Dodge’s Speed Week kicked off with a veritable product onslaught as we saw a Durango SRT Hellcat, Challenger Convertible, and a carbon fiber-bodied 1970 Charger. In addition, there was a teaser for what will likely be the ultimate ICE-powered Challenger with over 900 horsepower. At the very end of the livestream, company boss Tim Kuniskis made a big announcement about what we’ll see during day 2:
“We’re going to turn the page and look at our future — our first new electrified Dodge,” the speaker said. Though he made no specific mention of the model, 2023 Hornet seems to be the one he was alluding to. It won’t share any similarities with the concept car of the same name from 2006, which was a boxy minivan that was intended for production before being scrapped in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis.
So what is it? a small crossover vehicle powered by a plug-in hybrid system. It will be mechanically similar to the Alfa Romeo Tonale, as evidenced by spy photos of prototypes that remarkably resembled the Italian vehicle. As the entry-level option, a gas-only engine should also be included, and given Dodge’s business practises, we anticipate strong power output from both configurations.
Recall that the Tonale will only be available with AWD when it is sold in the United States. A nine-speed automatic transmission will transmit the turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine’s 256 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque to both axles in the base model.
With regard to the PHEV, it will have a six-speed automatic transmission and a combined output of 272 horsepower from a 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and a 90-kilowatt electric motor. Without consuming any fuel, the 15.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack will have enough power for a range of more than 30 miles.
Alfa Romeo also offers the Tonale with front-wheel drive and even a diesel engine in other markets. Given that the two models will share many of the mechanical and electrical components as well as the design, it will be interesting to see how the prices for the two models differ. According to insiders at the automaker, the Alfa will start in the high $30,000 range and go as high as the low $50,000 range.
We’ll have to wait and see if the Dodge counterpart will be more affordable. As soon as we know more, since the livestream begins at 7 PM Eastern.