Will Mazda go Electric, Hybrid Ford Mustang and AWD Minivan [Ask Nathan]

  • Will Mazda go electric?
  • What will the Hybrid Ford Mustang be like?
  • Are there any low, AWD vehicles?

The first question comes from a fan who is wondering – will Mazda go electric?

Asking will Mazda go electric? Well this Mazda Flair is a Kei car, tiny and light – it would make a fun electric car – no?

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Quick question Nathan. Will Mazda go electric in the foreseeable future? They are super efficient here and don’t even need a hybrid to maintain some of the best EPA numbers out there. If they can keep everything efficient, do you think they will bother?

Or, will Mazda go electric if they get help?

Barron

A: Hi Barron!

Great question. It looks like Mazda is concentrating on SkyActiv-X technology as their future bread and butter. It’s basically a supper-efficient, lean-burning technology that gives the benefits of high efficiency and low emissions while still being fun to drive. Good stuff, but far from electrification. They have a super-efficient diesel waiting in the wings (for the USA) for their CX-5 too. Once again, no hybridization to speak of.

Mazda is a small car company that has to keep an eye on the bottom line. This tech is expensive and they have to get a return on their investment before going head over heels into electrification. Their last public effort was way back in 2013 when they built a Mazda2 electric test vehicle.

Still, with their partnerships with Denso and Toyota, they are wired in to right organizations to give them the right components to quickly join the electric game.

You can rear about the SkyActiv-X (here).

Cheers!

N

 


This next question comes from a viewer who wants to know what the upcoming Ford Mustang hybrid might be like.

Ford-Mustang-EcoBoost-Cpe-RSD

Nathan,

I know we’re a few years from seeing one but do you think the performance of the future Ford Mustang hybrid will be like.

I am a true Mustang fan and I remember many videos you and Roman did with the Mustang. Even though the Eco Boost 4 is taboo to talk about with fanboys, I thought you guys might have an educated guess as to what Ford has in mind with the Mustang hybrid.

I know you guys do a ton of truck videos on your truck channel. I hope you have the opportunity to do more car videos again.

Wess

A: Hi Wess!

There is very little information about what Ford has in mind for their hybrid Mustang. Many speculate that the system will not only aid in a more efficient vehicle, it will make the Mustang hybrid faster than its strictly-gasoline brethren. Otherwise, how can they sell the idea of a hybrid power plant in a pony car?

It’s logical to guess that the Mustang hybrid will debut using the four-cylinder EcoBoost 2.3-liter engine. It will (most likely) be hooked up to a similar 10-speed automatic transmission used in the Ford Ranger and other Ford products. A manual transmission is not impossible, but it’s not very likely.

I suspect the gains in power will be enough to compensate for the additional weight of the hybrid system and batteries. It’s also likely that the Mustang hybrid system will get a plug-in hybrid option shortly after its debut.

As for a V8 Mustang hybrid? I think Ford will adopt any system they will be using in the Ranger and F-150 to power as many vehicles as possible. While I suspect they would rather forget about their excellent 5.0-liter “Coyote” V8 and stick to V6 engines, there is always a chance that they will use that engine too.

Once again, this is all speculation. Fortunately, the wait is getting shorter by the day – right?

Cheers!

N

The last question is from a fan who needs all-wheel drive (AWD) and a low loading floor.

2018 Buick Regal TourX

Blessings to you (Nathan) and the crew! Truly love watching your antics and informative videos FLC produces.   

I have a problem and I was wondering if you can help.

My husband and I are retired, but we garden as volunteers for the City of Turlock (California) and we absolutely love doing it. It’s been three years since we began volunteering and our old car, a 2007 Lincoln Navigator is showing its age. It’s also too tall for us to be comfortable loading.

My question is, can you help us find something that can hold our grandchildren, our planting supplies, our old dog and has four wheel all wheel driving system? I would like a much lower vehicle too. It’s such a pain to lift things at our age, so the lower the better, LOL!

I know it’s asking a lot and I hope you have an easy answer.

Sincerely,

Marry. V
Turlock, CA

honda odyssey vs toyota sienna

A:Hi Mary, thanks for the email!

There are two vehicles that come to mind: the 2018 Toyota Sienna with AWD and the 2018 Buick Regal TourX Wagon.

Both vehicles can be had, well equipped, for well under $40,000. The Buick can hold five comfortably and the Toyota holds seven comfortably (eight – if you opt to get one without AWD). The low loading height and comfortable confines of both vehicles are worth investigating.

Hope that helps!

Speaking of Buick…

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
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.