Dodge's First Plug-In Hybrid: Hornet R/T
Dodge, long known as a purveyor of powerful, tire-shredding V-8 muscle cars, has just introduced its first plug-in hybrid, the new Hornet SUV. The compact all-wheel drive model is actually the first-ever electrified performance vehicle from Dodge – but true to the brand’s roots, it also aims to be the most powerful vehicle in its segment. Thanks to a turbocharged engine as well as an electric motor, the flagship Hornet R/T plug-in hybrid produces 285 horsepower and a whopping 383 lb-ft of torque, while also being able to drive with zero emissions in the city.
Full Electric Range of the Hornet
The plug-in hybrid Hornet is powered by a 1.3-liter aluminum engine, which features numerous fuel-saving technologies, including a turbocharger to balance power and efficiency, and the brand’s patented MultiAir technology, which adjusts valve lift and timing to improve combustion. It’s paired with an electric induction motor that powers the rear axle, and offers an impressive EPA-estimated 30 miles of full-electric range. Electric power comes from a 15.5-kWh battery pack, which has a high-power inverter and 7.4-kW charging module, which means it can be fully recharged in approximately 2.5 hours on a Level 2 charger. Four drive modes let you customize the Hornet’s driving behavior from pure electric to hybrid, to e-save (which charges the battery with the combustion engine) and sport mode. A “PowerShot” function gives an additional 25-horsepower boost for the electric motor for 15 seconds at a time as well.
Italian Heritage and Construction
While it looks and feels like a high-performance Dodge, the Hornet actually has a significant amount of Italian DNA. It is built off the same set of components as the new Alfa Romeo Tonale – a compact luxury SUV which is already on sale in Europe, and which will also come to North America. (The Hornet is also actually made in Italy, alongside the Tonale.)
On the outside, Dodge has replaced the Tonale’s sensuous curves with a more aggressive look, including a slotted front grille design that fits right in with the Challenger and Charger. At the rear, full-width tail lamps are another signature Dodge element, accented with an illuminated Dodge rhombus logo.
Hornet: Interior Tech
The Dodge Hornet also has an up-to-date, technologically-advanced user interface. The 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is the largest in its class, and the center console features a large 10.25-inch central touch screen for infotainment functions. The standard Uconnect 5 software from Dodge is one of the best infotainment interfaces on the market, and is very easy to use on the move. The system can be connected to two phones simultaneously, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay allow easy connectivity. Amazon Alexa in-vehicle integration means that drivers can even ask their Hornet to perform functions such as opening or closing their garage door!
The Hornet also offers many standard advanced driver assistance features including automatic emergency braking, lane keeping support, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and a high-definition back-up camera with available parking assistance. An optional technology package adds adaptive cruise control with automatic traffic sign recognition to detect speed limits, traffic jam assist, and more.
Dodge Hornet R/T Ready for Order
The 2023 Dodge Hornet is available to order now from dealers across the U.S., with the flagship R/T plug-in hybrid model appearing in showrooms in late 2023.