Dodge unveils its first electric car as it says goodbye to the Charger and Challenger

American auto icon Dodge revealed its first electric vehicle, the Dodge Hornet Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), at the same time that the company also announced that the 2023 Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger would be the last of their kind.

In a move that sends a clear signal that Dodge is moving forward, the Dodge Hornet PHEV will be introduced in the CUV class at the same time as two of its most iconic models will carry a commemorative plague “last call” under the hood.

The new 2023 Dodge Hornet is a multi-electric powertrain model, and will be available in both a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) as well as a 2.0-liter inline-four turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV is the company’s first-ever electric vehicle and is expected to be the most powerful SUV in its class, boasting 285 horsepower and 383 lb-ft. of torque.

Not surprisingly, though, the electrified Hornet offers just 50 km of all-electric range thanks to its 15.5 kWh lithium-ion battery powered by a 90 kWh electric motor. The battery is mated to a 1.3-liter turbocharged all-aluminum engine, part of the Stellantis Global Small Engine (GSE) family.

The electric Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV accelerates from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds, and it also comes with an on-demand “PowerShot” feature that delivers a boost of an additional 25 horsepower for 15 seconds, which can cut a full second of acceleration time.

And for those who don’t want to beat all the green light comers, the R/T PHEV comes with three hybrid driving modes—hybrid, electric and e-save.

“The Dodge brand’s electrified transformation has left the starting line, as the all-new Dodge Hornet R/T represents Dodge’s first high-performance electric vehicle,” said Tim Kuniskis, CEO of the Dodge brand for parent company Stylantis.

“The Dodge Hornet is poised to shock the mainstream compact SUV segment with its unmistakable look, feel and dodge performance.

“The Hornet is changing the status quo with bold Dodge styling, the most power in class from our multi-powertrain lineup, best driving dynamics, a full suite of segment-exclusive performance features, and best standard technology, such as well-available, factory-assisted, direct-connect performance upgrades. And this is just the beginning of the Dodge brand’s electrification journey.”

Inside, the Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV comes with a 12.3-inch digital cockpit and 10.25-inch center display as standard, and an Android-based Uconnect 5 infotainment system.

For now, it looks like Dodge has failed to offer any pricing on the Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV — with the only price listed on the company’s official materials being the base-level Dodge Hornet GT (ICE) internal combustion engine model. The GT is expected to go on sale for less than $30,000 (AU$43,000), though it’s not clear why Dodge has failed to list any price for the PHEV.

The truth may simply be a result of release dates, with orders for the Dodge Hornet GT already open and delivery expected by the end of the year, while the Hornet R/T is expected to be delivered in Northern Spring in 2023.

Dodge also announced that the 2023 Dodge Charger and Challenger range will be the “last call” for both models, but it will take a hit with seven special-edition models for 2023.

“We celebrate the end of an era – and the beginning of a bright new electrified future – by staying true to our brand,” said Tim Kuniskis.

Every 2023 Dodge Charger and Challenger will carry a commemorative “Last Call” plaque, while the seventh and final 2023 Dodge model will be the last of its kind and will be unveiled at the 2022 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, scheduled for 1 -4 November 2022.

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