Two years ago, we were announcing that Toyota and Tesla Motors had entered an agreement that would net Tesla $60 million to design and manufacture an all-electric powertrain for the RAV4 SUV. Finally, after all of this time we have a debut date set. Unfortunately, it isn’t a showroom debut, but rather a showing of the final product. Toyota has just has unveiled this new Tesla and Toyota collaboration to the U.S. at the International Electric Vehicle Symposium in LA on the May 7th at noon. The new RAV4 EV is powered by a 154 HP electric powertrain and has a driving range rating of approximately 100 miles and charging time of approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger. It comes with two driving modes: Sport and Normal. In Sport version the car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds and will go up to 100 mph, while in Normal mode it will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds with a maximum speed of 85 mph.
Compared to the standard RAV4, the new EV version will get a re-styled the front bumper, upper and lower grill, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and under body design to maximize air flow around the vehicle. The model will be offered in three exterior colors: Blizzard White Pearl, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Classic Silver Metallic combined with a unique "Neutron" fabric for the interior.
UPDATE 05/08/2012: The new Toyota RAV4 EV will go on sale in late Summer 2012 through select dealers at a starting price of $49,800.
Remember when we were all kids and our parents would constantly remind us never to play with anything electric around water? For the most part, we all listened to them, right? We wonder if the same goes for playing with a really big electric toy on top of frozen water – AKA snow and ice.
According to Tesla , the rule definitely does not apply to frozen water, or the company just so happens to be chocked full of bad boys and girls that didn’t listen to their parents. The above video is proof of their frozen water and electricity shenanigans, as the all-new Tesla Model S goes sliding around in the snow and ice, and appears to be having a dang good time in the process.
The video is of the 2013 Tesla S testing in the cold weather, something that has been a thorn in the side of electric cars since their inception. Apparently, the Tesla S not only tested well in the cold weather, but for a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan, it sure did hold onto the track well. We’re interested to see what tires Tesla slapped on this electro-mobile to make it stick the way it did because they definitely aren’t summer tires.
The only time we saw it really break loose was at the 1:15 when it looks to be in a fairly controlled drift. Regardless of its snow handling, we still think the Tesla Model S and its 4.4-second peak 0 – 60 time is pretty awesome. Then again, that $105,400 sticker price will definitely put a small hole in anyone’s wallet.
So we now need to add an asterisk next to the old water and electricity lesson that our parents taught us, so it excludes water in a solid state. No, this doesn’t mean you can mess with your toaster or dry your hair while ice fishing!
Anyways, kick back and enjoy mixing electricity with snow and ice, we certainly did.
The long-awaited revelation of the Tesla Model X has finally arrived. And we gotta admit, the hype and all that wait was definitely worth it.
As the third model of Tesla’s company automotive portfolio, the Model X Crossover carries the same design architecture of the Model S . As expected, the front end of the Model X is similar to the Model S while the sloping roofline exudes an aura of coupe-like aggressiveness and downright awesomeness. We gotta give props to Tesla on the design of the prototype crossover because it looks amazing!
But the biggest talking point of the Model X are the so-called "falcon doors"on the rear, allowing the passengers a rather unique access to the car. These rear doors are complete with a hinge in the middle of the door that allows it to be folded and opened in tighter spaces. Say what again?
Inside, the Model X was designed to carry three rows of seats, providing enough space for - at the most - seven adults while also having ample room to carry some extra luggage. Another unique feature of the Model X is that it has two storage areas - one in the front and another in the back - that was made possible because the crossover doesn’t carry a combustion engine.
Speaking of the engine, Tesla announced that the Model X will carry the same batteries that are currently being used on the Model S, particularly 40-, 60-, 80-kWh battery packs that allow a variety of powertrain options for prospective customers. The expected range for the Model X is expected to be 145 miles for the 40kWh batter pack and up to 275 miles for the much more powerful 80kWh model.
Considering that Tesla waited a while to unveil the Model X, the crossover’s mind-blowing design has made the wait worth every second. Here’s to hoping that the production version remains the same as the prototype!
The long-awaited Tesla Model S is finally itching and itching closer to production as the California-based electric car maker has released the latest batch of photos for their electric sedan.
Looking more or less the same as the concept version, the newly-designed Model S features a restyled front bumper and new rear lights that resemble that of the Jaguar XF . Despite the minimal changes, the "new-look" Model S figures to be as close to what the production version of this model is going to look like.
If and when this model does see the light of the production block, Tesla has announced that the first 1,000 models of the Model S will be given a unique special edition badging - the North American Model S Signature Series - which will come with some added aesthetic treatments, a bevy of optional upgrades, and a powertrain that features the model’s top-of-the-line lithium-ion battery pack with a 300-mile range.
UPDATE 05/07/12: The first model of the Tesla Model S with a customized license plate of "TSLA S1" has finally been delivered to one of the member’s of the company’s board, Steve Jurvetson. Check out the video of the delivery after the jump!
UPDATE 09/17/12: Tesla gave Pikes Peak icon Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima the keys to a Model S so he could give it the shakedown befitting a man that has raced the hill climb far longer than most of us have been alive. Needless to say, Tajima enjoyed it so much he wants one for himself! Check out the video by clicking on the photo above.
It wasn’t that long ago when Tesla was on shaky ground in the industry, but now that they’ve regained their footing, the American automaker has suddenly become a little more aggressive in reworking and expanding their line-up. We already know about the Tesla Model S succeeding the Roadster as the company’s flagship model, but now we’re getting a first look at Tesla’s other new vehicle, the Model X.
The crossover is scheduled to make its debut next month so Tesla decided that now would be a good time to release the very first teaser image of the Model X.
We love a good teaser any time we see one, and this teaser of the Model X is no different. Taking a close look at the image, the Model X appears to bear some design similarities to the Model S, particularly the distinguishable hood lines, the aggressive fascia, and the headlamp configuration.
According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the Model X will make its official world debut on February 9, 2012, which is less than two weeks away. We’ve waited a long time for the Model X to finally come to fruition so you can say that our excitement for it has been building up for a long time.
Tesla is wrapping up their Lotus-based Roadster in 2011 and making way for their new Roadster - completely Tesla from the ground up - in 2014. But before that happens, Tesla will be reeling in the last bit of cash on their current model with one last Final Edition, limited to five models. These units will only be sold on the North American market, but Tesla has promised that similar editions will also be offered for the European and Asian markets, making room for 15 final units in this current model’s future.
The Tesla Roadster Final Edition is finished in a special Sporting Atomic Red paint and then combined with a duo of dark silver stripes on its hood and rear clamshell. The look is finished off with an exclusive set of anthracite aluminum wheels.
However, the exterior changes are the only changes that will be made to the model. Expect to find the same electric motor under the hood; a 3-phase, 4-pole induction motor producing a maximum net power of 248 HP. The car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and can travel more than 200 miles per charge.
The gloom and doom that fans felt when Tesla announced it was ending production of the Roadster electric car will end up being short-lived.
According to reports, Tesla’s flagship model will be returning to our lives in 2014, albeit in a slightly different guise. Unlike the first incarnation of the Roadster, which used a body supplied from Lotus and was limited to only 2,500 units, the new Roadster will be built from the ground up by Tesla themselves. This set-up is similar to the company’s second model, the Model S, which had Tesla’s fingerprints all over it from the very beginning.
No word yet on what the parameters for the 2014 Roadster is going to be but it appears that it would carry a tweaked version of theModel S platform or the "third generation platform" as some folks within the Tesla circle have called it.
Tesla CEO Elan Musk has said that this new ’mass-market’ platform will be the jumping board for all of the company’s cars in the next four to five years and it appears that we already have an answer as to what model will spearhead that transition.
So rest easy, all you "Tes-lovers". It appears that the Roadster’s demise was greatly exaggerated. It’ll only take a hiatus before it returns to our lives in 2014.
Tesla Motors’ portfolio of vehicles is slowly growing, which is welcome news for a company that only a few years ago, was struggling to make a profit. In a recent meeting to discuss the company’s quarterly earnings, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company is preparing to unveil its very first sport utility electric vehicle by the end of this year.
The SUV, which is being touted as the ’Model X’, will share the same powertrain and technology as the other electric cars the company has in its line-up, saving precious time and resources in the development of the SUV along the way.
“The plan is to have an unveiling of the Model X prototype in the mid-December time frame,” Musk said. “So far it’s looking good, I don’t think anything will cause an issue.”
Another factor that expedited the development of the Model X came from the $210 million Tesla was able to raise a few months ago, enough funding to keep the project moving along.
As for the Model X, the vehicle is set to become Tesla’s third electric model following in the reins of the Roadster and the Model S . Full details surrounding the Model X have yet to be revealed, but that hasn’t stopped Tesla from looking at building 15,000 Model X units every year as soon as production begins in 2013.
*Photo features the Tesla Roadster and the Tesla Model S
Not one to back away from the bombardment of complaints they’ve received over the years, the producers of Top Gear have returned fire at Tesla over the latter’s surprising lawsuit against the popular British show.
Tesla is suing Top Gear for libel and malicious falsehood over a review of the Tesla Roadster that happened a little over two years ago. For their part, Top Gear is not one to lay down without a fight, or in this case, a response to Tesla’s claims. So the show’s executive producer, Andy Wilman, went on the offensive and released a letter explaining their side of the story.
It’s not the first time that Top Gear has been in hot water, but there seems to be a certain sense of seriousness with this particular lawsuit and we won’t be surprised if the British show sees this case all the way through the courts, as opposed to their usual routine of witty banter on one of their episodes.
To read about Andy Wilman’s response to Tesla’s claims, proceed after the jump.
For all the fun and hilarity Top Gear has given us for the better part of a decade, the show has also been a lightning rod of controversy as evidenced by the countless number of complaints and law suits the show – and BBC as a network – has received from just about everybody it has ‘offended’ since the show became a worldwide phenomenon.
Apparently, one of the recipient’s of Top Gear’s sometimes brash and swaggering wrath has decided to bite back.
Two years ago, the British show caused quite a stir on one of their shows for their sharp and pointed criticisms of the Tesla Roadster . Understandably so, it didn’t sit well with the folks over at Tesla Motors and after a few back and forth barbs with the British show, the California-based automaker decided to turn the other cheek – with the strong arm of a lawsuit.
According to Tesla, Top Gear’s whole review of the Roadster was predicated on their pre-existing grounds that electric cars don’t work – if you watch the video, you’re going to notice James May tease a future segment later on in the episode, debunking the notion of electric cars being the future of the auto industry – and in turn, giving viewers a distorted image of the Roadster as a completely unreliable and irrelevant car.
Tesla’s VP of Communications, Ricardo Reyes, elaborated on the issue through the company’s blog site. In it, he wrote that “the show’s script, written before the cars were tested, has host Jeremy Clarkson concluding the segment by saying, "in the real world, it doesn’t seem to work."
Top Gear has ruffled a lot of feathers on its show, but Tesla seems to be taking this very seriously. Whether BBC decides to engage in a sartorial volley with the American automaker is totally in their character, but in this instance, it looks like they may have to play nice and put on a serious look before facing an automaker that’s throwing libel charges at them.
Or, they could just avoid all the hoopla and just stop rebroadcasting the episode in question and set the record straight about the car. But knowing Top Gear and BBC, what are the chances of that happening?
Check out the controversial Top Gear segment after the jump.