Stellantis’s Dodge efficiency automobile model is phasing out its stalwart Charger, Challenger, and Durango fashions, so the corporate has offered a peek at its future with the introduction of the 2024 Dodge Hornet, a sporty compact crossover automobile that may carry the model’s banner into an electrified future with a plug-in hybrid electrical mannequin.
Whereas most plug-in hybrids are optimized for effectivity, Dodge sought to stake out a efficiency place for the Hornet. So whereas it’s constructed on the identical platform because the Alfa Romeo Tonale, and is inbuilt the identical Giambattista Vico Meeting Plant in Pomigliano d’Arco, Naples, Italy, the Dodge model turns up the facility in comparison with the Alfa’s model of the identical drivetrains.
The bottom GT model of the Hornet has a 268-horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder combustion engine that claims 13 extra peak horsepower than the identical engine within the Tonale. The Hornet R/T is the higher-performance model, utilizing a 175-hp 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine bolstered by a 44-hp electrical belt-alternator-starter after which paired with a 121-hp rear-axle-mounted electrical motor. Complete system energy is 288 hp. and 383 lb.-ft. of torque.
When driving within the electric-only mode, the CATL-supplied 15.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack drives solely the rear electrical motor, with a rated vary of 30 miles. Throughout my drive on the roads round Asheville, N.C., the Hornet R/T reported 29 miles of accessible electrical vary once I switched to electrical mode for the remaining 24 miles of the drive. The ambient temperature on the time was about 40 levels.
After I reached the top of the drive, it confirmed 4 miles of remaining vary, regardless that an eight-mile portion of this drive was a 70-mph Interstate freeway, so the automobile’s EV vary estimate appears dependable. The onboard 7.4-kilowatt charger lets the Hornet totally recharge its battery pack in 2.5 hours on a Degree 2 AC charging station. The non-hybrid Hornet GT is EPA-rated at 22 mpg metropolis, 29 mpg freeway, and 24 mpg in mixed driving. The hybrid R/T just isn’t but rated.
The rear electrical drivetrain additionally contributes to the Hornet R/T’s efficiency potential, because of Dodge’s PowerShot function, which provides a jolt of 30 extra horsepower past the common rated peak energy by making use of most electrical help for a burst of energy for so long as 15 seconds. This shaves 1.5 seconds off the conventional 0 to 60 mph acceleration time, chopping it to five.6 seconds.
With both the gas-only GT or the hybrid-electric R/T, the drivetrain’s calibration leaves so much to be desired in sporty driving by means of twisty mountain roads like those outdoors Asheville. In each circumstances, there’s important turbo lag when acceleration out of turns and the transmission is gradual to downshift on the identical time.
Nobody expects a crossover SUV to be a track-ready racer, however the Hornet is a slipshod, out-of-sync dance accomplice when slicing by means of switchbacks. The issues are exacerbated by torque steer when the facility does come on and the Hornet tries to alter path because of the enter of extra energy to the entrance wheels. The R/T suffers from this much less clearly because of the help of the rear electrical motor and the belt-alternator-starter on the engine, however it’s nonetheless intrusive.
Manually shifting the Hornet mitigates these issues by letting the motive force put it in the correct gear on nook entry, which spins the engine up so there’s much less lag when the throttle opens at nook exit. Nonetheless, whereas the R/T has steering wheel paddles to help this, the GT requires utilizing the shifter on the console to alter gears. No less than it’s a correct polystable PRNDL shifter that strikes by means of discrete positions somewhat than a joystick-style monostable shifter that springs again to a middle place.
It’s a disgrace that the drivetrain lets the Hornet down in spirited driving as a result of the chassis works effectively. Dodge claims “finest in school” chassis rigidity, however supplies no specifics. Each variations of the Hornet function Koni FSD shock absorbers with selectable modes and so they preserve very good management whereas cresting rises and rounding hairpin turns.
Our take a look at R/T rolled on 20-inch Michelin efficiency tires that ship 0.90 g of lateral grip based on Dodge. The electrical energy steering is correct, with good suggestions that lets the motive force chart the meant course by means of a nook, and sadly, to additionally make obligatory course corrections in response to torque steer.
The Hornet wears Brembo entrance brake calipers, and the stopping energy is spectacular in each GT and R/T variations. Nonetheless, whereas the GT’s brakes reply progressively to pedal utility, making it straightforward to mix between the brakes and the fuel whereas slaying switchbacks, the R/T’s brake-by-wire system is sensitive and applies the brakes rather more forcefully than the GT’s hydraulic system does for a similar quantity of pedal strain.
The Hornet is fast, nice to drive, and lets drivers do typical every day commutes on electrical energy. The annoying torque steer solely presents itself when the Hornet is pushed laborious, however that’s precisely how Dodge portrays this automobile, so its shortcomings in such use are related.
In different respects, the cabin is snug, although it’s a sea of blackness. There can be found crimson seat covers that underscore the blackness of every part else within the automobile. When will we be spared the inside ambiance of Spinal Faucet’s most well-known album cowl, the one that might not be “extra black”?
And backseaters higher not be spending a lot time backstage with the band, as a result of in the event that they’re even barely careless getting in, bizarre protrusions from the rear doorways’ window frames will smack them within the face.
If house owners can duck that difficulty and don’t actually attempt to money the efficiency checks Dodge is writing for the Hornet, they’re more likely to get pleasure from it. In the meantime, possibly Dodge’s engineering crew can work on the lagging delay in engine energy supply and the torque steer it creates when it does arrive.
Hornet GTs shall be in sellers quickly, and R/Ts needs to be there by “late spring,” based on Dodge.