In 2006, Chrysler revealed its intentions to capture on Europe’s supermini elite with the Dodge Hornet
No longer too long ago, we discovered ourselves talking in regards to the outlandish sage of the Tritec engine. It changed into once a $500 million Brazil-basically based totally mostly joint mission between Rover and Chrysler, however the veteran ended up leaving the desk before the first engines left the production line in Curitiba. Broken-down Rover owners BMW took over that stake in the endeavour, backing away in 2007 and deciding that its 2d-generation Mini would in its put exercise ‘Prince’ engines made through a brand fresh partnership with PSA. Within the course of a monetary disaster, Chrysler then offloaded Tritec to Fiat.
By that time, the comparatively used-fashioned however strong inline-four engines had made their formulation into a few Chrysler products along side the Neon and the PT Cruiser. The supercharged model changed into once easiest extinct in a production setting by the BMW-owned Mini save throughout the Cooper S. We possess to stay that ‘production’ qualifier in there as Chrysler did deploy it for an conception – the 2006 Dodge Hornet.
Reviving an used name from the AMC proper (Chrysler had acquired and discontinued the logo a decade and a half of prior), the conception that made its debut at the Geneva Motor Repeat. Funnily sufficient, a pair of stands over Mini changed into once showcasing an conception that previewed the incoming Clubman and the 2d-generation Mini hatch as a complete.
Unlike the Mini, the Hornet had no time for retro shenanigans. It had tight, boxy proportions with tiny overhangs and discreet door handles giving the 5-door hatch a sporty three-door glimpse. Sizeable, flared wheel arches housed 19-plod wheels, which even now could per chance be regarded as big for a vehicle of this dimension. Talking of, even though it changed into once intended for the ‘supermini’ B-section, it changed into once getting on for C-section width, with the aim of offering as great room internal as imaginable.
The rear doorways opened in a backwards-hinged ‘suicide’ fashion, revealing a conspicuous lack of B-pillars and an airy cabin with a flat floor coated in a tricky, honeycomb-textured rubber mat. The entrance seats had been made as skinny as imaginable with out adversely affecting comfort, further rising room for whoever also can very smartly be in the inspire.
This changed into once supposed to be a vehicle that appealed to consumers on all aspects of the Atlantic. “We put of dwelling out to set a vehicle with a uniquely American personality to lengthen the image and presence of the Dodge save in Europe and global markets, particularly in the entry-level market,” exterior dressmaker Imprint Moushegian said.
It changed into once indubitably very European in its mechanical makeup, with a transversely-mounted inline-four powering the entrance wheels exclusively. And yes, that engine changed into once a supercharged Tritec/Pentagon 1.6 (a ‘T16b4’ for you engine code geeks available), offering 170bhp and a 0-60mph time of 6.7 seconds. Adore the R53 Cooper S it shared the engine with, the Hornet had a functional bonnet scoop to give the intercooler with an abundant present of fresh air.
On the time, the respectable line changed into once: “It’s purely an conception, on the opposite hand it reveals you what the Dodge save plan in the case of future products”. A pair of years on, on the opposite hand, a production model looked seemingly. “We’re working intensely on the Hornet interrogate and I concentrate on we are able to tell one thing on this in the long amble,” Chrysler global procuring VP Thomas Hausch said in 2008.
The identical 300 and sixty five days, a file emerged suggesting Chrysler changed into once to team up with Nissan to build up the Hornet in Oppama, Japan the usage of Versa underpinnings. There changed into once correct one project: money. The monetary woes that saw Chrysler inspire a long way from Tritec rumbled on thru the following years, compounded by the Grand Recession and the loss of life of DaimlerChrysler. The historical American save could per chance now now no longer demand of to be propped up by a financially fitter partner. In April 2009, Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 financial bother.
A merger with Fiat to function Fiat Chrysler Vehicles (FCA) reopened the doable of a production Dodge Hornet going down, with focus on of a vehicle in accordance to the identical platform as the Grande Punto and the Alfa Romeo MiTo. Within the discontinue, the Hornet project morphed into the Crawl, with that massive name from Dodge’s past lowered to being slapped on the inspire of a generic-taking a gaze entrance-wheel pressure saloon in accordance to the Alfa Romeo‘s Giulietta’s platform. The usage of Fiat’s E.torQ engine, successor to the Tritec, would possess added a properly ironic sense to complaints, however in its put, the Crawl extinct a combine of FIRE and Tigershark four-pots.
15 years on from the Hornet inflicting a buzz (sorry) at Geneva, it’s taking a gaze love the name could per chance at final accumulate it to showrooms. The vehicle it’ll be extinct for (Dodge’s first all-fresh accumulate since the now eight-300 and sixty five days-used Crawl) won’t be the leisure love as inviting as that quirky, supercharged, suicide door conception proven all those years ago. Within the in the period in-between, there’s focus on of it being in accordance to the long-awaited Alfa Romeo Tonale, so yes, it’ll be a crossover. Try to behave shocked.