The Tesla Model S is neither new nor surprising anymore. When the electric sedan entered the market in 2012, it shattered perceptions of electric cars and proved electric motoring viable.
Since then, Tesla has established itself as the go-to brand for geeks and early adopters. We’ve driven the Tesla Model S before, so there’s no need to talk about its most obvious features. But recent events make this a great time to talk about its second-most-important feature: Autopilot.
Is Tesla’s autonomous system any good? Can it be dangerous? How far is it from being truly autonomous? And, besides that, how did the Model S improve over the last few years?
The reshuffling of Tesla’s lineup continues, with the electric automaker announcing a base Model S sedan with less range and a lower starting price.
The 70 kWh entry-level battery is gone, replaced by a 60 kWh juice box that lowers range to 210 miles, similar to the upcoming Model 3, but in a vehicle you can have in your driveway next month. (Read More…)
Grilles are so 20th century.
As we speculated last week, Tesla has put a new face on its Model S, doing away with the faux grille designed to trick people into thinking there was something combusting under the hood.
The new front end is a corporate amalgam of the both the recently unveiled Model 3 sedan and Model X SUV. Tesla apparently thinks that society has progressed enough to accept the disappearance of an air-sucking mouth at the front of a car.
Suffice it to say the Model 3 has consumed all of the Tesla oxygen in the past few weeks, but that doesn’t mean the Model S is just going to roll over and play dead.
Sources inside the company told CNET that a changes are coming for the ground-breaking electric sedan, possible as early as next week. If true, Tesla founder Elon Musk clearly knows a thing or two about sustaining buzz.
The shadowy source claims the Model S will receive an exterior facelift and a slight move upmarket thanks to more luxurious interior trappings.
Tesla founder Elon Musk wants to build a new European factory to satisfy growing demand on the continent, and France knows just the place he should do it.
French Energy Minister Segolene Royal reportedly pitched the idea of using the site of a soon-to-be-mothballed reactor to Musk, according to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe).
“He didn’t say no,” said Royal, who plans to follow-up the pitch by meeting with Tesla management.
Tesla Motors is cranking out EVs at its fastest clip yet, but buyers who put money down on the Model 3 should still have serious questions about the timeliness of their delivery date.
In the first quarter of this year, Tesla delivered 12,420 Model S sedans and 2,400 Model X SUVs — nearly 50 percent more volume than the same period last year. The electric automaker said a parts shortage in January and February hampered Model X production, but with the issue resolved, deliveries of 80,000 to 90,000 Teslas can be expected this year.
At a one-day workshop Tuesday sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission to discuss the future of automobile dealers in the U.S., executives from General Motors and Tesla jabbed at each other over electric car sales.
GM CEO and Chairwoman Mary Barra touted the new Chevrolet Bolt as being one of the few all-electric cars that could be purchased in all states.
Later, at a direct-sale discussion, a lawyer for Tesla chided Barra by saying that it was GM’s persistence in shaping dealer law nearly a century ago that has forced Tesla out of six states including Michigan and Texas.
“Because they voluntarily chose generations ago to use a certain business model, (GM thinks) everyone that comes after should be required as a matter of law to use the same model,” Tesla lawyer Todd Maron said Tuesday. (Read More…)
Porsche announced Friday that it would build its Mission E car — an all-electric sedan with looks that a Panamera would kill for — and sell the car by 2020. The Mission E concept was announced at Frankfurt earlier this year.
In addition to the car’s 0-60 mph time in under 3.5 seconds, the Mission E (no word on whether that is the final name) will also boast a 310-mile range and an 800-volt charge capability that could recharge the battery up to 80 percent in 15 minutes, providing you can find a charger for it.
Porsche didn’t announce pricing or availability yet, because presumably they’re figuring out exactly how much people will be willing to pay for the Stuttgart coat of arms and how many sales they’ve already lost to Tesla.
After Tesla is done delivering Founders and Signature editions of its Model X SUV, the company will offer a 70D model later next year with a 220 mile range for $80,000 plus $1,200 for shipping. A 90D, with a range of 257 miles and quicker sprint up to 60 mph, will be offered as well, but the company hasn’t disclosed how much that will cost.
Automotive News reported that the automaker updated its online configurator for potential customers to configure their base cars. A 70D Model X with every option checked tops out around $100,000.
The public Model X page only lists the 90D as deliverable next year, which Automotive News speculated could mean that the company may make the 70D available later in the year or 2017.
Tesla may need to sell 500,000 cars by 2020 to meet projected goals by shareholders.
Tesla will begin rolling out its firmware update Thursday to enable some Model S and Model X cars to partially drive themselves, the company’s CEO announced on Twitter.
Tesla’s AutoPilot feature will reportedly steer the car during some highway driving and help parallel park the car. A valet feature that would park and retrieve the car without a driver will reportedly come later. It’s unclear how autonomous the cars will be after Thursday, so we’ll save up the $75,000 and let you know as soon as we can.
Model S cars built after September 2014 will reportedly be eligible for the driver-less updates. Cars without the needed sensors and cameras receive a UI update, according to CEO Elon Musk.