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The Dodge Hornet GT produces 265 horsepower and offers an LSD

Only Dodge would put a limited-slip differential in its Toyota Rav4 competitor.

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The new Hornet compact SUV is Dodge’s first all-new release in ten years. The Hornet, an Alfa Romeo Tonale corporate brother, makes its debut as the most potent crossover available for under $30,000.

That holds true whether you choose the plug-in hybrid R/T or the gasoline-powered GT. The GT has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine with more than 265 horsepower. With a claimed output of over 285 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, the plug-in is even more powerful. A 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor are used in the vehicle’s drivetrain. The Toyota RAV4 Prime has 302 horsepower, however it has a starting price that is slightly higher.

The plug-15.4 in’s kWh battery can only provide a total electric range of 30 miles, lagging somewhat below the Toyota’s 42-mile range. Dodge, though, is obviously attempting to position the Hornet as the enthusiast’s pick by emphasizing a feature called PowerShot that may temporarily add 25 horsepower. According to Dodge, the feature cuts the Hornet R/0-60 T’s time by over a second, enabling it to reach the desired speed in 6.1 seconds. A RAV4 Prime completed the identical task in testing by Car and Driver in 5.4 seconds without using a time-limited overboost. According to Dodge, the gas-powered Hornet GT should reach 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. No gas engine in the segment, according to Dodge, has more power.

It is not attempting to convert enthusiasts just by force. According to Dodge, the Hornet GT also boasts a dynamic torque vectoring system, four-piston Brembo brakes, Koni shocks, and an electronic limited-slip differential. The distribution of weight is allegedly finest in class.

Inside, you’ll find standard Dodge technology including the most recent version of Uconnect and a number of add-on driver assistance systems. In an effort to convey that this is a driver-first vehicle, the dashboard has been slightly angled toward the driver, and red accents lend some aggressiveness. On the smaller canvas, the exterior transfers conventional Dodge design cues, modifying the corporate light bar but adding a Dodge emblem to the middle. Q Ball, 8 Ball, Hot Tamale, Blue Steele, and Acapulco Gold are some of the exterior hues.

The plug-in hybrid R/T version of the Dodge Hornet GT will be available starting in the spring of 2023. Although the pricing has not been disclosed, the Hornet will cost less than $30,000.