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The 2023 Dodge Hornet was unveiled with a name from the automotive industry’s past.
The Hudson Hornet was a full-size car that rose to fame in NASCAR in the early 1950s and was absorbed into AMC with the Hudson brand. It was followed by the AMC Hornet line of compact cars sold from 1970 to 1977.
Chrysler acquired its rival in 1987 and kept all the best stuff, including Jeep and a list of model names, which were passed on to Dodge’s current parent company, Stellantis.
The Dodge Hornet sits somewhere between its predecessors as a compact SUV based on the recently introduced Alfa Romeo Tonale, but has been revamped and redesigned to make it look more like a Dodge.
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Its exterior features a grille and headlights that give it a Dodge family face along with the brand’s signature full-width taillights. Interior styling continues the sports car vibe with dual digital displays, a center console angled toward the driver’s seat, silver accents and decorative stitching.
Two powertrain options will be available, both with standard all-wheel drive.
The entry-level Hornet GT will start under $30,000 and come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder called the Hurricane and is rated at over 265 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful compact SUV for the price.
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Dodge claims the Hornet GT will be able to accelerate to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and will offer performance parts that will allow owners to tune the engine to over 300 horsepower, add a smoother exhaust and lower the suspension to better maneuverability.
It features some of the upgrades with a Hornet GT GLH concept. GLH is short for “goes like hell” and is a nod to the Dodge Omni GLH of the 1980s, which was the epitome of the American hot sedan of the time. Dodge plans to offer a package in the future that incorporates numerous accessories and GLH graphics.
The Hornet GT will be followed next year by the Hornet R/T which gets a plug-in hybrid powertrain combining a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric drive to deliver a total system output of over 285 horsepower and 383 lb-ft. .
The Hornet R/T also features a PowerShot feature that boosts output by 25 horsepower in 15-second bursts when the driver simultaneously pulls both steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and lowers the throttle, with cooling 15 seconds. time needed between shots.
Driven more quietly, the Hornet R/T should be able to travel more than 30 miles in all-electric mode between charges. A Track Pack option will be available for both models that adds computer-adjustable suspension, 20-inch performance wheels and other amenities.
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The Hornet GT is expected to hit showrooms in December and will be followed by the Hornet R/T in the spring at a price yet to be announced.
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