Dodge ditches its gas-powered muscle cars and reveals a new plug-in hybrid

The carmaker will stop manufacturing its iconic muscle cars, Charger and Challenger in 2023.
Can Emir
Dodge Hornet

Dodge 

The U.S.-based carmaker Dodge has announced that the company will discontinue its gas-powered Challenger and Charger models in 2023 as it plans to transition to electric vehicles.

The first electric vehicle of the Dodge brand will be a plug-in hybrid compact utility vehicle (CUV) called the Hornet, as stated in a press release. The Hornet is going to be Dodge’s new entry-level vehicle, with a cost of less than $30,000.

The electrified vehicle will have two options, Hornet GT and Hornet R/T and the Dodge Hornet GT GLH Concept.

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Dodge Hornet
Dodge 

“The Dodge brand’s electrified transformation has left the starting line, with the all-new Dodge Hornet R/T representing the first electrified performance vehicle from Dodge,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand chief executive officer. “The Dodge Hornet is poised to jolt the mainstream compact utility vehicle segment with looks, feel and performance that are unmistakably Dodge. And this is just the start of the Dodge brand’s electrification journey.”

The Hornet GT is the entry point. It features a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that makes 268 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The engine pairs with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Dodge estimates the GT will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 140 mph.

The Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV achieves a segment-leading 288 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque. The R/T features a 1.3-liter turbocharged all-aluminum engine, part of the Stellantis Global Small Engine (GSE) family, which includes exclusive third-generation MultiAir technology that improves combustion efficiency by adjusting valve lift and timing. It also features a "PowerStop" function that delivers an extra 25 horsepower and instant torque for 15-second bursts. While its top speed is limited to a lower 128 mph, it should be quicker than its nonhybrid counterpart. Dodge estimates the PHEV will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.

The Hornet R/T offers more than 30 miles of all-electric range. An electric induction motor powers the rear axle; the 90-kW electric motor can deliver 1,844 lb.-ft. (2,500 Nm) of torque. A high-power inverter and 7.4-kW charging module allow for a full battery charge to be reached in approximately 2.5 hours using a Level 2 charger. The R/T PHEV system is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The interior of the Hornet follows the driver-focused design. Center stack controls, display screens, and more are subtly “tipped” toward the driver, putting the individual in the cockpit at the center of the action.

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Dodge Hornet interior
Dodge 

This is exciting news as another major carmaker is going electric and Hornet looks promising, but we will definitely miss the good old roar of iconic muscle cars Charger and Challenger.

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