April Fool’s Round-Up: Automakers Go All-Out With The Pranks
April Fool’s Day has come and gone, and as you might have expected, a number of automakers spent the occasion trying to pull a fast one on all of us. Some of them worked while others didn’t. Some got us thinking if the pranks were real - or we wish they were real - while others flamed out because they were too obvious from the very beginning. Still, it was a good day to check out what kind of absurdity we had coming our way. If you missed out on all the April Fool’s pranks that these auto brands came out with, well, we got you, fam.
New Tesla Roadster To Run Off Hopes, Dreams, and Unicorn Farts
Introduced in a surprise debut just last November, the next-generation Tesla Roadster sent waves through the industry thanks to its stunning good looks, impressive list of features, and high-tech powertrain. And what a powertrain - Tesla claims it’ll go an incredible 620 miles between plug-ins and hit 60 mph in less than 2 seconds, all while laying down an absurd 10,000 Nm (7,376 pound-feet) of torque through its trio of electric motors. Numbers like these beg belief, but now, in a TopSpeed exclusive, we’re learning just how Tesla’s engineers managed to make them a reality.
Continue reading for the full story.
Elon Musk Pulls a Donald Trump; Criticizes the Media
So, once Donald Trump took office, we definitely saw what it was like to see someone be criticized by the media and, in turn, we have also seen what can be said when that person being criticized fires back – the Trump\Media war against each other has been and still is going strong. Well, Trump is the only one who has a dissenting view of the media these days, and – big surprise here – the other crybaby is also a billionaire wonderboy that goes by the name Elon Musk. Of course, Musk didn’t take to social media to complain about the fake news and phony media but instead whined about it to all of the people on the conference call made to discuss Tesla’s scary loss of $619 million over the last quarter. The truth is that, like Donald Trump, Musk didn’t really have anything good to say about the media – even saying that the recent stories about firings at Tesla we taken completely out of context. It turns out fake news is everywhere.
According to Business Insider, Musk actually went on a bit of a rant, saying “Journalists and editors with low integrity failed to provide any context. The actual article would have read, ’Tesla fires 2% of employee base for performance-based reasons….’ Of course, that would be a meaningless article so, of course, they forget to include that. Shame.” And, so this isn’t taken out of context, it’s be reported that Musk actually yelled the word “Shame!”
For what it’s worth, musk has clarified that the number of people who lost their jobs was just 700, or – you know – that two-percent of his workforce. Of course, this isn’t the end of the story by a longshot. Lately, Tesla has been the focus of a number of lawsuits including racial discrimination, being anti-LGBT, the delay of the Model 3, cheating Stephen Platt out of shares, and it is even being sued by the UAW as the UAW believes Tesla fired some employees that were pro-union, just because they were pro-union. Of course, Tesla alleges that it is all based on the fact that they all (700 of them) were fired for poor performance, but you know how that story goes.
Tesla Driver Learns The Hard Way About The Importance Of Key Fobs
A Tesla Model S owner got stranded in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas after intentionally leaving his car’s key fob at home, all because he wanted to try out Tesla’s new control app. Turns out, the smartphone feature that allows drivers to remotely monitor and control their Teslas without their keys only works as far as the smartphone has a signal. Ryan Negri found that out the hard way when he and his wife went for a drive without the key fob to test out the feature. Chalk this one up to an experiment gone bad.
As Negri himself told the tale in an Instagram post, he and his wife, Amy, tested the new feature by going on a quick drive to “take some photos of the freshly fallen mountain snow.” The whole experiment was running smoothly until Negri had to adjust “Mozy & Millie’s car bed” (most likely their dogs). Negri then went out of the car to do just that, but just as he was about to get back in, he found himself locked out of the car, unable to not only get back in, but just as important, to restart the car.
Apparently, Tesla’s keyless smartphone feature has one pretty important requirement for it to function properly: cellular signal. Since they were in the middle of the dessert, six miles away from home as Negri recounted, cell phone signal was about as scarce in the area he was in as a golden goose laying golden eggs. Fortunately, Negri’s wife Amy (the heroine of the story) took it upon herself to run two miles to get cellphone signal before calling a friend to hitch a ride back home to get the Tesla’s key fob.
Not surprisingly, Negri directed some of his ire towards Tesla for not having contingency plans in place to prevent incidents like the one he and his wife found themselves in. More importantly, though, he also promised to have the key fob with him every time he drives the Model S, as he should have in the first place.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk Suing Oil Industry Executive Over Attempted Impersonation
Elon Musk is one of those people that you either like or hate with a passion. And, be that as it may, there’s one thing we can all agree on – he has a lot on his plate. He’s working on that merger with Solar City, managing to secure funds for Tesla, and now he’s dealing with the explosion of that SpaceX rocket. Well, you can now add corporate espionage to the list of things Musk is dealing with as he has just filed suit against the Chief Financial Officer of Quest Integrity Group, Todd Katz, for impersonation.
So far, Mr. Katz has been the only officer of QIG that was mentioned in the suit, and Musk is apparently seeking an undisclosed amount of financial compensation for Katz’s alleged actions. So, how did Katz try to impersonate Musk? Well, it’s actually quite funny. According to Forbes, the oil industry exec apparently created a fake email account and attempted to obtain confidential company information. To be more specific, he was attempting to learn about Tesla’s financial projections and car pre-order numbers.
The e-mail was sent to Tesla’s CFO – Jason Wheeler – shortly after an earnings call with analysts. According to Forbes, the e-mail used was “firstname.lastname@example.org“ and contained this message:
“why you so cautious w Q3/4 gm guidance on call? also what are your thoughts on disclosing M3 res#? Pros/cons from ir pov? what is your best guess as to where we actually come in on q3/4 deliverables. honest guess? no bs. thx 4 hard work prepping 4 today
QIG is an oil pipeline services company that is based in Seattle. The company provides services for major oil companies like BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil, among others. There’s no word as to whether or not QIG’s clients had anything to do with Katz’s alleged actions, but considering the effect electric vehicles and hybrids could have on the oil industry, it wouldn’t be surprising.
The Tesla Model S Floats In Water – Wait, What?
So, what’s the deal with Tesla and the odd features it puts into cars? First, we see the Model X and the demonstration of its “bioweapon defense mode,” then there’s a hack for the Model S that shows a Lotus Esprit submarine car on the display screen. Well, as it turns out, the latter is actually a hint towards a hidden capability of the Model S. Before you get too excited, don’t just go thinking you can plunge the Model S into water and cruise the bottom of the ocean. Furthermore, I wouldn’t really recommend testing this feature unless it’s absolutely necessary, but here it is – the Model S can actually float in water.
So far, this was rather unheard of until the video you see above was released on YouTube after being filmed in Kazakhstan. Without ruining the whole video for you, the Model S does go pretty deep in some water and makes it through a spot that other cars simply couldn’t. After the release of the video, Elon Musk – who is known for announcing things on Twitter – made a subtle post saying “We *def* don’t recommended this, but Model S floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time. Thrust via wheel rotation.”
Of course, the Model S isn’t the first car with this capability, as there was a model back in the day – known as the Amphicar – that really did double as a boat. Be that as it may, the Model S can get you through some deep water in a jam. To add to the fact, Musk also tweeted that he’s still planning a sports sub car than can actually drive on the road and safely make the transition into water.
Continue reading for the full story.
Dad Challenges Son To Get $100 Bill Inside Tesla Model S: Video
So you want that $100 dangling from the sun visor of the Tesla Model S P90D? It’s yours, but you have to get it before theModel S hits 60 mph. Seems easy enough, right? This father had his son participate in what he calls the “$100 Bill Tesla Model S Ludicrous Challenge” and the results are pretty hilarious.
Poor little man didn’t know that the Model S could pull as much as 1.2 g’s on launch and he’s left reaching for the precious Benjamin to no avail. He did get a couple of tries to do and in the end, he still got what he wanted, albeit after a lot of negotiations. Maybe next time he’d use his feet to get the money. They were up in the air anyway.
So, what do you think: can you grab it?
Tesla Motors stepped on a lot of toes back when it launched the Model S, an all-electric sedan that proved quite popular with North American consumers. Sure, the EV is far from being perfect, and it’s not even that affordable, but it delivers great performance and good range.
When a couple of these sedans caught fire last year due to damaged battery packs, the California-based automaker received a lot of heat from anti-Tesla "movements" and had to come up with a new, titanium underbody shield. Well, it appears Elon Musk’s company can’t catch a break as some crazy flyers started showing up on the windshield of Model S cars in the San Francisco area.
The printed page contains a so-called "consumer alert" message that accuses Tesla of having been involved in "organized crime" and bribing "Congress people and federal staff" to get initial funding for the Model S. What’s more, it also claims the company "buys" car reviews and pays journalists to write only favorable articles about its product. Funny, we’ve done Model S reviews and never received a check signed by Mr. Musk himself.
The flyer even goes as far as to claim that Tesla drivers, who have a "higher-than-average inclination towards strange sexual behavior, drugs and risk", are supporting both corruption and spying. Why spying you may ask? Well, the anti-Tesla writing is quoting a secret partnership between the automaker and Google — "the worlds largest surveillance company".
But that’s not all. These giggle-inducing arguments are accompanied by absurd theories that have no scientific backing whatsoever, such as the fact that Tesla’s lithium ion batteries can blow up and lead to "catastrophic fires" if they "get wet or bumped". Making things even more ridiculous is a conspiracy-like assumption saying Tesla investors urged the U.S. invasion into Afghanistan! Should we bother to mention that Tesla was established two years after NATO intervened in the said country?
This manifesto could very well be some sort if joke, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the flyers came from a disturbed group of people having trouble getting a good night’s sleep over unfounded issues with Tesla Motors.
Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S and to see the flyer for yourself.
It was just a matter of time before Tesla and Fisker had to duke it out for a second time – the first coming in a Fisker-won court battle. This time around, it was Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, that decided to drop the gloves and poke Fisker for a fight. In an interview with Automobile Magazine, Musk said “It’s a mediocre product at a high price,” when talking about the Karma. He also said that “[Fisker] thinks the most important thing in the world — or the only important thing in the world — is design, so he outsourced the engineering and manufacturing.”
Musk did, however, pay a much-deserved complement to the Karma, stating that “It looks good” and “Particularly from the side it looks good." That’s definitely a comment that we can all agree with. Even ousted Fisker CEO, Henrik Fisker, stated that he’s “delighted that Elon thinks the Karma is a good-looking car.” Fisker went on to assure us that Tesla and Fisker are not competitors and that they use two different technologies and are going after completely different customers.
We beg to differ with that statement. Yes, you are using different technologies – Tesla’s is far more advanced – but you are competing for the same customers. Any hybrid customer or extended-range EV buyer would be silly not to look into the technology that Tesla has created and anyone that thinks that they are not in competition with one another is a little bit disillusioned.
We think that Musk was a little brash with his statements and would be better off to keep his opinions out of the corporate spotlight, regardless of how true they may be. Then again, the comments are damn funny, regardless of how inappropriate they may have been. Guess we have to give Musk some credit for speaking his mind.