This is Dodge’s first electric vehicle

2023 Dodge Hornet GT

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DETROIT – The first electrified vehicle for the Dodge brand under Stellantis will be a plug-in hybrid crossover called the Hornet, a resurrected name most recently used for a 1970s station wagon.

The compact crossover will be Dodge’s new entry-level model, with a starting price of less than $30,000 for a Hornet GT model with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The plug-in hybrid model, which Dodge calls the Hornet R/T, will start at about $40,000.

While not one of Dodge’s signature muscle cars, the Hornet is an important vehicle for the brand’s sales and electrification strategy. It marks a return to the cheaper mainstream market after the discontinuation of the Dart sedan and Journey crossover in 2016 and 2020 respectively.

“We think the potential is huge with the growth of this segment,” Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said at a media briefing. He declined to discuss sales expectations for the vehicle, which was unveiled Tuesday night at an event in Pontiac, Michigan.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT

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The compact crossover segment is one of the largest segments in the industry, but Kuniskis said Dodge will position the Hornet differently from competitors.

Dodge says the Hornet will have the best performance in the segment and offer unique features, including a “Power Shot” mode for the plug-in hybrid that immediately delivers 25 more horsepower to the vehicle.

The Hornet R/T PHEV will have more than 285 horsepower and 383 foot-pounds of torque, according to Dodge. It will be able to travel more than 30 miles before a 1.3-litre turbocharged combustion engine kicks in to power the vehicle. Dodge says the GT model will have at least 265 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque.

The Hornet GT is expected to arrive in US showrooms by the end of this year, followed by the plug-in model next spring. The vehicles will be produced at a factory in Italy alongside the Alfa Romeo Tonale, which has a shared platform and components, but has different design features.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT GLH Concept

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Dodge also showed a concept vehicle called Hornet GT GLH (Goes Like Hell) – another name resurrected from the Dodge Omni GLH in the mid-1980s – that could be built with aftermarket parts or go into production at a later date, providing additional performance to the vehicle range.

The Hornet’s unveiling comes a day after the company confirmed it would discontinue the Dodge Charger and Challenger muscle cars late next year. They are expected to be replaced by at least one new electric performance car from 2024.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

Stellantis was formed by the merging automaker Fiat Chrysler and France-based Groupe PSA. It has 14 car brands, including Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Peugeot. The company will invest $35.5 billion in vehicle electrification and assistive technologies through 2025.

The Hornet name was first used for a car produced in the 1950s by Hudson Motor, made popular in recent years by Disney’s “Cars” franchise. It was then used by American Motors in the 1970s, followed by Chrysler, now known as Stellantis, for a concept car that never went into production in 2006.

2023 Dodge Hornet GT GLH Concept

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