Hey, remember the Dodge Hornet? It was this smallish, hot-hatch design that Chrysler said was going to be a serious player in the small car/fun to drive category?
Yeah, that guy. Anyway, when the financial stuff hit the fan a few months back, and Chrysler went from looking shaky to bad to worse, the Dodge Hornet was mentioned as being one of the programs destined for the “never-was” file.
Well, turns out that all is not lost, and the Hornet might be back on the production schedule.
At first, the Hornet was going to be produced by Chinese automaker Chery. But according to press sources the test vehicles assembled in China weren’t up to snuff as far as Chrysler was concerned. People were still interested in the stubby little four-door, and the rumors shifted to Nissan being the key player, since the automaker signed a deal with Chrysler to exchange two small cars for one full-size truck replacement for the Titan pickup. Then came Chrysler’s recent tie-up with Fiat and most people assumed that the Italian automaker would take over any small Chrysler projects and that the Hornet was finally dead.
Ah-ha! Like Miracle Max said in The Princess Bride, “Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.”
And so, enter Nissan spokesperson Simon Sproule, who said that the Fiat deal does not interfere with its earlier agreement with Chrysler! So the Hornet concept may still have Japanese roots after all. And it might still be produced.
More fun small cars. What’s not to like?