After buckling up, I went on an unforgettable weeklong adventure in the highly anticipated 2023 Dodge Hornet RT Plus Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PHEV). This all-new powerhouse combines sports car performance and sustainability, making it a game-changer in the world of road warriors.
Known for its powerful V8s and Hellcat engines, Dodge embarks on a transformation to high-performance electric vehicles with the launch of the all-new Hornet RT Plus PHEV.
While the hybrid and electric vehicle market is evolving rapidly, Dodge is positioning the Hornet RT Plus PHEV as a sporty, eco-friendly, and fuel-efficient option. While other hybrid and electric vehicles focus primarily on efficiency and eco-friendliness, the Hornet RT balances performance and sustainability, making it a unique and enticing option for car enthusiasts.
Power/MSRP: The 2023 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV ($41,590 MSRP), a subcompact SUV built on the same platform as the Alfa Romero Tonale, is powered by a turbocharged 1.3-liter Inline four-cylinder engine and an electric motor mounted on the rear axle that produces 285 horsepower and 383 lb. ft. of torque. The plug-in electric hybrid technology also provides additional acceleration and fuel efficiency. An extra 25 horses are generated from a “PowerShot” function that delivers 15-second bursts of super-fast torque.
The Hornet R/T PHEV produces about 30 all-electric miles on a full charge from its 15.5-kWh lithium-ion battery and a 7.3-kW onboard charger. It takes 5 to 6 hours to charge on a Level 1 120-volt home outlet and 2.5 hours on a Level 2 220-volt connection.
Fuel Economy: The PHEV engine averages 33 city/41 highway mpg. It can travel up to 360 miles on gas and electricity, with a combined economy of 77 MPGe.
Models: Dodge also introduced the Hornet GT ($31,735 MSRP), a gasoline entry-level model featuring a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that generates 265 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque that is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Dodge estimates the GT will go from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 140 mph. The GT gets 21 city/29 highway mpg.
On the first day of my adventure with the 2023 Dodge Hornet RT Plus PHEV, I hit the open road to test its driving experience and performance. As I merged onto the highway, the seamless acceleration of the hybrid powertrain impressed me. The transition between electric and gasoline power was virtually unnoticeable, providing a smooth and powerful driving experience.
Although high-performance engines use more electricity, the regenerative braking in the Hornet plays an essential role in maximizing fuel efficiency by recharging the battery during braking and deceleration.
The 2023 Dodge Hornet RT Plus PHEV also featured a variety of driving modes, allowing the driver to customize the vehicle’s performance and energy usage. The ECO mode prioritized fuel efficiency by optimizing throttle response and transmission shifting, while the SPORT mode unleashed the full power and performance of the vehicle. Choosing between different driving modes provided flexibility and catered to various driving preferences.
Pros and Cons: Although the 2023 Dodge Hornet RT Plus PHEV delivers impressive performance, advanced technology, and a comfortable cabin, the cargo space is limited with backseat passengers, and the seats cannot be folded.
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