In this week’s “Ask Nathan”
- Is Ram planning Stow n’ Go seating for their trucks?
- Is Volkswagen building an electric van?
- What is “Truck Nuts?”
This first question comes from a viewer who caught wind of a rumor that the 2018 Ram truck would have a form of Stow n’ Go seating. Hmmm.
Hi Nathan, I just hear a weird rumor and I was wondering if there was any truth to it.
My friend, who’s also my coworker, is a Ram truck freak. He owns two and his aim is to be against Ford, Chevy and Toyota whenever they are mentioned. It is a bit obnoxious to be honest with you, but he is an expert at finding out rumors and is usually first when it comes to new items that go one Rams.
The other day, when we were talking about the new Chrysler Pacifica, he pointed out that the next Ram would have Stow n’ Go seating. I totally don’t believe him. How is that even do-able? The cab of the truck would have to be even higher than the current Ram’s cab. Why bother with folding seats in a truck?
Can you help with this argument?
Give Roman my best!
A: Hi Myron!
Your friend is correct that there is a rumor about the 2018 Ram light-duty truck having rear seats that are similar to the Chrysler Pacifica’s Stow ‘n Go seats. If they make it into production, the rear seats would split and fold completely flat into the floor. While it may seem that the Ram engineers would have to add several inches to the height of the cab in order to accommodate the under-floor space needed, I’m fairly sure they would compensate for that in the Ram’s cab and frame design. That’s if they put the folding seats into production.
The point of the flat-floor stowing would be for maximum internal utility. Most trucks have a rear seat that either folds against the bulkhead, against the back of the front seats or the bottom cushions fold away from the seat-backs. If Ram pulls off the Stow n’ Go-style seats, the truck would have a ton of cargo room. A large inflatable mattress could fit, perhaps a few large dog kennels or even a motorcycle?
You never know. One thing is for sure, Ram/FCA owns the patent to several versions of Stow n’ Go, including one that looks like it was designed for a truck. We’ll find out soon, as the 2018 Ram’s introduction is not that far off!
Thanks for the question!
This next question is from a viewer who wants to know if Volkswagen is building an electric van.
Q: Hi Nathan and the TFLcar team!
I heard that Volkswagen might be building an electric minivan. Is this true? Please let me know what you think. If they could pull off an all electric minivan, I might just buy one. My spouse has a Nissan Leaf and loves it. How cool would it be if we could get an electric minivan too!?
What do you think?
A: Greetings Louise!
I have nothing concrete, but it certainly sounds like Volkswagen is serious about building electric vehicles for our market in the (very) near future. Remember: Volkswagen already builds the E-Golf and the Volkswagen BUDD-e concept has been named “2016 Concept Truck of the Year” at the 15th Annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards. The BUDD-e is an electric van (more like an electric minivan) concept that wowed journalists at this year’s CES.
“The first Volkswagen vehicle built using the company’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB), the BUDD-e captures the brand’s heritage, while offering a glimpse into the company’s next-generation connectivity, infotainment and EV technologies. The BUDD-e concept’s highlights include:
A 101 kWh battery that gives a manufacturer estimated range of up to 233 miles.
Gesture control 2.0 that enables intuitive operation of interior and exterior features.
Seamless communications with smart home and smart car technology, and infotainment technologies that turn travel into a fully interactive, intuitive experience.” — Volkswagen
If they build it, and they truly should, it may be part of a large program to equip this market with a variety of affordable electric cars. It could, at the very least, mitigate the distrust Americans have of Volkswagen after the VW diesel debacle.
Hope that helps!
The last question comes from a tweet regarding our book announcement on TFLnow.
What is this “Truck Nuts” you mentioned?
What were you talking about? (Tweet)
The question was referring to this Behind the Scenes video on our new TFLnow YouTube channel.
A: Good question.
Truck Nuts is a TFLtruck/Mr.Truck book that was written for the truck enthusiast. There’s lots of fun and interesting chapters in Truck Nuts. Mr.Truck (Kent Sundling) and Andre Smirnov wrote a fun and compelling read:
All Trucks All The Time!
Your pickup truck is your career, your office, your passion, your attitude. But which truck is the truck for you? Truck Nuts, the debut book by Kent “Mr. Truck” Sundling from MrTruck.com and Andre Smirnov from The Fast Lane Truck, takes on the challenge of breaking down all the ins and outs of trucks. We are nuts about trucks and we want to take you on our journey. This book is your guide to trucks and trailers.” — Amazon.com description
Hell, just about everyone at TFLtruck had some input on this project; even I managed to write a chapter.
We’ll be peddling Truck Nuts at the 2016 Texas State Fair and pre-ordering is available on Truck Nuts on Amazon.com
Here’s the next 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.
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