Hornet: The First New Dodge In Almost A Decade Is Coming

The last time Dodge debuted a new vehicle was the Dart back in 2013. Is that any way to run a car company? But now Dodge is poised to reveal the Hornet, its first new vehicle in almost a decade.

Hornet will be based on Alfa Romeo’s Tonale crossover

Dodge Hornet concept from 2006
Dodge Hornet concept from 2006 | Stellantis

As one would guess it will not be a car. No, the Hornet will be based on Alfa Romeo’s Tonale crossover. The Tonale is itself based on the Jeep Compass architecture. A Tonale concept was shown two years ago. 

The Italian site Passione Auto Italiane was first with Hornet news. It mentioned in a post that the Tonale would share production lines at the Alfa plant in Pomigliano D’Arco, Italy. Both will feature the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder currently found in the Wrangler. 

Hornet is the first new Dodge SUV since the 2011 Durango

Alfa Romeo Tonale crossover in red
Alfa Romeo Tonale crossover | Stellantis

Not only is the Hornet the first new Dodge since the 2013 Dart, but it is the first new Dodge SUV since the 2011 Durango. The Dart was only produced from 2013 to 2016. Based on scheduling for the Tonale assembly, we can assume that Hornet production will be the same. That date is March 2022, with deliveries to dealers starting in June. 

If you recall, Tonale’s introduction was delayed for three months. This followed after the new Alfa Romeo president demanded that Tonale’s PHEV engine deliver better performance. Based on Reddit comments there will not be a Hellcat version of the Hornet. 

The Hornet name actually goes back to Hudson vehicles of the 1950s. A Hornet was a high-performance sedan featuring a two-carb straight-six engine. Hornet ruled NASCAR stock car racing in the early 1950s. But by 1957 both the Hornet and Hudson Motor Company were gone. 

Does the Hornet name mean something?

Dodge Hornet concept crossover from 2006
Dodge Hornet concept from 2006 | Stellantis

Hudson became part of a larger American Motors Corporation with the merger of it, Packard, Studebaker, and Nash. This happened in 1954. The Hornet trademark was passed on to Chrysler when American Motors was purchased by Chrysler in 1986. That purchase included the Jeep brand. 

Dodge has been soldiering on with only the Charger, Challenger, and Durango SUV. It is one of the last American manufacturers to offer cars. Mostly, Ford and GM produce SUVs and crossovers, having killed off their three-box cars last year. Dodge has held headlines the last few years with ever-increasing horsepower versions of Hellcat performance offerings. 

With the merger of the French Peugeot Group and Fiat Chrysler-creating Stellantis, pundits were curious if the Dodge brand might be dropped. But the head of Stellantis recently stated he was giving each brand under the Stellantis umbrella 10 years to prove their worth.  

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