Falcon Heavy Launch Sends Tesla Roadster And Starman Into The Great Beyond, But Now What?
Earlier this week, SpaceX lit the fuse on its biggest, baddest rocket to date. Dubbed the Falcon Heavy, the test flight was, more or less, a success. But the question remains – where do we go from here? Read on for a full rundown on what happened with the launch, as well as what to expect next.
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2020 Tesla Roadster
Back in 2008, a little upstart EV company named Tesla threw a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor into a Lotus Elise and called it the Roadster. It was the very first model to bear the Tesla badge, and it was the first highway-legal series production all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles in a single charge. Now, nearly 10 years and several remarkable models later, Tesla is at it again, revealing a second-generation Roadster in a surprise debut alongside its new all-electric semi truck. While it’s still several years away from hitting public roads, Tesla dropped a variety of specs and numbers for the Roadster 2.0, and long story short, this thing is shaping up to be an absolute monster. If it really can do everything that Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims it can, the second-gen Roadster will set numerous performance records, including quickest to 60 mph, quickest to 100 mph, and quickest in the quarter mile. And that includes internal combustion-based production vehicles, by the way. It’ll also set new standards for EVs in the realms of range per charge and top speed. This is faster than Insane Mode. This is faster than Ludicrous Mode. This, dear readers, is straight up Plaid.
While we knew Tesla had a new Roadster coming down the pipeline, few would have guessed what it might be capable of. We even put together a speculative piece about a potential Tesla supercar a while back, but it turns out the California automaker combined the two ideas into one incredible world-beater. “The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” says Musk. “Driving a gasoline sports car is gonna feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.” Indeed, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is framed as a bona fide halo car, an ultra-quick speed machine that’ll show Tesla’s true performance potential. Read on for the details.
Updated 11/17/2017: Tesla just revealed the new Roadster!
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2019 Tesla Semi
Elon Musk and Tesla have defied the odds by finally debuting the automaker’s first stab at the commercial trucking industry. It’s called simply the Tesla Semi and it finally broke cover at a media event on November 16, 2017, after years of teasing. Debuting alongside the hot 2020 Tesla Roadster, the Semi is designed to reinvent the way trucking is done. Tesla says its all-electric drivetrain will give more than 500 miles of range on a single charge while towing 80,000 pounds, be far less difficult to maintain, and outperform convention semi trucks in both performance and safety – all at a lower operating cost. That’s a tall order. Oh, and it’ll hit 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds when unloaded.
Along with the Semi, Tesla will be releasing a new charging system. It’s called the Megacharger and it’s a high-speed DC charging station capable of adding roughly 400 miles of range in only 30 minutes. Tesla says the Megachargers can be installed by fleet operators anywhere along their routes and will be common at truck stops in heavily trafficked areas.
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Tesla Debuts New Semi Truck
Tesla just unveiled the next major undertaking in its ongoing mission to bring electric motivation to every corner of the transportation universe. This time around, the California-based automaker is targeting semi trucks, revealing its brand-new vehicle at a special event in Los Angeles. Tesla’s aim is to not only make the job of truck driving easier, but also make it less expensive to move cargo while also increasing safety.
Of course, Tesla’s various models are well known for their high-performance, and the new semi is no different. It’s got a total of four independent electric motors, and can go 0-to-60 mph in 5 seconds without a trailer. With a full 80,000-pound payload, the semi can hit 60 mph in just 20 seconds, while also climbing a 5-percent grade at 65 mph. Heading downhill, the onboard regenerative braking can covert 98 percent of the kinetic energy back into juice for the battery pack, yielding “infinite” brake life. Most importantly, Tesla says it’ll go 500 miles per charge with a full payload at highway speeds, which means this thing is ready to roll.
Almost, at least. Tesla is taking reservations now at $5,000 a pop, with production scheduled to kick off in 2019. Read on for more details.
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Tesla Makes Surprise Debut Of Next-Gen Roadster
Following the debut of its new semi truck, Tesla dropped a bombshell with the surprise reveal of its second-generation Roadster. The specs on this thing are simply outlandish – 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, which would make it the first production car to break the 2-second barrier in the test. The sprint to 100 mph will take 4.2 seconds, while the quarter mile is dispatched in 8.9 seconds. Top speed is rated at over 250 mph. Torque output comes to a mind-bending 10,000 Nm (that’s 7,376 pound-feet, by the way). This thing is a world-beater in every single sense, capable of setting multiple world records, and Musk knows it, quipping that the new Roadster is basically a “hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” and that after driving the Roadster 2.0, internal combustion would feel like “a steam engine with a side of quiche.”
No kidding. Not only do the acceleration specs blow away the current crop of dino juice sports cars, but the new Tesla Roadster also has the stamina to back its insane performance. Packing a 200-kWh battery and three motors (yep, its AWD), range-per-charge is an astonishing 620 miles on the highway, which means it would have the most range of any production electric car ever made. Throw in the 2+2 seating arrangement and some decent storage (frunk for the win?), and you can bet the big makes are feeling the heat right about now. And oh yeah, it also looks fantastic, rocking a targa top for extra headroom if you want it. The cherry on top? This is the base model, which means more range and more speed are on the way.
Availability for the second-gen Tesla Roadster is scheduled for 2020. Pricing will be around $200,000, although the first 1,000 units will be dubbed the Founder series and will cost at least $250,000. Reservations are open now, with a $50,000 deposit required for the standard model and the full $250,000 required to reserve a unit from the Founder series.
Tesla Comes Through for its Customers as they Scramble to get out of Harm’s Way
Now, there’s no denying that after Hurricane Harvey kicked the hell out of Texas, it was a ridiculous for Mother Nature to rape all of Florida too, but sure enough, it happened anyway. Originally deemed the most powerful storm ever recorded, Irma was larger than the state of Florida itself and has left a path of destruction as it made its way from the Atlantic toward the sunshine state. It decimated a few smaller islands and kicked Cuba’s ass a bit too before crossing directly over the Florida Keys and wrecking the West coast of the Florida peninsula. As Irma made its deadly approach toward the land of oranges, evacuation orders were issued and panic set in – not so much so that looters didn’t take their chances, of course, but we’ll leave that story for another time. In the end, the last few days before Irma made landfall in Florida were chaotic, to say the least.
Air traffic was a nightmare, leaving us to question how air traffic control even managed to prevent disaster, and the highways were jammed up like Satan himself was birthing from the bowels of the earth. Gas prices skyrocketed, and so did the price of bottled water as everyone tried to take advantage of the situation, claiming supply and demand as the reasoning for price gouging. Meanwhile, Tesla took a different approach and helped out its customers as they struggled to evacuate.
So, while some local businesses showed their ugly side by hiking prices like the apocalypse was coming, Tesla decided it would remove the range limiter on its lesser Model S and Model X vehicles in Florida, effectively giving owners an extra 30 to 40 miles, according to Electrek. And, it was all thanks to one owner who reached out to Tesla saying he needed just an extra 30 miles to get out of his mandatory evacuation zone. So, once Tesla heard from this customer, it decided that other Tesla owners might need the same, and temporarily unlocked the extra range via an over-the-air update. The update was effective on all 60D models of the Model S and X, which were sold with 75 kWh batteries that were limited with the option to unlock their full potential at a later time – something that would cost owners between $4,500 and $9,000 depending on the vehicle and time of the update. Keep in mind that this isn’t a permanent upgrade, and it will expire, but it certainly served an important purpose and has proven that not all automakers are greedy and self-absorbed. Keep reading to learn more.
2018 Tesla Model 3
Say what you will about Tesla – the company’s ambition is undeniable. Founded in 2003, the California-based electric carmaker set out with the goal of overturning the auto industry status quo and hastening “the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” To that end, Tesla’s latest play (and arguably its more important) is called the Model 3. Framed as a more affordable alternative to the highly successful Model S full-size sedan and Model X SUV, there’s no shortage of excitement behind the more compact 3, and now, after countless rumors and practically unending speculation, the veil has been lifted. Following a massive live streaming event celebrating the handover of the first Model 3’s off the production line, it was revealed that buyers get two trim levels to pick from, with as much as 310 miles per charge and a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds for the range-topper.
But, as you might expect, there’s a whole lotta footnotes that go along with the above-mentioned specs. For starters, actually getting a Model 3 into your driveway is no simple endeavor. Following a brief pre-production reveal in April of 2016, an estimated 400,000 people plunked down $1,000 for a pre-order, and that means if you don’t have a spot in line, it’s gonna be a while. Then there’s the list of ultra-pricey extras that add significant weight to the bottom line. Simply put, the question remains – does the Model 3 live up to the hype? Read on to find out.
Updated 08/23/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.
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Elon Musk Takes a Stab at Volvo During Tesla Model 3 Handover Party
The Model 3 handover party kicked off last Friday, late in the evening, making it a very late night for those of us on the East Coast. Be that as it may, I sucked it up and watched anyway. Now, I was really hoping for some special surprise to be presented – maybe an early concept of the Model Y or even the successor to the Tesla Roadster – but that, unfortunately, didn’t happen. The show wasn’t a complete bust, though, as not only did we finally get the specs we’ve been itching for, but we got to see Elon himself troll Volvo in a way that only he could pull off. In what has to be a pretty big blow to Volvo, considering the Model 3 quite literally kicked the Volvo S60’s ass in a 20-mph side-impact crash test. For those of you who don’t know, the S60 is regarded as one of the world’s safest cars and does have a five-star safety rating in all categories from the NHTSA. With that said, it’s mind boggling how much better the Model 3 was able to absorb such an impact.
When talking about the Model 3’s safety, Elon just couldn’t resist trolling Volvo just a little bit, saying “Something like the Volvo [S60,] great car – by normal standards very safe… the Volvo is arguably the second safest car in the world.” That line by itself isn’t exactly all that funny, but if you watched the live stream or hit play on the video below, you see that the context in which it was said was quite hilarious. And, you can’t blame him, the S60 is an amazingly safe car, so it’s pretty wild to see the Model 3 perform so much better in a side impact test. After all, Tesla isn’t exactly the world’s largest auto manufacturer. And, I have to hand it to Volvo, it has remained quite classy and has yet to fire back. Then again, you can’t really argue with results either. What would be nice, however, is to see Tesla team up with Volvo and other manufacturers to help improve the safety of all cars, on a global scale – now that would be something.
First Tesla Model 3’s Handed Over In Live Streaming Party
We’ve been waiting and waiting for Tesla to finally begin deliveries of the new Model 3, and now, the wait is over. The first 30 Model 3’s destined for private owners just got handed over to their beaming owners in a live stream broadcast on Tesla’s website. Attending the event were swarms of the automaker’s designers and engineers, with quick back and forth tosses that provided a look inside the Tesla assembly line in Fremont, CA, as well as the newly erected “Gigafactory” in Nevada. The event also provided some hard specs on the new 3, plus a look at the final exterior design and the interior.
The Model 3 is a hugely important vehicle, both for Tesla and EV fans in general. Framed as the California-based automaker’s first entry-level, mass-market, affordable vehicle, the 3 promises sexy styling, long range, peppy performance, and zero local emissions, all for around $35,000 before incentives. We’ve got the lowdown on everything that was revealed during the stream, plus lots of new pics to sort through, so read on.
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2020 Tesla Model Y
Tesla hasn’t even put the model 3 into production quite yet, and it’s already working to generate hype around the Model Y – the car that will complete the S3XY lineup. So far there have been very few details revolving around the mysterious model, but recently more has come to light, including the teaser image that was just released at Tesla’s 2017 annual shareholder meeting. Originally slated to be underpinned by the same platform used for the upcoming Model 3, it is now being said that the Model Y will get its own brand-new platform that should be ready for production by the end of the decade. Much like the Model 3 is to the Model S, the Model Y should be a smaller and more basic alternative the Model X, offering up Tesla’s famed AutoPilot, but without all of the other niceties found in the brand’s more expensive models.
So, the plan is for the Model Y to go on sale for the 2019 model year, but as the story usually goes over at Tesla, 2019 will likely be the pre-order period with deliveries taking place by 2020 at the earliest. The Model Y would tackle models like the BMW i3 and Mercedes B-Class, among others. We should hear more about the Model Y when the Tesla Semi-Truck debuts in September. So, with that said, let’s take a better look at the rendering we created and speculate a little on what we can expect from the Model Y.
Updated 07/03/2017: Based on the recent details we got from Elon Muck we decided to create a rendering for the upcoming Tesla Model Y. Let us know what do you think about it in the comments section below.
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2020 Tesla Supercar
It seems almost like almost every other day now brings news about some physics-defying all-electric supercar. Outrageous output figures and broken records are pretty much the norm in this segment, with cars like the NextEV Nio EP9 or Rimac Concept_One setting new standards in electron-powered performance. Tesla is active in this space as well, earning a spot on our list of Top 5 All-Electric Performance Cars with its the venerable Model S P100D. The Model S might be a sedan, but it’s still got insane speed potential, posting a face-melting 2.3-second time in the 0-to-60 mph benchmark. Impressive? Certainly. But what if we went beyond the P100D and probed what was really possible with a few electric motors and an enormous battery pack? What about a true-blue Tesla supercar, a halo model with just two doors and a spec sheet capable of laying waste to all things internal combustion? What would that look like?
It’s a tempting proposition, but right away, there’s a problem. Tesla has adopted a “top-down” approach wherein the more expensive models come out prior to the less expensive models (for example, the Model S preceded the Model 3). So where does a super car fit into that equation? Obviously several years down the line, if at all, but that said, a supercar halo model would do well amongst well-heeled EV enthusiasts, not to mention bring even more attention to the California-based automaker. Sound good? We think so.
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2020 Tesla City Car
Before you start blasting away in the comments section, hear me out, because a Tesla City Car isn’t as crazy as you might think. There’s a reason the California-based automaker started with the ultra-pricey Roadster, Model S, and Model X – the plan is to use the profits from those high-end autos to fund more accessible offerings (you know, like the Model 3). And considering Tesla has stated time and again that its ultimate goal is to bring electric transportation to everyone, the only logical thing to do is to spray a bit of the Musk on a city car, the affordable option when it comes to personal urban transport.
So far, Tesla’s top-down strategy has worked wonders, and depending on how the company handles production of the Model 3, more products are almost certainly just over the horizon. What’s more, a Tesla city car would be the perfect solution for urban dwellers looking for a four-wheeled addition to their laptop-and-coffee-shop lifestyle.
So we drew up a rendering, imagined we were in Palo Alto, and came up with the following speculative review.
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