• Nov 15, 2010
2006 Dodge Hornet concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chrysler has announced that it is working on a small car for the Dodge lineup capable of achieving fuel economy of 40 miles per gallon. This new model will be based on Fiat architecture and is expected to debut near the end of 2011. No word has been given as to whether or not the new Dodge will rival B-segment offerings like the Ford Fiesta or C-segment vehicles like the newly introduced Hyundai Elantra. Longtime Autoblog readers will no doubt recall that a high-mpg small Chrysler has been on the table seemingly for ages, since before the well-received Dodge Hornet concept car of 2006, a vehicle that was said to have been greenlit for production a handful of times, albeit to no apparent result.

Aside from the North American-spec Fiat 500 that debuts at this week's Los Angeles Auto Show, the new Chrysler/Fiat partnership has yet to produce any real fruit. In the meantime, the automaker has been heavily reworking its product portfolio, offering new powertrains and better refinement for the full slate of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep products.



[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 29 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I believe Dodge and Chrysler have beautiful cars. But I would not buy one. Their automatic transmission is very unreliable as is the electrical system. I have family members that owned these automobiles and every last one of them have had transmission failure and electrical problems.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well Chrysler as a company rates near or at the bottom with JD Power, TrueDelta, and Consumer Reports as far as reliability goes

        BUT

        Every single Chrysler product that your family owned had a transmission fail? Either that is terrible luck or the truth is stretched a bit there....
        • 4 Years Ago
        JD power is useless every car gets a award from them. Chrysler has been cheaping out I know the car I had was a peice my friends jeep was a peice. But Fiat could make some changes and it could work out... Im interesteted to see what kind of power plant they throw in here... a nice little 1.6t would be fun... make this something to compete with the mini and I would be in line to get one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What Chrysler needs to do is to man up and provide a 10 year warranty like Hyundai did.

        This would force management to start paying attention to long term goals versus the quarterly reports and short term profit statements. It would also force managers to stop ignoring the engineers' when they warn management about severe cost cutting and trying just to hit price points.

        Also, like the financial industry, management rewards must be tied to the long term success of the company and not just how many units they flipped last month.

        Of course this must be balanced with the fact that any warranty is viewed as being only viable if the company is going to be around in 10 years to back it up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No night flight, it is not stretched. Two of my own immediate family and one of my now defunct x-wifes family. Sorry you cant believe the truth. I have nothing to prove to you or anyone else. A car and two vans. The vans are super nice in every way. But as much as I would like to own one of the awesome looking cars they have, I cannot afford to buy one and have it for nothing more than a yard ornament. Gas prices did that to one automobile I have just relieved myself of. The only car I drive right now is what has been a very dependable, low cost, low maintainance Toyota. I only sell pizzas so I have no dog in this fight. See, this is why US manufacturers have struggled. They are not listening. Open your ears. Hear my complaint. I have a Chevy S-10 with 250,000 miles on it with no transmission problems. Why cant Chrysler do that?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Would love to this car be something non-chunky, if they can restrain themselves. Newsflash: Chunky is NOT in, except for tasteless boors.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Chrysler deserves -along with GM- to be bankrupt and gone. They used MY tax money to prop them up (thanks Nobama) and keep them afloat just so the US would not be embarrassed by their failure.
      But failures they are.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I *liked* my 1970 Hornet !!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Build the Hornet! I think it looks better than any small call on the road. Don't dumb in down, keep it as seen.
      lanegn
      • 3 Years Ago
      It won't look like the car pictures above. The above car was a concept based off the Nissan Cube platform. Nissan and Dodge had plans to work together on a couple vehicles. Dodge was to build the next Nissan Titan until bankruptcy and Fiat partnership. Now new 40mpg Dodge will be based on the Alpha Romeo architecture and Fiat multi air technology under the hood. most likely a very small turbo motor.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It is ugly, but the "squarish style" is IN across many brands and segments. Who's knows how many they'll sell...we all know it's just so Fiat can get another 5% stake in the company (one of the requirements per the agreement when they took over). I do think that having a 40+ mpg car is great for Chrysler/Dodge, but hopefully the picture ISN'T the final styling.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Please, don't cheapen a Fiat by slapping on bulky Dodge fenders and a chintzy Chrysler interior with "beverage cooler"!

      Why can't they just sell the Fiat as is? Or better yet, the Alfa Romeo skinned versions. Why, when you have a car with the looks of the Alfa Romeo MiTo in your stable, would you want to re-skin it to look like a Dodge Caliber?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Personally I love the MiTo. Best looking small car bar-none in my opinion! :D
      • 4 Years Ago
      looks like someone tool the Nissan Cube front end slapped the bigass Dodge grill and took the back end of the Scion XB... me no likey...

      On the other hand just like the phrase used to describe the Caliber "Honey I shrunk the durango" this one is Honey I shrunk the Nitro
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seriously? Maybe it's me, and I know beauty is subjective, but this is ugly. It's almost as if someone took the xB or Nissan Cube and slap on some oversize front fender and some ugly bumper. The interior space is incredible, probably better than the Honda Fit. I'm hoping they can tone this design down or round off those angle/squarish boy ricer muscular lines.

      I just realized the front wheel is waaay bigger than the back wheel.

      • 4 Years Ago
      now, just pray that this finally gets a new platform NOT related to the Neon/Neon/Neon/PT/Caliber platform in any way
        • 4 Years Ago
        If that design was penned in the last year, it's clearly new and likely based on the 500.
      • 4 Years Ago
      is 40mpg a good number? why is there a hype about it? there are so many cars I know of that do better than 40mpg.
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