220 horsepower Chevrolet Cruze SS, Toyota Tundra Rumors and why are you not Impartial? [Ak Nathan]

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

      • Is there going to be a Chevrolet Cruze SS?
      • Will the next Toyota Tundra have a diesel or hybrid option?
      • You guys are so biased!

This first question comes from a fan who wants to know if GM is planning a Chevrolet Cruze SS.

Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Performance parts

Q: TFL guys! Hows it going? I have a Chevy question. 

Do you think there will be a Chevrolet Cruze SS hatchback? They should build something to compete against the Focus ST. My friend says they will put a 220 hp turbo in a Cruze soon. Is that the upcoming SS?

What do you think? I have a 15 LTZ turbo and it’s plenty fast. But I wish I had more room like the Cruze hatch back.


A: Hi Byron!

There have been lots of rumors about the Sonic, Spark and Malibu SS – nothing ever came of those rumors. As for a Chevrolet Cruze SS Hatchback, nothing solid to report either. I will say that there are lots of GM insiders and employees who want more SS models.

That doesn’t quell the rumor-mill.

GM takes performance seriously (in most cases) and probably only build a Chevrolet Cruze SS if they thought it would beat the Ford Focus ST. Frankly, it would not be an easy task. The Focus ST is an excellent performer, one of the best in class.

Still, hot turbos like the Volkswagen GTI, Hyundai Elantra Sport, Honda Civic SI and Civic R (among others) help sales for their siblings.

With changes to brands like Buick coming soon, it’s possible that other forms of parts-sharing may take place. Other than speculation, there’s nothing else out there – at least, nothing positive.

Sorry my friend. I will keep my ear open on this one.


This next question comes from a fan who has some questions about the next Toyota Tundra.

toyota mirai scale model

Q: Can you tell me if Toyota is building a Tundra hybrid or Diesel?

I saw an old article you wrote about a hybrid or electric Toyota truck.

(From a Twitter follower [ nathanadlen@twitter ] )

A: Howdy!

Thanks for the tweet!

Diesel: Nothing solid from Toyota at all on this one. A while back, there were some rumors about Toyota using the same Cummins V8 diesel used in the Nissan Titan XD, but that’s all it is – a rumor. While the current Toyota Tundra is in desperate need for a full rebuild, Toyota has made no mention of a diesel or a heavier duty version of the Tundra.

Now, if Ford and Chevrolet are successful with their diesel 1/2 ton truck that are coming, and Ram continues to sell their Ram 1/2 ton diesel, Toyota might enter the fray.

Hybrid: There is a persistent rumor that Toyota has looked into hybrid trucks for some time. No mention of making a hybrid out of a Tundra recently, but I think it’s more likely than a diesel. At least, for now.

Sorry, that’s all I have.


The last question comes from a viewer who thinks we’re biased.

Q:Fathead, you freely admit to being biased about certain cars right?

How can we trust you about other cars when you are so biased? By the way, you’re fat and you need to go on a diet too.

Stephan Tucker

A: Wow, how sweet you are Stephan.

First, let’s address your thoughts about us being untrustworthy because we admit to having bias:

Yes, we’re simply being honest. From day one, TFL aspires to be as transparent as possible. We try to keep an open, non-biased perspective, but that’s nearly impossible to do with every vehicle we evaluate.

When I drive a Toyota Corolla, I have no choice; I must compare it to the Mazda3 and Honda Civic, which are two of the best in class. I will say a car is a favorite, as that’s me being honest.

So – yes – I like the way some of the top cars are built. The same goes for trucks and, again – yes – I like Jeeps.

I remember your nasty comments that followed me from a Jeep live broadcast to here. Still, I can’t fault you on perceiving my love of (most) Jeep products. That’s simply because they are great Colorado vehicles and I like going off road. Generally, I like vehicles base on one main point: are they fun to drive or not?

So, fun cars I like – boring cars, no so much.

Second: Calling me names and poking fun of my weight is hardly a good way to point out my heft. I’m fully aware of it and, once I heal from a surgical procedure and get off nasty meds, I’ll drop the weight. It still won’t change who I am and, sadly, I’m sure my response won’t change who you are either.

Insults and fat-shaming does little to help, but it sure makes you look small.


Here’ a fun drag race!

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.