It’s no surprise that Dodge is working on a new compact sedan – such a model was mentioned as part of Chrysler’s 2009 turnaround plan. However, the Fiat-based sedan looks to be nearing completion. Lucky for us, our colleagues at Motor Trend caught the car while it was out testing.
What we know is that the new sedan will be called the Hornet and will replace the lackluster Caliber in Dodge’s lineup and it will share its platform and mechanicals with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta hatchback. (Essentially the Hornet will be a sedan version of the Giulietta.) Most notably, the Hornet will be the first product to come out of Fiat’s acquisition of Chrysler after the latter’s bankruptcy.
These shots give a fairly clear look at what the final Hornet will look like. Barely visible through the camouflage is a small crosshair grille and angled projector headlamps, along with a large lower intake opening. The small sedan also wears a sharp shoulder line that rises from the top of the front wheel openings to the top of the trunklid. Around back, the Hornet appears to sport taillights that may echo Charger’s full-width LED lamps.
Inside, the cockpit looks to be pretty driver-focused, and incorporates a single binnacle hood that stretches across the gauge cluster and the center stack. Don’t be surprised to see premium touches in the Hornet’s cabin, as there seems to be some kind of double-stitching across the leading edge of that IP hood. Silver trim frames the center stack, while the thick multi-function steering wheel appears to have been cribbed from Dodge’s corporate parts bin.
Expect to see the same 1.4-liter MultiAirI-4 engine that powers the Alfa to find its way under the hood of the Hornet. There is also a chance that a Chrysler-sourced 2.0-liter four-banger may also be an option. Details should start leaking closer to the end of 2011, as the Hornet will likely debut in early 2012.
The Dodge Hornet is slated to make its debut in just a few short months at January’s Detroit auto show; in the meantime, head over to Motor Trend to check out the full set of spy photos.
Source: Motor Trend