It’s been 24 hours since Dodge launched its new compact crossover. The Dodge Hornet promises impressive performance for under $30,000, and apparently, it’s drawing attention. According to Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis, 14,000 preorders have already been placed.
The entry-level model is slated to hit dealerships by the end of 2022, but in this case, beginner level still very fast. The Hornet GT is where it starts, sporting a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 265 horsepower. That power is channeled to the front wheels, producing a 0-60 mph sprint in 6.5 seconds. As for the starting price, specific numbers haven’t been announced but Dodge says it’s the fastest compact crossover under $30,000.
The next step up from the GT is the Hornet R/T, and that’s where electrification comes in. Featuring a turbocharged 1.3 liter engine for the front wheels, it adds a 90 kW electric motor driving the rear for all-wheel drive. The combined output is 285 hp, and in electric-only mode, the Hornet R/T can cover 35 miles on a full charge. For performance enthusiasts, the PowerShot feature adds a temporary 25-hp boost, allowing the Hornet R/T to hit 60 mph in 6.1 seconds.
Fans of the Dodge Omni GLH hot hatchback from the 1980s received a pleasant surprise at the Hornet’s debut. While technically a concept vehicle, Dodge launched the Hornet GLH featuring a large range of upgraded parts available through the company’s Direct Connection group. ECU tracks, suspension kit, exhaust upgrades, and GLH graphics deliver a version of the Hornet that buyers looking for a little more excitement from the platform can make.
14,000 preorders in 24 hours is certainly not a bad thing, but reader feedback in the comments section of our Dodge Hornet debut post has been mixed, to say the least. Sharing the platform with the Alfa Romeo Tonale, it seems that some feel the Dodge is not enough to differentiate the Hornet from its Italian sibling. We’ll see how it turns out in the coming months as a GT, then the R/T model arrives at dealerships.