Dodge is getting its own version of Alfa’s small crossover, the Tonale, hopefully without that car’s dumb NFT gimmick. The American brand’s version will be called the Hornet, as has been rumored for some time. And we’re going to see it soon — sometime in the middle of August, as a matter of fact.
This was revealed by the best source to reveal these kinds of things, the brand’s CEO, Tim Kuniskis. He was taking questions during Dodge’s announcement of the identity of its “Chief Donut Maker” (remember that whole thing), as the Detroit Free Press tells it, when he casually dropped some choice details on the first Dodge that might vaguely be considered compact since the Dart:
As he navigated a reporter’s question about Dodge’s future electrification plans — the brand plans both plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicles — Kuniskis offered what he noted moments later would qualify as a scoop.
“I think we’ve actually even said when we get back into the small compact space this summer when we launch the Hornet, we will have a PHEV or variant of that,” said Kuniskis, referencing the abbreviation for plug-in hybrid.
Dodge’s clientele might not think much of efficiency in general terms, but Kuniskis demonstrated a penchant for efficient verbiage there. In a sentence he revealed three things: the Hornet is coming this summer; there will be a PHEV version and; Dodge views it as the company’s “return to the small compact space.” Like it or not, this is the descendant of the Neon, Caliber and Dart. And much like the Dart, it’ll be spiritually connected with an Alfa Romeo.
If unceremoniously dropping these things in conversation wasn’t enough, Kuniskis did one better — he provided specifics as to when the reveal will probably happen:
“Right now we’re targeting August, probably around that Speed Week time,” Kuniskis said. “You know, we do Roadkill Nights and we have Dream Cruise and (during) the in-between week, we try to put some stuff in there, we call it Speed Week. Hopefully ... it’ll be right about that time.”
At this point you’re probably thinking he next listed the precise coordinates where the launch event will happen, as well as what he and his staff will be wearing that day. Unfortunately, that’s where the string of revelations ended.
Kuniskis also didn’t confirm nor deny if the Hornet will at all resemble the 2006 Hornet concept, which was sort of like a cross between a Scion xB and what we’d later know as the Dodge Nitro. I mean, it obviously won’t — I just wanted an excuse to bring up how sick that Hornet looked 16 years ago and how ungracefully it’s aged. We already know what the new Hornet will look like, and it’ll basically be the Alfa with more driver-facing nostrils.
Anyway, look forward to Dodge’s take on the Tonale with its name that’s harder to make fun of sometime in August, during the week between Roadkill Nights and the Woodward Dream Cruise. The latter is apparently happening August 20, so mark your calendars for the week of the 15th.