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Dodge Hornet: a concept car
Or a new supermini  to come?

Dodge Hornet concept car - 2006 Geneva motor show.

Dodge Hornet concept car - back view.

Dodge Hornet concept car - inside view.

Dodge Hornet concept car - rear seats can be moved forward and backward.

Dodge Hornet concept car - seats down.

Dodge Hornet: a mere concept car or a little bit more?

6th March 2006.

Having ambitious expansion plans for Europe, Chrysler Group came to the Geneva motor show this year (2-12 March) with nothing less than...  a thousand horsepower.

Not in one car of course. This power is shared between the production versions of the Grand Cherokee SRT-8 and Chrysler 300C SRT-8, each boasting 425 horsepower engines.

Together with the 170 hp Dodge Hornet concept car, they tip the balance with some 20 horsepower over the kilo HP.

The two SRT vehicles will reach European showrooms in the next few months.

However, the most interesting in volume potential terms is the much smaller Dodge Hornet concept acr, as it gives, according to Simon Elliott, Managing Director for Chrysler Group UK, "a taste for a potential future Dodge to sit alongside the new Dodge Caliber that launches in July."

The Dodge Hornet concept aims to bring to the B-segment (supermini category) a blend of aggressive American design and a European approach to body and engine size. In other terms, its aims is to expand the image and presence of the Dodge brand in Europe, especially in the volume entry-level market.

Hornet designer Mark Moushegian said: “We went for a rally-inspired look: robust, capable, and most definitely not ‘cutesy’. We wanted a distinct ‘edge’ to the design. We especially wanted to push the envelope of interior volume by pushing all interior surfaces to the perimeter of the vehicle as much as possible. That’s why the Hornet is almost as wide as a C-segment (lower medium category in Europe) vehicle.”

The Hornet’s chunky, wheels-to-the-corner silhouette and muscular side view is dominated by the large 19-inch diameter open-section aluminium wheels designed to show off the ‘mechanicals’, including the gold-coloured brake callipers.

Behind the signature Dodge crossbar grille is a 1.6-litre 16-valve OHC supercharged I/C four-cylinder engine putting out 170 horsepower/165 ft-lb of torque @ 4000 rpm.

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