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We Spied the Upcoming Dodge Hornet Hybrid SUV

This compact crossover is basically a rebadged Alfa Romeo Tonale.

Front 3/4 view of a camouflaged Dodge Hornet SUV prototype
The benefits of sitting in traffic are endless.
Daniel Golson/CNET

If you live in Los Angeles, it's pretty much a given that you'll spend hours each week stuck in traffic. Even driving a few miles to the grocery store can sometimes take 20 minutes. I enjoy the traffic, though. It gives me time to listen to a podcast or jam out to some music, call my parents, better evaluate the press car I'm driving, keep an eye out for interesting things maybe do some celebrity spotting. And sometimes I spot a camouflaged prototype driving around, like I did last week when the upcoming Dodge Hornet drove by as I was stopped at a light.

The Hornet crossover is essentially an Alfa Romeo Tonale with Dodge styling cues slapped on, and judging by this prototype the design differences will be minimal. The Hornet has a slim horizontal grille similar to the Dodge Charger's, with the headlights having the same shape as the Tonale but with a different LED signature. There's a large rectangular lower grille, which looks like it will be flanked by small vertical intakes.

It's basically an Alfa with new bumpers.

Daniel Golson/CNET

While this prototype wears a classic Alfa-style five-hole wheel design, the Hornet should get its own distinct wheels for production. Otherwise the sides look identical to the Tonale, though it may get unique side skirts. This Hornet prototype has the same taillight design as the Tonale, but I wouldn't be surprised if the production Hornet gets slightly redesigned lights. The plastic lower bumper on the Hornet is also a little simpler.

Earlier this year, CEO Tim Kuniskis said the Hornet will debut in August at the Woodward Dream Cruise, also confirming that it will be offered with a plug-in-hybrid powertrain. That should be the same setup as the Tonale, which has a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor for a total of 272 horsepower. It remains to be seen whether the Hornet will also be available with the Tonale's turbocharged 2.0-liter gas engine. We'll know more about the Hornet in the coming months.