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 full name will be omitted – leaving your first name, initials or nickname, your preference.
In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- What if they build a Mitsubishi Jeep challenger?
- Base Mustang vs base Camaro?
- Legal restrictions on tire width?
The first question comes from a off-road fan who wants to know if a Mitsubishi Jeep challenger is being built.
Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): Did you see this Mitsubishi concept?
Is this a Mitsubishi Jeep challenger? They used to build some of the best off-roaders out there. Now it’s just crap. I hope this is something real!
It’s the Mitsubishi MI-Tech concept.
The image you sent me is the Mitsubishi MI-Tech concept. It’s slated to debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor show the last week of October. Mitsubishi describers it as “an electric SUV that delivers unparalleled driving pleasure and confidence over all terrain in light and wind.”
Yep – “wind.”
It has a quad-EV motor 4WD system with active yaw control. There are two electric motors on each axle. The plug-in hybrid system is supposed to be a lighter version than the current one Mitsubishi employes. No word if there is a direct connection from the axle to the wheel, or if there is some gearing involved. It is a PHEV, but instead of using a gas or diesel engine, it uses a gas-turbine generator system.
Can it “off-road?”
Judging by the appearance of the profile image, it looks like it will have a long travel suspension and large tires. The body is supposed to be mostly carbon fiber, so they are aiming at a lightweight vehicle. That could be why they are playing with gas turbine generators. They have the potential for producing a lot of energy without being too heavy.
Still, they tend to be thirsty, loud and they can pollute.
As for the rest, it’s equipped with all the modern/futuristic trappings expected in concepts. Modern collision avoidance systems, pilot assistance and the use of augmented reality are all part of the package. While the tech and look is not likely to see production as-is, there is something to be said about the overall idea.
It’s nice to see Mitsubishi thinking about off-roaders again.
We’ll see where this goes.
The next question comes from someone who wants a Mustang or Camaro, but without the massive (and expensive) V8.
Q: Tell me which one you would buy. A base model Mustang or Camaro?
I want the cheapest with a turbo four-cylinder and a manual transmission. But I don’t quite know which one is best. Based on what you have seen, which one would make a good choice?
I don’t care about brand loyalty or anything like that. I just want a fun, inexpensive car that’s exciting and rewarding.
This is always a heated and passionate argument among fans. However, when it comes to their entry-level models, they look different on paper. Keep in mind, both automakers offer awesome performance packages for both of their four-banger turbos, so they both make excellent performers right out of the box.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LS
The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro base model has a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four cylinder engine that makes 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft or torque. With a base weight of 3,354 pounds, it’s actually quite a bit lighter than the Mustang.
Zero to 60 mph times are reported to be be 5.4 seconds. According to the Chevrolet website, the Camaro’s base price is $25,995.
2019 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
The Ford Mustang recently had an upgrade and its 2.3-liter turbo four makes an impressive 310 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. If you do get the $4,995 High Performance Package, the power is bumped up to 330 horsepower. It weighs 3,532 pounds and it has a reported 0 to 60 mph time of 5.3 seconds.
According to the Ford website, the base Mustang starts at $26,670.
I’ve spoken to a lot of journalists and fans in the past and it truly comes down to preference. I mean, they have different characters. Sure the Mustang has a lot more power, but the Camaro is lighter and considering how close they are in performance numbers, the line separating these vehicles is thin.
Here’s my own personal opinion, which is completely subjective based on driving both and having different levels of comfort in both. I think the Mustang is a tad easier to see out of and easier to drive in traffic day-to-day. The Camaro feels more sporty and it has a slightly more rewarding feel when cornering.
Either car rocks.
The last question comes a young driver who wants to know if wide tires that stick out past the fender line are street legal.
Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): I am 16 and just bought a 2007 F-150.
Guys tell me to put on super wide tires like theirs. But they pop out several inches past the outside of the fender. Is that legal?
Terrance from AZ
A: Hi Terrance!
Great question. Despite seeing lots of people driving around with their tires sticking out way, in both off-road and street cars/trucks, most states say it’s illegal. Sure, many cops will turn a blind eye to some violators, but they are well within their rights to ticket you…or worse.
I have heard stories of police officers impounding vehicles they deem unsafe based on tires that stick out of their fenders. That’s why fender flares are so popular, yet they rarely completely cover the tire.
The law is in place for the driver’s safety and the safety of others. Mud, snow, water and debris can be kicked up at any time. Without the cover of a fender, the debris can slam into any number of things. Just watch what happens when a Formula 1 car charges through the rain. Now, imagine how dangerous it could be in traffic.
Here’s some inexpensive EVs that could make a great first car!
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: email@example.com.