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There have been some pretty incredible and bizarre names for cars over the years. And many of them, as you think back, are named after powerful or dominating animals. Nothing says power quite like a Ford Bronco or prestigious like the AMC Eagle. But there are also plenty of cars named after insects.

Maybe you owned an insect-inspired car over the years. What you may not know, even if you’re a trivia buff, is that of all those bug-named rides, none were American models until now. There’s only one American car named after an insect in 2023. Meet the Dodge Hornet. It’s about to swarm a dealership near you, ready to take off in a big way as a popular crossover contender from right here in the U.S.

2023 Dodge Hornet
2023 Dodge Hornet | Stellantis

Past vehicle models named after bugs

Cars named after animals is nothing new. And the automaker marketing teams know what they’re doing when they assign a living, breathing creature moniker to one of their vehicles. It helps the driver envision themselves at the helm of something powerful, fierce, and commanding in nature. 

The Ford Mustang, the Chevy Corvette Stingray, and the Dodge Viper are all inspired by animals. The Cheetah GT, the Plymouth Barracuda, and the Ford Puma are classics that took inspiration from the animal kingdom. And there are even some gentle creature names, like the Nissan Bluebird and the Fiat Panda.

The only insect-themed American car is brand-new

There have been plenty of car models over the years with names of insects. These include classics like the Volkswagen Beetle, but don’t forget the Plymouth Cricket, the Pontiac Firefly, the Hudson Wasp, the Hudson Hornet, and the Datsun Honeybee. But of all the insect cars, only one today is actually American.

If you’re looking for an American car today with an insect name, you’ll only find one. And it’s a brand-new Dodge. Have you seen the 2023 Dodge Hornet yet?

Meet the 2023 Dodge Hornet

This small and fuel-efficient crossover won’t feel like the beefy muscle cars you’re used to seeing from Dodge. And maybe that’s why it’s called the Hornet—small, yet fierce. The turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder will make this Dodge far more potent than other subcompact crossovers. 

Dodge offers the Hornet in the GT or the R/T PHEV variation this year. The PHEV is Dodge’s first and comes with a turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Combined, the PHEV can crank 285 horses.

Dodge says the R/T will go from zero to 60 in a super-fast 6.1 seconds. The battery in the R/T PHEV is a 12-kWh pack capable of going 30 miles on a full charge. Using a Level 2 charger, it takes roughly two and a half hours to charge completely, according to Car and Driver.

Other trims and packages, like the Cold Weather Group package, is ultra-luxe with heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and a remote start. And the standard roster of equipment and amenities is chock-full, with a large 10.3-inch infotainment screen, 17-inch aluminum wheels, rain-sensing wipers, and dual-zone climate control. 

Dodge lists the entry-level MSRP for a Dodge Hornet to be $30,590, making it quite the value-packed, affordable ride without the sting. And it’s kind of cool knowing that there’s finally an animal-related nameplate on an American introduction in 2023. When you buy your Dodge Hornet, you’ll just have to come up with your nickname for it.


How Did the 2023 Dodge Hornet Get Its Name?