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2023 Dodge Hornet Packs Lots of Sting for Under $30K

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All-new 2023 Dodge Hornet GT
So we’re doing this now, huh? All right, then.
Photo: Stellantis

Dodge Speed Week brought the goods again on Tuesday with the reveal of the 2023 Dodge Hornet. Touted as a gateway muscle vehicle, the new Dodge compact utility is offered with an all-new turbo-four and the brand’s first-ever plug-in hybrid powertrain.

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All-new Dodge Hornet serves up class-leading power

All-new 2023 Dodge Hornet GT
Welcome to the inclusive Brotherhood of Muscle
Photo: Stellantis

As the latest entrant in Dodge’s Brotherhood of Muscle (which Dodge says is fully inclusive despite the whole needlessly gendered language thing and despite something like Order of Muscle sounding way more badass and not inherently excluding women and nonbinary folks), performance is maybe the Hornet’s most important quality. And, oh, brother (or sister or sibling), does it ever deliver with the one-two punch that is the Hornet GT and Hornet R/T.

The 2023 Dodge Hornet GT leads the way, serving up an all-new Hurricane4 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder. Cut from the same cloth as the Hurricane straight-six that launched with the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, this turbo-four is the most powerful gas engine in the segment, putting down a mean 265 horsepower (or more, as Dodge notes) and 295 lb-ft of torque.

This gateway muscle vehicle is also a gateway into Dodge’s all-electrified future thanks to the Hornet R/T, which the brand calls Head of the Hive. The first PHEV from Dodge sports an advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain that makes the Hornet R/T the most powerful performer in its class. Not only does it deliver 285+ horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, but it offers a new PowerShot horsepower boost feature that knocks a second off the 0-60 mph sprint.

While Dodge hasn’t hinted at range figures, it did confirm that the 2023 Hornet should exceed 30 miles of range in Electric Mode. So you get the cake, and you get to eat it.

Bred for performance (probably in a hive because Hornet)

A unique new exterior Hornet badge on the fender celebrates the revival of the Hornet — a name first used on the famed Hudson Hornet in the 1940s and again in 2006 as a popular Dodge concept vehicle — and joins current iconic Dodge badging lineup, such as Scat Pack, Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye.
I can feel you buzzing with excitement
Photo: Stellantis

Power ain’t enough for a well-rounded, dynamic driving experience. That’s a fact Dodge knows well, so it loads up the 2023 Hornet GT and R/T with a battery of performance-ready features. Both models get all-wheel drive, fully independent front and rear suspension, class-exclusive Koni shocks with frequency selective damping, class-leading dynamic torque vectoring, and class-leading weight distribution. This thing is going to be buttery smooth, innit?

As if that all ain’t sufficient for getting the job done, the Hornet R/T comes with Brembo four-piston front brake calipers and an Intelligent Braking System with brake-by-wire. Both are class exclusives. And you can upgrade both models with the class-exclusive dual-stage-valve suspension with selectable damping, which is offered in the Track Pack.

More customization, you cry? Sure. The Hornet is available with Dodge Direct Connection parts, which are available through Dodge Power Broker dealers. Expect more details on all that closer to launch, and expect the options to be ridonkulous.

Also, did we mention it’s handsome and cheap?

Premium interior touches for the 2023 Dodge Hornet include class-exclusive, racing-oriented Alcantara seats, embellished with unique “red crust” accents that visually burst out and gradually fade, highlighting the unique Alcantara seat perforation.
Dodge’s rep for handsome interiors is well-deserved
Photo: Stellantis

Yeah, performance is big when you’re talking about a Dodge. But the Hornet is more than just that. There’s a kind of immediacy in the way it looks, and that’s only made stronger and more urgent with the Blacktop package. A package that turns this thing into, as Dodge dubs, a “murder Hornet.” It’s still too soon for that, y’all. We haven’t recovered yet. Give us time.

Expect it to be sporty and functional on the inside, with copious passenger and cargo space and oh-so-fancy upgrades like Alcantara racing seats. One thing’s for sure: There’ll be a lot of screen space thanks to the standard 12.3-inch digital cockpit and 10.25-inch Uconnect 5 center screen. And a whole lot of speakers, too, with the optional 14-speaker, 465-watt Harman-Kardon premium sound system.

Oh, and then there’s the matter of pricing. Dodge will open the order books for the Hornet GT on Wednesday and is promising a sub-$30,000 starting price. Deliveries of the GT should kick off later this year, and the Hornet R/T will begin buzzing into showrooms next spring.

Dodge Speed Week rolls on Wednesday night with the likely reveal of the highly anticipated Dodge EV muscle car concept. Earlier this week, the brand announced the return of the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat. Dodge fans are eating good. Get those forks out.