• Fiat Pickup Truck, Future Hybrid Mitsubishi Mirage and what about a Used Sports Car? [Ask Nathan]

    In this week’s Ask Nathan:

    • Is there going to be a Fiat Pickup truck for the USA?
    • Will the future Mitsubishi Mirage be an electric car?
    • Used sports car for a teen?


    Is this the face of a future Fiat pickup truck bound for the U.S.A? The Fiat FCC4 Concept

    The first question comes from a truck fan who caught wind of a rumor that there may be a midsize Fiat pickup truck coming to the United States soon.


    Image/concept: Dragos Prodan

    Q: I’ve seen tons of Fiat car based trucks testing in the USA. Are they bringing a midsized trucks here?

    I know they are the only company that will not have a midsized truck when the Ford Ranger gets here. What kind of truck will it be? Is it a fancy minivan like the Honda Ridgeline or a real truck like a Nissan Frontier?

    Thanks Nathan!


    A: Hi Bud!

    Yes, there are Fiat pickup trucks testing in the United States, many in Michigan. Fiat has been testing for a few years and it definitely seems like they would be preparing for a car-based or regular midsize pickup truck to head for U.S. production. Fiat is testing other-market vehicles like the Strada, Toro and the Mitsubishi-based Fiat Fullback Cross have been spotted.

    While these vehicles are using our streets for testing, it looks unlikely that FCA will produce any of these vehicles for our market anytime soon. One of the main reasons is the upcoming Jeep JT (possibly named “Scrambler”) pickup truck.

    Sure, the Jeep JT Scrambler will be, essentially, an extended length, modified Jeep Wrangler. FCA wants to dominate the market with competitive towing and payload capacity along with class-leading off-road prowess. They have been developing this vehicle for years.

    That’s the main reason why diluting the market with other competitors that may sap Jeep JT sales numbers is an illogical idea. The Jeep JT will undoubtedly be expensive, producing a cheaper alternative under the same corporate name may not be fiscally viable.

    Still, if they did produce an American version of one of these trucks, it would make for a lot of fun videos on our TFLtruck channel! We’ll see what happens.



    This next question comes from a small car fan who wants a rumor answered about the future Mitsubishi Mirage.

    This is the Mitsubishi CA-MiEV Concept – from 2013

    Q: (via Twitter @Nathanadlen) What is this I hear about a Mitsubishi Mirage electric?

    Do they even need another electric car after the terrible iMIEV?! People say that Mitsubishi will produce only electric and hybrid vehicles soon.

    Photo via: TFLcar

    A: Hi, thanks for the question!

    I heard this rumor as well; however, nobody has confirmed that the next Mitsubishi Mirage will take over for the iMIEV as an electric-only vehicle. While the Mitsubishi Mirage is the most basic of production vehicles sold in North America, it remains one of the most frugal and least expensive.

    There is the Mitsubishi CA-MiEV Concept which looks like it could be a future Mitsubishi Mirage and electric vehicle rolled into one. Still, this is an older concept, one that was designed before Nissan/Renault began calling the shots.

    The Mitsubishi CA-MiEV Concept features an 80 KW motor that gets a 185-mile range. It can hold five and it’s set up to use an inductive, wireless charger. Numbers and capacities that are similar to the new Nissan Leaf.

    Given the Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi partnership, I doubt they will allow Mitsubishi to build something that directly competes with the Nissan Leaf. A tiny hybrid on the other hand….

    You never know.


    2001 mustang bullitt

    The last question comes from a viewer who wants to buy a used sports car.

    Q: Hi Nathan! What’s up my man? Can you help me with a used car question?

    I am 15 and saving up for my first car. My mom has an old Taurus that I can drive until I have enough money to buy my own car. At first I was thinking about getting a Honda Civic Si or something like it. I want something fast and fun. My best friend told me that for the same price as a Civic Si, I can get a used Corvette or Viper. That would be so cool! But is that realistic? I wonder why more teen drivers haven’t purchased sport cars. Especially if they are so cheap!

    I like watching your videos. You and Roman are one of the only review channels that tells it like it is without being jerks and you’re funny as hell.

    Thanks man!

    Bobby in Tulsa

    2013 corvette grand sport convertible



    A: Hi Bobby!

    Good question Bobby!

    Before you do anything, I recommend you talk to your insurance company(s). Get a quote for new cars, used sports cars and whatnot. This is vital as it could cost hundreds (and hundreds) of dollars per month for a teen to be insured driving a sports car. It very well could cost more than your car payments.

    Another thing to keep in mind: maintenance. Parts and maintenance for older sports cars is extremely expensive.

    I know it sucks to drive a regular car when you know you can afford something fast and flashy. This was even true in my day. I finally got a 1965 Ford Mustang with a straight-six and a three speed – after driving regular cars for a little while. Good thing too, as I crashed a few times in my first car and had to get used to driving (without crashing) as a daily event. In time, my insurance rate went down and I turned that simple Mustang into a very fast machine.

    Right now, your priories verses desires do not align. In time, you’ll figure out what you need verses what you desire. Hopefully, you’ll find something that splits the difference and makes you happy.

    Drive carefully!


    Speaking of expensive, used sport(y) cars – check out this brand new video!

    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.Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: asknathan@tflcar.com.

    Nathan Adlen
    Nathan Adlen
    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.

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    7 thoughts on “Fiat Pickup Truck, Future Hybrid Mitsubishi Mirage and what about a Used Sports Car? [Ask Nathan]

    1. Hi Bobby! Sorry young man, but Nathan’s advice is pretty sound! Bobby, none of us “old guys” wants to rain on your parade, and yes! keep dream’in the dreams about a Viper or Mustang, but if you go on an insurance co. website for some prices, you’ll see the grim reality for yourself. The cost to insure teenagers is so high because the #1 reason for teenagers to die in this country is still not cancer or some disease, but due to car accidents!!. So keep dream’in and sav’in, and learn to be happy wheel’in that Taurus around!!!!

    2. …for Bobby!
      how about you make the used high performance car your 2nd?
      that way you already know what it takes to keep your number one daily “go to runner” in operation and can budget the expenses for the next one as funds permit?
      chances are you’ll be a better driver, have lower insurance costs, and have more spare change to burn.

    3. s there going to be a Fiat Pickup truck for the USA?

      omg my favorite gripe about the auto industry and especially the US auto industry is their continued lack of a smaller affordable pickup truck.
      it’s just awful.
      so many people and tradesmen i know would love to have a smaller PU or even a van to use in business or as a personal vehicle.
      i understand the attraction to selling big ticket trucks but from a marketing pov, it’s a major overlooked opportunity for someone to address.

    4. Bobby, Nathan is right. Get a reliable sedan with a manual transmission. Get something common so that when (not if) you break or crash it, there will be lots of inexpensive parts to fix it. Fastest way to walking, is to start out with more car than you can handle. Back in the day, my two cousins who raced dirt track for over a decade had used MT Accords for daily drivers. It kept them in the MT groove and saved them cash for racing. If you insist in something a little flashier then try a 2013 Civic Si 4 door, or Acura ILX 4cyl MT. PS. Be aware of the parts and labor rates at your local mechanic.

    5. It’s no secret that oversees Fita sells pick up trucks. I think there are some sold under the Ram name in Mexico. If Hyundai ever builds their pick up, maybe Fiat will bring theirs to the states.
      Also, I think Nathan‘s advice was spot on for that kid. Best thing you can do is buy a new or newer car, save money until you know what you’re doing both mechanically and when you drive!

    6. “Bobby in Tulsa” get something sporty and reliable. When you are young you cannot afford a money pit car. Those cars are cheap because no one wants to spend the money to keep them on the road.

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