Although Alfa Romeo execs may have a hornet in their bonnet about Dodge’s Tonale rebadge, it appears that the Italian Unions are seeing the bright side of the arrangement. That’s because the added demand that the Dodge Hornet brings will see a much-needed boost to Stellantis’ plant capacity.
An Increase Of 25 Percent For Italian Plant
Targeted squarely at the U.S. market, the Hornet will be built together with the Alfa Romeo Tonale in Stellantis’ factory in Pomigliano. Although few specifics on production targets are known, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato told Autonews Europe that there’s an aim to sell 30,000 Tonale SUVs in its first year and attain a global annual sales potential of 70,000 to 80,000 vehicles — the majority of those heading for Europe.
Even though the Hornet won’t be offered on the continent, annual production of the two models will likely see combined output topping 100,000 units — potentially increasing production at the Pomigliano facility by 25 percent. With the Hornet added, the FIM metalworkers union expect to add a second shift beyond that of the single shift currently required for the Tonale.
The Same, But Different
Although there have been a number of questions over how the Dodge Hornet will affect the Alfa brand in the U.S., their similarities could score a win for Stellantis as a group, thanks to Italian production.
Aside from the chassis, the Hornet and the Tonale also share the same sheetmetal and interior sans some very minor differences. These include the front fascia of both of them, while a hood featuring integrated heat extractors, a “mail slot”-style grille opening, and mean-looking lamp graphics set the Hornet apart from the Tonale.
In terms of power, the Dodge is being positioned true to the brand’s heritage as the performance hero of the two. The Hornet GT and the base U.S. version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale share the same 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. While the Hornet puts out 265 hp, the Tonale produces a slightly lower output of 256 horsepower. Dodge has taken the extra step of adding a PowerShot feature that supplies an extra 25-hp burst on demand.
Meanwhile, the plug-in hybrid version of the Hornet, the R/T, to launch next year, featuring a 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. That, too, will have a higher output (+285 hp) than the equivalent Tonale, which has 271 hp.