Born-again Dodge Hornet still buzzing around the rumor mill

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According to a recent report, Dodge has finally figured out what type of car it will put the Hornet nameplate on. One of the world's least favorite insects is said to soon have a small Alfa Romeo-derived crossover named after it.
Website Passione Auto Italiane learned from unnamed sources that the Hornet will land as a Dodge-specific version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale, a city-friendly soft-roader that will debut under the Stelvio Pass. Both models will be built on the same assembly line in Pomigliano d'Arco near the Italian city of Naples and the Dodge variant will not be sold in Europe, where the brand no longer has an official presence.
Don't look for a Hellcat V8 under the hood: the power is said to come from a supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive will be standard, all-wheel drive will be offered at an additional cost. It's reasonable to assume that buyers will have at least one hybrid option to choose from, as the Tonale was recently delayed by Alfa Romeo boss Jean-Philippe Imparato after demanding better performance from the gasoline-electric system. If it fits in the Jeep, it will fit in the Dodge, and a hybrid will help one of the V8's last bastions to reduce its emissions.
While the Hornet will arrive in the United States with an Italian passport, its underpinning will taste more like apple pie than cannoli. Alfa Romeo is borrowing components from the Jeep Compass to transform the Tonale concept introduced in 2019 into a production car, so many of these parts will also end up under Dodge's entry-level model.
Executives did not comment on the rumor. Dodge trademarked the Hornet name in 2020, a move that added fuel to the fire, but trademark registration is never a guarantee that the protected terms will get into production.
If the report is correct, we will be releasing more information on the Dodge Hornet in the coming months and it could hit showrooms as a 2023 model in 2022. The Alfa Romeo Tonale is also about a year before the market launch. In the meantime, we've reached out to the company for more details and will update this story as we learn more.
What's in a name
Dodge received the Hornet nameplate as a holdover after parent company Chrysler took over American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1987. AMC used it on a compact model that was built from model years 1970 to 1977 and was available in a variety of body styles. Dodge slept until 2006 when he put up a decidedly European-inspired concept at the Geneva Motor Show. It was reportedly cleared for production, first on a platform developed jointly with China's Chery, then through a partnership with Nissan that should have spawned a Dodge Ram-based Titan, and finally with help from Fiat. Dodge's entry into one of Europe's largest segments was eventually abandoned after a series of setbacks (including the 2009 financial crisis) repeatedly delayed the project.
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