Ask Nathan: What About a Honda EV Pickup, The Dodge Demon 170 Isn’t That Fast and More Road Trip Madness?

Honda EV Pickup “Honda Urban Sailboat” Image: Xander Wang

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Maybe this Honda EV pickup rendering will start something new?
  • Issues with the Dodge Demon 170
  • Will there be more crazy road trips?

The first question comes from a long time fan who wants to know if the Honda EV pickup rendering he sent me has a chance at production.

Q: (Via: Twitter@NathanAdlen) Nathan. I sent you some renderings of a small Honda EV pickup.

What do you think? I was thinking about the idea of what Honda could do with other vehicles based on their partnership with GM. Now that they will be using Ulitum battery platforms for the next decade or two, what else can they build on them? I have yet to see anyone take the initiative to build something truly unique.

We should be able to make all sorts of cool EVs because the platform is so versatile. Designers shouldn’t have to worry about building something conventional. Am I right about this?

At first I thought that Ram would do something cool with the Revolution concept, but it looks like the same thing Ford is doing in production form. If you want to get the public excited about EVs, build some cool looking stuff for goodness sakes!

I wonder if something as cool as this Honda EV pickup rendering I found can actually be built? It would be pretty amazing.

– About an Hour

A: There’s always a chance, but Honda will (probably) take the more conservative road.

A while back, I covered a story about a possible EV, or hybrid replacement for the Honda Ridgeline. You can read about it (here). Honda experts at the time totally disagreed with the possibility of the Ridgeline going electric. Now, things have changed.

A few insiders believe that we’ll see an optional 2.0-liter turbo-four connected with two electric motors. It’s rumored that it will still be a mechanical all-wheel drive (AWD) system similar to what’s powering the newest Honda CR-V hybrid. If that’s the case, I hope they use a system similar to the newest Honda Pilot Trailsport’s IVTM4 system.

There’s also some chatter about this system being adapted for a PHEV setup. And – yes – some rumors float around the possibility of a future all-electric Ridgeline.

None of these rumors have any hard evidence to back them up, sadly. I mean, we can easily assume that Honda will have to move to more electrified vehicles, but there are no specifics.

– N

The next batch of statements comes from viewers who feel that the new Dodge Demon 170’s specs aren’t that impressive, or are impossible. I tacked on a few examples below.

On the drag strip, the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 receives an NHRA violation letter for running a sub-nine-second quarter-mile without a safety cage or parachute, following in the footsteps of the original Demon, which was also banned from NHRA quarter miles.

Q: (Via: YouTube) Those cars are so bad at launching properly that you literally have to glue them to the track to get any power on the ground.

  • Most people don’t bother with drag races on non prep surfaces because it’s so pointless. – Michael Panzer
  • I want to know how they are do 0-60 in 1.6 seconds with rear wheel drive… please someone let me know if this thing isn’t going to lose traction?!? – Patrick Drum
  • Nobody will be able to replicate that 0-60 – Fiend
  • Tesla Plaid is faster – RattiCheats
  • I don’t know why this is street legal let’s see how long – Michael
  • But can u daily drive it and how far can u go till u run out gas dats big question – Travis Jones
  • It’s “only” the second quickest car in the world after the Rimac Nevera – Yissi Biiyte

A: Chill-lax people. This is a street-legal vehicle, with a warranty – that’s designed for the drag strip.

The full technical details about the Demon 170 are available (here) and we have a few videos out there as well. I will cover these statements, and questions with a few bits of information given to us by the automaker. Please keep in mind: many of the numbers you heard, including the 0 to 60 mph and 1/4 mile times were verified by the NHRA.

Let’s talk about traction: for those of you who do not know, drag racing on a proper drag circuit means that the surface is specially prepared. So – no – you’re not going to recreate those passes on a regular street. The 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 gets a set of rear drag radials.

“The 17-by-11-inch wheels carry a bespoke pair of 315/50-R17 Mickey Thompson ET Street Rs designed especially for this car. MTs are already popular with Hellcat and Demon drag racers, and the softer R2 compound, nylon body in the sidewall and the increased sidewall height allows the “wrinkle effect” that lets these tires hook up and transfer the volcanic power down to the ground as quickly as possible, with as little slip as possible.” – TFLcar

Daily driving with a warranty

Each 2023 Dodge Demon 170 will come with Dodge’s standard 3-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain. Through Dodge Direct Connection, you can get things like a friggin’ parachute, safety cage, carbon fiber interior inserts for the seat-delete and more.

For daily driving, you can run it on premium E10 pump gas. The engine will automatically derate to “just” 900 horsepower and 810 lb-ft of torque. If you manage to drive it with some civility, The EPA estimates the Demon 170 will get 13 mpg in the city, 21 mpg on the highway, and 15 mpg combined. Which is mighty impressive.

But the (fill-in-the-blank) is faster!

Finally… no. In a straight line – no MASS PRODUCED car is faster. Sure, there are some super-high-end exotics that can best the 170, but they are not mass produced. The bonkers-fast Tesla Model S Plaid is slower, with a 0 to 60 mph record of 2-seconds, and a 1/4 mile time of 9.25-seconds. Thus, on a dragstrip, the Demon 170 is faster.

– N

The last comment comes from a fan who wats to know if we’re doing more road trip videos.

Q: Nathan! Long time fan. Wanted to know if you guys are doing more crazy road trips like your O 2 O and Motor Mountain USA?

I really liked the adventures that Andre Alex and Dave had when they drove to the Devil’s Highway. The series with the Ford Lightning was pretty good. But I loved the O 2 O and the fun you guys had with that. Leaving swag for your viewers is a great way to show that you guys care about us. Maybe next time you guys will leave hidden treasure in more places. Maybe when you are driving back to California or Colorado?

I loved your No Payment Needed shows and I hope you do a lot more! I still haven’t seen your video series that Roman promised. He said you would make a series called ‘””Effin Cheap'”” and you would only have $1,000 to do it. Never saw anything about it. We all want to see it and now that Brandon is part of the team maybe you guys can find some cars near that price. We all want to see you get more creative with the transformations and maybe be more Top Gear like with some of your ideas.

Please let me know what TFL is doing to followup those great adventure videos!

  • Myron T.

A: I’m delighted that you enjoy our series!

We are constantly working on series proposals that can be a ways off. We’re a small production team, so getting every hopeful project (like “Effing Cheap”) can be difficult. Sometimes, it depends on our budget, timing, staffing, logistics and even the possibility of sponsorships.

If it were up to me, we would do adventure/build videos all the time!

We are working on a few follow-up videos for some of our recent productions. On top of that, there will be some new ones coming around the corner.

Stay tuned!