Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis broke some news last night that came as a big surprise to almost everyone who follows the space. Prior to his response to a question in an online Q&A session this week, there was never any sort of confirmation that a Hornet plug-in hybrid electric vehicle was coming soon.
According to a report by Autoblog, Kuniskis engaged in the online conversation with Bill Goldberg, during which he introduced Preston Patterson, the company's new "Chief Donut Maker." Answering a question about Dodge's upcoming electrified vehicles, Kuniskis replied via Autoblog:
"I think we’ve actually even said when we get back into the small compact space this summer when we launch the Hornet, we will have a PHEV or variant of that."
The publication notes that rumors about the upcoming Hornet have been circulating for some time. They started after Fiat Chrysler America filed to trademark the Dodge Hornet name back in 2020. In 2021, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares revealed in a presentation that Dodge would be bringing a PHEV to market in 2022.
As the story goes, leaked images came out of a Stellantis factory in Italy that supposedly revealed the upcoming Hornet's front end and interior. The plant is the location that builds the Alfa Romeo Tonale hybrid SUV (shown at the top of the page), on which the Hornet is likely to be based. During the online conversation this week, Kuniskis shared that the Hornet's production site is "already out of the bag, unofficially," per Autoblog.
The conversation went on to reveal that Dodge plans to unveil its compact plug-in hybrid SUV this coming August, during its Speed Week event in Detroit. However, there are a whole lot of reasons it could get rescheduled due to issues across the globe these days. Kuniskis noted that if it was up to him, he'd reveal the "battery-electric snorter" ahead of the Dodge Hornet PHEV, but powers beyond his control won't allow that to happen.