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.
- Information about the 2020 Ford 4X4 van?
- Are electric motorcycles any good?
- How to deal with road rage (when it’s you that’s the problem)?
The first question comes from Twitter (@Nathanadlen) asking about the 2020 Ford 4X4 van (Transit).
Q: (Via Twitter@NathanAdlen) Can you tell me more about the 2020 Ford 4X4 van?
I was looking at a (Mercedes-Benz) Sprinter 4×4 for a work and play vehicle to replace my truck, but the idea of a less expensive Ford is appealing. Let me know what you think oh mighty one!
It’s exciting – right? It’s great that we (finally) have a factory-built choice for an AWD/4×4 van. Ford is swinging for the fences with this one!
The ride height will remain the same as before, and it’s a full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) that can send up to 100% of the torque up to the front wheels, despite being rear-wheel drive biased. They have a selectable traction assist system too.
A 10-speed automatic comes standard and there are three engines available: a normally aspirated V6, an EcoBoost V6 and a new diesel (which is the same engine found in the overseas’ Ranger Raptor). Power numbers have yet to be announced.
The next question comes from an English bicycle fan who’s curious about electric motorcycles.
Q: How do you do Nathan!? I am a electric car and bike fan who has a question.
I’m a big guy like you and I live in England (Bristol). For a few years now, I have driven an electric bike to work. I have a Scott E-Sub Tour electric bike which is great, but not very robust.
I want something beefier and maybe a little more manly (what you call “MACHO”) while still being green. I was wondering if you had any history with electric motorcycles? Is it something you would recommend?
I know you guys don’t deal with motorcycles very often, so I was hoping you could give me what you could. I admire your reviews and your humor. You are refreshing and remind me of my best friend who always said it like it is, with a big smile.
A: Greetings Greg and than you for the kind email!
I actually have a little bit of experience with electric motorcycles. I was lucky enough to meet the good people from Evoke Motorcycles who sell in the UK. I like the quality of their work and the ease of riding their machines. Seriously, I am an unbalanced menace (which is why I rarely ride), but their bike was remarkably easy to ride.
Their Evoke Urban Classic is akin to riding a 600cc motorcycle. It’s easy to charge, has a 124 mile range and is wicked quick. Transitioning from an electric bike will feel like moving from a toy to a serious machine. The bike sits a bit low in the seat, but that makes it that much easier to balance.
While I actually like E-bikes, the amount of performance, control, emotional connection, and even information you get from an electric motorcycle needs to be experienced.
Hope that helps!
The last question comes from a fan who wants to know what it takes to cool off from unavoidable road rage.
(Via Twitter @NathanAdlen) How do you keep from losing it with ROAD RAGE?
You guys drive so much, I bet you have methods to keeping your cool. care to share?
A: Hi and thanks for the Tweet!
Coming from Los Angeles, I dealt with a lot of rage, both with myself and other drivers. It was a serious issue and it’s one that no one can prepare for. Sometimes rage comes even when you’re having a great day.
There is one trick that I’ve been using for a few years now. It’s not perfect, but it forces me to regain a cool head and distance myself from another idiot driver: I back off.
I quickly get out of the contested lane, or slow up a bit to let the car in question pull ahead. I don’t respond to aggression and I completely avoid responding to the driver’s insults. Brake-checking, screaming and even making eye contact are completely avoided. I ignore the situation and vanish.
Yep, it sounds odd, but hear me out: when I am dealing with a lane hog, a distracted driver, an angry driver – or any mix of of these, I choose to pull back on the reigns. I’ve seen the results of many avoidable accidents and came to this conclusion when my own family was at risk.
It may feel like you’re being soft or backing down, but you’re actually letting that driver shine a spotlight on themselves and not you. It can confuse a few of those idiots as well. So much so, it may convince them to reevaluate their poor choices too.
If they are being super aggressive, simply call 911 and report the driver. It works and you could be helping others by removing the threat. Most importantly, you’re not aggravating the situation and adding to the danger.
It takes practice.
Any other readers have something to contribute? Write it below!
Hope that helps!
Speaking of highway behavior, check out this fun video of us dropping a hybrid on top of a mountain for maximum range!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.[Ask Nathan]
R.A.K.E.’s mission is to enrich lives, encourage kindness, and promote the act of paying it forward.
Nathan AdlenEasily 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.