Baby Ram, Baby Titan and Sexy Fat Tires [Ask Nathan]


  • I saw a Baby Ram!
  • Will the next Nissan Frontier look like a Baby Titan?
  • Will my car look and drive better with sexy fat tires?

The first question comes from a fan who thinks he saw a Baby Ram prototype testing for our market.

This Baby Ram is the Ram 1200 – built for the overseas market.

Nathan! Just saw my second baby Ram testing in Michigan!

I know you said they won’t build one for our market but it makes no sense that they are testing them here if they don’t intend on bringing them here. Am I right!??!??!??

Thanks for answering my last question!


A: Hi TG, thanks for sending me the photo.

Unfortunately, it’s too blurry to use; however, I’m pretty sure that what you sent me was a shot of the Ram 1200. You can read about its technical details (here). It is based on the Mitsubishi Triton, a midsize pickup truck built for just about every market other than the North American. That’s a shame, the Mitsubishi Triton is well regarded in other markets. It would have been a good truck to go up against the Tacoma, Frontier and Colorado.

Here’s the issue: It would have been a competitor against the upcoming Jeep (JT) Wrangler “Scrambler” pickup truck. It’s for that reason that I remain dubious that FCA would federalize the Ram 1200 for our market. It would eat into the sales of their Jeep midsize truck – right?

With that being said, I think there could be a place for a truck like the Ram 1200. Being that it has (overseas) a small 4-cylinder gas and diesel power-plant, the idea of a midsize truck starting under $20,000 is blissful hopefulness. The Jeep Truck will probably start over 30K.

As for it testing in Michigan? Many automakers test in the United States as we have the resources and geography that other regions may not. Many times, we’ve seen foreign-market vehicles testing here that were never meant be sold here.

As much as I would love to have another pickup truck enter our market, I think the chances of FCA selling a baby Ram here is unlikely.

Let’s hope I’m wrong!


This next question comes from a Tweet I received about Nissan redesigning their Frontier to look like a baby Titan.

This is the Nissan Navara, an overseas sibling to the Nissan Frontier.
Via: (Twitter@Nathan) Just got an inside rumor about the Nissan Frontier.

I hear Nissan is styling it to look like a small (baby) Titan!

Nissan Titan Warrior Concept

A: Howdy!

In my opinion, unless it looks like the scintillating Nissan Titan Warrior concept, it would be folly to make it look like a regular Nissan Titan. Look, I like the 1/2 ton Titan a lot, but one of the biggest criticisms of the new Titan is its exterior design. It has too much F-150 in its exterior design language.

Still, shrunken down with enough manly-looking parts bolted on, it could look badass.

Let’s hope they find the right looks AND engineering to take the fight to Toyota!


The last question comes from a fan who wants to make his car better by adding larger wheels and fatter tires.

Check Out Three Awesome Camaros in this SEMA Sneak Peek
[Photo: GM Newsroom]
It’s my first time writing in. I love your videos and stories because I am almost always entertained by them.

I don’t know much about cars, but I learned a lot from your shows. I just bought a 2007 Honda Accord coupe and I love it. It’s quick and sporty and very comfortable. It’s a bit vanilla from the outside so I thought about changing the wheels and adding fatter tires to help in cornering.

The guy down the street who has a tire and wheel shop said I could add 19 inch or 20 inch wheels and wider tires without messing with the suspension. They look pretty sexy!

Is this a good idea? Other than price, is there a downside? My car has 16-inch wheels right now with 205/60R16 tires on it now.




A: Greetings Gina, thanks for writing in!

There are some pros and many cons to adding larger wheels and tires to your vehicle, especially when the change is drastic. One of the biggest worries I would have, right off the bat, is added weight. Lots of folks who get chunkier, larger wheels don’t realize they can add a considerable amount of weight to each wheel. This can diminish your efficiency, ruin your ride and put an extra strain on your engine. It can also add to braking distances as well.

Under most circumstances, a bigger wheel means a more expensive tire too.

Now, if you are careful and get a wheel/tire package that is similar to one that might be available on other models of your car – you might help its performance a bit. As an example, your year Honda Accord also had 215/50R17 available for the V6 model. While I’m pretty sure your car is a four-cylinder, this size upgrade would give you a bit more tire width without a too dramatic increase in weight. That’s also based on your wheel guy not adding a cheap, overweight wheel to begin with.

Keep doing your research Gina! Try to keep the mods on your car ones that don’t sacrifice performance. You’re already off to a great start!


Speaking of bigger…

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: