Dodge’s multi-pronged try and dominate the information this week had one thing for everybody, together with an electrical future muscle automobile within the Charger Daytona SRT Concept, a sun-loving swansong for a present muscle automobile within the form of a rag-top Challenger, and a contemporary tackle basic muscle courtesy of Finale Velocity’s carbon fiber 1970 Charger bodyshell.
However for 14,000 folks the most important information to come back out of the Dodge Velocity Week occasion was the launch of the 2023 Hornet. That’s the variety of people in North America who positioned a pre-order for the compact SUV in simply 24 hours. The result’s significantly spectacular on condition that solely the entry-level Hornet GT is out there to pre-order; the extra highly effective, and hybrid-assisted, Hornet R/T isn’t on the menu till spring 2023.
You would possibly assume that the Hornet’s welcome might be heartening information for Alfa Romeo North America. The Hornet and Alfa’s Tonale are, particulars apart, nearly equivalent, so if Dodge can pull in a bunch of orders for its SUV, why can’t Alfa pull off the identical trick with its model of the identical automobile with the identical powertrain, significantly because it sports activities a extra distinctive face and a extra unique badge?
Associated: 2023 Dodge Hornet Lands With Italian Looks, 285HP Electrified R/T And $29,995 Starting Price
We hope the Tonale does nice issues for the underperforming Italian model, however we are able to suppose of some the explanation why the Tonale won’t be so rapturously acquired as its brother. The primary is that Dodge has a lot stronger model recognition within the U.S., significantly amongst fans. And you’ll think about some potential patrons mistakenly and unfairly placing extra belief within the Hornet’s mechanical high quality and reliability than the Tonale’s regardless of each vehicles being constructed facet by facet in the identical manufacturing unit in Naples, Italy, from the identical elements.
Similar vehicles, however one thinks it’s premium
After which there’s the value per horsepower ratio. The launch model of the Hornet prices $29,995 and comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Hurricane4 engine that pumps out 265 hp (269 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque, and drives all 4 wheels via a nine-speed automated transmission. That’s fairly sturdy worth. Alfa Romeo’s Tonale will launch within the U.S. later this 12 months with the very same drivetrain, although curiously the Italians price their model at 256 hp (260 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque.
Dodge quotes 6.5 seconds to 60 mph (96 km/h) for the bottom Hornet, and 6.1 seconds for subsequent 12 months’s R/T, which downgrades to a 1.3-liter turbocharged 4, however provides an electrical motor for 285 hp (289 PS) and 383 lb-ft (519 Nm) of torque, and might journey as much as 30 miles (48 km) on electrical energy alone. The 9 hp (9 PS) discrepancy however, the Alfa is more likely to flip in very related efficiency figures, however as a result of it’ll be geared toward compact SUVs from premium manufacturers it’s more likely to value significantly greater than the Dodge.
We will’t ensure how way more, however its rivals offers us a good thought. The BMW X1 xDrive28i, which additionally has a turbo’d 2.0-liter and all-wheel drive, however solely makes 241 hp (245 PS), begins at $38,600. Audi’s 184 hp (187 PS) Q3 40 TFSi isn’t at the moment out there within the U.S., however the 45 TFSi Quattro that’ll be going head-to-head with the Tonale 2.0 makes even much less muscle than the BMW X1 (228 hp / 231 PS) and can set you again $38,700 in its most cost-effective type.
Associated: 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale Lands With Hybrid Options, NFT Tech And The Promise Of U.S. Sales
Alfa’s base automobile has extra commonplace gear
Even assuming Alfa Romeo chooses to not attempt to capitalize on its energy benefit over its rivals, and as a substitute decides to undercut them to make up for its weaker model recognition, the Tonale remains to be going to value considerably greater than the mechanically equivalent Hornet, one thing that might be defined away by the additional gear on the Alfa. Solely the Tonale will get these sexy Trilobo LED headlights, its 18-inch base wheel is an inch larger than the Hornet’s, and Dodge makes you pay additional for adaptive cruise management.
However the bottom-rung Dodge remains to be pretty nicely geared up, a zero-options automobile arriving with a 12.3-inch digital gauge pack, a ten.25-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment system with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Amazon Alexa connectivity, and a full suite of security gizmos. And the entire tasty tech out there on the Alfa, from Brembo brakes to a Harman-Kardon sound system, can even be out there on the Dodge. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see how shut a mid-spec Hornet with an gear checklist that matches the bottom Tonale’s will come to the entry-level Alfa on value.
Each seem like sturdy packages to us, and primarily based on the massive order financial institution Dodge has amassed for the Hornet, patrons suppose so too. So if the Tonale bombs, it is going to be the Alfa model, and never the Tonale itself, that’s guilty.
Stellantis might be hoping that the 2 vehicles’ completely different value positioning and model enchantment imply they don’t cannibalize gross sales from one another. And possibly most patrons gained’t be cross-shopping, however assuming you could possibly purchase a Hornet constructed to the identical specification because the Tonale for much less cash, would you be keen to pay extra for the Alfa’s prettier face? Do you even suppose it’s prettier, or do you favor the best way the Hornet seems to be? And who did the perfect job on the subtly completely different inside designs? Depart a remark and tell us.