Ram Dakota Amarok, waiting for the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and has Audi lost its mind? [Ask Nathan]

nissan rogue vs nissan pathfinder winter warrior concept drag ra

    • News on the possible Ram Dakota Amarok?
    • Wait for the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross?
    • Audi’s new naming system is nuts!

The first question comes from a fan who wants to know about a rumored collaboration between FCA and Volkswagen.

Can this become a Ram Dakota Amarok?


Q:Was-up Nathan!? Did you hear the rumor about FCA and Volkswagen working together?

Some of your counterparts think they may share components and maybe vehicles. It’s been said that they might share the next Amarok pickup truck cassis too. Is there any proof to this? Does this make sense?

Totally love you Roman and Andre!

Shad L. L

A: Hi Shad!

Yes indeed, we heard about this too. Now that FCA is actively looking to be acquired, or partner-up with a possible new owner, there are new rumors coming in nearly every day. Last week, it was suggested that FCA, or just Jeep were being studied by the Chinese automaker Great Wall for a possible purchase. It looks like that was more-or-less hot air. Nothing official came of it.

Still, there are other rumors that have a basis of reality attached to it. We know that Volkswagen and FCA recently were in talks to work on a few projects together. This isn’t the first time they worked together; while it hurts to remember the Volkswagen Routan, people did buy it and it was a vehicle the two automakers worked together on.

The newest rumor hovers around FCA and VW building a version of the Amarok and Caddy for FCA. The VW Caddy is a tiny cargo van that slots under the Ram ProMaster City and the VW Amarok is a midsize pickup truck that could compete in our ultra-competitive mid-size pickup truck market. While both vehicles have sold well for Volkswagen, they are not available in the United States.

The Volkswagen Caddy is based on both the Volkswagen Golf (Mark-5) and Volkswagen Touran. It is a beefed-up front drive vehicle which is capable of hauling cargo and/or people. It’s rather basic, but it’s lauded for its utility and ruggedness overseas. Frankly, this possibility confuses me as it isn’t much smaller than the Ram ProMaster City.

The Volkswagen Amarok is a traditional body-on-frame truck. Available with gas or diesel engines, it offers rear or 4Motion-4WD and it either has a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission. Like many trucks in the US, it has a double-wishbone suspension at the front and leaf springs at the rear. Most overseas’ reviews for the Amarok are rather favorable.

There are a lot of people who would be pleased if the Volkswagen Amarok (or Ram Dakota Amarok) became an FCA product in the United States. I’m one of them.



This next question comes from a fan who is considering a new, small crossover, like the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.


Q: Hello my favorite car reviewers! I’m a big fan and you might remember me from a few years back 2015 when I emailed Nathan about a Mercedes suv.

I’m very happy with my ML and my sister’s Outlander Sport has been totally trouble free for nearly three years. You mentioned how Mitsubishi is one of the most overlooked auto makers and I agree. My wife wants to replace her Ford Flex now that our kids no longer need the space. My son rides his bike to high school and the twins are beginning their first year of college up-state. So my wife wants to get something small and reliable with all wheel drive.

She likes my sister’s Outlander Sport and so do I. My question is if my wife should wait for the new Eclipse Cross to come out or should she go for the slightly larger Outlander Sport? The prices are ridiculously cheap right now!

Tell me what you would do and keep making those videos!

Bradly I

A: Hi Bradly!

Yes, I remember your email and I’m delighted to hear about your good experience!

The upcoming Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross will be a different vehicle from the current Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. For one thing, it will have a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, which should make it a zippier ride, despite the CVT. It will be smaller vehicle and it looks like it has a pretty snazzy interior.

I dig the update, while I could do without the name. I think Mitsubishi’s constant re-use of names is confusing for consumers.

Still, I think this new Eclipse Cross is worth having a look at. It comes out soon, so I would wait a bit and pit it directly against the Outlander Sport.

Hope that helps!


[photo: Audi]
The last question comes from a tweet sent to me at NathanAdlen@ Twitter regarding Audi’s new take on naming.

Q:Have you seen the new way Audi is naming their cars?

It makes ZERO sense! (via: NathanAdlen@twitter)

A: Hi!

I have absolutely no idea what they were thinking, but it might help Audi with marketing. No… No, I doubt that. Honestly, I don’t know why.



Maybe this video will help!

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.