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A blue 2023 Dodge Hornet is shown from the front.

2023 Is a Big Year for Dodge Shoppers: All-New Hornet, Last Call on Charger, and More

Every year, car manufacturers try to put their best new options on display and showcase whatever exciting things they have on the horizon. Sometimes, this is a pretty meager offering and ultimately not that impressive; other times, the news is actually quite exciting and there’s almost too much to take in. This year, for Dodge, it’s the latter—and recent announcements have revealed that the 2023 model year for the Dodge lineup will be one to remember. Not only are the legendary Charger and Challenger coming to an end as we know them, but we’re getting some fantastic new options too. Let’s take a look at what Dodge has been cooking up—and see what you should keep in mind before heading to your local dealership.

The All-New Dodge Hornet

Although there was plenty of big news from Dodge recently, you could argue that the biggest announcement was the reveal of the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet. The all-new Hornet is a Compact Utility Vehicle (CUV), which means it’s essentially a compact crossover model built using a unibody design like a car, rather than an SUV that uses a truck-like body-on-frame design.
It’s a unique new option that is perfect if you’ve been considering a small crossover model and you want one with robust performance and a sleek look. From the outside, there’s no denying this is a Dodge model; its front fascia, grille, and overall style are heavily influenced by the look of their Charger and Challenger. Dodge is offering seven unique exterior colors for the Hornet, including Acapulco Gold, Blue Bayou, and Hot Tamale, plus a wide range of additional details and options. These include an available external panel sunroof for an open-air feel.

Several different models are available with multiple powertrains on offer, including the Hornet R/T: a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) that marks the first electrified performance vehicle from Dodge. The R/T’s powertrain features a 1.3-L Turbocharged engine that delivers 285 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, which has a unique PowerShot horsepower boost that increases performance for up to 15 seconds. It offers more than 30 miles of all-electric range from a full charge and uses regenerative braking to boost overall range while you drive.

If you’re looking for more of a classic Dodge driving experience, then the entry-level Hornet GT model is the most powerful crossover in the industry for less than $30k (at least, according to Dodge). The GT is powered by a Hurricane4 2.0-L Turbocharged I-4 engine that delivers 265 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard on both models, to boost performance and make driving the Hornet a lot more enjoyable.

Inside the Hornet, Dodge is going all-out with impressive features and options, especially when it comes to the technology they’ve packed into this beast. Standard screens include a 12.3” digital cockpit cluster screen for the driver and a 10.25” Uconnect5 Infotainment display. The large digital cockpit screen is separated into three information zones that you can customize to provide you with exactly the information you want in a way that works best for you. Along with the large screen, the Hornet’s Infotainment system supports connecting to two devices simultaneously and is compatible with both Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Additional features, which come standard on the available GT Plus and R/T Plus trims, include a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system, as well as a wireless charging pad. Keyless entry with the fob, rain-sensing wipers, and a rear-seat reminder are all standard; available options include a heated steering wheel, heated seating, and a hands-free power liftgate to make loading and unloading the rear of the Hornet easier. Standard safety features include Automatic Emergency Braking, a Lane Support System with warnings if you begin to drift from your lane, and automatic counter-steering to keep you in your lane. You also get Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Path alert to warn you when someone is hiding in your blind spot or passing behind the vehicle while you’re in reverse.

Best of all, orders for the 2023 Hornet are already open. Dodge plans to start delivering GT models later this year and R/T models early next year.

A close up shows the black rim and red caliper on a 2023 Dodge Durango SRT.

Return of the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

If you’re looking for a larger SUV with power I can only describe as “bonkers,” then you’ll be happy to know that the SRT Hellcat version of the Dodge Durango is set to return for the 2023 model year. The SRT Hellcat was offered exclusively as a one-year-only option for the 2021 Durango, so you won’t find it on 2022 models out there right now. According to Dodge, however, this proved such a popular option that fans demanded it make a return; next year it’s set to do so and provide a high-performance option for “SUV muscle enthusiasts.”

The Durango SRT Hellcat has what no other SUV can offer: a beastly 6.2-L HEMI Hellcat V8 Supercharged engine that delivers 710 hp and 645 lb-ft of torque. This is so far removed from what you might expect of an SUV—a family-friendly vehicle designed to putter along in the carpool lane—but it’s what you’d expect from Dodge. All of this power means the Durango SRT Hellcat can go from 0 to 60 in just 3.5 seconds and run the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds with a top speed of 180 mph. It can also tow up to 8,700 lbs, so you can drop your kids off at school about 45 seconds after they wake up in the morning and then get your boat to your favorite fishing spot minutes later.

Last Call for the Charger and Challenger

One of the biggest announcements Dodge made for the 2023 model year is that it will be the end of the current incarnation of their two biggest models: the Charger and Challenger. These are iconic muscle cars that have led the pack for many years in the market, showcasing raw power in either a four-door or two-door design. As Dodge joins the auto industry in heading toward an all-electric future, however, the Charger and Challenger are being put to pasture in the legendary internal-combustion forms we all know and love.

The final model year for the conventional Charger and Challenger will feature a number of options and details to celebrate the end of this era. Dodge is bringing back heritage colors like B5 Blue, Plum Crazy purple, and Sublime green, while also offering Destroyer Grey—a popular option that was discontinued a few years ago. Every 2023 model will feature a “Last Call” brushed aluminum plaque on the underside of the hood. Additionally, Dodge is opening up more options like SRT Jailbreak models with unlocked color combinations—so you can put together a unique, one-of-a-kind model to commemorate this major milestone.

A green 2023 Dodge Charger Scat Pack is shown parked on a pier.

What the Future Holds…

While Dodge might have announced the end of the conventional Charger and Challenger, they also teased us with what the next version of the Charger will probably look like. Dodge revealed a Charger Daytona SRT Concept vehicle with looks inspired by the legendary 1968 Dodge Charger, with an all-electric powertrain set to redefine what we expect from a muscle car. This concept vehicle featured their new 800V Banshee Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV) power system, along with a unique, industry-first exhaust system (yes, an exhaust system on a BEV model) that creates a sound and feel similar to the modern SRT Hellcat. We’ll have to wait and see what a production model looks like, but word is that Dodge is aiming for a 2024 release of their all-electric Charger—so we won’t have to wait long!