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Making the Case for a Tesla Cybercar

Making the Case for a Tesla Cybercar

An electric car that could revolutionize the market

The Tesla Cybertruck put the car industry in shock with its outlandish design,incredible performance, and the best range ever announced by the American automaker. All this at an incredible starting price of $39,000! The Cybertruck quickly prompted rumors that Tesla could also create its cheapest model yet, thanks to its revolutionary exoskeleton: enter the Cybercar. That new vehicle would be perfect to serve as the Robotaxi fleet Elon Musk talked about in recent years, but what would a Cybercar look like and what will it bring to the market?

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Tesla's Refresh for the Tesla Model S and Model X Will Infuse Model 3 DNA at their Core

Tesla’s Refresh for the Tesla Model S and Model X Will Infuse Model 3 DNA at their Core

Will the latest powertrain tech keep Tesla’s most-expensive models relevant?

Tesla is known for breaking from tradition, and that includes the way in which it updates its various model lines. Rather than creating an entirely new “generation” every five years like the rest of the industry, the California-based brand prefers a steady stream of incremental updates to keep things fresh. However, that could change with the forthcoming Model S and Model X, as rumor has it Tesla has a substantial powertrain update in the works, with tech bits pulled from the Model 3 compact sedan.

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What Kind of Performance Can We Expect From the 2020 Tesla Model Y?

What Kind of Performance Can We Expect From the 2020 Tesla Model Y?

Will Tesla offer a sportier version of the crossover in the same vein as the Model 3 Performance?

The 2020 Tesla Model Y is close to making its big debut, but before it does, let’s take a moment to speculate on what it’ll offer in terms of range, output, handling, and acceleration!

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Will the 2020 Tesla Model Y Offer New Advanced Autonomous Drive Features?

Will the 2020 Tesla Model Y Offer New Advanced Autonomous Drive Features?

Are the robot chauffeurs imminent?

The debut of the 2020 Tesla Model Y is just around the corner, and while we’re still waiting on all the official specs, there’s no doubt it’ll come with the very latest technology the California-based automaker can muster. Chief among these should be an array of advanced autonomous drive features.

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10 Reasons Why the Tesla Model Y Will Succeed

10 Reasons Why the Tesla Model Y Will Succeed

From new tech to affordable pricing, the Model Y has the potential to become Tesla’s most successful model yet

Tesla is about to welcome its newest member to the family when the Model Y makes its long-awaited debut this week at the company’s L.A. design studio. The Model Y’s arrival adds another model to Tesla’s growing lineup of electric cars. The crossover is expected to slot between the entry-level Model 3 and the larger, more expensive Model S and Model X. Detailed specs will be revealed during the debut, but this early, there’s already growing buzz that the Model Y could turn into Tesla’s most popular model so far. That’s what happens when you’re a crossover that’s tipped to fetch a rather inexpensive price tag. For a number of reasons, the Tesla Model Y has the makings of a successful new offering for Tesla. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons.

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Next-Gen Tesla Model S Rendering has us Hopeful for the Future!

Next-Gen Tesla Model S Rendering has us Hopeful for the Future!

Sign us up if this is what the next-generation Tesla Model S looks like

The Tesla Model S has been around since 2012, and while it’s still a few years away from getting a full redesign, a rendering of a next-gen Model S is already making rounds on the Internet. It looks exactly like what we hope the next-gen Model S looks like. Designed by Emre Husmen, the new Model S rendering is far more aggressive and dynamic than the current model that’s on the market today. More importantly, it doesn’t deviate too far away from the current Model S to the point that it becomes unrecognizable. It’s still the Tesla Model S, albeit rendered to look sharper and edgier than what we have now. In other words, it looks fantastic.

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2020 Tesla Model Y

2020 Tesla Model Y

The model that will complete the S3XY line up

Were you on the market for a Tesla Model X only to realize that its big size made it cumbersome and its falcon doors weren’t really your cup of tea? Now, Tesla’s offering you the smaller, cheaper, and less flamboyant Model Y. The upcoming cheapest version starts at just $39,000 which is cheaper than your run-of-the-mill Lexus IS 300 and more than 50% off the price of a Model X. The battery package is that on the Model 3 Performance and you’ll be able to go between 230 and 300 miles on one charge depending on the version you choose. As it’s a Tesla, you can be sure it will be spirited, to say the least, and, as with Musk’s other creations, it caught mass manufacturers almost unprepared.

The Tesla Model Y is Tesla’s second volume model, part of the ’tier 3’ lineup alongside the Model 3 compact sedan. It was unveiled on March 14th during what Kirby called a "presentation bereft of all the razzle-dazzle that has become synonymous" with Tesla. This, he argued, is a sign that Tesla itself is becoming a normal, volume manufacturer, moving away from its boutique image it had maintained with the Model S and the Model X that created far more buzz upon release. Still, the event was so lackluster we could condense it all in a four-minute-long video with ease.

This doesn’t mean the Model Y has to be overlooked - quite the opposite. The Model Y has to be a hit bigger than the Model 3 is for Tesla to go on with its plans that include a full-size semi, that could be seen during the Model Y’s presentation, a pick-up truck, and the new Roadster among others. It’s obviously got to do with what Tesla’s rivals do - after all, the cheapest ’Standard’ version won’t begin shipping until 2021 - but Tesla still has the edge on everybody with its mid-size crossover.

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Is Tesla Preparing To Unveil The Model Y?

Is Tesla Preparing To Unveil The Model Y?

New electric crossover touted as the focus of Monday’s big launch

There’s been a lot of talk about Tesla’s upcoming product unveiling next week and speculation is growing that the electric car maker is preparing to debut a new model, specifically the Model Y. While there’s still no confirmation from Tesla about which product it plans to unveil, the sentiment is that it’s going to be the small crossover that will officially kickstart the company’s second “Master Plan” vision that CEO Elon Musk outlined back in July 2016.

The unexpected launch of the Model Y would certainly come as a surprise, but it isn’t too much of a shock given that Tesla has already confirmed plans to build it at some point. Details are still scarce surrounding the crossover but it is expected to be based on the Model 3’s architecture and will carry some styling similarities with the bigger Model X, minus the latter’s controversial falcon doors.

Other than these bits and pieces of rumored details, Tesla has plenty of information to share next week about the crossover, if it does end up being the subject of the company’s hastily organized (or is it?) product launch. That said, it’s also possible that the company could go a totally different direction and possibly reveal more information about the Model 3, or it could launch a new hardware version of its Autopilot system.

Whatever the case may be, there’s going to be a lot of people who’ll be keeping tabs on the product launch as it happens. That includes us, of course.

Note: Tesla Model X shown above.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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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.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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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.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

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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.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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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?

Continue reading for the full story.

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What is the Perfect Car?

What is the Perfect Car?

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.

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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 Gives Away All its Patents for Free

Tesla Gives Away All its Patents for Free

The culture of open-source information just got a massive supporter. Tesla Motors has voluntarily revoked every patent the company previously held in the field of electric-powered vehicles, opening up other companies to use Tesla’s original ideas for free.

The unprecedented move comes as Tesla Motors’ founder and CEO Elon Musk released a statement citing his passion for zero-emissions vehicles and his belief in the growing need for such vehicles. “Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis.”

With that, the company is now open to sharing its discoveries and innovations in developing, building, selling, and recharging electric vehicles. Well-established automakers like General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, and others will now have free access to Tesla’s once-protected innovations.

Musk further elaborates in his candidly written letter that the electric car industry and eventually the world will benefit from having access to open-sourced and rapidly evolving technology.

Tesla originally held patents on its developments out of fear the large automakers would copy the technology and snuff out Tesla’s small operation. However, now that Tesla has made a such a name for itself and has a well-established (yet still rapidly growing) network of Supercharger recharging stations, that likelihood has diminished. What’s more, Musk points out that out of the 100-million vehicles produced annually, less than one percent of those are zero emissions. Thus far, Tesla’s competition seems noticeably absent.

Click past the jump to read more about Tesla’s giveaway.

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