The all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet crossover debuted this week, becoming – perhaps somewhat shockingly – the first product launched by the Dodge brand in a decade. However, a source inside parent company Stellantis tells us that not everyone in the company is happy – specifically Alfa Romeo.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that the Dodge Hornet and Alfa Romeo Tonale are essentially the same car with minimal changes. According to a source inside Stellants who spoke to him CD player On the condition of anonymity, the Tonale started as an Alfa Romeo project in the first place; But domestic politics, and Dodge’s desire to raise its low average fuel economy numbers, has seen the Alfa Romeo Tonale switch to the Dodge Hornet. And now the Alfa Romeo side of the house isn’t happy about that.
“Dodge benefited from [Tonale] To make a compatible car — an Aston Martin Cygnet moment, if you will. Suffice it to say that domestic politics won the day, and Dodge needed to increase the CAFE numbers, so Hornet was born.” The source said.
The crossovers seem to share many of the same body seals, such as the doors, fenders, and a basic monocoque body structure; In short, all the pieces that are potentially too expensive to change. For many, the similarities between the two cars cannot be ignored, and they reported to Stellantis in the comment sections of articles and on social media. “It’s annoying to be on the defensive,” the source said, frustrated seeing people rightly calling out the two cars because they look the same.
To add insult to injury, the source said the budget wasn’t there to shift more sheet metal on the Dodge Hornet and keep it away from the Tonale, at least visually. “Margins are poor on Part C, especially in non-luxuries, so the OEM is very limited on all new sheet metal because this is a huge investment from a tooling perspective,” the source said.
To be fair, Alfa Romeo’s flashy return to the North American market in 2016 after 20 years didn’t have a huge hit. The company has invested billions of dollars in the Giulia sedan and Stelvio crossover, but none of the cars light up the sales charts, no matter what country they are sold in. Nevertheless, the compact cross-luxe car is a hot category at the international level. This part can make good driving choices geared towards enthusiasts – Alfa Romeo is generally good at making a car that runs well.
Thus, when the Alfa Romeo Tonale was revealed, many Alfa Romeo fans and news outlets alike called it “the most important Alfa car in recent memory.” In theory, the Tonale should have all the right things to make its way to the top of the sales charts, it promises a good driving experience and an attractive design. Aiming for luxury, the Tonale plays against crossovers such as the Lexus UX, Mercedes Benz GLA or BMW X1, and can have the same level of sales and strategic importance as the Macan for Porsche.
However, a nose job, new lights and a very slight redesign of the interior make the Service Tonale a low-market Dodge, undermining Alfa Romeo’s luxury intentions. The merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and France’s PSA Group has a whopping 16 brands, many of which have largely overlapping product lines.
However, a Dodge representative says interest in Hornet is strong.
“Customers appear to be very pleased with the Dodge Hornet, with more than 14,000 orders received in less than 24 hours after its unveiling,” a Dodge spokesperson said via email. “The Dodge Hornet features the unmistakable Dodge genes with signature Dodge design cues, such as a mail-slot-style grille, a vehicle-wide taillight with center-lit Dodge Rombie logo, and unique performance features like the PowerShot on demand for the Hornet R/T, which provides a boost With an additional 25 horsepower.
The spokesman added that the pricing of the Hornet should reduce the price of its sister Alfa Romeo by about ten thousand dollars. “The Hornet GT starts at $29.995, with the Hornet R/T starting at $39.995 and the vehicle will be marketed to performance enthusiasts who want a car that drives like Dodge, looks like Dodge and looks like Dodge,” the spokesperson said.
The Alfa Romeo Tonale and Dodge Hornet media drives haven’t happened yet, so only time will tell if the Stellantis has figured out a way to put the two cars away in a test drive. Dodge seems confident that its repeat will be an unmistakable Dodge, whatever that means.
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