Heading to dealerships in Spring 2023, the Dodge Hornet R/T is the brand’s first-ever electrified performance vehicle and the start of Dodge’s journey to electrified performance. The Hornet is also the American automaker’s first all-new vehicle in its lineup since 2013 and it’ll compete in the crowded crossover segment.
Offering a segment-leading 288-combined horsepower and 383 lb-ft of total torque, the Dodge Hornet R/T does the zero-to-60 sprint in 6.1 seconds while offering over 30 miles of all-electric range.
Under the hood is a 1.3-liter turbocharged engine paired with an electric induction motor that powers the rear axle. Providing the 30-plus range is a 15.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a 7.4-kW charging module so that the battery can be fully charged in about 2.5 hours when using a Level 2 charger.
Power is delivered to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. For extra fun, the PHEV has a PowerShot feature that provides an extra 25 horsepower and instant torque for 15 seconds, which is good enough to knock off an entire second from the normal zero-to-60 times. The PowerShot can be reused after a 15-second cool-down period but we imagine it uses up a bit of your stored battery power. Unfortunately it’s not activated through a button, like the Genesis GV60 boost feature. Instead, the driver has to pull both steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and perform a pedal kickdown. Arguably not as fun as simply pushing a button.
As a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Hornet R/T naturally offers different drive modes. The Hybrid Mode aims to provide maximum combined efficiency of the engine and electric motor, setting electric priority until a minimum battery level is met. The Electric Mode is self-explanatory, serving as an all-electric mode that will automatically switch to hybrid when the battery is depleted, or when extra power is requested through PowerShot.
Lastly, there’s an E-Save Mode, that actually gives priority to the turbocharged engine in order to preserve battery charge. With this mode, there’s are Passive and Active options. Passive maintains the charge of the battery, while Active helps to recharge the battery via regenerative braking. Dodge has also equipped the Hornet R/T with an e-Coasting function, which is activated during throttle release for shorter stopping distances and additional energy recovery.
Standard on the Dodge Hornet R/T are class-exclusive, high-performance Koni FSD shocks as well as class-exclusive Brembo four-piston front brake calipers. Brake-by-wire Intelligent Braking System is also standard, along with dynamic torque vectoring. All this, combined with best-in-class body stiffness and weight distribution, helps deliver a maximum lateral G-force of 0.90 for the PHEV, which is also best-in-class.
Stepping inside the cabin, the driver is greeted by a 12.3-inch digital cockpit cluster screen along with a 10.25-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment system that’s powered by Android. Home screens on the infotainment system can be customized, along with music preference, HVAC controls, seat positions, and more. Of course, individual profiles are supported. Both wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also supported by Uconnect 5, which can be connected seamlessly to two phones simultaneously.
On the outside, the Hornet R/T gets a unique Abyss-painted lower cladding and rear valence with integrated dual exhaust ports. It’ll come standard with 18-inch Graphite Grey alloy wheels, but a Blacktop package will be available for the PHEV that adds 18-inch Abyss alloy wheels, gloss black badging and mirrors caps, as well as a gloss black-painted day light opening molding.
Dodge will also offer an optional Track Pack that upgrades to 20-inch Abyss wheels, red-painted Brembo front brake calipers with the Dodge logo, and additional performance and interior features. At launch, the 2023 Dodge Hornet will be available in seven different colors: Acapulco Gold, Blu Bayou, Blue Steele, Gray Cray, Hot Tamale, Q Ball, and 8 Ball.
The 2023 Dodge Hornet will be built at the Giambattista Vico Stellantis plant in Pomigliano d’Arco, Naples, Italy. Pricing for the 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T will be announced closer to its launch next year.