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Dodge has pulled its car out of the small car market in order to create a cultural shift

The Hornet put Dodge in a spot people are excited about. It’s a great car for everyday use and for racing fun.

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Dodge enters the fiercely competitive compact crossover market with the Hornet.

According to Dodge, the Hornet’s 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 engine under the hood of GT variants will produce at least 265 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.

A 1.3-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine with 285 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque powers the Dodge Hornet R/T.

Crossovers. Compact crossovers are commonplace, and this is no accident—people of all sizes adore them. In response to market developments, Dodge is reentering the compact vehicle market with the Hornet (after the Dart left in 2016). The Dodge Hornet, which is based on the Alfa Romeo Tonale, helps establish the brand among mass-market consumers while also giving CUV purchasers a taste of what Dodge is all about: power and excitement.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 in the base GT version of the Dodge Hornet delivers at least 265 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque to the car’s standard all-wheel drive system. Although Dodge hasn’t decided on the base engine’s output, 265 horsepower is almost 10 horsepower more than the Tonale’s base engine.

In its R/T form, Dodge will also offer the Hornet with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that produces 285 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. The 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission, but the hybrid system is powered by an electric motor that drives the rear axle and a starter-generator that is installed on the engine. A 15.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is used in the hybrid system, and it can provide 30 miles of all-electric range. Along with using a push-to-pass system called PowerShot, this hybrid reduces the 0-60 time to 6.1 seconds while adding an additional 25 horsepower.

These powerful powertrains may not make up for the impending departure of the Charger and Challenger, but they do demonstrate that Dodge is still concerned with straight-line performance. The Hornet looks for the right handling, even though it offers more than simply hot-hatch-like speed. The Koni dampers that come standard on the Hornet GT may be upgraded to dual-stage dampers with the track pack. The Hornet does indeed have a track pack. The track pack also includes seat inserts made of Alcantara microsuede and four-piston Brembo brakes in addition to the upgraded dampers. The people at Direct Connection will back a GLH kit to give your Hornet some retro Dodge flair and more aggressive design if that isn’t enough.

The Hornet is generally reserved outside from that. The Dodge design team decided against going loud and instead went with a simpler style without many creases or inventive sheetmetal. The selection was undoubtedly influenced by the fact that this uses the same platform as the Tonale, but the outcome is good. Although the Tonale and Hornet share some body components, the Hornet features a completely new front fascia and adopts the macho styling Dodge used on its most recent Charger and Durango.

The Hornet’s interior styling team considered making it more driver-focused. A standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a smaller 10.25-inch touchscreen media system are located in front of the driver. To make it simpler for drivers to view, the push-button starter is fastened to the center console. The GT and R/T models come standard with cloth and leatherette upholstery, with the Track Pack adding the aforementioned Alcantara.

Although appearance and performance are vital, for some people, consumer and safety technology may be the most significant aspect. According to Dodge, Level II driving-assistance features including adaptive cruise control, intelligent speed assist with traffic sign recognition, and driver attention assist are all available for the Hornet. These, however, are concealed by the Tech package. Only automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and blind-spot assistance are included in the list of standard active safety features.

All of this is being put together by Dodge at a tempting price point. Although official prices for the various trims and the R/T aren’t yet available, the entry-level GT model will cost less than $30,000. This implies that it would be less expensive than hot rods like the Mazda CX-30, Volkswagen GTI, and Hyundai Kona N. We must, however, wait to experience it firsthand. According to Dodge, the Hornet will slip into dealers this year in GT trim, with R/T variants following in the spring.

Do you believe the Dodge Hornet will assist in stepping into the Charger and Challenger’s entry-level shoes? Comment below with your comments.