Currently, prices for the Tesla Model S range from $57,400 to $77,400 — $49,900 to $69,900, if you add the $7,500 federal tax credit. However, we are all well aware of the fact that the Model S is being sold at, or even possibly well below, the cost to build it. This means that it is only a matter of time before a price hike is in order.
Tesla has now lifted the veil of silence on this topic and announced that there will be a price increase in the near future. Surprise! Well, not really, since the rumors have been floating around about a price increase for a while. There is no information on just how much of an increase we are looking at, but we would guess that it will be significant. It may even push the upper end of the Model S toward the base price of the Fisker Karma. One bit of information that Tesla let us in on is that some features that are now standard equipment will later become option packages, which means that we will not only see a price hike, but also a decrease in standard features.
This price increase will not apply to the existing reservations. Those customers who have placed a reservation will receive an email from Tesla where they will be advice to finish their configuration and order within a "fair, predefined time frame."
For those of you who do not remember, the Model S has a variety of battery and motor choices. Depending on the version, the Model S can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in in 4.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 126 mph.
Full details on the price increase will be announced in the next two to three weeks.
The 911 is one of the most popular models in Porsche’s lineup and was always highly appreciated for its top notch performances and the classy design language.
The vehicle was also constantly attacked by various tuners who spent a lot of time developing various body kits or engine tweaks to raise its performances even more.
However, not many tuners have dared to make any radical changes under the hood and most of them were limited to ECU upgrades. Though, one of the tuners was bold enough to come up with a hybrid version of the Porsche 911 and name it the Genevart Celsius.
For the moment, we didn’t have the chance to see it in flesh and bones, as the Celsius will make its big debut next year at the 2013 Geneva Auto Salon. On the other hand, Genevart released a lot of specs and pictures, so we can make a pretty clear image about their new beast.
The most important modification is represented by the addition of two electric motors mounted to each of the rear wheels. These motors are combined with a flat six engine, the entire hybrid system offering a total power output of 900 horsepower.
Ah, the Fisker Karma. It is likely one of the most well designed and heavily debated cars available today. Some people love it and cannot get enough of it and others can’t stand it. It’s truly one of the most polarizing cars on the market and a lot of that is because of some of the issues it has run into and the massive DOE loan that Fisker took out to help produce it.
We pretty much sit right in the middle. We’ve loved its looks from the day we saw the concept model that no one believed would ever be produced. Its issues and some of the sub-par reviews, on the other hand, pushed us back toward the middle..
Well, the only way we can really find out if we truly love it or hate it is to test drive it. And that is exactly what we did, as we took a road trip to Fisker of Tampa Bay at 320 East Fletcher Ave. in Tampa, and met up with Fisker brand manager Jackie Daly and general manager Bryan Mobley for an exclusive viewing and test drive.
So, did we walk away impressed or did the Karma underwhelm?
Fisker began development of a revolutionary car, the Karma, roughly four years ago. At that time, folks were optimistic, excited, and had almost only good things to say about this upstart company. It’s crazy how fast things can change.
As time moved on, Fisker started running into some real issues that would likely destroy many startup companies. The downward trend started with the DOE freezing its loan to Fisker after it had only used about half of the available funds. The next issue was a pair or recalls – one in December 2011 and another in May 2012 – because of incorrectly positioned hose clamps that could cause a coolant leak. And you likely know, electricity and water do not mix.. Then came the fires…
The first fire came about in April 2012, when a man’s house and other two cars were damaged after his Karma caught fire in the garage. The cause of that fire was not known, but it is likely related to the following fire that came just months later. This second fire occurred in August and was easily contained to just the front end of the $100K luxury car. The one good thing to come out of this fire is that Fisker was quick to the aid of the owner and quick to mobilize a group of outside investigators to figure out that it was a failed low-temperature fan that caused the flame.
This final fire brought about the final recall of the Karma, to date. In this recall, Fisker asked 1,377 Karma customers to bring cars in to have the cooling fan replaced. Between all of these issues were complaints from customers about a Command Center that didn’t operate effectively and a “Stealth” mode that wasn’t too stealthy. Adding to those complaints was a very poor review of the Karma by Consumer Reports.
With these issues came a shellacking from the press – automotive and general – and all Fisker could do was try and get its own version of the story out. Well, we just gave Fisker an avenue to air its side of the story in our exclusive interview with Fisker’s Senior Director of Global Corporate Communications & PR, Roger Fisker.
To read what Fisker has to say about these issues and more about its future, click past the jump.
After nearly a year of seeing Mitt Romney and Barack Obama fling mud – maybe even a little poo – back and forth at each other, the election is finally over. Love him or hate him, Obama is in office for another four years and he has already shown that he likes to dwell in the automotive realm (see: automotive bailout, Chrysler bankruptcy, and DOE loans for EV technology).
A big one on our radar these days is the renewal of the CAFÉ standards – yes, it was a renewal; the CAFÉ standards are nothing new – and their direct impact on the sport car realm. By the year 2025, all automakers must have a corporate average fuel economy rating of at least 54.5 mpg, a number that sports cars often drag down.
There is a good possibility that one of three things will happen due to these standards. First, is the chance that automakers install more advance turbocharging technologies on vehicles in order to keep their power output high and fuel economy high too. With those technologies come rising price tags – something we are already experiencing today. The second – most unlikely – scenario is the complete elimination of all powerful sports cars, leaving behind just the likes of the underpowered-for-a-true-sports-car Scion FR-S-like vehicles. The third scenario is one that would satisfy our itch for fast cars and the EPA’s itch for eco-friendly cars, and that is the widespread development of super powerful electric, hydrogen fuel cell or natural gas sports cars.
The latter situation is one that we already know is possible. Have a look as the Tesla Model S and you’ll see a car that can travel 300 miles on a charge and still zip to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. And that is a rather large sedan, so imagine it as a sports car. Same goes for the mid-5-second sprint to 60 mph that the 5,000-pound Fisker Karma completes. The final example is the Maxximus LNG 2000 and its 1,600-horsepower natural-gas-powered engine.
We think that this renewal of Obama’s stay at the White House won’t necessarily bring about the conversion to alternative fuel sports cars in the next four years, but it will certainly accelerate the process significantly. We honestly think it is a thing to look forward too, not be afraid of. Just think, no more gas station trips!!
Courb is a relatively new car manufacturer which presented its first concept, the C-ZE, in 2009. The C-ZEN is a French acronym for “C’est Zero Emission Nocive,” which means no harmful emissions. Back then, the company didn’t say if it had plans to develop a production version, but after only two years, it made the announcement that its C-ZE received a few updates and is ready to be launched in showrooms.
The production version of the compact electric vehicle was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and is powered by a 15kW electric motor, paired with a pack of Valence lithium-iron-magnesium-phosphate (LiFeMgPO4) battery packs.
With its compact dimensions and the ultra efficient drivetrain, the Courb C-ZE was developed to appeal to young buyers who are searching for a small city car for daily or occasional transportation.
The Courb C-ZE will be launched on the market soon with a starting price of 25,000 euros. Besides its compact speedster, the company is also working on an electric utility pickup which will be offered at 18,000 euros.
Hit the jump for more information on the Courb C-ZE.
Fisker had some issues with Karmas and spontaneous combustion, as of late, and even mentioning the word “Fire” in Fisker’s home office is likely an offense likely worthy of firing. Wait, but you can’t say “Firing” either, so how about “Termination.” Reports out of New Jersey of Karmas catching fire following Hurricane Sandy couldn’t have possibly come at a worse time.
According to the reports, a group of Fisker Karmas were sitting at port in New Jersey when seawater submerged them. A short time after their submersion, 16 of the stored Karmas burst into flames. From the images we are seeing, they are total losses and we will likely never know the precise cause, but Fisker is diligently investigating the situation.
One thing is for sure here, this will likely not have anything to do with a flaw in the Karma’s design. It’s likely no more Fisker’s fault than a blow dryer’s fault for you getting electrocuted while drying your hair in the bathtub. It’s simple: deep water + electronics = “zap” and “boom.” This is multiplied when you add in the corrosive salt in the ocean and the fact that these cars were likely submerged for a long time.
We are more concerned with whether these cars were already sold to customers or if they were just dealership stock. Plus, with the financial eggshells that all startups walk on, we are concerned with how losing this large of a percentage of Karmas produced will affect Fisker’s 2012 and 2013 outlook.
We’ve reached out to Fisker to try to get a better grasp on the situation. We’ll pass any information we get along to you.
Reva was a relatively small Indian electric car manufacturer, which for a long time had an uncertain future. However, the company’s luck did a 180 degree turn after it was bought by Mahindra, one of the biggest Indian car manufacturers.
Mahindra saw a great potential in Reva’s ideas and judging by today’s rising interest in EV’s, there’s no wonder why.
Reva may be a visionary company, but its first electric vehicle was received with skeptical eyes by the public. It’s true that it was the world’s first mass production electric vehicle available on the market, but this doesn’t mean that it was a charming one. It had a dull style, a third class build quality, and a rudimentary interior. Its only advantages were the affordable price and the unmatched efficiency.
Fortunately, Reva is working on a much improved EV which is planned to be launch by the end of 2012. Moreover, Mahindra has even presented a pre-production version of its new Reva NXR which proves us that they’ve made a major step forward in terms of design and technology.
Hit the jump for more information on the Mahindra Reva NXR.
CT&T is an electric car manufacturer based in Korea. The company is mostly known for its electric golf cars and multipurpose utility vehicles, but in 2008 it also launched its first passenger city car, named the e-Zone.
The CT&T e-Zone runs solely on electric power and is built using a rigid aluminum frame combined with a lightweight fiber glass body. The vehicle features a four-wheel independent McPherson suspension system and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes as well as electromagnetic regenerative braking.
The Korean city car is put in motion by a 72-volt AC motor which can be paired with flooded electrolyte lead-acid or lithium-polymer batteries. Because its maximum power is rated at only 25 mph, the CT&T e-Zone was put in the category of neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV).
The company said that its NEV has been successfully crash tested to 30 mph and meets U.S. FMVSS301 as well as European safety standards.
Hit the jump for more information on the CT&T e-City.
T3 Motion made a name for itself making two wheeled mobility devices for security personnel. The company wants to expand its lineup and started work on its first passenger car. Fortunately, it’s not another boring electric city car aimed at housewives. By the contrary, it’s at the opposite side of the spectrum and was designed as a sporty three wheeler which blurs the line between cars and motorcycles.
The T3 Motion R3 prototype was revealed in 2011 and is powered by an AC induction motor fed by a pack of lithium polymer batteries which offer a reasonable range of 100 miles.
The new T3 Motion R3 is marketed as a sport vehicle and has the capacity to transport two people. To protect its occupants against bad weather, the R3 was fitted with a manually removable cloth top.
For the moment, T3 Motion didn’t reveal when the R3 will be launched on the market, but they said that it will be priced between $25.000-$35.000.
Hit the jump for more information on the T3 Motion R3.