2021 Nissan Frontier Turbo, Subaru EV and 2019 SEMA Appearance? [Ask Nathan]

This is NOT the 2021 Nissan Frontier turbo… that’s even IF they build a turbo. This is the Nissan Nails Concept. It was designed a few years back as an excessive, playful toy for auto shows only. Still, it’s cool – no?

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 full name will be omitted – leaving your first name, initials or nickname, your preference.

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Will there be a 2021 Nissan Frontier turbo?  
  • Will there be a Subaru EV?
  • Did you say that TFLtruck is heading to SEMA?

The first question comes from a current Nissan Frontier owner who heard a rumor about a 2021 Nissan Frontier turbo.

The 2021 Nissan Frontier turbo is not confirmed, but we do know the next Frontier will not be based on the overseas Nissan Navara. Let’s hope it looks as cool as this concept. (Photo: TFLtruck)

Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): Just caught a rumor that there might be a 2021 Nissan Frontier turbo.


Love my 2016 Frontier. Thanks for the suggestion back in 15!

The Other Board N

(Photo: Nissan)

A: Hi!

Thanks for the Twitter question and I’m glad to hear you’re still happy with your truck!

A V6 – probably… but a turbo 4?

Not a lot of information about a 2021 Nissan Frontier turbo; however, we’re hearing a lot about a new V6 that will make nearly 300 horsepower. You can read about that (here). It will have to out perform the current crop of V6’s out there, which we’re expecting it will. We’re also expecting a 7-speed automatic and (hopefully) a revised 6-speed manual option as well.

Still, the idea of a turbo four-cylinder isn’t that far fetched. Remember: Ford put all their eggs in one basket with the Ford Ranger and its turbo four cylinder. It is the fastest and most powerful in its class.

This is the 2021 Nissan Frontier test mule. (Photo: TFLtruck)

Nissan has a new 2.0-liter variable compression turbocharged (VC-TURBO™) DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine. It makes up to 248 hp and 273 lbs-feet of torque. On regular fuel, it makes less power and torque, but it is pretty efficient and torque is still 267 lbs-feet. Compare that to the current 4-cylinder which makes 152 hp and 171 lbs-feet of torque.

That power-plant is currently available in the FWD Nissan Altima, but it’s possible that Nissan has other plans for this engine.

Nissan has been hush-hush about their new Frontier, but we know it’s coming soon. Now that the 2020 Nissan Titan refresh has been revealed, they are now focused on the Frontier.

More news coming real soon!


This is NOT the next Subaru EV. This R1 EV was never slated for our market. Toyota, working with Subaru, will build a new small crossover EV. (Photo: TreeHugger.com)

The next question comes from a Subaru fan who wants to know if the automaker will build an electric car.

Q:  Hello Roman and Nathan. I don’t know if you like or hate Subaru. I know they don’t let you drive their cars, but you seem to get your hands on them anyway.

It’s odd to me because I know Nathan likes the Crosstrek, which I own and that Roman likes the Ascent. Maybe their public relations people just don’t like people from Colorado. I think you guys are super!

Anyway my question is about EVs. Everyone seems to have something in the works, but I never hear anything about Subaru. Do you guys think they will make an EV and if it will be AWD? I am not a fan of their overpriced Crosstrek hybrid, but I like the company and I’ve owned Subarus for nearly 20 years.

One day, if I ever come to Boulder, Colorado, I would like you guys to see my Subaru Crosstrek. I would also like to see you guys review their cars and go to events. Half the people I see covering their cars have no idea what their talking about. I think you do.

Ellen B

Photo: Toyota and Subaru

A: Hi Ellen!

Subaru toyed with the idea of EVs before. There’s a story on TreeHugger.com about their R1 EV – something that never proved viable for our market. Their Crosstrek plug-in hybrid was a step in the right direction, but they need help. That help is coming from their occasional product partner Toyota.

Subaru and Toyota?

Here’s a quote from a story covered by CNET (June 6, 2019): “Subaru and Toyota will co-develop a new EV platform. This electric vehicle architecture will first spawn a compact SUV to be sold under both brands. Subaru and Toyota will partner to create a brand-new electric vehicle platform, both automakers confirmed Thursday.”

Yep, both automakers are going to produce a small crossover on this platform and, most likely, other vehicles in the near future. I would imagine that Subaru will try to have an all-wheel drive (AWD) variant available. AWD has been their bread-and-butter for some time. It would be silly to ignore that.

Old vs. New: 1991 Jeep Cherokee vs 2018 Subaru Outback
[Photo: TFLcar]

Love to hate – or hate to love?

You’re right about me loving the current Subaru Crosstrek. I drove the manual version and seriously considered it for my spouse. Others at TFL own Subarus and we even had a studio Outback for a while.

As for our relationship with Subaru? Well, we are journalists and there are parts of the Subaru products we like and dislike. We’re always honest about our opinions with every vehicle we test. It’s as simple as that.

Colorado is one of the biggest Subaru states in the nation. There are a ton here and we get to see them perform in challenging conditions all the time. Sure, we would like easier access to their vehicles, but we eventually get them.

Thanks for the email – I hope this helps.


The last question comes a fan who overheard the announcement that TFLtruck (Andre and I) will be making an appearance at the 2019 SEMA Show.

Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): Nathan! Andre! Did I hear correctly that you guys are doing a meetup at SEMA?!?

I tried meeting you guys during MMUSA in Nevada. Never worked out. What are the details? I would love to meet you guys!


2015 audi s3 nathan adlen andre smirnov
Yep! We’re heading to SEMA! (Photo: TFLcar)

A: Hi!

We are indeed heading to the 2019 SEMA Show and we’re going for a special reason. We’ll be working with Shell

We will be hanging around the Ram Rebel Rouser at the Shell pavilion (Silver Lot, Booth #60003) between 4 – 5 pm. You might catch us out on the floor throughout the day as well. We’ll be shooting videos and visiting a variety of booths.

You can read more about our SEMA visit (here).

Hope we get to see you guys! (Image: SEMA)

We are VERY excited about this year’s SEMA Show. We get to hang out with the big boys and display our Ram Rebel Rouser project truck. We will have a limited supply of swag too!

We may do a separate meet-and-greet for those who cannot attend the show; however, that is TBD. We would like your perspective on this possibility and if you’re able to meet us at SEMA!


Speaking of the Rebel Rouser!

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.