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Back in 2021, we told you it was coming, Dodge’s first new vehicle in many years. Now it’s official. The 2023 Hornet is set to show up in dealerships at the end of 2022. Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis confirmed it in an interview with “Chief Donut Maker” Preston Patterson. Yes, Dodge has that…

What is the new Dodge Hornet based on?

2023 Dodge Hornet
2023 Dodge Hornet hybrid | Stellantis

Anyway, what he said was, “I think we’ve actually even said when we get back into the small compact space this summer when we launch the Hornet, we will have a PHEV or variant of that.” So there it is. 

The basis for the Dodge Hornet comes from Alfa Romeo’s Tonale small SUV. It is already available in Europe and will show up stateside at the beginning of 2023. Priced much lower than the brand typically commands, Tonale is an anomaly in the Alfa bloodline.

As Kuniskis explained, “This gray hair that I’m getting? It’s not COVID, it’s not lockdowns, it’s the supply chain. Every single thing we’re doing is like in Jell-O right now because it’s so hard to plan anything.” 

When will the Dodge Hornet be available?

Alfa Romeo Tonale
2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale | Stellanti

However, he has pegged August for its release. “Right now we’re targeting August, probably around that Speed Week time,” Kuniskis said. “You know, we do Roadkill Nights and we have Dream Cruise, and the in-between week, we try to put some stuff in there, we call it Speed Week. Hopefully, it’ll be right about that time.”

2023 Dodge Hornet
2023 Dodge Hornet hybrid logo | Stellantis

If you’re wondering about the name, it originated with Hudson back in the 1950s. It was its high-performance car, which was very successful in the early days of NASCAR. The name transferred to the newly formed American Motors in the mid-1950s.

While Hudson left the automaking landscape, Hornet reappeared on certain American Motors cars in the 1970s. With American Motor’s demise in the late 1980s, the Chrysler Corporation purchased all of its intellectual property. Though it has been seen on a concept or two, this is its first time on a production vehicle since the 1970s.

The Hornet will feature a lot of Tonale’s features

2023 Tonale
2023 Tonale interior | Stellantis

No details were mentioned, but it is assumed Tonale’s drivetrain and features will be on the Hornet. That means a hybrid drivetrain that gets 30 miles on a charge. You can accomplish local hops without ever needing the gas engine. Inside are Alcantara seats, with a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen placed next to it. 

New tech and safety features abound on the Tonale. In no special order, there is Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lanesense Lane Keep Assist, Intelligent Speed Control, Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot and Rear Path Detection, 360-degree camera, Lane Centering, Traffic Jam Assist, Rear Seat Reminder, and Driver Attention Alert. The expectation is that all of them will come as standard or optional equipment on the Hornet. 

With production having begun in Naples, Italy, it was expected the Hornet would slide into U.S. showrooms before the end of this year. Now, it looks like you won’t be able to get your hands on one until after the new year.

Updated: 12/1/2022


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