to be a nice little SUV with some excellent specs and parts, but will the enthusiast set salivate over this like they do the Durango Hellcat? Probably not.

However, I will say after having driven the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio on the racetrack at Gingerman Raceway in Michigan, a well-balanced vehicle with the right amount of power can best a sports car with the right driver behind the wheel most days of the week. So, I for one can’t wait to take my turn in the Hornet R/T, and while it won’t win any drag races on the straightaways, my bet is it will be a blast on the curvy bits between.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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