Does a Convertible Tesla Model S Sound Enticing?
Don’t look now, but Ares Design might remain relevant in the ever-changing news cycle in the coming months. The Italian coachbuilder made headlines last week when it announced plans to develop a modern-day version of the Ferrari 412. Now it’s back in our feed with what looks to be another project in the fold, this time for the Tesla Model S. If you’ve been pining to see a convertible version of the Model S, you can stop begging Tesla to do one. Ares will do it for you.
You Can Rent A Tesla In Minneapolis For Super Bowl Week
Normally, if you wanna drive around in a new Tesla for a little while, you gotta have a trusting friend with one already parked in his or her driveway. Now, one rental company in Minnesota is offering folks a shot at experiencing a Tesla first-hand by renting them out during Super Bowl week.
Continue reading for the full story.
An AWD Version of the Tesla Model 3 Could Break Cover in Spring 2018
An all-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3 has been in the cards for some time. We all know it’s coming; we just don’t know when it’s coming. Turns out, it could arrive sooner than we thought because Tesla appears to be rolling out the dual-motor all-wheel drive Model 3 as early as the Spring of 2018. Unless your calendars are acting up, the dual-motor Model 3 could arrive as early as March 2018 or as late as June 2018.
Tesla Model S, Apparently On ’Autopilot,’ Crashes Into Culver City Fire Truck At High Speed
One unlucky driver down in Southern California found the limits of their Tesla’s Autopilot system this week when it rear-ended a stationary fire truck on the freeway. The incident was documented on social media in a post by the Culver City Firefighter’s Twitter account: “While working a freeway accident this morning, Engine 42 was struck by a Tesla traveling at 65 mph. The driver reports the vehicle was on autopilot,” the post reads. “Amazingly, there were no injuries! Please stay alert while driving!”
Lucky indeed. The fire truck’s rear end is a bit out of shape, but nothing major by the look of it – just a few broken taillights and a slight bend to the rear platform. The Tesla, however, looks like it’s toast, with the entire front end bunched up in a twist of metal and broken parts. We’re also a little incredulous about the whole “65 mph” claim, as something tells us the automatic braking brought the speed down substantially. Either way, kudos to Tesla for making such a safe car. Without that huge crumple zone up front, who knows what would have happened to the driver.
This is just the latest in a series of auto accidents involving the Tesla Autopilot system. We don’t know for sure if the driver is outright blaming the technology for the crash, but either way, it certainly seems like an easy way to absolve yourself of responsibility.
Of course, Tesla is quick to point out that running Autopilot doesn’t mean relinquishing control of the car. Although it does have the potential to one day reach full autonomy status, Autopilot is basically just glorified cruise control at this point. Drivers must still remain in control of their vehicle at all times. That said, the convenience and power of Autopilot seems to be leading to distracted driving and misconceptions about the system’s intended use.
Tesla Semi Spied on Public Roads: Video
Tesla’s long-awaited Semi has been spotted running under its own electric power on public roads. The heavy-hauler is seen driving at a quick pace near a UPS hub in California. Yet despite the speed, the truck makes almost no noise. Only a quiet electric hum and tire noise can be heard. That’s far more impressive than the clattery turbodiesels found in conventional semi trucks. Imagine how quiet streets could be without the rumble of a big-rig.
What’s more, the driver can clearly be seen sitting front and center – a design Tesla says enhances the driver’s ability to pilot the truck. Naturally, the Tesla Semi will have autonomous driving capabilities that will only get more advanced with time. Features like a convoy mode will allow groups of Tesla Semis to drive end-to-end for better efficiency and improved safety. Just imagine big-rigs no longer lumbering in the fast lane!
Keep reading to see the video and learn more about it
Bait & Switch: Tesla Swaps Model 3 Headliner from Alcantara to Textile
Tesla has found itself in the middle of a new controversy, though the issue has nothing to do with its autonomous driving technology going awry. The issue at hand revolves around the Model 3’s headliner and the material that’s being used on it. Apparently, some owners who have taken delivery of their Model 3’s were surprised to see that the headliner in their cars was covered by weaved textile as opposed to Alcantara.
Roller Skates and Movies: Tesla Supercharger Locations Could End Up as Drive-In Theaters
Elon Musk is thinking of building a retro drive-in restaurant and theater at a new Tesla Supercharger in Los Angeles. It’s the latest in a series of “ideas” that Musk has proposed in recent years. While it’s not exactly as bold as inhabiting Mars or sending a Tesla Roadster to space, it does come at a time when Tesla is pushing to have more amenities at its Supercharger stations.
Elon Musk Delivers Easter Eggs for Christmas with Latest Tesla Software Update
A new OTA update rolled out to Tesla Vehicles in the days before Christmas, and wouldn’t you know it – there was a hidden Easter Egg built into the update. Last year, we had the synchronized light show on the Model X, but Musk went a little more complicated this year and replaced the Model S on the main display with an image of Santa and his sleigh. It went even a step further with cars shown on either side being replaced by reindeer and the turn signals being replaced by Jingle Bells. If you haven’t accessed Santa Mode on your Tesla yet, it’s not that hard. Just access the slider or say “Ho Ho Ho” through voice command and you’ll see the fat man himself pop up and prepare to guide you through traffic.. or uh… reindeer that is. Check out Elon’s tweet, a couple of images, and a video showing it all down below.
British Shop Creates First Tesla Model S Shooting Brake
For a company that was founded less than 15 years ago, Tesla is definitely doing great things for the auto industry. Its cars are the quickest and most powerful mass-produced EVs you can buy, their range is also segment-leading, while the Supercharger network makes owning and driving one a lot easier. On the flipside, Tesla current lineup is very limited, as it includes only two sedans and an SUV. A two-door sports car and a semi truck are underway, but Elon Musk’s company doesn’t have plans for more utilitarian body styles, such as a station wagon and a pickup truck. But if your dream is to own a Model S with a bigger trunk, the folks over at Qwest Norfolk will get you covered.
Tesla Could Limit Use of Superchargers for Commercial Use
Tesla is laying down the law on all new vehicles it sells that will be used for commercial purposes. The California-based electric car maker has revealed that these vehicles will be restricted from using its Supercharger network to avoid abusive use by owners. The company has already updated its legal page to reflect this change in policy, but with commercial operators of Tesla vehicles still using these Superchargers for a whole range of other purposes, the automaker could take “additional action” to protect the availability of the Superchargers.
Tesla Working on New AI Chip that Elon Musk Says Will Be the Best in the World
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is so bullish about the prospect of Tesla using custom hardware for artificial intelligence that he doubled down on his position at a recent company party for industry and academic researchers. Speaking to a crowd of smart industry heads, Musk even predicted that the specialized AI hardware the company is developing under the stewardship of Jim Keller will be the “best in the world.”
Four Teslas Stolen; Thieves Claim They Are Related to Tesla
As far as car capers go, this one is for the books. Four Tesla vehicles were recently stolen from the automaker’s dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah before being recovered in a span of just a few hours. Turns out, police recovered all four Teslas from four different thieves, some of whom claim to be part of the Tesla family. Bizarre? You better believe it.
Tesla Customer Gets a Model 3 Owner’s Manual from Tesla Roadside Assistance
These days, it’s not uncommon for documents, images, or just about anything else pertaining to a new car to leak ahead of its debut. Sometimes it’s clearly at the hands of an Automaker (think the Jeep JL leaks or the Lamborghini Urus Leak from the other day), and other times it’s because some idiot behind a computer isn’t paying attention. In the case of the Model 3 owner’s manual, which we’ve yet to see in its entirety until now, it’s most likely the latter. What started out as a call to roadside assistance resulted in a member of the Tesla 3 Owner’s Club on Facebook getting a full, seemly official PDF version of the owner’s manual. And, it details everything from start to finish, including the new bi-directional thumb buttons, exterior mirror adjustments, Autopilot (just a copy and paste from other manuals,) hub cab (what we know as “aero caps”) removal and installation, and even motor information.
That’s right, even motor information is included, which tells us that the Model 3’s motor runs at a nominal voltage of 370 Volts with a maximum current of 800 Amps. Maximum motor speed is 17,900 rpm, while motor power is pegged at 165 kW or 221 horsepower. This is nothing new, of course, but what is new is the maximum wheel torque output – a mind-blowing 3,700 Nm or 2,725.980 pound-feet. Of course, that’s the glory of electric motors and electric vehicles in general – all of that gut-wrenching, near instantaneous torque on demand. And, even the Model 3 has plenty of that.
Of course, having enough torque stop the rotation of the earth is one thing, but it should be noted that as of the time of the manual’s publication, towing wasn’t permitted. So, while it could tow a skyscraper from one side of NYC to the other with all of that torque, it’s not a good idea to try right now. Then again, the manual says that it “currently” doesn’t support towing, which means it could, in the future, honor Musk’s previous promise that it would be able to. Finally, the manual confirms that the battery pack has a rated capacity of 75 kWh, which is exactly what we were expecting after previous leaks of EPA documents.
Check out the owner’s manual for yourself below – if you’re a reservation holder or just a curious reader, there’s plenty of material there to help you get familiar with the mini Model S.
Pops’ Rants: Tesla Needs to Learn that Hype and Fast Cars don’t Pay the Bills
I don’t know about you, but I had way too much Tesla Roadster in my feed this week. If I read one more of those "oh my god, 1.9 seconds to 60 mph" I will probably puke. Heck, I actually feel like puking right now, but I popped in to say "I told you so!" In my previous rant, I slammed the second-generation Roadster and its incredible performance features for being Elon Musk’s desperate attempt to bring in some cash without actually giving something in return. Although the Roadster won’t be available until 2020, Tesla is asking $50,000 for preorders of the regular model and a full $250,000 down payment for the Founders Series. With the latter limited to 1,000 units, we’re talking at least $250 million from preorders for a car that’s three years away. And I’m not even including the Semi truck.
Tesla is in big trouble financially, and making matters worse is the fact that it can’t deliver new products. The Model 3 is behind schedule a few months, with orders for non-Tesla employees opened this month. But customers who have already ordered one won’t get it anytime soon, with full production to commence in March. If we are to believe Tesla of course because more delays are very likely. And the company is losing money big time. What’s more, according to Bloomberg, Tesla spent no less than $4.2 billion over the past 12 months. That’s $8,000 a minute or nearly half a million bucks an hour!
Keep reading for the full story.
Tesla is Hemorrhaging Money at an Alarming Rate
Elon Musk may have surprised the world by debuting the next Tesla Roadster side-by-side with the new Tesla Semi, but that’s not the biggest surprise to come out of the Tesla garage. The title of “biggest surprise” would be reserved for the fact that the company is burning through $8,000 per minute, $480,000 per hour, or $1 billion per quarter. And, at the current rate of expenditure, it is predicted that the company will run out of cash as soon as August of next year.
Is This Tesla’s Upcoming Semi-Truck?
Talk of Tesla’s all-electric semi-truck is gaining steam thanks to a Reddit user who posted a photo that appears to show an uncamouflaged prototype loaded on a flatbed trailer. The photo, first reported by electrik, is in an undisclosed and unknown location in California, though the Reddit user says it’s an area Tesla is known to conduct testing. Beyond that, the details are few. However, this still remains the world’s first view of what’s likely Tesla’s latest project.
Adding fuel to the flame (or charge to the batteries), the truck looks very similar to the teaser photo Tesla’s Elon Musk tweeted back in April. Front its tall height to its shapely finders and LED headlights, this truck is certainly similar to Elon’s dimly lit teaser image. Assuming this is the Tesla truck, its unconventional shape is definitely not similar to any semi-truck on the road today. Of course, that’s because the Tesla semi doesn’t have an internal combustion engine and therefore doesn’t need a huge hood or massive grille. Rather, Tesla’s truck features a long, sloping windshield that matches the sloping nose. Naturally, the truck is designed to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible. The truck even has an aerodynamic cab topper that helps divert air around the trailer. It’s seen sitting a few yards behind.
While Tesla has not released any specs on its upcoming heavy hauler, we know it will use large banks of batteries to power multiple electric motors. Its torque rating is expected to be well in excess of a conventional semi truck’s turbodiesel (which is usually between 1,000 and 1,4000 pound-feet), giving it more than enough grunt to pull the standard 80,000-pound trailer. Range will be the Tesla Semi’s biggest factor. Insideevs.com speculated the Tesla will need a 1,200-kWh battery in order to travel 600 miles. That’s roughly 12 times the size in a P100D and double its range.
Thankfully, we won’t have to speculate much longer. Tesla is scheduled to debut its semi-truck on October 26, 2017, so long as it doesn’t postpone the event as it did for the September debut. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for the latest.