Sunday, March 19, 2006

Autoshow Season - Dodge Hornet

Dodge Hornet conceptWell, this answers that question.

Ever since the BMW group resurrected the Mini Cooper, people have been conjecturing what DaimlerChrysler will do to counter.

There have been suggestions that a version of the Mercedes A-Class might be the answer. Others have suggested that a variant of the Smart brand's cars would do the trick.

Also, there have been suggestions that any answer would have to be sold through an existing Chrysler group brand in the US in order to not sully Mercedes inexplicably high reputation in this country.

Dodge Hornet concept interiorWell, in one fell swoop, we have answers to all of these questions with the Dodge Hornet concept.

A B-Class (this is a size designation equivalent to the US 'subcompact' - not a Mercedes class a-la C-Class, S-Class, etc.) vehicle that looks like a much more modern and in many ways 'angrier' Mini Cooper.

Powered by a supercharged 1.6l 4-cylinder (hmmm, where have I seen that configuration before?)...and seating 4.

Expect this car in the next 2 years to help Dodge expand into the very popular B-Class in Europe and likely be released in North America to go head-to-head with entry-level vehicles from Chevrolet (Aveo), Honda (Fit), Toyota (Yaris), Nissan (Versa), etc. Dodge does appear ready to maintain its performance image by making a supercharged, SRT-ish variant available to go against the Cooper S.

Looks like Mini isn't going to be the only game in town much longer.

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