An iconic nameplate could be revived.
There are currently only three models in the 2021 Dodge lineup: Challenger, Charger, and Durango. The Dodge Journey and Grand Caravan were retired last year but the official website still advertises them as 2020 models. The fact of the matter is that Dodge requires new product as those three survivors aren't exactly new. Fortunately, the recent merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the PSA Groupe to create Stellantis opens up all kinds of new possibilities and Dodge will soon benefit.
According to Passione Auto Italiane, via Reddit, the upcoming Alfa Romeo Tonale compact crossover will be reskinned and rebadged as the Dodge Hornet. The Tonale, as we recently reported, has been delayed by several months as Alfa Romeo's newly appointed CEO ordered some last-minute improvements.
The model is now scheduled to go on sale early next year. As for the Hornet, the report claims it'll be built alongside the Tonale at the company's Campano production plant in Italy but it won't be sold in Europe. Both vehicles will share the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine found in the Wrangler and, possibly, a plug-in hybrid powerplant, though the report didn't confirm the latter.
It seems Dodge has been interested in reviving the Hornet nameplate, which was used years ago by AMC, for over a year. When it was still called FCA, the automaker filed a trademark request with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in March 2020.
Prior to that, there was the Dodge Hornet concept, pictured below, from the early 2000s. A nameplate revival isn't the only reason why the Dodge Hornet is kind of a big deal for the brand. The last time Dodge introduced a new model bearing a new(ish) name was way back in 2013 with the Dart. That compact sedan also had Italian underpinnings but it failed to catch on in the US and elsewhere it was sold. Dodge ultimately discontinued it in 2016.
The company isn't likely to comment on future product but don't be surprised to see the Hornet debut sometime late this year or in early 2022.