Flamethrowers And Autopilot – Potentially Very Dangerous, But That’s A Good Thing
Those of us living here in the U.S. like to think we enjoy a good amount of leeway when it comes to self-determination and the way in which we live our lives. That includes the freedom to enjoy potentially dangerous activities, like driving a race car, or shooting a gun, or skydiving. And thanks to Elon Musk’s various ventures, we can add the convenience of the Tesla Autopilot feature and the fun of firing off a $500 flamethrower to the list. Unfortunately, there are still some individuals out there who demand hand-holding.
Continue reading for the full story.
The Tesla Roadster Looks like a Blurry Version of the Honda NSX
When the new Aston Martin Vantage came out, I criticized the brand for producing a car that looked like a serious rip off of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Now, as I was looking over the news from the past week, I see that there’s another look-alike out there, and this time, it looks like Tesla decided to copy the Honda NSX and slap a Tesla Roadster badge on it. Now, it isn’t a blatant and condemning rip-off, and maybe not even as bad as the Vantage vs. MX-5 copying scheme, but it’s pretty bad. I would say the Roadster looks like a blurry version of the NSX – almost like cars in 128-bit video games used to look compared to their real-life counterparts. Don’t believe me? Check out the quick comparison below.
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.
Tesla Seems to Think that Trucks are Supercars, and It’s Wrong!
After years of rumors and speculation that Tesla might build a pickup truck or a Semi, the electric car manufacturer finally unveiled the latter in a press conference that also revealed the second-generation Roadster. And just as it happened in the past with the Model S, Model X, and Model 3, Elon Musk made some spectacular claims about the performances of both vehicles. Actually, I’d dare say he went farther than usual by calling the next Roadster the "quickest production car ever made. Period." He also described the semi truck as a vehicle that "accelerates like nothing else." Granted, both claims can become reality, but maybe Musk is talking a bit too much a bit too soon. And it seems to me that he’s considering the semi a sports car rather than truck that’s supposed to haul stuff the efficient way.
Sure, the fact that this truck won’t use expensive diesel to move about enables Tesla to think about other factors, including performance, but I still don’t get why a truck must accelerate like "nothing else." Should it be about a truck that brakes like nothing else or an electric hauler that allows you to cover at least the same distance as a diesel truck on a tank of fuel? Musk also seems to be concerned about that fact that truckers must wait for 15 minutes while the tank gets filled at the gas station. Seriously now, have you heard of a trucker who fell asleep at the pump while his tank was gulping diesel? Trucks are high maintenance; I’m pretty sure a semi driver has plenty of chores to do at the gas stations.
More importantly, Musk ignored a few important facts about trucks in his speech.
Continue reading to find out what.
Porsche CEO Makes a Classic Mistake that Could Cost the Brand Dearly
So, when it comes to long-range electric cars, Elon Musk is the pretty much the godfather, the don mega, and the man that pretty much made it happen with models like the Tesla Roadster, and even more so with the Tesla Model S. Fast forward to today and there’s now the Tesla Model X and the Tesla Model 3, with a Semi truck on the way and a smaller SUV that will mirror the Model 3 in pricing. Despite Tesla’s slow but continuous move to become an automaker for the masses (and it has come a long way) it’s still not able to keep up with the big boys quite yet – profits are still virtually non-existent and it takes an excessive amount of time to cut down the initial waiting list for new cars. But, in time, Tesla could be just as busy and successful as any of the big boys, including Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, Audi, BMW, and yes, even Porsche. As electric cars become more standard around the world, the effect will increase drastically until Tesla is practically a household name (not that it isn’t in mine already)
Now that the big boys are all about to step into Elon’s self-made niche, it’s time to start thinking about automakers that should be worried a brand like Tesla that already has an insanely massive cult following and is getting more affordable as time goes on. All of the major brands are about 30 seconds away from unleashing a serious EV offensive. Meanwhile, Porsche is over here, about to knock some heads with the Porsche Mission E and about to make a huge, huge mistake. CEO, Oliver Blume – the man that replaced Matthias Muller and was once Porsche’s head of production – doesn’t think that Tesla is a competitor.
Talking to The Financial Times in a recent interview, he even went so far as to say that the production version of the Mission E, which is due for production by 2019, “is not a Tesla fighter.” He went on to say that “it’s not so important what Tesla does. Porsche is going to follow its own way.” He chalks off his lack of concern for the brand that practically dispatched range anxiety for the masses by assuming that he doesn’t have to worry about it because Porsche’s main concern is making profit. OF course, we all know that he’s at least partially right, as Tesla doesn’t really know what profit is in the grand scheme of things, but just because the brand operates as more of a tech startup than a true-to-life, mass-production automaker doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be concerned.
Keep reading for the rest of the story
There’s no such thing as the "perfect car." There — said it right off the bat. Not because I subscribe to the platitude that perfection is completely subjective, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder or any of that. Objective standards do exist. For instance, objectively, Scarlett Johansson probably looks better in a bikini than Steve Buscemi. Any dissenting opinion there? No? That’s because we can apply certain dimensional criteria, certain mechanical evaluations to determine who likely wears Spandex best. The same is true for non-human machines, like cars.
Even so, finding "perfection" that way means setting criteria, as opposed to expecting perfection as some kind of absolute. Absolute perfection is always an ideal. It’s kind of like the North Star. You can use it to navigate, to figure out which direction you’re going; but no matter how long you sail toward it, you’ll probably never get perceptibly closer. You’ve got earthly limitations in the here and now that kind of preclude the possibility.
So for this article, we’re going to stick to the earthly limitations of the here and now. We’ll look at our guiding star of ideal perfection first, just to get a navigation point. But from there, we’re on our own, left to sail those uncharted waters to find the closest thing to automotive perfection, sticking as closely as possible to the shores of today’s technology.