In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Why do you think the Chrysler Windsor Wagon will return?
- I still can’t build the Ford Bronco of my dreams!
- What is this new “Goofy Drag Racing” thing we’re doing?
The first question/statement comes from an argument I had with a fellow journalist who will remain nameless (Stephen D) about the possibility that we might see a return of the Chrysler Windsor wagon – via Peugeot.
Q: (Summarized from a recent argument) There is no way the American buyer will want a (Chrysler Windsor wagon) – because they don’t like station wagons!
Just look at the Buick Regal TourX – a great wagon for a good price. Who bought it? No one! The CTS-V Wagon? Barely moved the needle in sales and your beloved Volkswagen Golf Sportwagon!
— Someone who might be named Stephen
A: Hold your horses Tex!
Sure, American consumers are a little shy with the idea of a station wagon, that doesn’t mean they don’t sell. You may have overlooked a few. I think it just depends on presentation and, to some extent – reputation.
Let me give you an example: Subaru. They sell a lot of station wagons that people seem to like. Their sales of the outback wagon, and the various version of the Impreza are pretty good. Remember Volvo wagons? Yep, the V60 and V90 are outstanding station wagons, and they are out there as well.
The idea of a (Peugeot 305-based) Chrysler Windsor wagon isn’t that farfetched
Stellantis has set some lofty goals for many brands to stay afloat. Simply put: if they don’t produce better results within a certain amount of time, they could get the axe. That boils down to Stellantis giving the brands 10-years of funding to make good.
How can Chrysler improve?
I think a simple-is solution is to bring in and share products to maximize their return on investment (ROI). One car that absolutely stands out is the new Peugeot 308. Yes, Peugeot is NOT coming back to the USA; however, we could see platform and content sharing.
This new 308 Estate (“wagon,” in ‘Merican-speak) is a plug-in hybrid that looks like a million bucks, inside and out. Word is, this type of dynamic engineering and styling is what we should expect from the brand – from here-on. This PHEV has a 12.4 kWh lithium-ion battery, 222 combined horsepower (in one model) and has an all-electric range of 37 miles on a European cycle. Power goes to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic, and it can fully charge in about two-hours on a Level-2 charge. While these calculations are meant for the European market, they could be close for ours as well.
The EMP2 platform it’s based on was co-developed by Peugeot Citroën. It was meant for compact and mid-size cars (including crossovers) with front wheel drive or four wheel drive and a transverse engine. If this platform and drivetrain are as good as some journalists indicate, it could turn Chrysler’s fortunes around. I mean, just LOOK at that interior and exterior design!
I won’t go into a lengthy argument about station wagons being better than crossovers (they just are – from a driving standpoint), but I will say that it seems logical that Chrysler, or possibly Dodge, could benefit from sharing vehicles with Peugeot. It just so happens that this Peugeot 308 wagon could be a hell of a Chrysler Windsor wagon platform.
What do you guys think?
The next question comes from a Jeep fan who is not pleased about our new Ford Bronco coverage.
Q: (Via Twitter @NathanAdlen) I thought you and the rest of the TFL crew were Jeep guys. But I don’t get the excessive coverage of the Ford Bronco!
I think it’s a non story and you guys are way to interested in it. Its not that special. Just sayin
A: I don’t care if its a Pyeonghwa Motors (North Korean) Hwiparam II… if it is a good vehicle – we’ll put a spotlight on it. BTW… the Hwiparam II isn’t very good. It’s just a bad example.
My point is, despite our bias (and everybody has a bias of some sort), we have no problem spotlighting what is good, or even remarkable about a vehicle. My point with Pyeonghwa Motors is: IF they managed to make something remarkable, we would say so. Honestly.
Why is the Ford Bronco so special? Are you serious?
Riddle me this: how many automakers offer a frame-based SUV with two or four doors with a serious 4×4 setup? And I mean SERIOUS 4×4 setup.
On top of that, how many offer a removable roof/door combo? How about a manual transmission option?
I could go on, but the answer is now, Ford and Jee.p – and that’s it.
The fact that the Ford Bronco even exists, forces Jeep to make some real changes, right away.
Check out this video and see what I mean!
The last question kind of comes from my teen who wanted to know why I “borrowed” her EV.
Q and A: Welcome to “Goofy Dragracing!”
My teen, who is gone for several weeks, unwittingly donated her car, a 2016 Nissan Leaf, to her father.
Why? For our newest attempt at whimsy, “Goofy Dragracing.” That’s right kiddo! I took your little EV and I’m gonna’ letdown the smackdown with it! (Add evil laugh here).
Goofy Dragracing is simply pairing up odd-ball vehicles that would never compete with each other – and have a brief race. The funny part is: these races are closer than you think. On top off that, some of the vehicles are quicker (or slower) than you think.
So – yes – I opted to enter my kid’s car into the fray.
Prepare for mind-blowing speed!