Dodge Speed Week kicked off with an onslaught of products as we saw the new Durango SRT Hellcat, the Challenger Convertible, and a 1970 Charger with a carbon fiber body. Furthermore, there was a teaser which suggests that there will be an ultimate ICE-powered Challenger with over 900 horsepower, which will probably be revealed later this year. On the last day of the livestream, Tim Kuniskis, who is the company’s chief executive officer, announced something very important about what we will see during the next day:
“As we flip the page, we’re going to take a look at the future and see what’s going to be our first electrified Dodge.” Though he didn’t elaborate, logic tells us what model he was referring to was the 2023 Hornet, which will be v1.0 of the Hornet. The car will not have anything in common with its namesake concept from 2006, as that original model was a boxy minivan that would have gone into production before being canceled due to the financial crisis of 2009, which led to its cancellation.
First Electrified Dodge Debuts Today
So what exactly is it? In the form of a compact crossover, this model boasts a plug-in hybrid powertrain. According to spy photos, prototypes of the car appeared to look very similar to the Alfa Romeo Tonale in terms of mechanicals, with prototypes appearing very similar to the Italian version in spy photos. As a gas-only engine is likely to be available as Dodge’s entry-level offering, we’re expecting both engines to offer healthy power numbers but due to Dodge’s modus operandi, we wouldn’t be surprised if those numbers were lower.
There is an important point to remember regarding the Tonale that will be sold in the United States: it will be an AWD-only vehicle. An optional turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine with 256 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton meters) of torque will be available as part of the base model. The engine will be connected either to the front axle or to the rear axle via a nine-speed transmission.
The PHEV, on the other hand, will combine a 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and an electric motor of 90 kilowatts for a total output of 272 horsepower, delivered through a six-speed automatic transmission. It is expected to debut in 2018. This electric vehicle is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that has a capacity of 15.55 kWh, enough power for a range of more than 30 miles with no need for fuel.
The Tonale is also sold as a front-wheel-drive product in other markets, and it is even available with a diesel engine in some of those markets. We will be able to see the price differences between the two models in the coming months, given the fact that they will have a lot of elements in common with each other, from the oily bits to the electrics, not to mention the design. It has been reported that Alfa’s production car will start at a price of around $30,000 and possibly reach a price of $50,000 in the future if sources close to the automaker are to be believed.
Compared to its Dodge counterpart, we should be able to find the Dodge to be more affordable, but we will need to wait and see what happens. Detailed information about the livestream which will begin at 7 p.m. Eastern time will be available as soon as we get it.