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The Rubik's Rubric - Dodge joins 'hip to be square' crowd with Hornet concept

Though it might catch Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya unawares, automotive designers the world over are taking up boxing with surprising verve. From the Hummer H3 and Land Rover LR3 to Nissan's Cube and even Rolls' Phantom... rockin' the box is in.

And if 'boxing' is the 'Sport of the Moment' on the globe's automotive playground, then Dodge's Hornet concept appears ready to shake down that smug little Scion punk at recess for milk money.

Powered by a 1.6-liter, supercharged 4-cylinder (generating 170 bhp and 165 lb.-ft. of torque) routed through a six-speed manual, the brash little box also boasts some surprisingly butch visual cues for such a small frame. Up front, aggressive headlamps sit inboard of huge front fenders, which themselves bookend what looks to be a spot perfect for a meaty intercooler. Rear-hinged demi-doors recall Honda's Element, albeit with a uniquely serrated lower edge, and out back a pair of vertically-stacked dual-element taillamps and  well-integrated exhaust plumbing lend the diminutive Dodge an aggressive edge that's heretofore been lacking in the sugar cube race. Oh... those 19" wheels set at the corners don't hurt the stance, either.

Inside, spartan trim and flexible seating are the order of the day, and modular bins along with a unique floating armrest and a hail of door-resident accessories (first aid kit, etc.) create a fun, funky, and functional interior. 

Look for more Hornet 'buzz' at the Geneva Motor Show.

[Source: DaimlerChrysler and MPH Magazine]

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