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Archive for the ‘Tesla’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Will Build “2 or 3” New Gigafactories In The U.S.

Out in the Nevada desert, near the city of Sparks, Tesla is busy building something called Gigafactory 1. Occupying some 24 million square feet and soaking up roughly $5 billion in investments, this mammoth facility is destined to create the lithium-ion power cells used to motivate Tesla’s various EV models. It is, without a doubt, a truly massive undertaking, tasked with mass-producing the components needed to transform the way the world consumes its energy. But Tesla isn’t one to rest on its laurels, and the latest news is that there are now a few more Gigafactories coming down the pipeline.

Tesla CEO and possible inter-dimensional renegade, Elon Musk, confirmed as much recently at the National Governors Association, according to a recent report from our friends over at elektrek. Details on the exact where and when these factories will be built are still forthcoming, but you can rest assured the states will be clamoring to get those Tesla manufacturing jobs within their borders. Further gigafactory construction is expected overseas, including in Europe and Asia. In addition to churning out batteries, the new factories are also expected to have a hand in creating the Tesla powertrains and final vehicle construction.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Novitec Tesla Model X

Novitec Tesla Model X

Tuning electric cars these days begins and end in cosmetic upgrades seeing as no aftermarket specialist has the expertise to properly boost the output of an electric motor, and if they did there wouldn’t have been much for them to do anyway. These things usually come out of the factory as fast as they’re going to be. And so is the case with the Novitec Tesla Model X.

The Italian tuner best known for their works with Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini models, have tried their hand on an electric American SUV this time,giving slightly more attitude and a little bit more class. The styling kit devised for Novitec Tesla Model X is on the par with the vehicle itself in terms of subtlety and understatedness, save for the fancy wheels which match the ostentatiousness of the falcon doors.

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The aero kit on Novitec Tesla Model X includes carbon fiber front lip spoiler, side skirts, rear diffuser and a rear tailgate wing. The tuner has worked with high-end American wheel maker Vossen Wheels to produce a custom set of 22 inch rims for this project. The Model X also has a fairly minimalist interior, which is probably why Novitec didn’t bother upgrading that at this time. But they do promise they can put together something nice if that’s what the customer wants.

The post Novitec Tesla Model X appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon 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.

Continue reading to learn more about the Tesla Model Y.

PostHeaderIcon 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.

Continue reading to learn more about the Tesla Supercar.


PostHeaderIcon 2017 Tesla Model X Gets 5-Star Crash Rating From NHTSA

Tesla might be having issues making profits and launching the Model 3 sedan, but it’s clear the young automaker can build a safe SUV. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just awarded the 2017 Model X with a 5-star rating in every crash test category and sub-category. That makes the Model X the first SUV to ever earn a 5-star rating across the board. What’s more, the NHTSA’s findings show occupants have the lowest probability of injury in any SUV it has ever tested, with a 93-percent likelihood of walking away without serious injuries.

NHTSA testing includes three main areas: frontal, side, and rollover crashes.
Further broken down, the frontal crash testing includes a 35-mph, full-frontal crash into a solid barrier. Side impact testing includes both impacts with another vehicle and with a stationary pole like a tree or telephone post. Rollover testing includes both the likelihood of a rollover and the roof’s ability to remain structurally intact. Not only did the Model X earn 5 stars in the roof crush test, the NHTSA was unable to educe a rollover, even during its dynamic rollover test. Tesla claims the Model X’s aversion to tipping lies in its low center of gravity provided by the battery packs mounted under the floor.

Continue reading for more information.


PostHeaderIcon Tesla's Semi to Debut in September, but Will it Live Up to the Hype?

Leave it to Elon Musk to drop a bombshell just as we’re all getting ready for the weekend. The always provocative Tesla CEO took to Twitter last Friday, April 14, to announce plans to introduce the automaker’s first venture into the world of semi-trucks this coming September. The news itself isn’t groundbreaking since Musk already laid out what the company’s intentions were back in July 2016 as part of its “Master Plan, Part Deux” mission. But, until late last week, those plans were of the vague persuasion, devoid of any specific timetable.

Well, the timetable has arrived…and it’s literally five months from now.

Not one to be caught saying too much in the way of juicy details, Musk kept the announcement short and sweet, opting only to say that the “team has done an amazing job,” presumably in the development of the semi-truck and that the vehicle itself is “seriously next level.” Those statements aren’t much to go by at this point, but the mere hint that we’re closer to seeing the actual vehicle – even if it’s a prototype – so soon after its announcement is pretty indicative of the company’s intentions in staking its name into the electric semi truck arena.

At this point, the waiting game now begins on more details surrounding the semi-truck. If Musk’s past comments about the development are anything to go by, expect the Tesla Semi – or whatever name it ends up getting – to “deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.”

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Should Tesla Have to Pony Up for Driver Error?

It’s no secret that Tesla has been the target of plenty of lawsuits over the last year or two. In fact, it seems that just about anyone who crashes their Model S or Model X wants to blame Tesla. Musk was smart, however, and has equipped each of Tesla’s vehicles with a data recorder, which has proven invaluable in protecting the company from people that seem to forget how to drive. Usually, it’s someone saying autopilot screwed up, but there are others that claim their vehicle accelerated all on its own. This guy from California, however, really takes the cake. Last year, this cat (Son Ji-chang) drove his car through his garage and firmly lodged it right into his living room. He immediately pointed the finger at Tesla and initiated yet another lawsuit – one that’s attempting to evolve into class-action status. He even used his wealth to launch a media campaign to slander Tesla a bit. His claim?

“The vehicle spontaneously began to accelerate at full power, jerking forward and crashing through the interior wall of the garage, destroying several wooden support beams in the wall and a steel sewer pipe, among other things, and coming to rest in (his) living room.”

Well, the suit also names several other complaints that have been reported to the NHTSA, a good number of which point to driver error. In other words, the driver hit the accelerator, and the car did what it was supposed to do; Go. And, in this specific case, a third-party even reviewed the logs from one of these alleged rogue cars and determined the same thing, so it’s not necessarily just Tesla trying to flip things around. Well, the people behind the most recent suit have changed their approach, and instead of saying Tesla is responsible for this unintended acceleration, they say that Tesla is responsible for not preventing this unintended acceleration. Basically, they say the car should know that the driver accidentally hit the gas pedal and ignore that input…

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Tesla Sucker Punches GM as Stock Prices Pass the $300 Mark

Tesla, as a company, has made huge advances in feasible, all-electric mobility and autonomous technology and has been growing at an alarming rate. One could even argue that it knows how to sell the hell out of its electric cars, evidenced by the delivery of just over 25,000 vehicles in the first quarter of 2017 that included an eight-percent growth in sales for the Model S and 381-percent growth for the Model X over the same quarter in 2016. But, one thing it’s doesn’t do so well is make profit – something that the brand is commonly criticized for by other key players in the business. Be that as it may, the company is doing well when it comes to stock market and valuation.

With production of the Model 3 on the horizon and a record-setting first quarter as far as vehicle deliveries go, Tesla’s stock jumped past the $300 barrier for the first time in company history. But wait; that’s not all. This jump also puts Tesla’s market cap over $52 billion, a feat that puts it above both Ford and GM here in the U.S. As of the time of this writing, Ford’s market cap was $45.07 billion, GM’s was at $51.23 billion, and Tesla hit $52.08 billion. This officially makes it the largest and most valuable automaker in the U.S. by market capitalization.

That’s a pretty big deal for Tesla, especially considering the company rarely turns out a profit. But what does it mean for the long term?


PostHeaderIcon Tesla 8.1 Software Update Includes "Turtle Mode" for Drag Racing

Tesla just rolled out the new 8.1 software, which includes updates to Autopilot that supports version 2.0 of the driver assistance system. The upgrade essentially brings newer Model S and Model X vehicles up to date with the first-generation software by increasing the speed limit for Autosteer, among other features. Autospeed speed limit increases from 55 to 80 mph, the Summon feature lets owners call their vehicles from parking spaces without anyone behind the wheel, while the lane change feature allows drivers to have the car initiate a lane change while in Autosteer mode by using the turn signal. Finally, the software update reportedly adds a feature called “Turtle Mode.”

According to sources inside Tesla that requested they remain anonymous, this mode was designed specifically for the drag strip, where the Model S has been making quite a few headlines in recent months by defeating some of the most powerful gasoline-fueled vehicles. But, unlike other race-specific modes that change the car’s settings for increased performance, this one is actually a feature that enables the Model S to win races effortlessly. Specifically, instead of the driver needing to launch as soon as the lights go green, the car launches by itself automatically. Not only that, but it also activates the throttle just in time to win the race at the very last second. Basically the Model S can leave the line later than its competitor, but still cross the finish line in first place.

Sounds a bit sci-fi right? Well, it’s Tesla and Elon Musk we’re talking about here!

The Tesla insider wasn’t very keen to provide specific details, but did say that the racing app is able to calculate how fast the other car is going by adding the make, model and year in the Model S’ computer. In the situation in which the opposition drives a modded vehicle, the system can reportedly monitor acceleration and speed and automatically compensate with throttle modulation. By doing so, the app keeps the Model S on the starting line at the beginning and launches just in time to put the car’s aerodynamic nose just ahead enough to win. Thus it eliminates the need to leave early, which makes drag racing less stressful for the driver.

The silly “Turtle Mode” name is beginning to make more sense now, right? If you still don’t get it, it means you didn’t watching too much Bugs Bunny as a kid and you definitely don’t know who Cecil Turtle is. Just google “Tortoise beats hare”…

The app that makes drag racing effortless — just like almost everything else in a Tesla — only works for quarter-mile tracks. Because it’s still a beta version, the feature can’t be used on longer drag strips, but this should change by the end of the year. “Turtle Mode” is also a hidden feature that requires a specific set of inputs to find, just like “Ludicrous Mode.” Needless to say, this “Turtle” feature sounds pretty ludicrous for a car that wasn’t designed for racing, but it’s probably Tesla’s way of making fun of all those high-revving, gasoline-powered sports cars at the drag strip.

Elon Musk sure seems to have a lot of free time on his hands, but hey, I’ll take anything that would make a Challenger SRT Hellcat driver burst in tears at the end of the quarter-mile run. Hopefully the Model S will be as efficient against the Challenger SRT Demon too.


PostHeaderIcon Would You Let Elon Musk Connect Your Brain to a Computer?

Elon Musk isn’t a bad guy. He can be arrogant at times (can’t we all?) but he’s made huge strides in battery technology, autonomous driving technology, and even getting big hunks of metal (that may eventually carry us to Mars) into space. You would think that a man like Musk, who’s splitting his time between companies like SpaceX and Tesla, would have a full plate, but apparently, his plate isn’t full enough as he has announced a new venture that seeks to interface our brains with computers. The company, which is in the very early stages of creation is called “Neuralink” and looks to implant tiny electrodes in our brains to allow us to connect directly to computers.

The crazy thing is that the whole thing has been pretty well thought out, and has been a concept routinely explored in science fiction as well. If this new company is successful, it would be able to make a direct cortical interface between man and computer, ultimately allowing our thoughts and maybe even memories to be downloaded to a computer, or allow us to control a computer without using anything but our minds. Eventually, the technology could even be used to increase cognitive capabilities that allow us to increase our intelligence and memory. It’s like adding RAM to a computer, really. It might sound a little outlandish but, believe it or not, it’s actually a feasible idea. After all, the human brain is considered to be the most advanced computer in existence thus far, right?

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk Not Happy About Trump's New Plan for Nasa

Earth’s atmosphere serves as the doorstep to the rest of the universe with an all-new frontier just waiting to be explored and discoveries waiting to be made. It’s been more than 40 years since any human (that we know of) has stepped foot on a celestial body other than the earth, and Elon Musk plans to send a manned mission to mars as early as 2022 via his prized SpaceX rockets that are, in fact, very promising. However, on the other side of the spectrum, President Trump signed legislation S. 442, which provides funding of $19.5 billion to NASA and a goal (or ultimatum) to get to Mars by 2033.

At face value, the funding and goal to get to Mars seems promising, as that means that NASA isn’t going to experience the same funding cuts as other science agencies in the mix. It looks so good, in fact, that Recode co-founder, Kara Swisher, tweeted to Musk saying “Somewhere @elonmusk is smiling.” As it turns out, though, Musk has a completely different view and isn’t really happy at all. See, Musk wanted added funding for the Mars mission, while in fact, this bill does nothing of the sorts. His replies on twitter say it all:

“ @Karaswisher I am not. (smiling) This bill changes almost nothing about what NASA is doing. Existing programs stay in place, and there is no added funding for Mars.” He continued in a second tweet, saying that maybe there will be a bill in the future that makes a difference, but this one isn’t it. And, he’s not the only expert who thinks that way either. Scott Pace, the director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, thinks it’s more of a vote for stability than it is a great leap forward.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Let's Hope That Tesla's Production Timetable For The Model 3 Doesn't Have "Delays" Written All Over It

The start of production of the Tesla Model 3 is all set to begin this July in a “limited” capacity, although according to InsideEVs, the first wave of models that roll off the production line are earmarked for Tesla’s employees and investors. While that allocation part isn’t entirely that big of a deal, the timetable for the car’s production is, especially if Tesla is serious about achieving its goals of producing 5,000 units per week by the fourth quarter of this year and 10,000 units per week sometime in 2018.

To its credit, Tesla has already started production trials for the car in anticipation of the massive volume it has to deal with once full-scale production commences. Tesla, after all, has more than 370,000 deposits to deal with, right?

For everyone’s sake then, let’s hope that the company’s production plans for the Model 3 are all ironed out. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is saying all the right things at the moment, even telling reporters recently that the ramp-up in the production of the Model 3 will happen slowly to give Tesla some form of breathing room to address potential bugs and issues.

That’s good to hear because history hasn’t been kind on Tesla’s production promises. Remember, both the Model S and Model X experienced massive production delays during their launch. The Model X, in particular, was delayed numerous times for a myriad of reasons, including issues with suppliers that ended with ugly lawsuits on both sides. Those delays pushed the launch of the Model X from its original launch timetable in the early part of 2014 all the way to the end of 2015. That’s almost two years, if you’re keeping score.

For the sake of the Model 3, which Tesla is promoting as the model that would signal the company’s entry into mainstream markets, delays of any sort would be devastating to the company. It’s not a premium model like the Model X that can be explained through automotive and legal jargons. This is a car that has almost 400,000 pre-orders attached to it, and you can be sure that a lot of those deposits will be canceled if Tesla suffers any delays in the production of the Model 3.

Let’s all hope that it doesn’t come to that then.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Tesla Driver Damages His Own Model S To Save Stranger's Life

Sometimes, heroism comes in the strangest of circumstances, and people who don’t consider themselves built in the mold of a Superman find themselves acting like one. Case in point: the 41-year old driver of a Tesla Model S who is hailed as a hero for intentionally causing damage to his pricey electric sedan, all in the name of saving the life of a total stranger.

According to German news outlet Muncher Merkur, the driver, named Manfred Kick, was on the German Autobahn when he chanced upon a Volkswagen Passat that was being driven erratically by its driver. The Passat even slammed into the guardrail a number of times. Curious to see what was going on, Kick pulled up alongside the Volkswagen only to notice that its driver was unconsciousness. From there, Kick sprung to action, accelerating his Model S and pulling in front of the Passat before slowly braking his car, making sure that the Passat could rest up against the rear bumper of his Model S until both cars came to a stop.

From there, Kick rushed to the Passat, climbed through the passenger door, and proceeded to give him first aid. It was then that another party hurried to the scene and called for emergency help. Once the fire department arrived on the scene, it determined that the unnamed driver of the Passat could have suffered a stroke while driving the car, rendering him unconscious.

But thanks to Kick’s quick thinking, the 47-year old Passat owner was taken to the hospital where, according to Muncher Merkur, he is now in stable condition.

Ironically enough, the police informed Kick that a preliminary investigation was opened against him as part of “procedure.” That said, it is unlikely that the Model S owner would be prosecuted as the local police department is considering giving him an award for his actions that ended with him saving a stranger’s life.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Tesla Begins Preparation Ahead Of Model 3 Production

Tesla has proven in the past that it’s capable of unorthodox measures to get certain work aspects done and apparently, it’s dipping into that well one more time after a Reuters report revealed that the electric car maker plans to shut down its production facility in California for a week beginning this month. The reason behind it? Prepare for production for the Model 3 sedan.

In some aspects, such a move isn’t that strange when you consider that other companies have done it in the past in one form or another. But Tesla is a different because it has little flexibility making “brief, planned” pauses in production for a period of time. But the automaker appears to have decided on the issue as it prepares to add capacity to its facility to accommodate the coming production of the Model 3.

A Tesla spokesman even confirmed to the news outlet about the plans, saying that “this will allow Tesla to begin Model 3 production later this year as planned and enable us to start the ramp towards 500,000 vehicles annually in 2018.”

Apparently, Tesla also plans to begin test-building the Model 3 later this month, which could be part of the reason why the facility is being shut down. The goal it seems is to gauge the capability of the production plant in Freemont, California to accommodate the massive spike in production volume that will inevitably happen once the Model 3 begins production. Remember, Tesla wasted little time shouting from the heavens last May that it had received more 370,000 refundable $1,000 deposits for the Model 3, highlighting the massive demand for the car that the company believes is its ticket in breaking into the mainstream auto scene.

The timetable set for the pilot production of the Model 3 also coincides with the company’s conference call with shareholders to report its fourth-quarter results. Apparently, Tesla wants to make a good impression in that conference call and positive news surrounding the upcoming production of the Model 3 could go a long way in appeasing its shareholders.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon 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.


PostHeaderIcon Tesla Gets Shut Out In Missouri; Autopilot Features Now Back Live

Tesla’s issues with a number of U.S. states regarding the sales of its vehicles are well-documented. It’s had problems in New Jersey and Arizona in the past and it’s got a pending case in Utah that has gone all the way to the Supreme Court. Now the California-based electric car maker can add Missouri among its headaches after getting shut out on a license renewal for selling new vehicles in the state.

Tesla’s woes in Missouri stems from a lawsuit filed by the Missouri Auto Dealers Association back in 2015 against the state’s revenue department. The suit alleged that the Tesla’s unique direct-to-consumer sales model violated state laws. Cole County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Green then ruled in MADA’s favor back in August 2016, calling for the Missouri Department of Revenue to not renew its motor vehicle dealer license since the company itself is the owner of the models it sells and not a franchisee.

According to Electrek, Tesla is planning to appeal the decision but after getting denied a motion to stay or temporarily halt the ruling in the course of the appeals process, the company is now being forced to shut sales operations of its stores in Kansas City and Universal City.

The decision is understandably frustrating for Tesla as it now faces the unenviable task of closing sales operations while the Court of Appeals decides on the issue. In the meantime though, it appears that the automaker has its hands tied on the matter and, as such, will be forced to make some very difficult decision regarding its employees in the state.

In more positive news, Tesla’s new Autopilot hardware system is about go live on a handful of Tesla models as the automaker has begun enabling some of the self-driving features that were disabled back in October. The installation of new equipment – cameras, sensors, and radar – that support fully autonomous driving was touted as one of the significant reasons behind the decision to shut down these features temporarily. But now that the first 1,000 Tesla models have been installed with the new hardware, the automaker has begun enabling features like Traffic Aware Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, and Autosteer on these models.

The decision to start enabling these features is part of a long-arching plan by Tesla to slowly bring back the old features that were used in the previous-generation Autopilot system. “These features operate on a new hardware and software platform,” the company said in a statement. “Their rollout will be measured and cautious until we have generated confidence across several hundred million miles of real-world usage. Enhanced Autopilot will become better over time as this experience is gained and corner cases are addressed.”

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Is Tesla Bringing Back The Model That Started It All?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter account is a great follow, largely because he uses it as a tool to drop some pretty important information about the company. Remember that “big announcement” that turned out to be the next-generation Autopilot system? Well, Musk’s at it again when he replied to a question posed by Uber Design Manager Jelle Prins, who asked Musk if Tesla had plans to bring back the Tesla Roadster.

Musk’s reply? “Some years away, but yes.”

The revelation isn’t exactly “new” news because talk of a new Tesla Roadster has been inside the oven for quite some time. In fact, Tesla’s Nordic Countries manager Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen made similar comments back in May when he said that the Roadster will not only make a return, but it would also look “a little different, little faster, and little bigger” than the original model that was sold from 2008 to 2012.

Bardenfleth-Hansen’s comments were significant, but not as important as coming from the man that runs the whole company. With Musk essentially confirming that the Roadster will return, the speculation surrounding the car will undoubtedly pick up steam as more information about it becomes available.

For better or worse though, such information is unlikely to come soon, since, as Musk put it, the model is still “some years away.” In addition, talk of a Roadster wasn’t even included in Tesla’s second “Master Plan” that Musk outlined back in July 2016. Recent rumors about the new Roadster event pegged it for a 2019 debut so that’s still a full two years away.

A lot can happen in that time and while Musk’s comments are the clearest response we’ve had of the new Roadster’s status, additional details about it are obviously most welcome.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Stubborn Tesla Finally Meets Its Match in Norway

Tesla may be leading the way in advancing electrification and autonomous driving technology, but as braggadocios as the company has gotten in the eyes of a lot of people, it’s not immune to getting a dose of humble pie every once in a awhile. That’s what happened after the electric carmaker reached an out-of-court settlement with 126 Norwegian customers who filed a lawsuit against the company over misleading power outputs attributed to the Tesla Model S.

For those who don’t remember, 126 owners of the Model S in Norway took issue with Tesla’s claims that the Model S P85D delivers a total of 691 horsepower, 467 horses of which is delivered from its rear motor and another 224 ponies coming from its front motor, bringing the total to a “combined” 691 horsepower. Apparently, those Norwegian owners took Tesla up to task for what they asserted as false claims of the total power of the car as they were led to believe that the combined output to 691 ponies could be delivered by the Model S when the truth is it can’t deliver on the promise.

In any event, the case was due to start in court yesterday, until lawyers from both sides told the Oslo District Court in a joint letter that they had decided to withdraw the case after striking a settlement deal. The case, according to Reuters, has since been resolved after Tesla agreed to pay each car owner of the Model S P85D 65,000 Norwegian crowns, or around $7,700 based on current exchange rates.

The settled amount is around half of what each Model S P85D owner was seeking, but it’s still a little more than the $6,000 that the country’s Consumer Disputes Commission asked Tesla to pay to the aggravated owners back in July 2016.

With the case now settled, both sides are likely hoping that the worst is over and Norway can return to being one of the biggest European markets of Tesla. The country has always been one of the world’s top markets for electric cars, but data culled by lobby group Road Traffic Information Council (OFV) indicated that registration of new Tesla cars in Norway dropped by 24 percent in the first 11 months of 2016 compared to the same time period a year ago.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Tesla Software 8.1 Coming In A Few Weeks Will Unlock Enhanced Autopilot

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has finally pinned down a date for the arrival of the 8.1 version of the automaker’s “Enhanced Autopilot” software suite, replying to a tweet from a new Tesla Model S owner and saying the new software will go live in “about three weeks” and that its features will be rolled out “incrementally in monthly releases.”

Musk’s response is not as specific as we’d like it to be, but it does fit into the company’s previous statement that the autonomous functions to the new system would only be enabled as soon as the new Autopilot hardware has been validated and calibrated through real-world driving by owners of the Model S and Model X. The automaker’s “Tesla Vision” system is expected to enhance the car’s autonomous driving features and leading to it being capable of Level 5 full autonomous driving by 2018.

To get there, Tesla, according to Musk, will be making monthly updates to the system to add new features into the mix and restore old features like lane keep assist, self-parking, active cruise control, and self-parking. All these features were disabled when Tesla introduced Autopilot 2.0 last month, saying that it was done to “further calibrate the system.”

Now that these features are expected to return in the coming weeks, the clock now starts for Tesla to see through its goal of taking Autopilot 2.0 to levels that its predecessor couldn’t attain. The electric carmaker has never been the type to shy away from setting lofty goals for itself and it did so during Autopilot 2.0’s “surprise” announcement last October when it laid out a timetable to get Tesla models built in 2016 to advance to level 3 autonomy in the coming months, before moving on to level 4 autonomy and then to level 5 autonomy in two years’ time.

That said, these updates are still “subject to regulatory approval” so that’s another angle that owners of the Tesla Model S and Model X should pay attention to once the first wave of Autopilot 2.0’s software updates goes live.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Tesla Announces New Autopilot System With Full Self-Driving Capabilities

After more than a week of frenzied speculation, Tesla’s “unannounced” product launch finally took place, and lo and behold, the electric car maker pulled the curtains to reveal the launch of its new Autopilot 2.0 hardware suite. In other words, it was what a lot of people, including some here at TopSpeed, had anticipated – albeit with the added caveat that nobody expected Tesla to jump straight into level 5 autonomy when the hardware is fully operational by 2018.

That’s really the big news here. Level 5 autonomy means that Tesla’s future lineup of vehicles, including the Model 3, will be able to drive by themselves without any sort of physical driving aid from the drivers. Long night at the office and you just want to sleep on the way home? Cars with level 5 autonomy can do help you there. Want to catch up on Mr. Robot on your streaming devices? Go right ahead. Your Teslas will get you where you need to go without you even having to glance up to look at the road.

All of those things are what Tesla’s promising with Level 5 autonomy and while it’s going to take some time to get the hardware fully equipped to perform those functions, the important thing is that the foundation (Autopilot 2.0) is on its way. Tesla’s Model S and Model X units will receive the hardware moving forward and once the Model 3 is released, it too will be equipped with the same equipment. It’s worth noting too, based on previous reports, that Tesla has already made plans to fit the new equipment into Model S and Model X units that were in production before today’s announcements. Those models already had the mounting hardware and wiring to accommodate the equipment when it becomes ready and available.

So where does this leave is in the short term? Well, Tesla says that tech still isn’t ready to maximize its full potential. That will happen by 2018. In the meantime, the company will continue to “further calibrate the system,” which essentially disables certain features already attributed to the current Autopilot system already on the road. This is an important piece of information that Tesla owners should heed because abilities like automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding, and active cruise control will be disabled until Tesla brings them back up live through over-the-air-updates.

Slowly, but surely, these OTA updates will allow the Autopilot 2.0 system in Tesla models built in 2016 to advance to level 3 autonomy in the coming months, before moving on to level 4 autonomy and then to level 5 autonomy in two years’ time.

Not too bad for an “unannounced” product launch, but we have to admit, we’re a little salty that we didn’t at least get more information about the Model 3.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


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