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Renegade and Hornet

by David Zatz on

H. David Braew pointed out that the Jeep Renegade bears more than a passing resemblance to the old Dodge Hornet concept. “The Renegade is the spitting image of the Hornet’s outline, at least, and speaks volumes about the much earlier USA-Chrysler design team’s influence on FCA.”

How close is the styling on the two? We will let you judge for yourself. Some styling constraints are limited by the size and function of the cars; and the Jeep has to have more ground clearance and better appro

The 2006 Dodge Hornet concept car was a subcompact, based on the Nissan Cube, with “unique Chrysler concept and design.” Production was to be in Japan. At the time, Daimler was looking for an Asian partner to help fill Chrysler’s subcompact gap. Talks with Nissan apparently proceeded well, though nothing ever materialized; Cerberus allegedly started discussions to replace the Pentastar V6 program with purchased Nissan engines, presumably to save money on development and plants.

After the Hornet, Daimler and Cerberus flailed around with ideas of partnerships with Chinese companies until GM and Chrysler entered bankruptcy; and Chrysler started to build its own version of the Fiat 500, which recently has been outselling BMW’s better-established Mini and many other subcompact cars. The compact Jeep Renegade was largely engineered by Chrysler, based on heavily altered Fiat dimensions and architectures.

The Hornet name was originally used on a Hudson with legendary racing status (re-popularized by the movie Cars), and was later brought back as a compact car by AMC (a merged Hudson and Nash). Chrysler purchased AMC in the late 1980s.

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