Chrysler-Nissan’s Dodge Hornet to be built in 2009

Thursday, June 26, 2008, 7:35 by Auto Correspondent

Chrysler and Nissan Motor will start production of its Dodge Hornet next year. The Dodge Hornet is likely to be the first car built on the cooperation between Chrysler and Nissan.

dodge hornet picture
The Dodge Hornet concept car had made headlines when it was showcased at the 2006 Geneva auto show. The Hornet concept shown in Geneva is a three-door hatchback similar to the Mini Cooper. It is now being said that the Dodge Hornet will likely be an upscale small car designed to compete against the Mini Cooper. The companies are now working intensely on the Hornet and it is expected that the announcement of a launch date might come in soon. It will be built on the Renault-Nissan global B-platform.

Dodge Hornet will actually make its appearance on the streets only in 2010.

The two companies had in January this year announced that Nissan will begin building a car for Chrysler at its Oppama facility in Japan in 2009. Aimed at a 2010 model year, the car is likely to be based on the Nissan Versa subcompact, said sources.

Meanwhile, Chrysler has also lined up plans to built more cars in China in association with the Chinese major Chery Automobile Co. These cars would be targeting budget buyers, though no date has been announced regarding production.

As hybrid technology catches up in between, the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen hybrids shown at the at the Los Angeles auto show marks the second and third applications of the hybrid drive train jointly developed by General Motors and the then-DaimlerChrysler, a source added. The companies have already applied the hybrid technology in the Chevy Tahoe successfully.

It has been pointed out that the two-mode hybrid system has carried over into the Chrysler SUVs and promises to be good. With the Chrysler Aspen also based on the Dodge Durango, it becomes clear that the two these SUVs have the 345-hp, 380-lb-ft 5.7-liter HEMI V8 to start with. The HEMI is then coupled to an electric motor with 87 hp and 235 lb-ft. Total system output is estimated at 385 hp, a review report added. These SUVs will be available in mid-2008.

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