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Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X High Resolution Exterior
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After years of delays and rampant speculation, it’s finally official – the Model X has arrived. In a live event at the company’s factory in Fremont, California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally handed out keys to the first models off the production line, detailing the vehicle’s features and capabilities along the way. The Model X is framed as an uber-safe, uber-clean, semi-autonomous, highly practical, all-electric long-range SUV capable of embarrassing hardcore sports cars in a speed contest. That’s a lot to chew on, even for the most disruptive automaker on the block.

Unlike Tesla’s first model, the Lotus Elise-based Roadster, the Model X was built totally in-house using the existing Model S platform. However, unlike the sedan, this SUV can sit up to seven passengers and carry an attic’s worth of stuff, all while going 250 miles in a charge and hitting 60 mph quick enough to make you see plaid.

Sounds wild, doesn’t it? Read on to see exactly what I mean.

Updated 11/24/2015: An official Tesla Model X configurator confirms that the electric SUV will be priced from $80k - before any incentives and not including $1,200 destination fees. If you will opt for the six seats pack you will have to pay an extra $3k, while the Autopilot function adds $2,5k to the final cost. Other options include a $4,5k premium package, a $2,5k premium sound system and a $1k subzero weather package.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Tesla Model X.

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Latest Tesla Model_X news and reviews:

Tesla Model X Pulls 56 Times its Maximum Towing Capacity; Set's New World Record as it Moves a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Tesla Model X Pulls 56 Times its Maximum Towing Capacity; Set’s New World Record as it Moves a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Yeah, we know, Porsche did much more, but this is a different record

I know you remember when Porsche pulled that Airbus A380 for more than 130 feet, but this story is a bit different. See, in this case, Tesla set the record for the heaviest tow by a production passenger electric vehicle. To set the record a Tesla Model X, as it rolls off the production line, pulled a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner a total of 987 feet. It did so in Melbourne, Australia and pulled a Quntas branded jet down the runway.

If that doesn’t sound tough to you, well it is. The Model X used was a P100D model, which packs 603 horsepower and 713 pound-feet of torque. Its towing capacity is rated at just 5,112 – a decent number for an electric SUV, but far, far below the 286,600-pound weight of that Qantas jet. In fact, that jet weighs 56.0641 times that of the Model X P100D’s towing capacity.

So, for now, Tesla holds a new record and, until the rest of the big boys start putting out their powerful, torquey electric SUVS. I wouldn’t count on Tesla holding this record for long. Something tells me that Porsche will be more than happy to recreate that Airbus A380 pull with something that doesn’t rely on an internal combustion engine.

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Watch the Jaguar I-Pace Kick the Hell out of the Tesla Model X

Watch the Jaguar I-Pace Kick the Hell out of the Tesla Model X

We don’t really put too much stock on this test

Jaguar believes that the I-Pace is the new benchmark among all-electric SUVs. It certainly makes a good case by the numbers, but does it really have the performance chops to beat the established king of the segment, the Tesla Model X? Jaguar tried to find out by lining up the I-Pace against two versions of the Model X —the 75D and the 100D — in an old-fashioned 0-60-0 mph test. The objective is to beat the other car to 60 mph and then brake completely back to a standstill in the shortest distance possible.

Predictably, the 394-horsepower and 512-pound-foot I-Pace beat the 328-horsepower and 387-pound-foot Model X 75D in the test, outpacing the Tesla by a full car-length to 60 mph before watching the Model X overshoot its braking. No surprises here, and we’re actually surprised that Jaguar put the 75D variant against the I-Pace considering the disparity in power and performance figures between the two models. For the record, the I-Pace can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds while the Model X 75D can do it in 4.9 seconds. The result is believable, even if we were snickering as we were watching it.

The 100D, on the other hand, offered a more serious challenge, or so we thought. Despite achieving a 4.7-second, 0-to-60-mph time, the Model X 100D still lost handily to the I-Pace by half a car’s length. We’re not sure if there were some shenanigans on Jaguar’s part, but we wouldn’t be surprised if there were. Automakers typically resort to tactics to promote their own model in comparison tests so it wouldn’t be shocking if Jag did a few eye winks along the way. The thing is, it probably didn’t need to because the I-Pace is impressive enough in its own right.

Care to bet that a response from Tesla is on the way?

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Pops' Rants: All This Hype about Tesla Outselling German Luxury Cars in Europe Is Misleading

Pops’ Rants: All This Hype about Tesla Outselling German Luxury Cars in Europe Is Misleading

Check these facts!

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.

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Tesla Woes: Model S and X Orders Delayed Again, This time Due to "Backlog"

Tesla Woes: Model S and X Orders Delayed Again, This time Due to "Backlog"

Wait times are expected at 4 to 5 months

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.

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You Can Rent A Tesla In Minneapolis For Super Bowl Week

You Can Rent A Tesla In Minneapolis For Super Bowl Week

All-electric power for football fans heading to the Big Game

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.

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Pops' Rants: Karma Just Kicked Elon Musk in the Nuts

Pops’ Rants: Karma Just Kicked Elon Musk in the Nuts

A middle finger with a Hyundai badge on it

Another day, another carrot. I just dropped by to tell you that I love karma. Nope, not the Fisker Karma. That karma. The principle that Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. It’s the concept that keeps all life in a perfect balance. And the same concept made Elon Musk look pretty dumb after Hyundai launched the Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV at the Consumer Electronics Show. Yup, gotta love karma!

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Tesla Model X Pulls Stuck Volvo Semi Out Of The Snow: Video

Tesla Model X Pulls Stuck Volvo Semi Out Of The Snow: Video

Electric on diesel makes for a hybrid assist in the white stuff

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, the weather outside ain’t just frightful – it’s downright abysmal. Tons of frozen water is flying down from the sky, covering that tacky black stuff we all like to drive on, making us all nostalgic for better, warmer, traction-filled times. Some folks are handling it better than others, but sometimes, the inevitable happens, and without warningbam – you’re stuck. And that’s exactly what happened to the driver of this Volvo semi in Raleigh, North Carolina. Stranded on the side of the road, a passing SUV decided to give the struggle truck a hand, which normally would be an empty gesture – unless, of course, the SUV in question happened to have enough torque to shift the Earth’s orbit and the AWD grip to put it all down. As it happens, that’s exactly what you get in the Tesla Model X, and as such, this tale of the good all-electric Samaritan has a happy ending.

Recently posted on Facebook, the clip is just a minute in length, but heartwarming all the same. With the stuck semi hooked up to the Model X’s rear end, the driver of the Tesla puts the pedal down, spinning all four tires in a mad grab for traction. Eventually, it starts to hook up, and slowly but surely, the semi is freed from its wintry trap. Now we just want to see a Model X pull out one of those new Tesla Semis from a snow drift...

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Survey: Ford Mustang, Tesla Top List Of Most Desirable Cars of Average Americans

Survey: Ford Mustang, Tesla Top List Of Most Desirable Cars of Average Americans

Gone are the days when Ferrari and Lamborghini topped lists like this

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.

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Elon Musk Delivers Easter Eggs for Christmas with Latest Tesla Software Update

Elon Musk Delivers Easter Eggs for Christmas with Latest Tesla Software Update

For a man who’s about business, he sure is a playful little guy, isn’t he?

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.

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TopSpeed's Top 5 Picks For Long Holiday Travel

TopSpeed’s Top 5 Picks For Long Holiday Travel

A few rides to help you get to Grandma’s house trouble-free

Welp, it’s that time of year again. Late December triggers the mass migration season for the majority of humans residing in North America, and that means the roadways will be clogged in every direction with stressed families clinging to the final shreds of their holiday cheer. But fret not, because it doesn’t have to be that way. Indeed, this travel season could actually be quite enjoyable, if you’ve got the right ride to ferry you to and fro, that is. As such, we’ve put together the following list of vehicles we think are perfectly suited to tackle the long holiday travel.

To make the most of it, we threw in a variety of picks for whatever your preferences might be. Granted, most of these are a bit on the pricey side, but hey, if you want the best, you’re gonna have to pay for it. Of course, the bank account can take a beating this time of year, so if you’re a bit strapped for cash, then no worries – we’re kicking it off with something relatively accessible.

Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 Picks For Long Holiday Travel.

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Tesla Could Limit Use of Superchargers for Commercial Use

Tesla Could Limit Use of Superchargers for Commercial Use

Taxi fleets that use Tesla models are likely the ones that will most be affected

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.

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We're Just Going to Call China Home of the EV

We’re Just Going to Call China Home of the EV

EV charging infrastructure is being developed at an alarming rate

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.

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Dubai Takes Delivery Of Tesla Model S And Model X Taxis

Dubai Takes Delivery Of Tesla Model S And Model X Taxis

This is what an abundance of riches look like

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

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Tesla Comes Through for its Customers as they Scramble to get out of Harm's Way

Tesla Comes Through for its Customers as they Scramble to get out of Harm’s Way

It is a noble move and certainly a God send for those trying to get out of Florida.

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.

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Refer your Homies to Tesla, and You Might Get to Drive Godot, Elon Musk's Prized Tunnel Digger

Refer your Homies to Tesla, and You Might Get to Drive Godot, Elon Musk’s Prized Tunnel Digger

This is one of those “amazing adventures” that you might not want to miss, but I hope you’ve got friends with deep pockets.

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.

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2017 Tesla Model X Gets 5-Star Crash Rating From NHTSA

2017 Tesla Model X Gets 5-Star Crash Rating From NHTSA

It’s the first SUV to earn 5 stars in every category

Tesla might be having issues making profits and launching the Model 3 sedan, but it’s clear the young automaker can build a safe SUV. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just awarded the 2017 Model X with a 5-star rating in every crash test category and sub-category. That makes the Model X the first SUV to ever earn a 5-star rating across the board. What’s more, the NHTSA’s findings show occupants have the lowest probability of injury in any SUV it has ever tested, with a 93-percent likelihood of walking away without serious injuries.

NHTSA testing includes three main areas: frontal, side, and rollover crashes. Further broken down, the frontal crash testing includes a 35-mph, full-frontal crash into a solid barrier. Side impact testing includes both impacts with another vehicle and with a stationary pole like a tree or telephone post. Rollover testing includes both the likelihood of a rollover and the roof’s ability to remain structurally intact. Not only did the Model X earn 5 stars in the roof crush test, the NHTSA was unable to educe a rollover, even during its dynamic rollover test. Tesla claims the Model X’s aversion to tipping lies in its low center of gravity provided by the battery packs mounted under the floor.

Continue reading for more information.

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Should Tesla Have to Pony Up for Driver Error?

Should Tesla Have to Pony Up for Driver Error?

Who wants to take responsibility for their own mistakes, right?

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

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Higher Battery Range Highlights Tesla's New Updates For Model S And Model X

Higher Battery Range Highlights Tesla’s New Updates For Model S And Model X

Range is now as high as 335 miles

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.

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Tesla Has New Update For Model S And Model X P100D Variants

Tesla Has New Update For Model S And Model X P100D Variants

Performance improvements are on the table for owners of the range-topping Tesla models

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.

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Tesla Drops P90D Trim On Model S And Model X

Tesla Drops P90D Trim On Model S And Model X

Oh, there’s a new all-glass roof option for the Model S too

Tesla has been known to be outlandish when it comes to product announcements, but there have been a few times in the past when the American automaker has turned to subtlety to make certain changes to its products, just like the time it quietly phased out its 85-kWh battery pack earlier this year and dropped the 60D trim of the Model X just a month ago. Now, a report from Electrek indicates that Tesla has made a few more changes to its lineup, most notably the discontinuation of the P90D variant on both the Model S and Model X.

The decision to drop the P90D variants for both models comes with its own set of questions, one of which is the significant gap in pricing that the 90D and P100D variants will have between them. With the P90D in the fold, it acted as an ideal “middle-ground” model, effectively bridging the 90D and P100D variants. But now that it’s going out, a gap of $42,500 lies between the Model S 90D and the 100D trim while a gap of $40,000 sits between the Model X variants. It’s a significant jump in pricing, but don’t expect this to be the status quo moving forward. Tesla has made no mention of a non-performance 100D variant, but that’s likely the direction the company will go to fill the slot vacated by the P90D. The removal of the P90D also drops the “Ludicrous Mode” as an individual option. That’s because the P100D will be the only variant where it will be offered and Tesla has decided to make it a standard feature on both the Model S and Model X.

In addition to the axing of the P90D, Tesla’s other important update to its design studio is the inclusion of an all-glass roof option for the Model S. The new option will cost an extra $1,500, around the same price where of the old sunroof. Specific details about the all-glass roof have yet to be revealed, but Tesla says that it’s level of protection against UV rays and heat is on par with what the $2,000-panoramic sunroof option – 98 percent of UV rays and 81 percent of heat – is capable of. According to Tesla, the all-glass roof option is already entering production and could find itself available in showrooms in the coming weeks.

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Self-Driving Tesla to Travel from L.A. to New York Without Human Input

Self-Driving Tesla to Travel from L.A. to New York Without Human Input

If successful, Tesla will once again establish itself as the leader in autonomous tech

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

Now that Future Tesla Models can Achieve Level 5 Autonomy, Tesla Thinks it can Tell You What to Do

Will Tesla Disable your vehicle if you don’t comply? Maybe....

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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Tesla Quietly Drops Model X 60D from its Lineup

Tesla Quietly Drops Model X 60D from its Lineup

The 75D becomes new entry-level variant of the Model X

Elon Musk’s tweet about the unexpected product launch on October 17 may have grabbed the headlines the past few days, but something just as important has happened in Tesla, and it’s about the Model X, or more specifically, the 60D variant of the electric people mover. Apparently, and very quietly, Tesla has dropped the Model X 60D, leaving the 75D variant as the new entry-level version of the Model X.

Tesla has yet to come out with an explanation behind scrapping the Model X 60D a mere three months after introducing it, but given the company’s motives of pushing hard and trying to maximize its sales efforts, the 60D probably wasn’t selling as well as Tesla thought it would. That could have prompted the company to cut the cord on the variant to streamline production, leaving potential customers with no other option but to pay a higher base price of $85,000 before tax credits to own the Model X. It’s an added cost of roughly $11,000, but Tesla could be banking on the idea that if somebody could afford 60D and its base level price tag of $74,000, it has the financial capacity to pay another $11,000 to get the extra features, including “unlocking” the battery’s capacity to have a minimum range of 237 miles.

It’s unclear if Tesla is going to shed light on the decision to ax the 60D at the product launch Musk announced over the weekend but you can be sure that the question is going to be asked because of the nature by which Tesla killed off the variant in the middle of the night so soon after touting it to the world. In any case, you can chalk this one up to the variant probably not living up to the expectations Tesla had for it and the company cutting the cord quickly to streamline its own production volume.

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Tesla To Go On U.S. Roadshow With Airstream Design Studio

Tesla To Go On U.S. Roadshow With Airstream Design Studio

Check the dates on Tesla’s dedicated site as the automaker might be headed to a city near you

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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Did Tesla Disable the Door Safety Sensors on the Model X?

Did Tesla Disable the Door Safety Sensors on the Model X?

More Tesla owners express their gripes about the automaker’s software updates

Tesla has been a magnet for news headlines recently and the company isn’t slowing down. Now, it’s the Model X that’s in the news, specifically the latest firmware update on the crossover that was supposed to fix a glitch on its Falcon doors. For those who don’t know, Model X owners have had a gripe with those doors, specifically a glitch in the inductive sensors. The main issue is that the sensors are falsely detecting objects that aren’t really there, thus the difficulty in closing the doors. The new firmware was supposed to fix that glitch but in doing so, it appears that Tesla simply deactivated the sensors instead of actually trying to fix them.

YouTube channel MEtv Product Reviews was one of the first to point out this development in a 10-minute video that shows numerous times how the sensors have completely stopped working. First, the owner tried to slap the area in the Falcon doors where the sensors are supposed to be. Nothing happens and the doors close immediately. Then, the owner used a cucumber to show if the sensors would be able to detect it and automatically stop the closing of the doors. The cucumber ended up getting sliced in half as the sensors fail to detect it.

Speaking with Jalopnik, the person behind the MEtv Product Reviews channel said that Tesla actually turned off the sensors in the “v 7.1 2.32.100” update because “they were deemed no longer necessary.”

For it’s part, Tesla has yet to issue a statement or explanation regarding the update, opting only to tell Jalopnik that the Falcon doors were adjusted “via a software update in order to improve closure consistency and reduce false detection of obstacles."

Hopefully, a more concrete explanation is given on the update to help raise awareness for owners of the Model X. Until then, owners and passengers should be very careful around these doors.

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Tesla is Jumping into the Car Insurance Business Overseas

Tesla is Jumping into the Car Insurance Business Overseas

This could make life a lot easier for Tesla owners if it takes off.

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 Charging more for Autopilot Feature

Tesla Charging more for Autopilot Feature

It’s not as bad as it sounds, but the timing is a little questionable

You have to give Tesla some credit. In the face of all the scrutiny surrounding its Autopilot feature, the EV car manufacturer still understands that it’s in the business game and that game is all about making money. So while the company’s announcement of a new 100 kWh battery pack for the Model S and Model X P100D variants understandably grabbed the headlines, Tesla managed to also increase the price of the Autopilot feature from right under our noses.

Whereas the price for the Autopilot system amounted to $2,500 before or $3,000 to be enabled after delivery of the car, Tesla has increased the number to $3,000 and $3,500, respectively. Apparently, the price increase isn’t because of the new sensors that Tesla is reportedly adding for the second-gen version of the system. According to Electrek, a Tesla spokesperson referred to the price increase as nothing more than a “better reflection” of the system’s actual value.

Whether that is the case or not, the timing of the increase is curious given the rash of negative publicity that has been attributed to the Autopilot system. One would think that Tesla would try to keep a low profile on the feature until it sorts out the quirks, thus having a better justification for a price increase. But the company opted to do it now. Similar features aren’t exactly popping up everywhere these days so while the field is still relatively barren compared to what it’s going to be in a few years, a $500 increase isn’t that big of a deal for customers who have spent or are willing to spend north of $60,000 on either a Model S or a Model X.

Skeptics can criticize all they want; at the end of the day, Tesla is still in the money-making business and this 20-percent increase in the price of the Autopilot feature should be a good source of extra revenues for Elon Musk and company. Now about making the system safer for its drivers...

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Tesla Offering Two-Year Lease for Model S and Model X

Tesla Offering Two-Year Lease for Model S and Model X

It’s a limited time offer, so better jump fast if you’re interested

Tesla recently fell under criticism for overstating figures for the first and second quarters of 2016. Now, Tesla has announced that for a limited time, you can get a Tesla Model S or Model X under a two-year lease program. And, by limited time, I mean you have to do it by September 12, or you’re out of luck. This obviously drops the cost of owning a Tesla a little bit, but how much?

Well, we looked into it. A Model S under a two-year lease requires a $6,000 down payment, but the $2,500 deposit that is due on ordering is included as part of the down payment. Add in the $695 acquisition fee and the first month’s lease payment of $593 for a total of $4,788 due at signing. This gets you a 24-month term and 10,000 miles per year. This is, of course, for the Model S 60 with rear wheel drive – the least expensive model available. Going with the Model X is a little more expensive. It will set you back $4,925 due at signing with a monthly lease payment of $730.

On top of the initial money spent and the monthly lease payment, you’ll also be required to pay a $395 disposition fee when returning the vehicle. It is also important to know that the vehicle can be returned within the first 90 days of the contract for any reason, and Tesla will waive the remaining lease obligation.

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Tesla's Autopilot is About to get a Serious Hardware Update

Tesla’s Autopilot is About to get a Serious Hardware Update

Tesla and its AutoPilot system have fallen under a lot of scrutiny lately with all of the AutoPilot-related accidents and subsequent investigations. To be blunt, the company has seen a lot of negative headlines lately. It even broke down and changed some wording on its Chinese website after a recent accident in China. But, despite all the negativity, neither Elon Musk or Tesla as a whole is backing down from pushing the AutoPilot system. That brings us to our topic of discussion today: AutoPilot 2.0.

Apparently, the system is already well into development, despite the fact that Tesla and MobileEye have gone their separate ways. According to the guys over at Electrek, the upgraded AutoPilot system will feature new radar sensors on each corner of the vehicle as well as a new front-facing, triple camera system. Of the three cameras, one will be a wide-angle camera used to scan all lanes ahead, another will be used to scan directly in front of the vehicle, and the third is a backup that can be used by the system in a pinch should there be an unexpected failure.

The new hardware will help push the AutoPilot system into the next stage, and will enable what Tesla is calling “level 3 autonomous driving.” For now, no production vehicles have been fitted with the new hardware, but some sources are reporting that new models already have the proper mounts and wiring, which means the option of retrofitting is a possibility in the future. Even when the new sensors and cameras are installed on production models, it isn’t likely that they’ll go into use right away. Tesla will wait until software is perfected, then roll out over-the-air updates to activate the hardware. With this new hardware, it could be possible for full autonomy to be activated with a future OTA update, but something tells me we still have a while to wait on that one.

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The Model S and Model X Could Get a Battery Update in the Near Future

The Model S and Model X Could Get a Battery Update in the Near Future

Tesla is silent on the matter, but a European authority has approved a 100-kWh battery

News about Tesla has been more bad than good lately, but today I’m here to talk about something other than car crashes and Autopilot. Today, I’m here to talk about batteries and what could be coming for the Model S and Model X. It wasn’t that long ago that Tesla almost silently discontinued its 85-kWh battery, taking at versions of the 85-kWh Model S off the market. Very quickly rumors began to surface about a new, more powerful battery, and one hacker even found a “P100D” hidden within the source code for his Model S after an OTA update.

Tesla has remained largely silent on the subject. But, a Dutch forum, Kenteken, did some investigating and found something very interesting. Over in Europe, manufacturers can choose which company approves their vehicles to be sold and used on the road. Tesla uses a company known as RDW, which happens to have a part of its collective database published as “open data.” Kenteken decided to do some searching of this open database and discovered that there are, in fact, references to approval for a “100D” and a “100x.” It also discovered that there was a range of 613 KM (about 380 miles) associated with the model variant “100D.”

Here at TopSpeed, we took the time to do some searching of CARB’s database and couldn’t find anything related to a 100-kWh battery or any reference to a P100D or 100X. Then again, Tesla is still silent on the matter too, but with this new battery pack already being approved for European sales and use, it’s only a matter of time before Musk spills the beans and we start getting official word on the matter.

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Tesla's Autopilot Drives Man to Hospital. Did it Save his Life?

Tesla’s Autopilot Drives Man to Hospital. Did it Save his Life?

Tesla’s Autopilot system has had its share of controversies, including a series of high-profile crashes that have led some people to question the technology’s reliability. Needless to say, Tesla needed some form of good publicity for the Autopilot system. The automaker may have found it in 37-year old lawyer Joshua Neally, who credits the polarizing technology for getting him to a hospital during a medical emergency that almost cost him his life.

Speaking with Slate, Neally recalls making one of his daily 45-minute commutes from his workplace in Springfield, Missouri to his house in Branson, Missouri. On that particular day in late July, Neally said he felt comfortable using the Autopilot system of his Model X to make the drive home. Five minutes into his journey, he felt a sharp pain in his abdomen that moved its way to his chest. Fearing that something was seriously wrong, Neally was able to reroute the Model X’s navigation system to a hospital that was 20-something miles away and according to him, the system got him to the emergency room in time for him to get medical treatment.

Doctors eventually diagnosed him with a pulmonary embolism, an obstruction of a blood vessel in his lungs that could have led to his death had he not gotten to the ER on time. The harrowing ordeal had a happy ending because the Autopilot system did its job, or at least that’s what the lawyer believes. He did admit that in hindsight, it might have been better if he had just pulled over and called 911 but in the heat of the moment, as he was writhing in agonizing pain, he put his faith on the Model X’s Autopilot system and it delivered.

Whether the technology saved Neally’s life is a discussion in and of itself, nobody would disagree that it played a significant part in him being alive today to tell the story.

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TopSpeed's Top 5 High-Tech Cars

TopSpeed’s Top 5 High-Tech Cars

The future is now!

In case you hadn’t noticed, the year is 2016, people, and it’s high time we get this whole technology thing kicked into high gear. Yeah, I know you can post cat videos and catch virtual pocket monsters, but I’m talking about real tech, stuff that can actually change the world in a profound way. Not that that video of Mr. Snowball chasing the laser pointer isn’t worthwhile, I’m just saying we can do better. Thankfully, there’s at least a few automakers out there pushing the limits of what’s possible on four wheels, and we’re all a whole lot better for it.

In this list, we’ve compiled the top five high-tech cars you can go buy right now. You know, with money. And while they might not be powered by trilithium extract or be made from carbonized uranium, these five vehicles represent the bleeding edge of transportation. Is your ride among them?

Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 High-Tech Cars.

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Is Tesla Involved in a Cover-Up over the Model X Crash?

Is Tesla Involved in a Cover-Up over the Model X Crash?

Montana driver who crashed his Model X is accusing Tesla of not getting his side of the story

The driver of the Tesla Model X that crashed in Montana while its Autopilot system was engaged has now published an open letter, accusing Tesla of covering up the problems that have plagued the Autopilot system.

According to Electrek, the driver identifies himself as Mr. Pang and claims that he was never able to explain himself to Tesla before the automaker issued its own conclusion that Pang was to blame for the accident that saw the Model X crash into 12 barrier posts after plowing through a safety barrier post. The driver added some pretty harsh words for the company, saying that Tesla was trying to “cover up the lack of dependability of the autopilot system.”

For its part, Tesla has maintained that the accident was all Pang’s fault because data logs showed that the driver’s hands were not on the steering wheel even after multiple warnings. The automaker added Pang was in violation of the terms of agreement between the driver and the automaker on the proper use of the Autopilot system. Apparently, Tesla is requiring everybody who uses the Autopilot system to have at least a small amount of force on the steering wheel so that the system can detect the presence of a driver sitting behind the wheel. Tesla argued that Pang not only had his attention elsewhere when the car’s autopilot system was engaged, but more importantly, his hands were not on the wheel, hence the slow reaction time when the car ended up crashing into the barriers.

While Pang admitted that his hands were not on the wheel, he’s still convinced that the Model X’s Autopilot system crashed by itself, adding fire to the increasing number of cases of Tesla vehicles crashing because of their autonomous driving technology. It’s unclear how this issue will be resolved, but from the look of things, Pang is hoping to to get Tesla on the table to discuss the supposed issues plaguing the company’s Autopilot system. The automaker has yet to issue a new statement addressing Pang’s allegations, but given the serious nature of the driver’s accusations, don’t be surprised to hear Tesla release a new statement addressing the allegations.

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Russian Man gets Public Charging Station all to Himself

Russian Man gets Public Charging Station all to Himself

Now this is some customer service!

One of the benefits of owning a Tesla is access to its public supercharging network, but what happens if you’re a lone Tesla owner in an area outside the supercharging network? Well, for most people, it means that you have to just suck it up and deal with it. But, that isn’t the case for one Russian man who’s commute – which is ridiculously long – falls just outside of his Tesla’s maximum range.

The man of the hour goes by the name Alexander Shavrin, and he lives in Perm – a city that is about 20 hours east of Moscow by car and about five and a half hours or 225 miles northwest of Shavrin’s employer in Yekaterinburg. With a daily commute like that, owning an all-electric Tesla is a no-brainer except for one thing – there are absolutely no EV chargers in the entire region. That’s clearly a problem when you run out of juice just 15 to 20 miles before you get to work or home, so Shavrin decided to reach out to the regional energy company – IDGC of Urals – and asked them for some help.

Surprisingly, the company – after what had to be an intriguing conversation – was happy to oblige. The plan is to add the first EV charger in the region in a small village along E22 that is known as Achit. Not only is it exactly what Shavrin needed, but it’s pretty close to the half-way point of his journey in each direction. Talk about a win-win, right?

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Growing Pains – The Tesla Autopilot Crashes And Our Autonomous Future

Growing Pains – The Tesla Autopilot Crashes And Our Autonomous Future

Unfortunate, tragic… but not unexpected

The past few weeks have not been kind to Tesla’s Autopilot feature. Three separate high-profile crashes involving the autonomous driving system have been reported since June 30th, including one fatality, raising serious questions about self-driving cars and their implementation on public roads. Are autonomous cars safe? Are regulators doing enough to protect the public? How will advances in self-driving technology be affected?

Well, I’m here to tell you the hard truth – what we’re witnessing now are the growing pains of our inevitable autonomous future.

Perhaps it’s crass to label a deadly car accident as part of the “growing pains” of technological progression, but the reality is any tech has the potential to be dangerous. Add in a few tons of metal traveling at highway speeds, and you raise the stakes. Of course, the fear mongers will be quick to point fingers and assign blame, but when considered logically, each of these three incidents are the unavoidable result of humanity’s perpetual experiment for a better tomorrow.

Basically, it’s like this – it was bound to happen, it’ll happen again, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

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 Will The NHTSA Consider Banning The Use Of Tesla's Autopilot System?

Will The NHTSA Consider Banning The Use Of Tesla’s Autopilot System?

NHTSA is investigating the most recent crash in which Autopilot is being blamed.

Just yesterday we brought you the news about that Tesla Model X that went rogue and crashed on a highway in Pennsylvania. Fortunately, nobody was injured, but the driver found it appropriate to blame Telsa, claiming that the Autopilot function was engaged at the time of the crash. When that news went live yesterday, there had been very little development since the crash, but now things are starting to come together quicker than expected.

The first fatal incident involving Tesla’s Autopilot is already under investigation, but now that this new accident, which also had the potential to be fatal, is being investigated by the NHTSA too – Apparently the NHTSA didn’t want to waste any time on this one. For now, we know that the driver is claiming the Autopilot system was engaged, but Tesla takes a very different stance on the situation.

According to AutoblogGreen, a Tesla spokesperson gave the media outlet the following statement regarding the crash: “Tesla received a message from the car on July 1st indicating a crash event, but logs were never transmitted. We have no data at this point to indicate that Autopilot was engaged or not engaged. This is consistent with the nature of the damage reported in the press, which can cause the antenna to fail. As we do with all crash events, we immediately reached out to the customer to confirm they were ok and offer support, but were unable to reach him. We have since attempted to contact the customer three times by phone without success. It is not possible to learn more without access to the vehicle’s onboard logs.”

That statement could be considered Tesla’s first step in defense, but I think the most important point of interest here is that the NHTSA has already started an investigation into a crash that yielded no injury to anyone involved. So, what does that mean for Tesla and its Autopilot system?

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Is Tesla's Autopilot Responsible For Yet Another Accident?

Is Tesla’s Autopilot Responsible For Yet Another Accident?

Are we too trusting of new technology?

It seems like Tesla has been taking blow after blow lately. It hasn’t even been a week since reports started surfacing of the fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S, and now it looks like another serious crash has occurred while Autopilot was engaged on a Tesla Model X. According to the Detroit Free Press Albert Scaglione – an art dealer out of Southfield, MI – and his son-in-law, Tim Yanke, were cruising down a Pennsylvania highway with Autopilot engaged when the Model X hit a guardrail, bounced off of a concrete median, rolled onto its roof, and came to a stop on the opposite side of the highway.

Fortunately, the accident wasn’t fatal, and both passengers of the Model X walked away from the accident unharmed. There was reportedly some damage to a 2013 Infiniti G37 from the scattering of debris during the accident, but all passengers in that vehicle were unharmed as well. According to the report, neither passenger of the totaled Model X were available for comment, but Dale Vukovich of the Pennsylvania State Police reported that Scaglione claims to have activated the Autopilot feature of the Model X prior to the accident.

Apparently, there isn’t enough evidence to indicate that the Autopilot malfunctioned, but Tesla has yet to weigh in on this specific incident, and more details could come to light if Tesla takes the time to investigate the accident. According to the Detroit Free Press, the driver of the Model X will likely be cited once investigation of the accident is complete. So, what’s the deal with Tesla’s Autopilot these days?

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Model X Customer Hits Tesla with Lemon Lawsuit

Model X Customer Hits Tesla with Lemon Lawsuit

Model X almost acts like it has been possessed at times and the autopilot feature forgets how to drive in the rain

The Tesla Model X has fallen under a lot of scrutiny lately. Tesla’s ambitious development goals initially delayed the launch of the Model X and has causes some pretty wild quality control issues. Even Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, has went so far as to say the company was overzealous in development of the all-electric SUV. Problems have ranged from autopilot malfunction to electric door malfunction, and let’s not forget the recall to replace the third-row seats due to a flaw in the locking mechanism for the seatback.

With that said, it comes as no surprise that a Model X owner from California – and his attorney Mark Anderson from Anderson, Ogilvie, & Brewer in San Francisco – have filed a lawsuit requesting full reimbursement of the $161,970 paid for the “Lemon” of a Model X. The car’s owner, Barret Lyon, claims that the doors have slammed shut on him and his wife unexpectedly and that the autopilot system is extremely dangerous in the rain and will veer from lane to lane. Furthermore, Lyon claims that the powered front doors tend to open into other vehicles, the touchscreen display freezes completely, the second row seat will cause the driver’s seat to fold forward, and that the auto park feature doesn’t work 90 percent of the time.

In all fairness, Lyon also owns a handmade Tesla Roadster and an early-edition Model S, both of which he claims to have given him no problems at all. When speaking of the Model X, Lyon said: “It’s become clear to me that the car wasn’t ready for consumers. The service center is completely unprepared for the kind of problems they’re having.”

Considering Tesla has been unable to diagnose and repair the problems, Lyon’s lawsuit is also seeking compensation for his registration fee, damages for break of warranty, California Lemon Violations, and all legal costs associated with the lawsuit.

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Tesla Model X P90D vs. Bentley Bentayga – The ultimate showdown: Video

Tesla Model X P90D vs. Bentley Bentayga – The ultimate showdown: Video

Which one wins this all-out battle?

The latest episode of Motor Trend’s Head 2 Head is quite the battle of braun. It’s the lightening quick Tesla Model X P90D pitted against Bentely’s newest model – the 600-horsepower, W-12 monster called the Bentayga. It’s certainly a fight for the ages… or at least in the high-end luxury SUV world.

A quick refresher on the contenders: The Bentley’s aforementioned W-12 produces a whopping 664 pound-feet of torque, which sends it down the quarter mile in 11.9 seconds at 117.1 mph after hitting 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. Those are supercar numbers, mind you. The Tesla is equally impressive, with its dual electric motors making a combined 532 horsepower and a crazy 713 pound-feet of torque. And as we all know, electric vehicles make 100 percent of its torque at zero rpm. Both vehicles send power to all four wheels, making grip less of a factor.

The Bentayga’s gas-sucking engine makes up for the Tesla’s whisper-quiet demeanor with loud exhaust tones and quick shifts from its ZF eight-speed automatic. The Tesla, on the other hand, provides the ultimate luxury – the self-driving “autopilot” feature.

Though both vehicles have their talking points, one thing is for sure: the Tesla is fast. Motor Trend even pitted it against the well-renowned Alfa-Romeo 4C in a drag race – with another Alfa 4C on a flatbed trailer hitched to the Model X. If that’s not an impressive drag race, I don’t know what is.

So, before I spoil any of the results, be sure to watch the video in HD and full screen nodes. It’s 22 minutes you’ll enjoy.

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Tesla Showcases Bioweapon Defense Mode

Tesla Showcases Bioweapon Defense Mode

Apparently, it’s more than just a cheeky feature on the Model X SUV

When Tesla introduced the Model X back in late 2015, it announced that it would come with a Bioweapon Defense Mode that sounded more like an Easter egg than a revolutionary feature. Turns out, this Bioweapon Defense Mode could, in fact, be more than just legit; it might actually end up saving some lives. Tesla proved as much when it showcased the technology in an in-house test, placing a Model X inside a large bubble that contained extremely high levels of pollution, specifically 83 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s “good” rating.

Once the toxic air engulfed the Model X, the vehicle’s HEPA filtration system went to work, rendering the pollution levels impotent to the point that sensors couldn’t even detect traces of any pollution left inside the bubble. According to Tesla, the filtration system was able to eliminate bacteria, pollen, and pollution from outside the car before it could have seeped through the cabin. And if any did manage to penetrate the car, the air inside the Model X eliminated any and all traces in less than two minutes, essentially turning the cabin of the SUV into a mobile sterile room.

It may sound like Call of Duty-type technology, and it might as well be, considering that one of its main objectives is to protect occupants of the Model X - and the Model S - from getting in a military grade attack made up of bioweapons. Not surprisingly, Tesla is already working on tweaking the technology in order to improve on its capabilities.

Not that it should matter, but if anything, this type of technology just goes to show how forward-thinking Tesla is when it comes to coming up with ideas for its cars. A bioweapon defense mode? I don’t think anybody would’ve thought of something like that other than Q., and he doesn’t exist in the real world.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Tesla Model X Recalled To Replace Third-Row Seats

Tesla Model X Recalled To Replace Third-Row Seats

North American models tested fine before delivery, but are also being included in the recall

In a recent email sent out by Tesla customer service, it was announced that Tesla was issuing a voluntary safety recall related to the third seating row in the new Tesla Model X. The flaw involves the locking mechanism for the seat back, and the possibility that it could slip under extreme stress.

The recliner was supplied by an outside supplier and was found to be potentially defective during testing before the company began delivering the Model X in Europe. According to the email, Tesla claims to have conducted 15 tests for North American models prior to their delivery without any indication of failure. Despite the fact that North American models passed testing, and there have been no reported instances of failure, Tesla decided to issue the voluntary recall anyway.

It has been reported that Tesla has worked with its supplier to redesign the recliner mechanism, and is currently working on constructing new seatbacks for each affected vehicle. Service centers will contact affected parties in the near future to schedule the installation of a new seatback, and Tesla expects production of all replacement seatbacks to be done within the next five weeks, if not sooner. Tesla is advising current owners to continue using their Model X as they normally would, but to refrain from using the third row of seating until the recall can be performed.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Tesla Takes German Supplier To Court Over Faulty Falcon Doors

Tesla Takes German Supplier To Court Over Faulty Falcon Doors

Electric car maker is also contesting Hoerbiger’s demands for compensation

Tesla is taking one of its former suppliers to court on allegations that it misrepresented its ability to design the falcon doors on the Model X SUV, forcing the electric car maker to make an 11th hour change in suppliers. According to the lawsuit that was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, the prototype doors that German parts supplier Hoerbiger were all defective to the point that they either leaked oil or produced excessive heat. The company’s failure to provide a working prototype from February 2014 to May 2015 that met Tesla’s engineering standards compelled the automaker to effectively cut ties with the supplier.

Tesla’s lawsuit is also challenging demands by Hoerbiger to be paid $3 million for services rendered. But, the automaker is challenging that it doesn’t owe the German parts supplier anything since the latter didn’t hold up to its end of the agreement. Instead, Tesla is asking the court to junk Hoerbiger’s claims and pay for damages and attorney fees that the automaker would incur with the lawsuit.

Since the falcon wing doors are one of the highlight pieces of the Model X, the problems Tesla had with its supplier forced the company to delay the launch of the electric SUV several times. Production was supposed to start in late 2013 but that has already been moved a couple of times, most recently in the latter part of 2015.

Fortunately for Tesla, production of the Model X has already begun and, according to the company, the daily production rate in the last week of the year was 238 Model X vehicles per week.”

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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What Would Santa Drive?

What Would Santa Drive?

This just in! With Christmas day only a few hours away, Santa’s sleigh just got stolen and Mr.Claus developed a sudden fear of flying. Billions of people around the world are in danger of not getting their Christmas presents this year!

Okay, I’m kidding, but let’s imagine what Santa would do if he couldn’t travel the world in his reindeer-powered sleigh. He’d probably have to drive, and assuming he doesn’t already own a vehicle (he obviously wouldn’t need one with the flying sleigh usually at his disposal), he would need to find the proper means of transportation on land.

So what would Mr.Claus drive?

Given he hauls a lot of stuff, cargo space is definitely a priority. His vehicle of choice should also have to come with all-wheel drive, as Santa encounters all sorts of terrains during his journey around the world. Finally, it should also be fast because, as you may know, Santa needs to get the job done in only 24 hours.

Granted, none of the vehicles available today would be up for such a mission, but should the reindeer go on strike on Christmas or should Santa decide that the open-roof sleigh gets way too chilly, he would need a helping hand in finding the best car to travel around the around. And TopSpeed is here to help!

Keep reading for the full story.

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2016 Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X

After years of delays and rampant speculation, it’s finally official – the Model X has arrived. In a live event at the company’s factory in Fremont, California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally handed out keys to the first models off the production line, detailing the vehicle’s features and capabilities along the way. The Model X is framed as an uber-safe, uber-clean, semi-autonomous, highly practical, all-electric long-range SUV capable of embarrassing hardcore sports cars in a speed contest. That’s a lot to chew on, even for the most disruptive automaker on the block.

Unlike Tesla’s first model, the Lotus Elise-based Roadster, the Model X was built totally in-house using the existing Model S platform. However, unlike the sedan, this SUV can sit up to seven passengers and carry an attic’s worth of stuff, all while going 250 miles in a charge and hitting 60 mph quick enough to make you see plaid.

Sounds wild, doesn’t it? Read on to see exactly what I mean.

Updated 11/24/2015: An official Tesla Model X configurator confirms that the electric SUV will be priced from $80k - before any incentives and not including $1,200 destination fees. If you will opt for the six seats pack you will have to pay an extra $3k, while the Autopilot function adds $2,5k to the final cost. Other options include a $4,5k premium package, a $2,5k premium sound system and a $1k subzero weather package.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Tesla Model X.

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Are Tesla Model X's Papillon Doors Worth It?

Are Tesla Model X’s Papillon Doors Worth It?

The 2016 Tesla Model X is one of those cars that can’t seem to escape the headlines. For one reason or another, Tesla’s new but still unreleased model attracts attention, even if it’s not purposely trying to get it. Take for example a recent video taken by two people who happened to see a Model X test mule in an open parking space. Lucky for them, they were able to record the Model X at the exact time one of its falcon doors opened. From there, they also see the driver of the Model X hop into the car, only to step out again just to close the latch of the falcon doors.

It was a curious sight to see, to say the least. More importantly, seeing the whole thing raised an all-important question about the Model X’s falcon doors: are they worth it?

Answering that is a little tricky because it puts creativity and practicality at a cross roads. Are those doors cool enough as they are that Tesla should definitely use them in the production model, or are they nothing more than showpieces that have no place in the production version of the Model X?

Continue reading to find out where I side in this matter.

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Refer 10 New Buyers In A Region And Get A Free Tesla Model X

Refer 10 New Buyers In A Region And Get A Free Tesla Model X

Believe it or not, it costs nearly $2,000 for Tesla to sell a 2015 Tesla Model S out of any one of its showrooms. Online sales inevitably come at a much lower price, so Tesla has decided to pass on the savings from online sales on to its customers through an experimental referral program. Current Model S owners can hand out a referral link to any of their friends. If a sale is generated through the link, the current owner and new customer get a $1,000 credit toward a new Model S. If the current owner isn’t looking to purchase a new Model S, he can use the credit toward service or accessories for the one he already owns. So, what if you have more than one friend interested in buying a Tesla? Well, if you have five or 10, the incentives get even better.

Any Model S owner who generates five online sales through his referral link gets a tour of Tesla’s Gigafactory, and 10 referrals gets him a $20,000 credit toward a Founder’s Series Model X. The program doesn’t stop there either. The first owner in each region to hit 10 successful referrals gets a brand new, fully-loaded 2016 Tesla Model X for free. Currently, the referral program is set to expire on October 31, 2015, but if it is successful, Musk may continue the program and potentially extend it to used models as well.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Tesla Could Start Deliveries Of Model X This September

Tesla Could Start Deliveries Of Model X This September

Deliveries of the highly anticipated Model X, Tesla’s first electric crossover, could commence this September. That’s the word from company CEO Elon Musk, who at the 2015 Annual Shareholder Meeting in Mountain View, California, said that the first examples of the 2016 Tesla Model X will reach their customers late in the third quarter of 2015, Autoblog reports.

That’s two years later than initially announced, but it’s better late than never, right?

So what kept Tesla from releasing the all-electric SUV on time? Well, it seems it has something to with its fancy falcon-wing doors, which require large torsion springs and extensive testing to withstand the test of time. They might be cool to look at as they reach for the sky, but they need to be as reliable and strong as regular doors. Apparently, this was rather difficult to achieve. According to Musk, Tesla engineers have also been working on the vehicle’s rear seats and "a few other things that people aren’t aware of," but no specific details were given.

Now that this is no longer a problem, production of the Model X can finally go on as planned. If Tesla’s initial claims are still in place, Musk’s company should build at least 10,000 SUVs a year. Pricing is likely to start from around $82,000 for the base model, before the $7,500 federal tax credit.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Tesla Model X Caught On The Road: Video

2016 Tesla Model X Caught On The Road: Video

It seems like the postponed Tesla Model X is nearing its official unveil date with heavy steps, as a pre-production prototype was recently caught driving on a Californian highway. The lightly disguised vehicle was spotted near Palo Alto, where Tesla Motors’ headquarters are located, and this is the first time that a Model X prototype has been filmed on a public road.

Previewed by a concept car in early 2012, Tesla’s first crossover was supposed to start production by the end of 2013, but it was rescheduled several times. The latest delivery estimates for new reservations are "early 2016," meaning the the Model X could be unveiled as early as the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, in September. Tesla may even surprise everyone by bringing it to the upcoming 2015 New York Auto Show, although it is less likely.

Based on a modified Model S architecture, the Model X crossover will feature normal doors at the front and so-called "falcon wing doors" for the rear passengers, while the rear luggage compartment will feature a regular hatch. Available as standard with the dual motor and all-wheel drive system from the Model S P85D, Tesla’s crossover will also feature a choice of multiple battery and performance options, while its interior should be at least as accommodating as on the Model S. As seen in the short video above, the overall look is that of a more bulbuous Model S.

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How Will 2016 Audi Q7 Plug-In Hybrid Affect Tesla Model X?

How Will 2016 Audi Q7 Plug-In Hybrid Affect Tesla Model X?

The Tesla Model X isn’t in production yet, nor has a production model even been revealed, but the all-electric SUV continues to be the focal point of many discussions. One of the latest comes from seekingalpha, a research website for investors (that requires an email subscription), in which a recent article suggests that Audi’s launch of the 2016 Q7 e-tron quattro plug-In hybrid could put Tesla’s third production vehicle in a hole.

This argument is centered on the waiting list where an estimated 23,000 potential buyers have laid down their refundable $5,000 deposits. The author seems to think that if the Q7 and its combination of a diesel engine and a plug-in hybrid powertrain arrive before the Model X, people will opt for the seven-passenger hybrid over the seven-passenger electric vehicle. More so, he believes that the price difference between the two vehicles, which he estimates to be around $35,000, people will buy the Q7 PHEV now as well as the proposed $35,000 Tesla Model III that is scheduled to debut in 2017.

Only time will tell if this theory plays out, but our best guess is this will not be the case. Sure, there might be a handful of customers who put their name on the list just looking for an efficient, three-row SUV, but at the same time, most of these people are probably looking for a fully electric vehicle rather than just the 35 miles of electric range the Q7 diesel PHEV is expected to deliver. On top of that, it would seem that Tesla buyers are willing to stay on their “invisible leash” (aka Tesla’s Supercharger) in order to enjoy zero-emission driving.

Regardless of which scenario plays out for the Tesla Model X, this is definitely an exciting time for SUV drivers where a variety of advanced plug-in utility vehicles are preparing to hit the market.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s future Q7 Plug-in Hybrid.

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Tesla Model X Deliveries will Begin in Early 2015

Tesla Model X Deliveries will Begin in Early 2015

Looks like Tesla is gearing up for production of its highly anticipated Model X crossover in the early parts of 2015, according to a forum post on Tesla’s own website. Though the new crossovers were promised by 2014, the company has experienced delays and setbacks with moving its second large-scale vehicle into production.

The information doesn’t come from a fancy press release or a news conference from Elon Musk, but rather an email directed to reservation holders of the Model X. At 7:30 a.m. on June 16, a reservation holder received an email from Tesla revealing plenty of details about the Model X’s confirmed features and its eventual production dates. You can read the email after the jump.

As far as the SUV itself, the email confirms the inclusion of the Falcon wing doors, standard all-wheel-drive, an optional third row, and a folding second and third row for increased storage. The Model X will also be able to take full advantage of Tesla’s growing Supercharger network for recharging on the go — an obvious good idea on Tesla’s part.

The email continues in saying the Model X will be built Fremont, California, within Tesla’s expanded facilities and production lines. Initial builds will start in the early months of 2015 with full production ramping up by the fall.

Click past the jump for more info and to read the email from Tesla

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Tesla Model X Pushed Back One Year

So, we have been very patient with what may be one of the best crossover SUVs ever built: the Tesla Model X.
We were expecting to see the Model X released in late-2013 for the 2014 model year, but things are changing, as they usually do. According to a report by Los Angeles Times, the Model X’s production has been pushed to late-2014 with deliveries happening in 2015.

The reasoning for the delay is that Tesla has been so focused on improving the Model S that it chose to push the Model X back, as opposed to rushing through it. We’ll take that excuse at its face value, but that seems almost like a cop-out, as we haven’t seen any changes to the Model S since it was released, sans a significant price hike. Maybe there is a change to the Model S around the corner that we are not yet aware of.

So, those of you that are excited to get your hands on this crossover SUV that hits 60 mph in under 5 seconds while looking pretty sexy, you’re just going to have to wait a little longer.

We’ll keep you updated.

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Tesla Gets $10 Million Grant to Help Build the Model X

Few auto manufacturers would actually find themselves lobbying California lawmakers to pass more stringent zero-emission regulations. Then again, Tesla is not your “typical” automaker, as zero-emission cars is all they do, and that lobbying has put Tesla firmly in the minds of the state’s lawmakers.

With California having a vested interest in the success of the EV world, thanks to its growing number of cars on the road, it needs Tesla to start hammering out a more eclectic line of vehicles. The Model X is exactly the balance that Tesla and California need, but as an up-and-coming business, Tesla’s funds are a little tight. Well, California has upped its faith in the growing automaker, as it the state has issued it a $10 million grant to help the EV manufacturer get its Fremont, California ready for production of the new crossover SUV.

Now before you get yourself up in arms about the government handing out grants to another EV company, please note that per the terms of this grant deal, Tesla has ponied up $50 million toward the project. That $60 million will be used to create 700 new jobs, update equipment and bring in the new equipment that Tesla needs to stamp out the Model X.

This means that we are getting closer and closer to the scheduled 2014 release of the Model X, which will carry with it an MSRP from $57,400 to about $90,000. Models nearer the top end of the MSRP spectrum will boast dual-motor all-wheel drive and a 0-to-60 mph time under 5 seconds. That will put the Model X near the performance level of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo with a lower MSRP and no fuel to purchase. All that remains to be figured out is whether it will boast a 300-mile electric range like its Model S brethren. If so, Tesla certainly has a winner on its hands.

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Despite Being Dubbed a "Loser" by Mitt Romney, Tesla Expects to Show Positive Cash Flow Next Month

So, for anyone that watched the Debate last night – I did and I am suffering today thanks to the late evening – you saw presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, hit our sector a few times. One time, he took a direct swipe at two alternative-energy car companies in one statement. If you missed the statement, here it is:

"Now, I like green energy as well, but that’s about 50 years’ worth of what oil and gas receives," Romney said during the first of three Presidential debates. "You put $90 billion — like 50 years’ worth of breaks — into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said, you don’t just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers."

Now, we’re not here to debate politics, but to call Tesla and Fisker “losers” is not quite fair. As a matter of fact, Tesla announced on Wednesday – the same day that Romney labeled it a “Loser” – that despite its struggles meeting delivery goals, which are due to supplier issues, it will become “cash-flow positive” by next month and will hit the 500-unit mark in just a few weeks.

Hitting that black in the ledger is a huge step for an upstart company and to see Tesla hitting it this soon is impressive. Musk also announced that despite criticisms of the DOE loan to Tesla, the company has always paid the loan installments on time and has never even given a thought to postponing the payments.

We are not too sure exactly what will come of Tesla in the long run, but it is already prepping the release of its second vehicle, the Model X SUV, and there is a light at the end of the very long upstart tunnel for Musk and Tesla. We’ll keep an eye on the ledger sheet and let you know if Tesla meets this anticipated milestone on time or not.

Click past the jump to read Mr. Musk’s blogged press release.

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Tesla Refuses to "Enter the Graveyard" with other Failed Companies

So many car companies lose sight of the single most important aspect of running a business: keeping cost low and profit high, while maintaining good quality control. This has ultimately landed many start-up companies into early closure and even some juggernauts, like Pontiac and Oldsmobile, into shutting their doors for good.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk really seems to have his finger on the pulse of his business, as they slowly start bringing more mainstream cars – as mainstream as an EV can be – into the market, with its new Model S and upcoming Model X. To help control overhead, each Tesla Model S is built to order, so there aren’t any leftovers on the shelves, but this also poses the risk of not being able to keep up with demand.

At this point, Tesla is manufacturing at its capacity and needs to push out another 5,000 Model S units by December 31st to hit its goal and stay in the black. This is a tall task that will likely not be possible without increasing production, but Tesla’s CEO also knows that increasing production also increases cost, so there needs to be a delicate balance. Musk was quoted saying that “The challenge that Tesla faces over the next few months is scaling production enough to achieve a certain gross margin on our product so we can be cash flow positive. That’s extremely important,” and “If we’re unable to do that, we’ll enter the graveyard with all the other car company startups of the last 90 years.”

Clearly, Musk is willing to take this challenge head-on and he understands what’s at stake. We love the Tesla line and want to see it succeed, and seeing a CEO that is willing to admit the challenges ahead and ready to take them on is a promising start. We’ll keep a close eye on this to make sure Tesla can actually hit its goals for the year and stay afloat.

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Tesla Taking a New Approach to Automotive Sales

We always see new little wrinkles in automotive dealerships to try and make the car-buying experience seem less stressful and forced. Two key examples are the “No-Haggle” promise offered by now-defunct Saturn and the “Sign-and-Drive” deals offered by several manufacturers now, but started by VW. These are less about making the process easier for the consumer and more about increasing the dealer’s profits while displaying the illusion of an easy-going sales force, which is an oxymoron for any commissioned sales job.

Tesla appears to be going into a realm where car buying is a simple and stress-free environment. How they are achieving this is by beginning with the elimination of the traditional dealership and replacing it with smaller stores in local malls. The second step is to eliminate all commissions and pay the employees a salary. The third step is to not require car sales experience as a prerequisite for hiring, which eliminates the high-pressure “Sell now or sell never” mentality. To get a good picture of what to expect, walk into an Apple store in a local mall and see how laid back it is. You can walk in and play with all of the gadgets without a single sales person bothering you until you ask.

You may be wondering about the floor models and demo models. Keep in mind that all Teslas are built to order, so stores only need a handful of models on the floor and a few test vehicles in the mall’s parking lot. The biggest focus of these stores is to simply educate the customer about Tesla models, and what better place to get plenty of people to educate than a traffic-heavy mall?

Our hats go off to Tesla in its new approach to vehicle sales, but we have a sneaking suspicion that we will see Tesla dealerships and commission-based sales in the near future. Especially if sales start taking off and more models have to be kept on hand for the I-want-it-now customer. So we’ll see exactly how long Tesla can hang onto this low-pressure buying experience before converting into your typical high-pressure dealership.

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Tesla Sets Pretty Lofty 2013 and 2014 Goals

Tesla has yet to officially launch its latest EV, the Model S, and already the upstart automaker is setting up some pretty lofty goals. In an interview with CEO, Elon Musk, it was made clear that the company is confident that it will achieve 20,000 total models sold in 2013. With the Nissan Leaf eclipsing just 9,500 total sales in the U.S. in 2011, those are some pretty stratospheric goals.

This is especially difficult considering that Tesla is not expected to infiltrate the European and Asian markets until mid-2013. We do see the logic behind this though, as the base $57,400 price is relatively affordable, considering what you get at that level. Also add in the fact that the Model S is more stylish and ego-massaging than the very odd-looking and soft-feeling Leaf, and Tesla just may be able to hit those numbers.

Once Tesla debuts the Model X SUV, the automaker anticipates a huge upswing in sales at the tune of 75 percent. Yup, Tesla anticipates 2014 sales to eclipse the 35,000 mark thanks to its newest EV SUV, which means the Model X’s sales are expected to hover around 15,000 for the year.

Overall, these are very high goals to achieve for an automaker that really has no reputation or customer base to attach its wagon to yet. However, there are tons of enthusiasts out there that would love nothing more than a 300-mile-per-charge supercar that hits 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and still hauls the family around. So, if Tesla remains true to its promises with the Model S, we could all see this new automaker well exceeding its projected goals.

We’ll be closely monitoring the sales of the Model S to see if the demand is there and if this upstart can provide ample supply if the demand is high.

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2012 Tesla Model X Concept

2012 Tesla Model X Concept

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!

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Tesla teases Model X ahead of February debut

Tesla teases Model X ahead of February debut

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.

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