It appears that someone in Stellantis' Pomigliano d’Arco Assembly Plant in Italy couldn't keep their cellphone to themselves. Video uploaded to the Alfa Romeo Club Italia Facebook page, then quickly removed, purports to show Dodge's brand-engineered version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale in the same factory where the Alfa will be built. The Dodge is expected to be called the Hornet, and there are a few differences between it and and Alfa Romeo, which is understandable. But if the screenshots on Twitter are accurate, then the Dodge looks a lot closer to the Alfa Romeo than perhaps anyone expected.
The front fascia and hood fall in line with Dodge's design language. The Alfa grille is replaced by a narrow, stepped upper grille, and the hood is one of the vented units similar to those available for Dodge's R/T performance trims. And as Mopar Insiders noticed, the silhouette of this car's front end matches a vehicle silhouette Dodge showed during Stellantis' 2021 EV Day.
Inside, the Italian brand's crest in the steering wheel center cap is replaced by Dodge's twin slashes, and the steering wheel has been stripped of the large, curved paddle shifters the Tonale showed on its debut. There's still a start/stop button on the steering wheel, but where the Tonale has a driving mode dial on its dash, this supposed Hornet has another start/stop button. Dodge's push-to-start buttons are usually on the instrument panel, so our guess is that the wheel is a holdover for testing. On the center tunnel, the parking alert buttons and Italian Tricolore flag on the Alfa Romeo are replaced by three different buttons.
We've known Dodge has two electrified vehicles on the way, and the Hornet name has been low-key buzzing for two years. Fiat Chrysler applied to trademark the name in the U.S. in March 2020; at the time, it was thought a vehicle with that name could replace the Journey. In 2021, a July rumor out of Italy was the first whisper of the Hornet name being attached to the Alfa Romeo Tonale. In August, when Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said Dodge would get a PHEV in 2024, watchers pegged that model as the Hornet.
That hybrid powertrain would show a year after the vehicle's launch, the Hornet anticipated as a 2023 model with the Tonale's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. That engine could get the same 256 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque as the Tonale, or be boosted to satisfy Dodge's performance credentials. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio with the same engine makes 280 hp and 306 lb-ft.
The PHEV version could work the same 272-hp powertrain coming in the Tonale with eAWD and a 30-mile all-electric range.
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