Nissan GTR 2020, Should I Learn to Drive Stick and Buying a Used Dodge Viper? [Ask Nathan]

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

    • Nissan GTR 2020?
    • Why should I learn to drive a manual transmission?
    • I want to buy a used Dodge Viper!

This first question comes from a fan who wants to know about the Nissan GTR 2020.

Q: Nathan, do you have information about the photo I sent you (Nissan GTR 2020 concept)?

The current Nissan GTR is amazing and all that but its a very old looking design. I saw this shot and sent it to you in case you had any information on it. I hope Nissan builds it.

BTW, I noticed you like Anime and I was wondering if you have a favorite movie? I like the Initial D series a lot! I don’t drift, but I like to watch it. What about you? I’ve been sick a lot so I have lots of time to watch Anime and other stuff.

Thanks Nathan and Roman!

Donny G 15

Bakersfield, CA

A: Hi Donny!

Thanks for sending me the photo; you’re correct, it’s the Nissan GTR 2020 Concept. While I don’t know if this is the final design, I know that Nissan has been gathering data to use for development. They have also been measuring consumer reaction to this and other (possible) future GTR designs.

Nissan is taking their time to do the next GTR right. One of the things that they may have been waiting for is solid data on the new Ford GT. Considering the Nissan GTR 2020 (if it’s called that) will probably have a hyper V6, it makes sense to see what the Ford GT’s hyper V6 can do.

I believe the next GTR will remain an all-wheel drive car, but it may delete the rear seat option, among other things, for weight savings. I’m not 100% sure they will build a hybrid like the Acura NSX, they may opt to keep it slightly more conventional.

I’ll keep an eye on developments – promise!

I’m sorry you’re sick my friend. Yes, I do love good Anime and I have ever since I was a kid. My favorite racing and car-based Anime is Redline, Riding Bean and good old Speed Racer. I do have a suggestion, since you’re seeking movies and whatnot. Watch Grand Prix, Le Mans, Dust to Glory and the Gumball Rally. These are older movies, but they’re a ton of fun and the cinematography is outstanding.

Write me anytime and I’ll send other movie ideas your way.

Get well soon!56


This next question comes from a reader who wants to know if she should learn to drive a manual transmission.

Q: Hi there Nathan! My dad wants me to learn to drive a stick.

As far as I can tell, sticks are going away. I drive a Tahoe now and I don’t see anything like a Miata on the horizon for me. He keeps insisting though and it’s kind of odd. It’s like he forgot to teach me how to swim or something.

My dad was raised on a farm, but I live in the city. I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal. What do you think? Should I give in and let him teach me to drive a stick?

Debbie S
Omaha, NE

2015 Audi S5 6-speed manual

A: Hi Debbie!

Thanks for the great email. My answer is simple – YES – you should learn to drive a manual transmission (stick). There are a ton of reasons, but let’s start with one that you might not be aware of: your father. Yep, your pop wants you to learn how to drive a manual transmission so much, he’s willing to teach you.

That’s no small matter. Dads who are willing to do this are fully aware that it will be a lot of work, but it’s a worthwhile thing to do. It’s a bonding experience and, if you have the right perspective and you’re in the right frame of mind, you can have a great time doing it.

Other reasons:

  • In case of an emergency, you’ll be able to drive one.
  • You might learn to love it.
  • If you ever want to ride a motorcycle, understanding how a clutch works can help.
  • If you own a manual transmission vehicle, it’s hard for most thieves to steal.
  • If you like to travel, other countries have many more manual cars and trucks than we do.
  • Only cool people drive sticks.

There are many other reasons to learn to drive a manual transmissions; honestly, it could make you a drive altogether.

One more thing. As a dad, and after having a dad who taught me, I can say that your pop will be pleased with you, if you are willing to learn.

Good luck!


The last question comes from a tweet from a fan who wants to buy a used Dodge Viper.

Raw & Unleashed: The 2013 SRT Viper Drifting in the Rain


Q:Can you tell me if buying a $50K Viper is a good idea?

A: Hi!

You’ve given me very little to go on. I mean, what year? What trim? What mileage?

The good thing about used Dodge Vipers is that they are simple and are known to be fairly reliable. I had a long talk with Bob Bondurant at his racing school, (he uses a lot of the newest Vipers) and he said they have been very reliable on the track – after thousands of miles of punishment.

You truly need to do your homework and make an informed decision. The last thing you need is an abused Dodge Viper with destroyed brakes and stripped gears.

Good luck!


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.

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