2020 Land Rover Defender, Tiny Ford Truck and Political Correctness [Ask Nathan]

  • Is there going to be a 2020 Land Rover Defender?
  • Why isn’t the new Kia Soul AWD?
  • Will Suzuki ever come back to the USA?

The first question comes from Twitter (@Nathanadlen) regarding the upcoming 2020 Land Rover Defender.

Q: (Via Twitter@NathanAdlen) Have you seen the 2020 Land Rover Defender test car photos? Are they for real?

Will they compete with the Wrangler? Solid axles? Manual option? Three door option? Diesels? Computerized or mechanical?

Howdy!

Yes, we at TFL are very excited for the return of the Land Rover Defender. We suspect it will be a 2020 or 2021 model and have two wheelbases to choose from overseas. There may be a shot wheelbase version with three doos (Defender 90) and a long wheelbase version with five doors (Defender 110). It’s a pretty good guess that they will sell the bigger, more American consumer friendly 110 here first.

Just looking at this test vehicle shows that the 2020 Land Rover Defender certainly has the look to generate buzz. It is fleet sided and the angular nose is as flat as a Wrangler’s grill. The windows look big and the overhangs look small – perfect for off-roading. There is no rear hatch, rather a swing away side-opening rear door. Old school indeed.

It appears that there are no solid axles, the test vehicles look like it has four-wheel independent suspension. That’s not a deal breaker in my book, considering how capable their heavier vehicles are with the same (or similar) suspension setup. The new MLA platform JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) developed is considered extremely flexible. Any number of powertrains (diesel, gas, electric, plug-in hybrid) could power these vehicles.

I doubt JLR is stepping backwards and building an old-school mechanical transfer case. I suspect this vehicle will bring in a new, more purpose-built off-road system. Perhaps something more capable than Terrain Response 2, which is available on the current Land Rover Discovery.

It will be amazing to get a serious off-road capable vehicle from JLR – hopefully it will be a blast to drive! We will see what happens shortly!

Cheers!

Nathan

_____________________________________________________________________

 

The next question comes from our a Ford F-150 owner who heard an odd rumor about a tiny Ford truck (smaller than the Ranger) headed here.

Q: Hi Nathan and Andre! 

Hi I am a big fan and I enjoy the entire FL crew! I know you and Andre are truck guys so could you answer a question? I heard a rumor that Ford is building a ute for the states. Is that true? Why would they do that if they just introduced the new Ranger???
C
Photo: Ford Australia

A: Hi, thanks for the email!

Spy photos of test-mules are cropping up all over the internet. Many of these tiny trucks look like the Ford Fusion from the front, but they have a disguised bed. You can read more about these vehicles (here).

These vehicles are nothing new in other countries. The South American market has a similar vehicle known as the Ford Courier and many other car-based pickups from other automakers. The excitement is based on having a vehicle like that test in the United States.

Remember: Ford said they are pretty much out of the car business. Maybe building something like this (think: smaller Honda Ridgeline) will capture the audience that may think the Ford Ranger is too pricey.

You never know!

Cheers.

N


The last question comes from an irritated reader/viewer who feels that we’re too politically correct.

 

(Via Twitter @NathanAdlen) I met you Nathan. About last year ago and I asked you about your political beliefs. You never gae me a straight answer. Why? 

I think your viewers want to know where you stand on issues and beliefs. Don’t be so politically correct and don’t let people push you into being something you’re not.

Bruce

top 15, cars, tflcar, holiday, 2014, show

 

A:  Hi Bruce.

If I recall correctly, I answered your question via email – twice. I see that you want to push me into making a statement. I’m glad I’m not allowing my 2019 Mazda CX5, elf to be pushed…

Bottom line – TFLcar, TFLtruck, TFLnow and TFLoffroad are NOT places to visit for social commentary, political points of view or religious dogma. We don’t do that and we never will. Automobiles that fascinate or transcend into emotion – now THAT I can get behind.

Why?

We’re all about cars, trucks, trailers and off-roaders Bruce! We only want to work on channels and websites that inform and entertain you about VEHICLES. That’s it. It’s that simple.

Our viewers, readers and fans deserve a place where they can be part of a automotive culture that transcends all issues. Politics, religion and social issues outside the automotive world have nothing to do with our content. We want nothing to do with that as it detracts from something we enjoy – just about anything with wheels.

Let me put it another way: If you or anybody likes something in the automotive universe, you and I are kindred spirits – no matter who you are.

Speaking of vehicles that transcend…

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.[Ask Nathan]\