The rise of electric cars also means the threat of the fall of traditional American muscle. And while the shift is inevitable, it doesn’t mean these new battery-powered vehicles can’t at least possess attributes of the sports cars they’re replacing. Dodge recently announced that it was saying goodbye to its longstanding petrol-powered Challenger and Charger models, but then went on to announce a quasi-replacement in the form of a compact SUV.
The Dodge Hornet has some signature attributes we’re used to seeing from the Michigan-based marque, such as the integrated heat extractors on the hood, the iconic slotted grill opening, and the vehicle-width taillight in back, as well as the overall muscular design of the car. However, its R/T guise does indeed have a plug-in hybrid engine and is the company’s first foray into electrified performance. Viewed as an entry-level hybrid car for consumers a bit acquiescent to make the shift themselves, the road-track car boasts over 285hp and 383lb-ft of torque, with over 30mi of range when using electric power alone. Four driving modes allow you to tailor your experience behind the wheel, and the PowerShot feature gives you an extra 25hp on-demand.
Along with the hybrid Hornet R/T comes the Hornet GT, a combustion-engined version featuring a 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder Hurricane4 engine with a 265hp output, billing itself as the “most powerful compact utility vehicle under $30,000,” going from 0 to 60 in just 6.5 seconds. Not for sale but being showcased alongside the two production models is the Hornet GT GLH concept model. It’s inspired by Dodge’s Omni GLH from the 1980s and features some in-development tech that could roll out in future Hornet models.
While we bid farewell to the Challenger and Charger (for now), we can at least rest easy knowing that brands like Dodge are helping make hybrid vehicles fun to drive. Orders for the GT should begin today, with a December rollout, while the Hornet R/T is expected to debut next spring.
HiConsumption is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more