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:
- The Tesla Cyber-what!?
- Thoughts on the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer?
- Used Subaru Forester vs Used Mitsubishi Outlander?
The first question comes from a fan who is rather displeased with the debut of the Tesla Cybertruck.
Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): What did I just see from TESLA? Oh my god, is this a joke? My baby sister could draw this!
I called it the Tesla Cyber-what? I guarantee you that no one will buy this disaster! And typical to Elon it will not see production for five years at a much higher price. Mark my words, the Cyber-what will fail!
A: I get your surprise.
I do not agree with your whole assessment of the Tesla Cyber-what.
Before we talk about the design, lets talk about numbers. Specifically, TRUCK numbers. Remember, this is aimed at the biggest vehicle segment in North America – pickup trucks. In order to be taken seriously, they need to beat personal-use pickup truck’s numbers convincingly.
If these numbers are real – it could.
The entry-level rear-wheel drive truck is rated at 7,500 lbs. The mid-level dual-motor is rated at 10,000 lbs and the top-dog tri-motor is rated at 14,000 lbs. Impressive numbers, but we will have to wait and see what each weight does to the range and performance.
We don’t have official horsepower and torque numbers. A few insiders suggest up to 800 hp and 1,000 lbs-feet of torque – which would be awesome. Still, nothing official.
You can read about more details (here).
All versions of the Cybertruck are rated at 3,500 lbs. Those are HD numbers to be sure. Once again, we don’t have data about how maximum loads can change the maximum range for each setup.
Range and performance
The base model (single motor) will have a 250 mile maximum range. The dual motor is supposed to have up to 300 miles while the tri-motor is said to have up to a 500 mile range.
Tesla says 0 to 60 mph times jump from about 6.5 seconds on the base model to a ridiculous 2.9 second run with the tri-motor.
According to Tesla, the base rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck will start at $39,900. The dual-motor will start at $49,900, with the tri-motor starting at $69,900.
Those prices are very competitive with the prices of current half-ton pickup trucks.
I will say one thing, this design was unexpected. especially after their smooth, modern design with their past few vehicles. Still, I don’t hate it. You see, I value automakers who try to pull off bold or unique designs. While it is a simple shape, there’s real functionality going on here as well.
To me, it looks like what people thought future vehicles should look like in the 1980s. The Tesla Cyber-what is hip for folks who dig old-school sci-fi.
As long as Tesla can make good on their promises, I am fairly sure they will sell a ton of these things. You have to remember: many of the prospective buyers are Tesla fans. I can also guarantee that “IF” Tesla can keep the price as low as they initially indicated, they WILL gain some conquest sales as well.
The next question is about the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer.
Q: I kind of like what I see with the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer.
To me it looks like an affordable AWD that gets good mileage. It looks pretty roomy too. Some people seem upset with the name. IDK, it seems fine with me.
I would like to learn more about it soon. Do you think TFL will drive one soon?
With the right configurations, the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer looks like it will be an affordable, utilitarian AWD hatchback. I am very curious how it performs, but it will be a few months before Chevrolet does a press event where we can sample one.
You can read about the details of the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer (here).
It seems like a sweet little package for folks who want something in this price and size category. Unfortunately, the product and PR folks opted to use an older name that once belonged to a more rugged truck. As such, they immediately hit a sour note with some GM faithful.
They did that recently with the Chevrolet Blazer too.
Despite the naming debacle, I like what I see so far and I think it could be an interesting competitor in a crowded segment.
The last question comes from a reader who is looking at buying a used 2011 Subaru Forester or a 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
Q: Via Twitter (@NathanAdlen): You said you owned both. Which is better? 2012 Outlander Sport or 2011 Subaru Forester?
Looking at both. Wanted your opinion being that you owned both.
A: Hi there!
Sorry to say, your information is a little off.
I owned a 2000 Subaru Forester and a 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT. The Outlander Sport is a completely different vehicle.
I’ve driven several versions of both cars, and it’s a pretty easy answer for me. The Subaru Forester is the right choice. Even with the sluggish four-speed automatic transmission, it’s a better car. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is just fine, but the Subaru is an all-around safer bet.
Now, if you want something bigger with a beefier engine, the Mitsubishi Outlander GT with the V6 is an outstanding buy. I truly enjoyed owning that car and it was solid day-in and day-out – in all weather conditions.
Hope that helps!
Speaking of even MORE small crossovers…
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.