In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- What will the next Volkswagen Beetle be like?
- Will there be a new Dodge Caravan?
- Why don’t car manufacturers offer NFL paint jobs?
This first question comes from a fan who wants to know what the next Volkswagen Beetle will be like – if they build it.
Q: Hi Nathan, its Jim. You guys seem to have a good relationship with VW.
I want to know what the next Volkswagen Beetle will be like. Do you have any idea what VW has in store with it? Do you think they will discontinue it?
Thank you Nathan.
A: Greetings Jim!
Volkswagen sold less than 15,000 Beetles in the United States in 2016. While that’s very low compared to sales-juggernauts like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, it’s equal to about 1/3rd of its closest competition’s (the Mini Cooper) annual sales. Those are pretty disappointing numbers.
While things look a bit bleak for the current VW Bug, there are a few tasty rumors about the next Volkswagen Beetle – if it happens. Some say, the next Volkswagen may have more in common with the Volkswagen Buzz Concept and also have a rear-mounted electric power plant, celebrating the simplicity and rear-engine/rear-drive feel of the original.
Other rumors include larger platforms and larger power-plants. All wheel drive brothers to the Golf R. One rumor has the next Volkswagen Beetle shrinking and taking on the Mini Cooper directly. Sadly, the other popular rumor is that Volkswagen is looking to kill the Beetle off altogether.
Only time will tell.
Thanks for the email!
This next question comes from a fan who wants to know if there will be an update/new Dodge Caravan.
Q: Hey Nathan, what do you think dodge is going to do with their future minivan?
– Jackson O
A: Hi Jackson!
Unfortunately, there is no news about a replacement for the Dodge Caravan. While building a minivan based on the new Chrysler Pacifica makes some sense, the Dodge Journey and Dodge Durango should take up the slack from the end of the current Dodge Caravan production.
It would be pretty cool if they built a sporty or economical version of the Chrysler Pacifica and sold it as a Dodge.
The last question comes from a football fan who wants to know why automakers have not made special team-themed designs for their vehicles.
Q: Shame on you, Nathan. You should have a Steelers shirt on every show. So this lifelong Steelers fan (PA native) has two questions.
1. How did you become a Steelers fan?
2. Why don’t car manufacturers offer NFL paint jobs or removable sticker packages or wraps in cooperation with the NFL? Wouldn’t it be cool to drive a black and gold Mustang, just like the old 60s Mustang GT 350 package?
You guys bring more fun to car reviews than anybody in the business. TFL rocks.
A: Hello Scott!
Thanks for the fun questions!
If the boys let me wear whatever I wanted all the time, it would be lots of Steelers jerseys for sure.
Here are my answers for you:
1. I was a little kid when the Steelers played the Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII. My dad had his boys hanging out at our place for the game. For some reason, they all wanted Roger Staubach and the Cowboys to win.
Despite living in Los Angeles and having (at the time) two football teams, I wanted the Steelers to win. These old guys were obnoxious and I wanted to shut them down, so I stood up and said, “Terry Bradshaw is going to win!”
They laughed and a few of his amigos even bet me. I swore to myself that I would be a Steelers fan for life if they won and humiliated my pop’s friends.
– As you know, I won.
2. There have been a few special edition vehicles that honor teams. I included a photo of the special edition Dallas Cowboys Ford F-150 (no hard feelings my Texas hombres). There are others too. Still they are rare and it would be great if they would offer a special removable decal or, perhaps, a LED tailgate that can show a graphic of your team whenever you feel the need to switch it on?
I love the NFL and I find that gear-heads who love football and love automobiles tend to be some of the coolest people around – regardless of team affiliation.
Thanks for the email!
Here’s the latest video episode of “Ask Nathan!”
Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and name will be omitted – leaving your initials or nickname, your preference.
From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that,as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.
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