2012 Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Engine:Lithium-Ion battery pack
Top Speed:130 mph
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.
Details on the Tesla Model S after the jump.
Latest Tesla Model S news and reviews:
First Driving Impression: An Honest Take on the 2018 Tesla Model S
The first time I ever saw the Tesla Model S was sometime in 2012 or 2013 at one of the car shows in Europe. I will guess that it was in Geneva. I left the Tesla stand a bit underwhelmed by its interior, but the performance, the size, and the sheer fact that someone is buying an electric car like that was more than enough to show me its importance. After that, I drove it only once. And not for a long time at that.
Now, finally, I got my third chance with the Tesla Model S at the Continental AG organized event called the #blackchili. In Nice. Yup, the South of France. I know, I am a lucky guy.
This time I had the Tesla Model S for 40 or so miles. Not the P100D, but the one with 373 horsepower. More than enough, believe me. Considering I drove the car for less than 50 miles, it may seem like I don’t have anything to write home about. How can I call this a short test drive then!? Well, I can because I will tell you about the Tesla Model S from the perspective of a guy who drove European cars all his life, and who never really had an EV stint like this.
I Drove 1,780 Horsepower Worth Of Cars In France On Possibly The Best Tires On Earth
Continental AG invited me to spend three days in Nice, France, drive really nice cars, experience its #blackchili driving experience and gorge on vine and fish of all kinds prepared by some of the best chefs around.
I said yes.
This is what I saw, drove and experienced there.
1,780 horsepower worth of cars were parked down the alley of a hotel with a golf course. All of them were white, all of them had OEM Continental tires on them. UUHP tires, mind you. That is short for Ultra Ultra High Performance and all of them had striking, yet subtle Continental decals. Right from the get-go, it was clear this wasn’t going to be a classic journalist driving event. It was more of a celebration and a party. I liked it.
The weather was at nice 78 degrees Fahrenheit, without a single cloud on the perfectly blue sky over the Cote d’Azur. Down at that parking - 10 cars - two Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabrios, two BMW M240i xDrive Convertibles, two Porsche 718 Boxsters, two Tesla Model Ss, and two Audi RS3 Sportbacks.
FYI, the Porsche was the least powerful one there. And when the Porsche is the least powerful at a car event, things are off to a good start.
Tesla Model S Driver Rams Into A Nissan SUV Despite Autopilot’s Warning
This is the latest Autopilot crash; but it wasn’t the system’s fault. A couple, who was too busy engrossed in something else other than focusing on the road, rear-ended a Nissan SUV despite the system warning and chiming its brains out. How can one trust a machine blindly?
Tesla Updates Autopilot with "Mad Max" Mode for Assertive Overtaking
Tesla keeps on improving its Autopilot system and the new version is now able to overtake other cars in traffic with the "Navigate with Autopilot" function. It features a "Mad Max" mode for more assured passes.
Tesla cars have been driving themselves around and about for quite a while now, but passing hasn’t been anywhere near second nature for the American EVs. To initiate an overtake when navigating with the Autopilot system turned on, you had to toggle the turn signals yourself. Now, with version 9 of the system being available, this is no longer the case.
Motherboard Features the Mechanic Reviving Wrecked Teslas: Video
When it comes to bringing a car back from the brink, there are plenty of folks out there to look to as a good example - at least as far as internal combustion is concerned. That said, the ICE is slowly (but surely) giving way to electric power, which begs the question: what happens to the art of the restoration when batteries run the world? This man has the answer. His name is Rich, and he likes to rebuild Teslas.
“Tesla’s stance in rebuilding vehicles is only they should do it,” Rich explains. “I would say I’m the first person to bring a Tesla that’s completely dead to running and driving, almost showroom floor quality, independently, by themselves. At this point, I would consider myself the Dr. Frankenstein of Teslas.”
We certainly think that’s an appropriate title. Rich’s brilliance is in his deep understanding of how America’s most popular all-electric car works. Not only does he source all his own parts, but he singlehandedly wrenches them into shape. The end result is nothing less than amazing.
Rich shares his work on his YouTube channel Rich Rebuilds, posting video topics that include how-to’s, upgrades, tear downs, and a whole lot more. We love his DIY attitude, not to mention the fact he’s pretty much the only mechanic out there that we know of who’s going this deep on Teslas.
“If you own something, if you purchase something free and clear, then you should be able to fix it yourself,” Rich says.
Amen to that.
Thanks to the magic of over-the-air updates, Tesla has once again stepped up to the plate and delivered extra range, as well as free supercharging, to its customers in the path of Hurricane Florence. This move mirrors the same move the company made just last year for Florida residents right before Hurricane Irma made landfall. This special update has left Carolina-based customers with the following surprise message:
“We are temporarily enabling your car to access additional battery capacity, as well as free Supercharging, in preparation for Hurrican Florence. We hope this gives you the peace of mind to get to a safe location and will notify you before returning your car to its original configuration in mid-October. Badging on your display may adjust during this period. Safe travels.”
This temporary OTA update only affects those that previously purchased a Tesla Model S or Model X with a 75 kWh battery that was “software locked” to a capacity of 60 kWh. The option at the time made the car more affordable at the cost of a shorter range. It has, however, proven as-as a way that Tesla can offer some of its customers an unexpected and very much appreciated act of faith they need the extra go-juice the most. There’s no word as to when Tesla will return the cars to their original configuration or begin charging for Supercharging in the area again, but changes are the temporary update will remain in effect until long after the storm has passed.
Kudos to Tesla – it’s always nice to see an automaker help out its customers when it can. It costs the company next to nothing but can mean so much to those who have a desperate need for a few extra miles of range when getting out of mother nature’s way.
Check Out This Audi S5 With Tesla Model S Power
Audi still doesn’t have an electric car — the R8 e-Tron doesn’t count — on the market, but that hasn’t stopped the aftermarket world from beating the German automaker to the punch. The Audi in question here is the S5, but it’s not really a factory unit, anymore. That’s because this S5 is now powered by the electric powertrain of a Tesla Model S donor car. This Audi S5 is now an electric car after undergoing a full EV conversion at the hands of noted New Jersey-based EV tuner, POLYKUP.
Sending Your Tesla Model S Airborne is Probably Not The Best Idea in The World
A 46-year-old man from Ontario, Canada was charged with dangerous driving after sending his 2016 Tesla Model S airborne as a result of driving too fast for his own good. Local CCTV footage, as well as dashcam videos, captured the Model S doing its best Fast and the Furious impersonation, traveling through the air for almost 100 feet before gravity took hold of it and sent it back down to earth. The Model S may have stuck its landing, but the driver was unable to regain control of the car, which managed to skid across a highway, hopped a curb, careened into a school parking lot, and hit a tree.
2022 Tesla Model S
The Model S is far and away Tesla’s most popular vehicle, known for singlehandedly shifting public opinion of EVs from dowdy, boring people-movers, to sexy, high-tech performance machines. This is the model that set the stage for all of Tesla’s other offerings, including the top-shelf Model X SUV, and more recently, the affordable Model 3 compact four-door. However, the Model S was first introduced in 2012, which means it’s starting to get a little long in the tooth, and a second-gen for the full-/mid-size luxury sedan should be headed down the line in the next few years. As such, we put on our speculation hats and got down to reasoning out what the next Model S might bring to the table.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2022 Tesla Model S.
Next-Gen Tesla Model S Rendering has us Hopeful for the Future!
The Tesla Model S has been around since 2012, and while it’s still a few years away from getting a full redesign, a rendering of a next-gen Model S is already making rounds on the Internet. It looks exactly like what we hope the next-gen Model S looks like. Designed by Emre Husmen, the new Model S rendering is far more aggressive and dynamic than the current model that’s on the market today. More importantly, it doesn’t deviate too far away from the current Model S to the point that it becomes unrecognizable. It’s still the Tesla Model S, albeit rendered to look sharper and edgier than what we have now. In other words, it looks fantastic.
Tesla Built 7,000 Cars in Seven Days, Including 5,000 Model 3s
It took longer than most people, including Tesla, expected, but finally, it appears that the electric car maker has finally achieved its goal of building 5,000 Model 3 units in a span of seven days. It took 24-hours, 7-days-a-week schedules to do it, but the company reported earlier this week that it had concluded its three-month build period that ended Saturday by building 53,339 vehicles, including 28,578 Model 3 sedans.
GM Offers West Wing Actress, Mary McCormack a Chevy Bolt and Twitter Goes Crazy
By now, you know about the Model S that caught fire the other day while sitting in traffic.It was owned by the husband of West Wing Actress Mary McCormack. Well, GM decided to try and burn Tesla a little more, with GM Spokesperson Ray Wert, disclosing that GM had offered to loan Mark McCormack a Chevy Bolt EV so “she has a more dependable electric vehicle to drive.” Well, there are GM haters out there everywhere, and the tables quickly turned with Wert and GM feeling an even worse burn.
West Wing Actress Not Happy With Tesla After her Husband’s Model S Catches on Fire
The Husband of a “West Wing” actress Mary McCormack was sitting in traffic when his Tesla Model S suddenly begin to spew fire from underneath the driver’s side. He was flagged by another driver and pulled over, avoiding any injury, but the actress has decided to play the drama card and send a little heat Tesla’s way.
Tesla Model S to finally face a worthy contender?
Tesla took the EV world by storm when they launched the Roadster in 2008. Before any car manufacturer could understand what struck them, Tesla went on to create a name for itself as the King of the Electric Vehicles segment. The Roadster was followed by the Model S, a luxury sedan which went on to become the world’s best-selling electric car in 2015 and 2016, and further cemented Tesla’s dominance. If to be seen, there was no threat to the Model S as the other ’good-selling’ EV’s were the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 - both hatchbacks with subpar range. However, it looks like the Model S might finally face some fierce competition from another luxury automaker. Read on to find out who that is:
Tesla is Slowing Its Deliveries in Norway Because of Incompetent Truck Drivers
Norway may be home to the biggest volume of Tesla owners in the world, but if you ask the automaker, it might also be home to the world’s largest number of dangerous truck drivers. That’s largely the reason why Tesla is slowing down deliveries in its biggest market per capita because, according to reports, the company has had serious issues delivering its vehicles because the trucks that are being used to deliver the cars to their dealerships are either incapable of doing so or have negligent drivers behind the wheel.
Pops’ Rants: All This Hype about Tesla Outselling German Luxury Cars in Europe Is Misleading
Tesla has been offering mass-production electric cars for six years now, and it’s safe to say that Elon Musk’s company is doing great. Sure, the Model X came a bit late and Tesla is still struggling to put the Model 3 on the assembly line, but the carmaker’s EVs are becoming increasingly popular, especially in Europe.
Norway continues to be Tesla’s second largest market after the U.S., where the Model S actually climbed atop the all-popular Volkswagen Golf. More recently, the Model S also began outselling German luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series in Europe for the very first time. It’s a big deal, and I can understand why most outlets are going crazy about it, but all this talk about Tesla ripping the Germans to shreds is misleading.
For starters, this has happened before in the U.S. I know, the U.S. is Tesla’s home turf, and it’s easier to sell cars here rather than export them to Europe, but it’s a valid precedent. Second, and what everyone seems to be missing, the Model S is not a competitor for the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and Audi A8. It’s actually more the size of theE-Class, 5 Series, and Audi A6, something Elon Musk himself stressed a while back. Here’s why this is important.
Continue reading for the full story.
Believe it or Not, the Tesla Model S is Outselling German Flagships in Europe!
In a surprising turn of events that not a lot of people saw coming this quickly, the Tesla Model S has shaken up the establishment after outselling some of its German rivals in Europe in 2017. The sudden twist comes as a surprise to a lot of people, even to those who have been bullish on the Model S’ ability to compete against models like the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes S-Class, and Audi A8. It’s one thing to outsell these luxury sedans in the U.S. because that’s already happening. But over in Europe, where these German titans are supposed to hold court? Big difference.
Tesla Woes: Model S and X Orders Delayed Again, This time Due to "Backlog"
The Tesla Model 3 might be sealing headlines these days, but the Model S sedan and Model X SUV are still as popular as ever. That seems to be causing issues with Tesla’s order books and production process.
Tesla announced this week that both The Model S and X are backlogged and new orders will take between four and five months to fulfill. That’s a huge increase over the standard one-month wait time Tesla customers have recently grown accustomed to.
These wait time are apparently only for U.S. customers, however. Tesla’s California assembly plant is responsible for producing the world’s supply of Model S, X, and 3s. One theory proposed by electrek.com suggests Tesla is taking this time fulfill a backlog of orders from its global markets.
On the flip side, Tesla says current Tesla owners inside the U.S. can expect to receive their pre-ordered Model 3 within three weeks, skipping the long line of Model 3 pre-orders from would-be first-time Tesla owners.
However, things get worse when considering the U.S. government’s sun-setting of the $7,500 tax credit on EV vehicles slated for the next few months. That translates into the loss of Uncle Sam’s $7,500 tax rebate credit and a $7,500 more expensive EV.
While that might not be a big deal to those shelling out $100,000 for a loaded Model S or X, $7,500 is a decent percentage of the Model 3’s $35,000 starting price.
Does a Convertible Tesla Model S Sound Enticing?
Don’t look now, but Ares Design might remain relevant in the ever-changing news cycle in the coming months. The Italian coachbuilder made headlines last week when it announced plans to develop a modern-day version of the Ferrari 412. Now it’s back in our feed with what looks to be another project in the fold, this time for the Tesla Model S. If you’ve been pining to see a convertible version of the Model S, you can stop begging Tesla to do one. Ares will do it for you.
Tesla-Based Racing Series Gets FIA Approval
The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, otherwise known as the FIA, just gave the all-Tesla Electric GT World Series racing series its blessing following passing marks from the series’ cars in recent crash testing. Approval from the FIA, the same organization that keeps Formula 1 in check, gives the upcoming racing championship some serious clout, and moves it that much closer to becoming a reality.
Continue reading for the full story.
You Can Rent A Tesla In Minneapolis For Super Bowl Week
Normally, if you wanna drive around in a new Tesla for a little while, you gotta have a trusting friend with one already parked in his or her driveway. Now, one rental company in Minnesota is offering folks a shot at experiencing a Tesla first-hand by renting them out during Super Bowl week.
Continue reading for the full story.
Tesla Model S, Apparently On ’Autopilot,’ Crashes Into Culver City Fire Truck At High Speed
One unlucky driver down in Southern California found the limits of their Tesla’s Autopilot system this week when it rear-ended a stationary fire truck on the freeway. The incident was documented on social media in a post by the Culver City Firefighter’s Twitter account: “While working a freeway accident this morning, Engine 42 was struck by a Tesla traveling at 65 mph. The driver reports the vehicle was on autopilot,” the post reads. “Amazingly, there were no injuries! Please stay alert while driving!”
Lucky indeed. The fire truck’s rear end is a bit out of shape, but nothing major by the look of it – just a few broken taillights and a slight bend to the rear platform. The Tesla, however, looks like it’s toast, with the entire front end bunched up in a twist of metal and broken parts. We’re also a little incredulous about the whole “65 mph” claim, as something tells us the automatic braking brought the speed down substantially. Either way, kudos to Tesla for making such a safe car. Without that huge crumple zone up front, who knows what would have happened to the driver.
This is just the latest in a series of auto accidents involving the Tesla Autopilot system. We don’t know for sure if the driver is outright blaming the technology for the crash, but either way, it certainly seems like an easy way to absolve yourself of responsibility.
Of course, Tesla is quick to point out that running Autopilot doesn’t mean relinquishing control of the car. Although it does have the potential to one day reach full autonomy status, Autopilot is basically just glorified cruise control at this point. Drivers must still remain in control of their vehicle at all times. That said, the convenience and power of Autopilot seems to be leading to distracted driving and misconceptions about the system’s intended use.
Survey: Ford Mustang, Tesla Top List Of Most Desirable Cars of Average Americans
A recent survey conducted by marketing agency Digital Third Coast and automotive products company Golden Eagle revealed the average car tastes of most Americans. The survey had some predictable results, most notably the Ford Mustang staking claim as the often-stated “dream car” among most Americans. Surprisingly, though, Tesla came in second, followed by a Jeep, a Corvette, and a Camaro.
The sample size of the survey is small - only 2,000 Americans participated - relative to the study’s topic, but it did paint a seemingly accurate picture of the car tastes of most Americans. It’s not surprising that baby boomers still long to own a Chevrolet Corvette while Gen-Xer’s are still captivated by the mystique of the Chevrolet Camaro. For their part, millennials identified Tesla as their dream cars, an understandable answer considering that they’re literally coming into adulthood at the same time as Tesla is coming into its own as a legitimate automaker.
The survey also revealed that Tesla has a foothold in the Northwest, Southwest, and Pacific as the dream car among Americans living in those regions. The Mustang is well-represented by folks in the Midwest and Southeast while those living in the Mountain regions surprisingly identified the Range Rover over any kind of Jeep as their dream cars.
Tesla continues to pop up at various times in the survey, but there is a good bit of irony in the revelation that most people who identified themselves as “not knowledgeable” about cars chose the electric car maker as their dream car. It’s likely that they identify Teslas, whether it’s the Model S, Model X, or Model 3, as the cars of the future, in large part because of the company’s status as a pioneer in electrification and autonomous driving technology. These people are less captivated by the mechanical and technical intricacies of a car as they are about the possibility of going to work while the car drives them there autonomously.
On the flip side, those who identified themselves as “car experts” chose the Mustang as their dream car. Hardly a surprise there, either.
New Year’s Special: Best Vehicle for Party Hopping
Traditionally, New Year’s is about spending time with family and friends. It’s about social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks at midnight. But some people spend the night traveling from house to house to attend more than just one party. It’s called party hopping, and it can be a great deal of fun if you’re not into spending the entire night indoors. But while spending time with family and friends indoors doesn’t require much planning beyond shopping and cooking, spending New Year’s Eve the party hopping way requires a car. And, a large one I may add because people are usually doing this in larger groups.
Yes, that’s what this New Year’s special is all about: the perfect car to spend New Year’s Eve on the go.
Spending the entire evening on the road with friends means you need a vehicle with plenty of seating. Luggage room shouldn’t be an issue since there’s not much to haul around, but I’m ruling out sports cars and vehicle that can’t provide seating for at least five people. The more, the merrier seems to be the essential rule of party hopping, so don’t look for McLarens and Ferraris on this list. Now let’s have a closer look at the options below.
Continue reading for the full story.
Elon Musk Delivers Easter Eggs for Christmas with Latest Tesla Software Update
A new OTA update rolled out to Tesla Vehicles in the days before Christmas, and wouldn’t you know it – there was a hidden Easter Egg built into the update. Last year, we had the synchronized light show on the Model X, but Musk went a little more complicated this year and replaced the Model S on the main display with an image of Santa and his sleigh. It went even a step further with cars shown on either side being replaced by reindeer and the turn signals being replaced by Jingle Bells. If you haven’t accessed Santa Mode on your Tesla yet, it’s not that hard. Just access the slider or say “Ho Ho Ho” through voice command and you’ll see the fat man himself pop up and prepare to guide you through traffic.. or uh… reindeer that is. Check out Elon’s tweet, a couple of images, and a video showing it all down below.
British Shop Creates First Tesla Model S Shooting Brake
For a company that was founded less than 15 years ago, Tesla is definitely doing great things for the auto industry. Its cars are the quickest and most powerful mass-produced EVs you can buy, their range is also segment-leading, while the Supercharger network makes owning and driving one a lot easier. On the flipside, Tesla current lineup is very limited, as it includes only two sedans and an SUV. A two-door sports car and a semi truck are underway, but Elon Musk’s company doesn’t have plans for more utilitarian body styles, such as a station wagon and a pickup truck. But if your dream is to own a Model S with a bigger trunk, the folks over at Qwest Norfolk will get you covered.
Tesla Could Limit Use of Superchargers for Commercial Use
Tesla is laying down the law on all new vehicles it sells that will be used for commercial purposes. The California-based electric car maker has revealed that these vehicles will be restricted from using its Supercharger network to avoid abusive use by owners. The company has already updated its legal page to reflect this change in policy, but with commercial operators of Tesla vehicles still using these Superchargers for a whole range of other purposes, the automaker could take “additional action” to protect the availability of the Superchargers.
We’re Just Going to Call China Home of the EV
Everyone knows that Tesla calls California home – and why shouldn’t it, it’s the hardest state in the country and home to, arguably, the hardest emissions regulations on the planet. It’s the perfect home for a company that hopes to eventually kill off the ICE to make way for an entire world of all-electric cars that silently zoom from city to city without nothing more than a destination mentioned by its human owner. One would think that the home of an automaker like Tesla would also be the place that sees the biggest push for the infrastructure required to keep those EVs going down the road, right? Well, with the announcement of the two new, 4-stall Supercharger stations in California (which would be the biggest in the world) we thought that was true. Until now, that is.
See, our friends over at Electrek have managed to procure a number of photos from an underground construction site in Shangai that promises 50 stalls (10 more the current record holder.) If that system happens to suck in as much power as the other systems around the world, the power output could surpass 3 megawatts of power. After all, it takes a lot of power to charge 50 Teslas at once. And, while this is pretty big news, it’s really not that exciting. After all, China has always been a major part of Tesla’s plan to have more than 10,000 Supercharges in service globally. And, China sales in 2016 managed to topple more than $1 billion and the first quarter of 2017 was a massive carryover in performance.
Eventually, Tesla will establish its own manufacturing front somewhere in China, which should help to push EV sales in the market even further than before. For a country so infatuated with the EV all of this is really good news. But, will 50 more Superchargers, or the 1,000 Tesla hopes to have in place by the turn of the year be enough to meet the current charger demand in the country or does 2018 need to be an even bigger year? Let us know in the comments section below.
Porsche CEO Makes a Classic Mistake that Could Cost the Brand Dearly
So, when it comes to long-range electric cars, Elon Musk is the pretty much the godfather, the don mega, and the man that pretty much made it happen with models like the Tesla Roadster, and even more so with the Tesla Model S. Fast forward to today and there’s now the Tesla Model X and the Tesla Model 3, with a Semi truck on the way and a smaller SUV that will mirror the Model 3 in pricing. Despite Tesla’s slow but continuous move to become an automaker for the masses (and it has come a long way) it’s still not able to keep up with the big boys quite yet – profits are still virtually non-existent and it takes an excessive amount of time to cut down the initial waiting list for new cars. But, in time, Tesla could be just as busy and successful as any of the big boys, including Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, Audi, BMW, and yes, even Porsche. As electric cars become more standard around the world, the effect will increase drastically until Tesla is practically a household name (not that it isn’t in mine already)
Now that the big boys are all about to step into Elon’s self-made niche, it’s time to start thinking about automakers that should be worried a brand like Tesla that already has an insanely massive cult following and is getting more affordable as time goes on. All of the major brands are about 30 seconds away from unleashing a serious EV offensive. Meanwhile, Porsche is over here, about to knock some heads with the Porsche Mission E and about to make a huge, huge mistake. CEO, Oliver Blume – the man that replaced Matthias Muller and was once Porsche’s head of production – doesn’t think that Tesla is a competitor.
Talking to The Financial Times in a recent interview, he even went so far as to say that the production version of the Mission E, which is due for production by 2019, “is not a Tesla fighter.” He went on to say that “it’s not so important what Tesla does. Porsche is going to follow its own way.” He chalks off his lack of concern for the brand that practically dispatched range anxiety for the masses by assuming that he doesn’t have to worry about it because Porsche’s main concern is making profit. OF course, we all know that he’s at least partially right, as Tesla doesn’t really know what profit is in the grand scheme of things, but just because the brand operates as more of a tech startup than a true-to-life, mass-production automaker doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be concerned.
Keep reading for the rest of the story
Dubai Takes Delivery Of Tesla Model S And Model X Taxis
Just in case Dubai’s propensity for excess isn’t clear enough already, the Middle Eastern country is doing a bang-up job of living up to that reputation. No, nobody bought a new one-off supercar. Affluent folks from that area have more than enough of those cars in their garages as it is. There is a purchase to report though, and it comes by way of Dubai’s main taxi company, the Dubai Taxi Corporation, which has taken delivery of 50 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles, all of which are set to be used as part of a massive autonomous taxi fleet in the future.
Yes, whereas I’m stuck with Toyota Corolla taxis from where I’m from, Dubai has Model S and Model X taxis that are waiting to be served up to the public. All in all, 200 Model S and Model X units are headed to the oil-rich nation where they will arrive in batches – 50 this year, 75 in 2018, and 75 in 2019. All 200 models are expected to spearhead the government’s plan to turn the country into a leader in the self-driving taxi space, a goal that’s becoming more and more within reach considering how aggressively the country’s leaders are pushing for it.
Continue after the jump to read the full story
Tesla Is Discontinuing the Cheapest Model S Version
Introduced in 2012, the Tesla Model S range has been subject to many changes in five years. Besides a mid-cycle update, Tesla discontinued the smaller battery options and introduced more powerful versions of its all-electric sedan. With the 40-, 60-, and 70-kWh batteries long gone, Tesla is now phasing out the rear-wheel-drive variant of the 75-kWh model. Currently the most affordable Model S you can buy, the RWD 75-kWh sedan will be removed from the company’s online design studio on September 24. So if you’re planning to buy one, you’d better hurry and place an order before it gets the axe.
Without the Model S 75 on offer, the base price of the all-electric sedan will now increase from $84,300 to the $89,300 sticker of the 75D, which shares specs with the 75, but has a second electric motor, which makes it all-wheel drive. These prices do not include the federal tax credit and Tesla’s estimated gas savings over five years. With the federal rebate included, the 75D can cost as low as $70,000. Starting Sunday, the model S range will include only three models. Besides the 75D, customers will have access to the 100-kWh model, and the range-topping, performance-oriented P100D version. This also means that all Model S sedans will be all-wheel-drive starting next week.
Continue reading for the full story.
Tesla Comes Through for its Customers as they Scramble to get out of Harm’s Way
Now, there’s no denying that after Hurricane Harvey kicked the hell out of Texas, it was a ridiculous for Mother Nature to rape all of Florida too, but sure enough, it happened anyway. Originally deemed the most powerful storm ever recorded, Irma was larger than the state of Florida itself and has left a path of destruction as it made its way from the Atlantic toward the sunshine state. It decimated a few smaller islands and kicked Cuba’s ass a bit too before crossing directly over the Florida Keys and wrecking the West coast of the Florida peninsula. As Irma made its deadly approach toward the land of oranges, evacuation orders were issued and panic set in – not so much so that looters didn’t take their chances, of course, but we’ll leave that story for another time. In the end, the last few days before Irma made landfall in Florida were chaotic, to say the least.
Air traffic was a nightmare, leaving us to question how air traffic control even managed to prevent disaster, and the highways were jammed up like Satan himself was birthing from the bowels of the earth. Gas prices skyrocketed, and so did the price of bottled water as everyone tried to take advantage of the situation, claiming supply and demand as the reasoning for price gouging. Meanwhile, Tesla took a different approach and helped out its customers as they struggled to evacuate.
So, while some local businesses showed their ugly side by hiking prices like the apocalypse was coming, Tesla decided it would remove the range limiter on its lesser Model S and Model X vehicles in Florida, effectively giving owners an extra 30 to 40 miles, according to Electrek. And, it was all thanks to one owner who reached out to Tesla saying he needed just an extra 30 miles to get out of his mandatory evacuation zone. So, once Tesla heard from this customer, it decided that other Tesla owners might need the same, and temporarily unlocked the extra range via an over-the-air update. The update was effective on all 60D models of the Model S and X, which were sold with 75 kWh batteries that were limited with the option to unlock their full potential at a later time – something that would cost owners between $4,500 and $9,000 depending on the vehicle and time of the update. Keep in mind that this isn’t a permanent upgrade, and it will expire, but it certainly served an important purpose and has proven that not all automakers are greedy and self-absorbed. Keep reading to learn more.
Jennings Motor Group Renders 10 Everyday Family Cars As Supercars
From wide body kits to free flowing exhaust kits, carbon fiber interior vinyl wraps to oversized rear wings, there’s no shortage of aftermarket options when it comes to making the family errand-runner as close as possible to looking like a full-fledged supercar. But what if we could snap our fingers and turn that commonplace commuter into a seven-figure eater of worlds capable of hanging with the best from Ferrari, Porsche, and Koenigsegg? That’s exactly what Jennings Motor Group did with these 10 everyday family cars, now rendered to supercar stardom.
Included in the list are favorites from the likes of Mini, Renault, Fiat, Honda, Volkswagen, Toyota, Smart, Kia, Tesla, and Lada, each of which was blessed with the traditional supercar stance and more sharp ends than a needle factory. Some make a little more sense than the others, but regardless, we think the renderings look badass, and wouldn’t mind if the respective automakers took the hint that more supercars are indeed always welcome. Of course, we want to know – do these renderings for it for you as well? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments, but before you post, check out all 10 renderings after the jump.
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We Need More EV Performance Cars
In case you missed it, BMW just released details on the updated 2018 i3, and the big headline isn’t the tweaked exterior styling or new interior color schemes. For any reader of this website, the most important part of the refresh is the addition of the i3s, a slightly sportier iteration of the all-electric eco-box bearing a little more power (up 184 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque compared to the regular i3’s 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque) as well as a lowered, stiffer suspension, and more aesthetic aggression. While not exactly a game changer, it’s a good sign of things to come. You see, the world needs more EV performance, and even the greenest of EV revolutionaries should be pushing for more battery-powered speed machines.
“Why’s that?” you might ask. “I thought it was all about efficiency and hypermiling and responsible commuting with that crowd.” While all these things are indeed important in the EV community, a focus on speed brings with it all kinds of benefits. For starters, faster EVs naturally lead to further battery development. If you’re constantly on the go pedal, you’re gonna be draining the battery mighty quick, which means there’s further incentive to stuff more range into every pack. This is doubly so in something like an EV racing series, which is a natural progression when you’ve got tons of popular performance cars out on the road. Indeed, it’s something we’re already seeing with the Tesla Model S, which has thus far challenged the gas-burning competition at the drag strip and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and even gained its own racing series with Electric GT. The point is this – racing is good for the breed, no matter the end goal.
Furthermore, new EV performance cars also help to expand the segment, drawing in new customers and challenging preconceptions of what an EV “should” be. Just look at what Tesla did with the Model S. Now there’s proof EV’s can be quick, sexy, and luxurious, and additional performance EV’s would bring in even more of the traditional gearhead audience.
As they say, winning is winning, even if it’s by way of electrons rather than dino juice. We need more EV performance cars.
Refer your Homies to Tesla, and You Might Get to Drive Godot, Elon Musk’s Prized Tunnel Digger
If you’ve been paying attention for the last few years, you know Elon Musk has a funny way of driving sales, generating money, and enticing customers. When it comes to money, the man might as well have a key to Fort Knox, and with Tesla’s referral program, he’s coming up with ways that really make you want to push your friends to jump on the EV bandwagon. As reported by Teslarati, Tesla’s newest incentive, which is currently called “Secret Level Two,” allows members of the referral program to give five more of your friends unlimited supercharging and $1,000 off of a new Model X or Model S. But, that’s not all, if all five of those people take delivery, you’ll get the chance to drive Godot and will get unlimited bragging rights to remind all of your friends that you got to take part in digging holes under cities like Los Angeles – where Musk just recently received official approval to start his mass transit tunnel.
So, get enough people to spend some $80,000 on a Tesla, and you could take place in a piece of history should Musk’s tunneling system really work out. Who knows, maybe he’ll even be nice enough to let you engrave your initials inside one of the tunnels or sign your name on Godot somewhere for the world to see. Right now, however, Godot is at rest, hibernating some 15 feet below the surface of Tesla’s parking lot in Hawthorne, California – the site of Musk’s test hole and what undoubtedly led to him getting the interest of some city officials in making his transit system a reality. Musk has even been quoted by other publications as saying “I’ve been down there on the machine and it’s mind-blowing.” Hard to believe for a machine that quite literally craws through the earth like a big earth worm, but how often do you get to take part in digging a tunnel with a beast of a machine like Godot? Check out the “Secret Level 2” alerts below and learn a little more about The Boring Company.
TopSpeed’s Top 5 Street Cars With Ridiculous Spec Sheets
We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but things have been getting a little out of hand lately. In the never-ending quest to one-up the competition, automakers have unleashed some truly astounding machines upon the world, each packed to the brim with jaw-dropping stats. The numbers these things bring to the table are simply ridiculous – outrageous power, mind-warping speed, and otherworldly performance potential. Any one of these rides will permanently alter your perception of what it means to go fast, even if all you do is digest the numbers. As such, we’ve listed here our top five favorite street cars with simply ridiculous spec sheets.
Obviously, super cars make up the majority of the entries, but we’ve also got the king of the muscle cars and even an all-electric icon on the list as well. Each entry is fully capable of melting face in its own special way, and each serves as a reminder that we are indeed living in a special time. Enthusiasts, say hello to the ultimate bench racers, the four-wheeled monsters bringing the hottest of the heat. Which would you have? Let us know in the comments section below, or post up your pick for the car with the most ridiculous spec sheet.
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TopSpeed’s Top 5 All-Electric Performance Cars
Last week, we took a look at our top picks for the best five hybrid sports, listing off some truly awe-inspiring gas/electric combos that proved hybridization wasn’t something to be feared by the common auto enthusiast. But while adding a big battery pack and a few electric motors might seem like a pretty sizable modification to the traditional sports car formula, there’s an even-greater change lurking just over the horizon – the pure-electric powertrain. That’s right, gasoline need not apply in this crowd, and yet, the speed potential is still enough to melt your face. This is our list of the top five all-electric performance cars.
There are plenty of benefits that electric power offers over internal combustion, especially when it comes to the business of going fast. For starters, the torque curve for an electric motor is totally flat, with maximum twist created the instant you touch the long pedal to the right. There’s also zero power loss at high altitude, a characteristic that’s particularly useful at hill climb events like Pikes Peak. What’s more, with enough motors and a little electronic wizardry, you can get away with some pretty kick ass torque vectoring dynamics. Of course, it’s not all roses – for example, the all-electric appliance noise will never beat the sound of exploding dino juice. Regardless, all-electric performance is still quite impressive. Here are five examples that prove it.
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Motor Trend Pits Tesla Model S P100D Against Audi RS7 Performance: Video
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – we’re living in some very interesting times. As battery and electric motor technology continue to improve, the internal combustion status quo is feeling the heat. Whether its setting records at the Nurburgring or challenging for the win at Pikes Peak, the all-electric performance revolution is undoubtedly here. And that battle extends well beyond the racetrack – the Tesla Model S is now setting the benchmark when it comes to street-ready luxury sedan performance, leaving the dino-juice-drinking competition to answer the call. And to see exactly how far the Ludicrous+ mobile has come, Motor Trend decided to pit it against the Audi RS7, a ‘Bahn-burning AWD monster from Germany. It’s an electric charge against an entrenched ICE line in a battle for four-door supremacy. Who will come out on top?
The battery of tests includes a stint on the streets of L.A., an exterior walkaround, a cargo capacity test, a highway cruise, and a drag race. I won’t spoil which car comes out on top, but will say it’s worth a watch.
Should Tesla Have to Pony Up for Driver Error?
It’s no secret that Tesla has been the target of plenty of lawsuits over the last year or two. In fact, it seems that just about anyone who crashes their Model S or Model X wants to blame Tesla. Musk was smart, however, and has equipped each of Tesla’s vehicles with a data recorder, which has proven invaluable in protecting the company from people that seem to forget how to drive. Usually, it’s someone saying autopilot screwed up, but there are others that claim their vehicle accelerated all on its own. This guy from California, however, really takes the cake. Last year, this cat (Son Ji-chang) drove his car through his garage and firmly lodged it right into his living room. He immediately pointed the finger at Tesla and initiated yet another lawsuit – one that’s attempting to evolve into class-action status. He even used his wealth to launch a media campaign to slander Tesla a bit. His claim?
“The vehicle spontaneously began to accelerate at full power, jerking forward and crashing through the interior wall of the garage, destroying several wooden support beams in the wall and a steel sewer pipe, among other things, and coming to rest in (his) living room.”
Well, the suit also names several other complaints that have been reported to the NHTSA, a good number of which point to driver error. In other words, the driver hit the accelerator, and the car did what it was supposed to do; Go. And, in this specific case, a third-party even reviewed the logs from one of these alleged rogue cars and determined the same thing, so it’s not necessarily just Tesla trying to flip things around. Well, the people behind the most recent suit have changed their approach, and instead of saying Tesla is responsible for this unintended acceleration, they say that Tesla is responsible for not preventing this unintended acceleration. Basically, they say the car should know that the driver accidentally hit the gas pedal and ignore that input…
Keep reading for the rest of the story
Tesla 8.1 Software Update Includes "Turtle Mode" for Drag Racing
Tesla just rolled out the new 8.1 software, which includes updates to Autopilot that supports version 2.0 of the driver assistance system. The upgrade essentially brings newer Model S and Model X vehicles up to date with the first-generation software by increasing the speed limit for Autosteer, among other features. Autospeed speed limit increases from 55 to 80 mph, the Summon feature lets owners call their vehicles from parking spaces without anyone behind the wheel, while the lane change feature allows drivers to have the car initiate a lane change while in Autosteer mode by using the turn signal. Finally, the software update reportedly adds a feature called "Turtle Mode."
According to sources inside Tesla that requested they remain anonymous, this mode was designed specifically for the drag strip, where the Model S has been making quite a few headlines in recent months by defeating some of the most powerful gasoline-fueled vehicles. But, unlike other race-specific modes that change the car’s settings for increased performance, this one is actually a feature that enables the Model S to win races effortlessly. Specifically, instead of the driver needing to launch as soon as the lights go green, the car launches by itself automatically. Not only that, but it also activates the throttle just in time to win the race at the very last second. Basically the Model S can leave the line later than its competitor, but still cross the finish line in first place.
Sounds a bit sci-fi right? Well, it’s Tesla and Elon Musk we’re talking about here!
The Tesla insider wasn’t very keen to provide specific details, but did say that the racing app is able to calculate how fast the other car is going by adding the make, model and year in the Model S’ computer. In the situation in which the opposition drives a modded vehicle, the system can reportedly monitor acceleration and speed and automatically compensate with throttle modulation. By doing so, the app keeps the Model S on the starting line at the beginning and launches just in time to put the car’s aerodynamic nose just ahead enough to win. Thus it eliminates the need to leave early, which makes drag racing less stressful for the driver.
The silly "Turtle Mode" name is beginning to make more sense now, right? If you still don’t get it, it means you didn’t watching too much Bugs Bunny as a kid and you definitely don’t know who Cecil Turtle is. Just google "Tortoise beats hare"...
The app that makes drag racing effortless — just like almost everything else in a Tesla — only works for quarter-mile tracks. Because it’s still a beta version, the feature can’t be used on longer drag strips, but this should change by the end of the year. "Turtle Mode" is also a hidden feature that requires a specific set of inputs to find, just like "Ludicrous Mode." Needless to say, this "Turtle" feature sounds pretty ludicrous for a car that wasn’t designed for racing, but it’s probably Tesla’s way of making fun of all those high-revving, gasoline-powered sports cars at the drag strip.
Elon Musk sure seems to have a lot of free time on his hands, but hey, I’ll take anything that would make a Challenger SRT Hellcat driver burst in tears at the end of the quarter-mile run. Hopefully the Model S will be as efficient against the Challenger SRT Demon too.
Tesla Driver Damages His Own Model S To Save Stranger’s Life
Sometimes, heroism comes in the strangest of circumstances, and people who don’t consider themselves built in the mold of a Superman find themselves acting like one. Case in point: the 41-year old driver of a Tesla Model S who is hailed as a hero for intentionally causing damage to his pricey electric sedan, all in the name of saving the life of a total stranger.
According to German news outlet Muncher Merkur, the driver, named Manfred Kick, was on the German Autobahn when he chanced upon a Volkswagen Passat that was being driven erratically by its driver. The Passat even slammed into the guardrail a number of times. Curious to see what was going on, Kick pulled up alongside the Volkswagen only to notice that its driver was unconsciousness. From there, Kick sprung to action, accelerating his Model S and pulling in front of the Passat before slowly braking his car, making sure that the Passat could rest up against the rear bumper of his Model S until both cars came to a stop.
From there, Kick rushed to the Passat, climbed through the passenger door, and proceeded to give him first aid. It was then that another party hurried to the scene and called for emergency help. Once the fire department arrived on the scene, it determined that the unnamed driver of the Passat could have suffered a stroke while driving the car, rendering him unconscious.
But thanks to Kick’s quick thinking, the 47-year old Passat owner was taken to the hospital where, according to Muncher Merkur, he is now in stable condition.
Ironically enough, the police informed Kick that a preliminary investigation was opened against him as part of “procedure.” That said, it is unlikely that the Model S owner would be prosecuted as the local police department is considering giving him an award for his actions that ended with him saving a stranger’s life.
Continue reading for the full story.
Higher Battery Range Highlights Tesla’s New Updates For Model S And Model X
In case there was ever any doubt about Tesla’s commitment to being the preeminent electric car maker in the world, a new update for the 100D variants of the Model S and Model X that have 100 kWh battery packs is proof that the California-based automaker is serious about holding on to that title. The new update is significant for a number of different reasons, none more so than the increase in range from the Model S 90D’s 294-mile battery range to 335 miles with the non-performance version of the 100 kWh battery pack. Just as important, the Model X 100D also received a hefty increase in range amounting to 30 miles over the outgoing 90D variant, bringing that total to a sniff of 300 miles.
The updates come as part of Tesla’s continued push towards becoming one of the biggest electric car makers in the world. It still has a lot of miles to cover to get to that point. Tesla even fell short of hitting its sales targets for the year, selling 2,750 fewer cars than it initially expected. But, these new updates should help more people get on board Tesla as it continues its long drive towards electric car supremacy.
With the updates in tow, prospective Tesla customers are now left with an interesting to choice to make, especially when it comes to picking between the 100D and P100D variants of both the Model S and Model X. Outside of the disparity in range, the non-performance versions of the 100D are also significantly cheaper than their P100D counterparts. For instance, a Model S 100D is now priced at $95,800 while the P100D variant of the electric sedan starts at $137,800. Do the math and that equates to a significant difference of $42,000, enough money to actually buy another car. The same gap in price tags can be seen with the updated Model X as the 100D variant now starts at $98,500 whereas the P100 D’s price sits pretty at $135,500.
It’s unclear if the large disparity in prices will turn off prospective buyers from getting the P100D variants of both Model S and Model X. But the numbers do point favourably to the 100D variants, not only because they’re a lot cheaper than their performance counterparts, but also because the improved battery range also benefits both 100D variants of the Model S and Model X. The increase in range is actually significant when you consider that with the old price tag of the P90D, customers would only have to pay a little more than $3,000 to get those extra 40 miles in battery range.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Tesla Driver Learns The Hard Way About The Importance Of Key Fobs
A Tesla Model S owner got stranded in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas after intentionally leaving his car’s key fob at home, all because he wanted to try out Tesla’s new control app. Turns out, the smartphone feature that allows drivers to remotely monitor and control their Teslas without their keys only works as far as the smartphone has a signal. Ryan Negri found that out the hard way when he and his wife went for a drive without the key fob to test out the feature. Chalk this one up to an experiment gone bad.
As Negri himself told the tale in an Instagram post, he and his wife, Amy, tested the new feature by going on a quick drive to “take some photos of the freshly fallen mountain snow.” The whole experiment was running smoothly until Negri had to adjust “Mozy & Millie’s car bed” (most likely their dogs). Negri then went out of the car to do just that, but just as he was about to get back in, he found himself locked out of the car, unable to not only get back in, but just as important, to restart the car.
Apparently, Tesla’s keyless smartphone feature has one pretty important requirement for it to function properly: cellular signal. Since they were in the middle of the dessert, six miles away from home as Negri recounted, cell phone signal was about as scarce in the area he was in as a golden goose laying golden eggs. Fortunately, Negri’s wife Amy (the heroine of the story) took it upon herself to run two miles to get cellphone signal before calling a friend to hitch a ride back home to get the Tesla’s key fob.
Not surprisingly, Negri directed some of his ire towards Tesla for not having contingency plans in place to prevent incidents like the one he and his wife found themselves in. More importantly, though, he also promised to have the key fob with him every time he drives the Model S, as he should have in the first place.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Stubborn Tesla Finally Meets Its Match in Norway
Tesla may be leading the way in advancing electrification and autonomous driving technology, but as braggadocios as the company has gotten in the eyes of a lot of people, it’s not immune to getting a dose of humble pie every once in a awhile. That’s what happened after the electric carmaker reached an out-of-court settlement with 126 Norwegian customers who filed a lawsuit against the company over misleading power outputs attributed to the Tesla Model S.
For those who don’t remember, 126 owners of the Model S in Norway took issue with Tesla’s claims that the Model S P85D delivers a total of 691 horsepower, 467 horses of which is delivered from its rear motor and another 224 ponies coming from its front motor, bringing the total to a “combined” 691 horsepower. Apparently, those Norwegian owners took Tesla up to task for what they asserted as false claims of the total power of the car as they were led to believe that the combined output to 691 ponies could be delivered by the Model S when the truth is it can’t deliver on the promise.
In any event, the case was due to start in court yesterday, until lawyers from both sides told the Oslo District Court in a joint letter that they had decided to withdraw the case after striking a settlement deal. The case, according to Reuters, has since been resolved after Tesla agreed to pay each car owner of the Model S P85D 65,000 Norwegian crowns, or around $7,700 based on current exchange rates.
The settled amount is around half of what each Model S P85D owner was seeking, but it’s still a little more than the $6,000 that the country’s Consumer Disputes Commission asked Tesla to pay to the aggravated owners back in July 2016.
With the case now settled, both sides are likely hoping that the worst is over and Norway can return to being one of the biggest European markets of Tesla. The country has always been one of the world’s top markets for electric cars, but data culled by lobby group Road Traffic Information Council (OFV) indicated that registration of new Tesla cars in Norway dropped by 24 percent in the first 11 months of 2016 compared to the same time period a year ago.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Tesla Has New Update For Model S And Model X P100D Variants
While most of the auto world has their attention turned towards the LA Auto Show, Tesla quietly made its own news when CEO Elon Musk tweeted a doozy of an Easter Egg for owners of the Model S P100D. According to Musk, the next software update for the Model S P100D will come with increased levels of performance for the range-topping Model S, including the ability to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a spectacular 2.4 seconds.
In addition to improving the sedan’s sprint-to-60-mph time by 0.1 seconds, the same update will also shoot the model to a 10.6-second, quarter-mile time. Since Tesla hasn’t posted the actual quarter-mile time of the P100D before these updates, it’s safe to say that the Easter Eggs are going to spell a whole lot of fun for owners of the range-topping Tesla sedan.
Owners of the Tesla Model X are also getting treated to faster acceleration times courtesy of the new software update. According to Musk, the Tesla Model X P100D will be able to go from a standstill position to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds, also 0.1 seconds quicker than its current capacity. Likewise, the SUV’s quarter-mile time should also drop by the same amount of time.
It’s unclear when these software updates will arrive, and Musk himself was vague on the specifics, opting only to say “next month.” That likely means the updates will arrive in December so that should make for a pretty exciting holiday present from Tesla. That is if the company is right on schedule this time, which in itself is no sure thing.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Two People Killed In Explosive Tesla Crash
Casey Speckman, a 27-year old woman and her 44-year old co-worker Kevin McCarthy lost their lives in a crash involving a Tesla Model S in Indianapolis, Indiana. Details on what caused the deadly crash are still being investigated but the two were reportedly killed after Speckman lost control of the car before smashing into a tree and then into a parking garage, causing multiple explosions that led to the Model S catching fire.
According to local news outlet WishTV, witness accounts described the scene as horrific with one particular witness saying that a big explosion happened after the crash, which lead to several small explosions that ended up with debris just “popping up in the air.” Firefighters from the Indianapolis Fire Department also said that debris field stretched 150 yards, including lithium batteries that were still scattered around the area the morning after the crash.
Despite their best efforts in containing the fire and saving the lives of Speckman and her passenger, McCarthy, firefighters from the IFD took 10 minutes to put the fire out and 20 minutes just to get McCarthy out. The delay was largely attributed to the sophistication of cars like the Model S, which Tesla admits in its manual for first responders as a car that should be considered “energized” until the fire has been completely extinguished.
To make things more complicated, Kevin Jones, the Battalion Chief of Special Operations for the IDF, admitted the complication of extinguishing the fire on a Tesla.
“With the high voltage batteries they’re lithium ion batteries and they require copious amounts of water to extinguish them, they burn very hot," Jones said. "Back in the 1980s, the vehicles you could come up there and cut pretty much everywhere and not have a hazard. But now with the introduction of airbags and the seat belt retention and the high voltage lines we have to peel and peak and look and make sure we’re not going to cut into something that will cause a hazard for us or the victims.”
Speckman was killed in the crash while McCarthy died at the hospital.
Self-Driving Tesla to Travel from L.A. to New York Without Human Input
Following up on an announcement that all future Tesla models will come equipped with advanced self-driving capabilities, CEO Elon Musk has declared the technology will get a public demonstration by the end of next year. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the California-based automaker will send one of its models from Los Angeles to New York without any human assistance whatsoever.
The proposed cross-country tour was revealed last Wednesday following a blog post on Tesla’s website. In the blog post, the all-electric car producer said each of its models would come with the equipment needed for fully autonomous driving, including cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radar, enabling “full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.” The stated end goal is transportation that’s safer, more affordable, and more accessible.
The fully autonomous features will be activated using an over-the-air software update issued at an unspecified point in the future. Prior to the feature’s activation, Tesla says it needs to clock “millions of miles of real-world driving” to help calibrate the system.
However, all Tesla cars currently being produced will include the necessary hardware, including the up-and-coming Model 3. This is similar to the strategy Tesla employed with its current Autopilot system.
New cars equipped with the fully autonomous hardware will not immediately offer the same Autopilot features as older models, including automatic emergency braking and active cruise control, among others. However, these features will be activated via updates currently planned for release every couple of months.
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Now that Future Tesla Models can Achieve Level 5 Autonomy, Tesla Thinks it can Tell You What to Do
Tesla recently announced that all new models built going forward would have all of the hardware necessary to sustain level 5 autonomy – effectively make the Model S, Model X, and upcoming Model 3 true, self-driving vehicles. This is a huge step forward for the innovative company, and all of the hardware should be fully functional (after several OTA updates) by 2018. This is great and all, but Tesla has been known to have some pretty quirky clauses built into their sales contracts, and level-five capable vehicles are no different. So what funky clause am I talking about this time? How about the fact that you can’t use your new Tesla for car sharing or ride-hailing?
Yes, you read that correctly. On Tesla’s AutoPilot page where the system is described fairly well, but there is a very interesting clause toward the bottom of the page: “It is not possible to know exactly when each element of the functionality described above will be available, as this is highly dependent on local regulatory approval. Please note also that using a self-driving Tesla for car sharing and ride-hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year.”
Did you catch that? Tesla is quietly announcing its own ride-sharing network that will be available in 2017. That’s great and all, but right in the middle is that clause that says you can’t use your Tesla for ride-hailing or car sharing outside of its own network. So, in other words, you can’t make money off of your self-driving Tesla, unless Tesla is making money at the same time.
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RemetzCar Builds World’s First Tesla Model S Hearse
One of the funny things about popular cars is that they often get turned into something completely new. Hand something stock to the right set of hands, and the first step is usually a convertible – just chop off the top, add some water-resistant fabric in case it rains, and call it day. The next step is usually a limo – cut it in half, add some extra sheet metal, and voila, you’re free to roam in an expanded rear seat. After that, you start getting into the weird stuff. Enter the Tesla Model S Hearse.
Just in time for Halloween, RemetzCar has unveiled what’s believed to be the first-ever Tesla-based Hearse.
According to RemetzCar’s website, the Netherlands-based automaker first started by removing the all-electric vehicle’s battery pack, which runs the length of the floor. Then, the lightweight body was cut in half, and an extra 80 cm (approximately 31.5 inches) was added in between. After piecing it all together and reinstalling the battery in the floor, the whole thing measures out at 227 inches (nearly 19 feet).
In addition to the increase in length, RemetzCar also added a high roof area in the stern, with glass siding that actually follows the angle of the stock Model S roofline. That’s sure to keep it somewhat aerodynamic – no point in wasting precious electricity on the way to the graveyard.
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Tesla has finally started rolling out software update 8.0 and with it comes a number of enhancements, including updated warnings for the autopilot system for all those pesky rebels that like to break the rules. That, along with a handful of other new or updated features makes update 8.0 a rather significant update and is available for all Model S’ purchased since 2012.
To start off, the car’s built-in media player has taken a huge redesign that helps to bring the content you prefer to the forefront. The search function has been refined and allows you to access streaming radio, podcasts, and any USB device. The voice commands function has also been updated, making the feature easier to use overall. Just like getting a new version of iOS or Android, the voice command system no initiates quicker when requested, and there is also a transcript that appears on the instrument panel to help confirm the vehicle heard your voice command correctly. There are also visual tips to help shed some light on available commands.
The navigation system has also been updated. The biggest news about this is that the system will now span the entire length and width of the touchscreen and provides important details about your trip. You can search for your destination by voice command, and the zoom adjusts automatically display important information. Home and work routing is nearly automatic, taking nothing more than a swipe to initiate. Part of this system includes Trip Planner which displays your entire trip on the screen prior to leaving. Navigation automatically starts when the Model S or Model X is put into drive.
The biggest news about the update come in the form of AutoPilot enhancements. According to Tesla, the system is now more responsive in stop and go traffic and can now navigate highway interchanges. The instrument cluster gets new AutoPilot indicators, while the system “controls for two cars ahead” which apparently improves safety and reaction time. If another car is close to the lanes edge during overtaking maneuvers, the autopilot system will now steer the car a little off center to help prevent the possibility of an accident. The most important part of the update to the AutoPilot system is the new enhanced safety requirements that will disable Autosteer if safety warnings are ignored.
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Tesla Model S Crashes Into Florida Gym
Another day, another crash involving a Tesla Model S. This latest episode took place in late August in Lighthouse Point, Florida where a Model S abruptly accelerated as it was parking, causing it smash through a front window of a local gym. Fortunately, the nobody was injured from the crash, which the driver blames on the car accelerating by itself. Tesla has since reviewed the vehicle’s logs remotely and to no one’s surprise, it placed the blame on the driver accidentally pressing the gas pedal.
The accident is similar to a previous incident that occurred in California back. In that case, the driver also claimed that his Model X accelerated by itself, causing it to crash into a building. Tesla also blamed that crash to driver error after also reviewing the Model X’s vehicle logs.
The incident in Florida is the latest in a string of high profile crashes involving Tesla vehicles. A surveillance video from inside the gym captured the horrific accident. Halfway through the two-minute the video, the Model S appears in the video where it’s about to reverse into an available parking slot. Then in an instant, it accelerates straight into the front glass window of the gym, resulting in heavy damages to both the car and the property.
What’s worth noting is that had the accident occurred 40 seconds earlier, it could have taken a woman who looked to either be an employee of the gym or its actual owner. That’s about the only silver lining that happened in this crash and it’s going to be interesting how this incident is resolved.
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Tesla and Mobileye Fire a Shot at Each Other
The drama between Mobileye and Tesla is finally unfolding with both companies releasing a statement about their failed relationship. Shortly after the Model S accident that was, at the time, said to be the first fatal accident involving Tesla’s AutoPilot System, Mobileye and Tesla parted ways. Mobileye’s reasoning was said to revolve around the safety of the AutoPilot system. Now, both companies have fired a shot at one another, essentially blaming each other for their falling out.
To put things shortly, Tesla says it was Mobileye’s fault, and Mobileye stands by the fact that the AutoPilot system is safe. But, there’s a lot more to the story than that. Mobileye has recently released a statement claiming that it expressed safety concerns regarding the use of hands-free AutoPilot, and Tesla subsequently agreed that AutoPilot Activation would be hands-on. But, when late 2015 rolled around and the AutoPilot system rolled out to the Model S, it had a hands-free activation mode. Mobileye claims that it made “substantial efforts” to push the project to into a safer state, but was unable to do so. When the May 7th accident took place, Tesla blamed the Camera, then the radar system. Ultimately, Mobileye felt the partnership could no longer continue.
Tesla, on the other hand, is saying that the relationship ended because Mobileye tried to stop them from developing their own in-house vision system for AutoPilot. According to Tesla’s statement, Mobileye wanted to raise the price of their product retroactively, only use the data collected from the AutoPilot system for future Mobileye development, and that Tesla continue to source vision processing equipment and software from Mobileye until the system was considered to be “Level 4.” When Tesla refused to cancel its own in-house development, Mobileye canceled hardware support for future platforms and threw out the safety concerns excuse.
Mobileye also claims that it had little knowledge of Tesla’s in-house development, outside of knowing that Tesla had put together a “small team.” Tesla may continue to fire shots at Mobileye, but Mobileye made it a point to say it has commented fully on the failed relationship and will not comment on it any further. So, now we have two very different stories, and it’s on you to decide who you want to believe.
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Nobody can deny that things have been a little rough for Tesla lately. After than fatal accident back in May, the company has found itself constantly under the microscope by every media outlet on the planet. But, as it turns out, that accident may not have actually been the first fatal accident involving the company’s AutoPilot system. Reports have begun to surface of another fatal accident that occurring in China back in January of 2016.
In this specific accident, there is actually dash cam footage that shows a Model S plowing into the back of a street sweeper on the highway. It’s pretty clear that the Tesla didn’t even try to brake before the accident, but what isn’t clear is whether or not AutoPilot was engaged at the time of the accident. The last accident that occurred in China involving AutoPilot didn’t result in any injuries, but did result in Tesla changing its wording on its Chinese site to remove to words “self-driving.”
As for this accident just coming into the light nine months after it happened, Tesla is currently investigating the situation. Tesla has already released a statement claiming that it couldn’t retrieve log information from the car due to the extensive damage and the driver’s family has yet to supply any information:
“We were saddened to learn of the death of our customer’s son. We take any incident with our vehicles very seriously and immediately reached out to our customer when we learned of the crash. Because of the damage caused by the collision, the car was physically incapable of transmitting log data to our servers, and we, therefore, have no way of knowing whether or not Autopilot was engaged at the time of the crash. We have tried repeatedly to work with our customer to investigate the cause of the crash, but he has not provided us with any additional information that would allow us to do so.”
For now, that is all we know about the incident aside from the fact that the driver’s family has, in fact, filed a lawsuit against Tesla. And, while that may be the case, it may not work out in their favor. The owner’s manual of every Tesla clearly states that the Traffic-Aware Cruise control cannot detect all objections and may not brake for stationary objects when the vehicle is driving at higher speed.
Tesla Model S Catches Fire Due To Improperly Tightened Electrical Connection
A defect in the bolted electrical connection has been revealed as the cause of the fire that engulfed a Tesla Model S in France during a test drive. The revelation comes from Tesla itself, which conducted an investigation in the aftermath of the fire. According to the automaker, one of those connections was “improperly tightened” because it was done manually instead of the usual process of having a robot do it.
The defect ended up causing the electric car to go up in flames, but only after the occupants heard a loud noise, prompting the car’s warning message to flash. The Tesla employee who was riding in the car immediately instructed the driver, Nicolas Cano, to pull the car over before it ended up catching fire.
Fire fighters immediately rushed to the scene only to see the charred remains of the car as witnesses reported seeing the Model S burn to the ground in a matter of minutes.
Charles Delaville, Tesla’s French communications manager, spoke to Fox News and went into detail about the cause of the fire. According to Delaville, the electrical connections on its vehicles are usually “installed by a robot,” but for whatever reason, connections on the car that burned down was “installed manually.”
Neither Delaville nor any other person from Tesla have elaborated on why the Model S in question’s electrical connections were installed manually.
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Tesla To Go On U.S. Roadshow With Airstream Design Studio
Tesla has put together a program that will take it on a cross-country road trip of sorts in an effort to drive up new customers for its lineup of models. The campaign is called Tesla Explores and as the name suggests, it involves the company going on the road in a Model X to various cities in the U.S. with a custom Airstream trailer that’s been changed into what it describes as the first-ever Tesla mobile Design Studios, complete with showroom tools and product specialists.
Since Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model is barred in some states, the American automaker is turning the tables and is actually going to certain locations to not only gain more exposure in these places, but to meet with prospective customers who may have had no other way to order the Model S or Model X from the company.
A visit to the campaign’s dedicated website reveals a few stops that have already been finalized, including visits in Manhattan and Saratoga Springs, New York from September 16 to 18 and from September 23 to 30, respectively. In the same month, another group will head to Santa Barbara, California from September 9 to 18. Other confirmed destinations include Venice, California from October 7 to 16 and Princeton, New Jersey from October 14 to 30. A visit to Chicago has also been set for September, although no specific dates have been mentioned. In October, the Tesla mobile Design Studios are expected to visit Boston, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle while visits in November are being planned for Atlanta and Tampa.
More cities are expected to be announced in the coming weeks as Tesla finally makes a push towards introducing its models straight to the customers.
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Every so often a story comes to your desk that not only makes you stop whatever you’re doing, but also makes you reevaluate your lot in life. I found myself in that situation when I read about the story of Ryan Wagner and what Tesla did for him and his son, Miles.
First, a brief back story. Back in December 2013, Wagner and his wife found out that they were expecting a child. Great news, right? Well it would’ve been, but in a matter of just a few days, Wagner also discovered that he had metastatic colon cancer. To make things worse, his son was born with a rare disease called primary hyperoxaluria that affects only one in five million people and left the little boy in need of both liver and kidney transplants.
So where does Tesla fit into all of this? Shortly after founding out that he has cancer, Wagner sought to, in his own words, “accelerate his life goals.” One of those goals was to own a Tesla Model S. So he placed an order at the Chicagoland Tesla dealership and when the dealership team found out about his story, it decided to do something for Wagner by bumping up his order to the front of the queue for production. The gesture is by no means small considering how notoriously closed-off CEO Elon Musk is at accommodating these types of requests. This is, after all, the same man who denied his own cousin’s request to get special treatment when he ordered his Model S.
But the team at Chicagoland Tesla went even further. Once Wagner’s car was ready to be picked up, the whole team at the dealership requested to have him bring his son along for the pick-up. Wagner obliged not knowing that the people in the dealership all pitched in to get young Miles his own Tesla Model S Radio Flyer vehicle, complete with his own personalized license plate.
The gesture isn’t going to help Wagner or Miles beat the challenges that remain in front of them. But what the Chicagoland Tesla team did was more than anybody could’ve ever asked for. The whole team showed that there’s still plenty of room in this world for thoughtful gestures made by thoughtful people. Considering the state of the world we’re living in now, moments like this also remind us that there are still a lot of good and kind-hearted people out there who will go the extra mile for somebody in need.
Humanity wins, indeed.
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Tesla is Jumping into the Car Insurance Business Overseas
In the past, it has been reported that insurers were having problems with listing the correct trim level of the Tesla Model S, ultimately leading to higher premiums for Model S owners. One of the bigger issues is the problem with the P60 using the same battery pack as the 75, with software used to limit it to 60 kWh. Since the P60 is obviously cheaper than the 75, consumers expect to pay less, but in the event of an accident, replacing the battery pack in a 60 cost’s just as much as in the 75. Well, this might not be a problem going forward, as Tesla is partnering with a couple of insurance companies in Hong Kong and Australia to provide a program called InsureMyTesla.
Partnering with AXA General Insurance in Hong Kong and QBE Insurance in Australia, Tesla is able to offer reasonable rates for the Model S and Model X. Coverage of these custom plans include new vehicle replacement within the first 36 months from the first registration and even coverage for things like Damage incurred to a Tesla Home Wall charger. Drivers will be able to pick from their choice of authorized Tesla repair facilities as well. Information on pricing at this point is pretty slim, but according to Electrek, Some Australian customers have reported plans starting at about $1,200 AUD per year or about $900 at current exchange rates.
For now, word has it that the new insurance program is only available in the two aforementioned countries, but if it is successful, it’s likely that it could make its way to the U.S. and Europe in the coming years.
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Tesla Gets One-Week Extension To Submit Joshua Brown Crash Documents To NHTSA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given Tesla until Friday, September 2, 2016, to submit documents related to the accident that killed Joshua Brown on May 7, 2016 on U.S. 27 near Williston, Florida. The incident has been rehashed multiple times, but for those who still don’t know, Brown was killed when his Tesla Model S crashed into a semi truck while its Autopilot system was engaged.
The incident caused widespread scrutiny of Tesla’s Autopilot system, prompting two separate government agencies - the NHTSA and the Florida Highway Patrol - to launch separate investigations on what caused the crash and who was the blame for it. As part of its investigation, the NHTSA submitted an information request to Matthew Schwall, Tesla’s director of field performance engineering, pertaining to the data the automaker gathered from Brown’s Autopilot system. Part of the agency’s request also called for Tesla to identify the number of alleged defects it was aware of related to Forward Collision Warning or Automatic Emergency and tests the automaker “has done or plans to do” to the Autopilot system and the changes the company may have made that could’ve caused the alleged defects to spring forth.
The NHTSA initially gave Tesla until August 26, 2016 to submit the documents, but after a request from the company to extend the deadline, the government agency granted a one-week extension that will expire on September 2, 2016. It’s unclear what kind of penalties the NHTSA will give to Tesla if the automaker doesn’t submit the requested data by Friday.
In related news, Business Insider is also reporting that the Florida Highway Patrol has indicated that its own homicide investigation into the Brown crash is still open and that according to Steven Montiero, a community safety officer for the Florida Highway Patrol, “no new information is expected for another one to two weeks. This development comes after the law enforcement authorities revealed that the investigation would be completed “by the end of August.”
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Custom Model S owned by Will.i.am is Brilliantly Wild
Will.i.am has been known for doing some pretty wild things lately, including that crazy laser and sound show with Lexus. And, let’s not forget about the crazy custom cars in the man’s garage. Some of the more recent models include the IAMAuto Delorean, a 2015 Lexus NX, and a 1958 Volkswagen Beetle that has been modified so much it is unrecognizable as the car it once was. Obviously, the man has a wicked taste for modified cars, and it should come as no surprise that his custom Tesla Model S is outrageously wild too.
Recently spotted in Beverly Hills, the internet is going somewhat crazy over this latest creation. Some journalists are calling it ugly and stupid. One journalist even said it looked like a “puffed up marshmallow.” Some people just don’t have a taste for the work and talent that goes into modifying a car, so we’ll let them slide… for now. Besides, their opinion doesn’t really matter because as far as we’re concerned, this is the craziest looking Model S so far, and it’s certainly worth talking about without knocking someone’s taste in customization options.
Since this is the first time we’re seeing Will.i.am’s custom Model S, we have absolutely no information to go by with the exception of what we can see in the video on Effspot’s Youtube channel. So, we’re not doing a full review of it at this time, but we’re itching to get a look at the interior and hear about other drivetrain or chassis modifications, so we’re definitely keeping our eyes and ears open. Until then, let’s take a quick look and see what we can make out so far.
Keep reading to check out the Will.i.am Model S.