The Dodge lineup definitely has some holes. Yes, the Charger and Challenger are doing extremely well, but the Grand Caravan is dying, and the Journey may too. Recently, FCA filed trademarks for both, “Dodge Hornet” and “Hornet” in the US, Canada and Mexico. This leads us to believe Dodge will soon have a new product directed at the North American market.
The Hornet name has some great history in the US. It was first used on the Hudson Hornet in the 1950s. The early muscle car gained fame as “Doc Hudson” in the Cars movies. Later, AMC used the Hornet name on a family of vehicles. Most recently, Dodge used Hornet on a mid-2000 hatchback concept car.
We have no information on what this new model may be, but chances are it will be a compact crossover. It is the most popular and growing vehicle segment, and Dodge has no offerings. Dodge could join the segment with a new vehicle that provides a sportier, more performance oriented model that isn’t offered in the mundane segment. This would fall in line with Dodge marketing themselves as a performance brand. There is also a chance that a compact crossover Dodge Hornet could ride on a platform from PSA, given the recent merger between FCA and PSA.
Although we certainly are hoping for something more inspired than just another run-of-the-mill crossover utility vehicle. Historically, the Hornet was originally an AMC sold in the 1970s. It was made famous for performing a corkscrew jump over a canal in the 1974 James Bond film “The Man With the Golden Gun.”
Dodge could replace the Journey directly with the new Hornet model. The Journey crossover is old, and generally not a great vehicle. Earlier, we reported the Journey may be replaced by a RWD, performance SUV, and the Hornet could also be that model.
Dodge first began toying with the Hornet name adorning a crossover in 2006, with the reveal of the Dodge Hornet concept, pictured up top.
With the demise of the Grand Caravan soon, its Windsor Ontario plant will have additional capacity to manufacture a new model for Dodge. Their current lineup consists of the Challenger, Charger, Durango, Journey and Grand Caravan. With two models leaving the lineup, it only makes sense for the Hornet to be an entirely new model. It will also be the first all new Dodge since the Durango, which is currently about a decade old.