In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Will there be a Jeep Jeepster?
- They should get rid of phony pony cars!
- Where’s my Ford EcoSport?!
This first question comes from a young fan who wants to know if there will be a return of the Jeep Jeepster name.
Q: I’m Preston and I am 11 years old.
Will there be a new tiny Jeep that is even smaller then the Jeep Renegade? I would call it a Jeep Jeepster and make it into a tiny pick up too! You and Andy are very funny and do a good job.
Preston from NJ
A: Hi Preston!
Thank you so much for the email!
You have an interesting idea there. Yes, as you can see above, Jeep has played with the idea of a small pickup truck in the past. I even had a chance to drive the Jeep Comanche Concept a year ago. In some ways, it seemed like a neat idea, but Jeep is busy building a Jeep Wrangler pickup truck and I doubt they would build another truck to compete with it sales-wise.
As for a smaller Jeep or a Jeep Jeepster? Anything is possible when it comes to Jeep. They just released their new Jeep Compass which slots in between the Cherokee and Renegade. Maybe building a very tiny Jeep of some sort is possible. If the market (buyers) wants something like that – Jeep may build it!
Thanks again for the email!
This next question comes from a Twitter message. He wants to kill off all lesser pony cars.
Q:Don’t you think that they should kill the fake pony cars? 4 and 6 cylinder “PONY” cars?
V8 and rear drive, that’s a PONY car! Not a phony car!
(Via: Twitter @NathanAdlen)
A: Hi, thanks for the Twitter question.
I understand what you mean, but I have to disagree. There are many reasons why automakers need to keep V6 and/or I4 engines in their sporty coupes.
Here are my reasons:
- By selling lower performance versions of their vehicles, automakers can maintain a budget to build more expensive, more powerful and less-numerous halo cars. A $60,000 muscle car may lure consumers in to the dealership, but $30,000 cars is what many people drive out with.
- The newest batch of V6 and I4 engines on these cars are, in many cases, much more powerful and reliable than anything from way-back-when. Not only that, but, even back then, there were a ton of I6 versions of the big boys. They sold well and they gave consumers something to start with.
- There is an MPG level that the EPA/CAFE requires automakers to maintain. These less powerful, more efficient vehicles help automakers maintain these numbers. That, in turn, allows them to build ridiculously powerful versions of these cars.
Some people get offended if you call these less macho vehicles “pony cars” or “muscle cars.” I just went through that acrimony myself when dealing with the (V6) Dodge Challenger GT, which the PR folks called an AWD “muscle car.” I find that it makes things easier to simply call them “sporty cars” and not offend than many.
Let me ask you something: have you ever driven one? I recommend trying the V6 Camaro or EcoBoost I4 Mustang with manual transmissions. They may not have V8s, but they are damn fast.
The last question comes from a fan who is waiting for the Ford EcoSport to arrive.
Q:Roman and Nathan, I need your help!
I am sick and tired of waiting! I know that the Ford EcoSport is going to be a 2018 model, so why can’t they start production here some time in 2017? I want to buy one as soon as they come out because I hate my Ford C-Max in the snow! I want all wheel control, good mileage and a fun car to drive. The C-Max has been reliable and very useful, but it’s boring and poor in snow.
Do I have to wait until next year to get one? What the heck? Any information you guys have would help. Thanks.
A: Sorry Marco.
Ford says it comes out in early 2018. Hopefully, they will have a drive event for it sooner, rather than later. I like this little crossover (I have a weakness for tiny cars) and I know that, overseas, it’s well regarded. I want to see how it behaves in snow and on crowded street. I’m curious about the MPG too.
I promise, the minute we hear anything, we’ll let our viewers and readers know.
Here’s a new, fun video with the newest BMW 5 Series!
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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