Chicago Auto Show Coverage and meet? Convertible Dodge Challenger? 0 to 60? Honda Civic Si? [Ask Nathan]

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.
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.


In this edition of Ask Nathan:

  • What are you covering at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show? Can we meet up?
  • Where’s the Dodge Challenger Convertible?
  • Why are you so slow doing 0 to 60 mph?
  • Where’s your Honda Civic Si review?

2014 chicago ford hybrid fusion

The first question comes from a fan who wants to know about the 2015 Chicago Auto Show and our plans.

Q: Hi Nathan and Roman! Are you guys covering the 2015 Chicago Auto Show? If you are, could we have a meet up? It would be great to meet you!


A: Thanks for the email! Yes, we are definitely covering the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. We’ll have team coverage starting on Wednesday, February 11th to the 13th. We will do a full, comprehensive series of videos, live streaming, blogs/stories, debuts videos, interviews and more during the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

As for meeting up. While we are at the auto show (and most press events) we are chained to that event. That is to say, we cover everything we can during the entire auto show. During the press days of auto shows, or other press events, non-journalists are unable to have access to that venue. We would not be able to meet.

Still, we love meeting our fans and we’re working on near-future events where we’ll be able to meet – all over the country. Stay tuned for more information about that soon!

Thanks again for the email!


Mustang Camaro Challenger

This next one comes from a fan who wants to know why there’s no convertible version of the Dodge Challenger.

Q: Hi Nathan!

Love your show bro! I love Dodge Challengers and I have seriously considered buying a V6 SXT with a few options soon. But there’s a problem. I live in Hawaii and this is no place for a hardtop. My friends have Jeeps and Convertibles like Mustangs, Camaros and BMWs.

Is Dodge ever going to build a convertible?!

Please let me know what you think.



A: Aloha Amigo!

Sorry to say, FCA has made no mention of a convertible Dodge Challenger. I asked years ago when I was at a SRT event and they said that they had no plans. The only FCA vehicles you can currently purchase with some sort of convertible top options are Jeep Wranglers and Fiat 500s.

On some Dodge Challengers, you can get a sunroof for $1,195, but I know that’s not the same thing.

I have a feeling that, without a roof and pillars, the torsional rigidity of such a big car could require (very) heavy underbody reinforcements. The potential weight penalty could be extreme. Keep in mind: this information is based on my best guess. I could be wrong.

Who knows? Maybe the next generation Challenger will have a convertible option. I promise you that TFL will keep on eye on whatever develops.

Take care bro!


2015, bmw, i8, racetrack, record, track, video

This viewer is displeased with our 0 to 60 mph results and how we test.

Q: (Paraphrased and edited for inappropriate content) What is wrong with TFLcar!? You can’t even get your 0 to 60 times right! Every single video you produce has a slower time than any magazine. Your track times don’t make any sense either. What could you possibly learn about a car on a track? I think you guys need to review something more appropriate, like scooters.


A: Perhaps you missed it when we mentioned that we test over a mile above sea level. We say it just about every time, but it could have been missed… right? You see, if you knew that our test track (and Denver, AND Boulder, CO) are a mile or more above sea level, you would understand why our 0 to 60 mph times are slower.

Air density, like air pressure, decreases with increasing altitude. A lack of it forces combustion to produce a less powerful reaction. In simple terms, “thin” air at higher altitude creates a smaller bang to produce less power.

You knew all of this – right?

Just in case you don’t understand power-loss: normally/naturally aspirated engines loose about three-percent (3%) of their power per every 1,000 feet above sea level. Most of the magazines you compare us to test pretty close to sea level. In our estimation, vehicles tested at our track can subtract up to 17-percent of their horsepower. In some cases, forced-inducted engines subtract up to 10-precent less.

Even forced induction engines (engines that use turbocharging or blowers/superchargers) suffer some power loss at high altitude. That’s why we mention it – constantly. High altitude makes most automobiles work harder in many ways. Air and ambient temperature (among many other things) can strain a vehicle too.

That’s why we say, if it does well at high altitude, in our environment, it will be fantastic everywhere else.

As for our test lap. We use the track as a safe place and a controlled environment to test vehicle’s handling abilities. Can you think of a safer place to test acceleration, braking, cornering, emergency cornering, weight distribution, understeer, over-steer, fade, ride and so-on? We can do a lot with a few laps.

One final note: Your email was littered with racial remarks, personal attacks and totally inappropriate comments. Further behavior like this will result in your account being suspended and you’ll be banned from our sites and channels.


2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe
This last question comes from a enthusiasts who wants to know why we have yet to review a single Honda Civic Si.

Q: Nathan,

Why don’t you ever do a video review of the Honda Civic Si? You guys don’t have a single video on the Si. Hell, you guys only have one video with the regular Honda Civic! What’s wrong with the Honda Civic? Come to think of it, you have very few Honda videos at all.

Please try to review a few soon. Especially the Honda Civic Si.



A: I truly wish we could review the new Civic Si. The last Honda Civic Si I tested was back in 2007. The last Honda Civic I was permitted to test was back in 2012. Sadly, I do not know why.

Please understand, we have to be on a rotation to receive these vehicles, or on a press-event rotation to review these vehicles. For years now, we are not on either. It may have to do with our location in the Rocky Mountains, our demographics or something that we have yet to discover.

With that being said, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that we can (hopefully) get the next generation Honda Civic Si.



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Nathan Adlen Bio Picture Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and videos are enjoyed worldwide.