Schlagwort-Archive: Tesla

Here’s the electric car Audi is building to take on Tesla

Audi E-tron quattroAudi

Tesla’s Model S and Model X are soon going to have some serious competition.

Last September, Audi revealed its all-electric e-tron quattro concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The SUV, which is slated to go into production by 2018, will have three electric motors, a range of 310 miles on a single charge, and quick charging capabilities.

Here’s a look at some of the features in the e-tron quattro that we hope to see in the production version.

Like the e-tron concept, Audi will most likely include piloted driving technology in its upcoming all-electric SUV.

Like the e-tron concept, Audi will most likely include piloted driving technology in its upcoming all-electric SUV.

Audi piloted techYouTube/Audi

The e-tron quattro concept has piloted driving technology, which uses radar sensors, a video camera, ultrasonic sensors, and a laser scanner to collect data about the car’s environment and create a model of the vehicle’s surroundings in real-time.

Audi currently has a lot of this tech in its newer vehicles, so it’s likely we will see a more advanced piloted system in the production version of the e-tron quattro.

 

Cameras could replace side view mirrors.

Cameras could replace side view mirrors.

Audi

The e-tron quattro has curved displays built into the front section of the doors that lets the driver view what is around them. There’s no guarantee we’ll see this in the production version, but automakers are beginning to experiment with new kinds of mirror designs.

For example, GM’s a digital mirror in the Chevy Bolt and the Cadillac CT6that uses cameras to stream whatever is behind you.

It will likely be covered in screens.

It will likely be covered in screens.

Audi

The e-tron quattro concept features two touch displays in the cockpit, one to the driver’s left to control lights and the piloted driving systems and one to the right where media and navigation is controlled.

The center console has two more OLED displays for climate control and infotainment.

With its 95 kWh battery, the e-tron quattro has an impressive range of 310 miles on a single charge.

With its 95 kWh battery, the e-tron quattro has an impressive range of 310 miles on a single charge.

Audi

To put that into perspective, Tesla’s Model X SUV with all wheel drive and a 100kWh battery has a range of 289 miles on a single charge. Audi has already said its range will beat this.

It may be able to fully charge in just 50 minutes.

It may be able to fully charge in just 50 minutes.

Audi

We know the production version will have quick charging capabilities, but we don’t know exactly how fast it will work. However, we’re hoping it’s in line with the e-tron quattro concept’s charge time.

The concept car has a Combined Charging System (CCS), meaning it can be charged with a DC or AC electrical current. It can fully charge with a DC current outputting 150 kW in just about 50 minutes.

 

The e-tron quattro concept is equipped with induction charging technology, so it can be charged wirelessly over a charging plate.

The e-tron quattro concept is equipped with induction charging technology, so it can be charged wirelessly over a charging plate.

Audi

We can’t say if this is a definite feature the production version will have, but our fingers are crossed.

It will have super fast connectivity.

It will have super fast connectivity.

Audi

Audi announced at CES this year that it is the first automaker to support the latest standard for mobile communications: LTE Advanced.

LTE Advanced is the latest enhancement to LTE, meaning that it can deliver larger and faster wireless data payloads than 4G LTE. We can almost certainly expect to see the technology integrated into the upcoming production car.

http://www.businessinsider.de/audis-electric-vs-tesla-2016-9?op=1

BMW will electrify its regular cars – what happens to ‚i‘ models?

2017 BMW i32017 BMW i3

When the BMW i3 went on sale in the U.S. back in May 2014, it marked not only the debut of the German automaker’s first mass-market electric car, but also a new sub-brand.

BMW originally planned to group all its electric cars under the „i“ sub-brand, which currently includes all-electric and range-extended REx versions of the i3, as well as the striking and expensive i8 plug-in hybrid coupe.

But as BMW looks to expand the number of electric cars in its lineup, that strategy may soon change.

The carmaker plans to offer all-electric versions of its regular models, starting with the 3-Series sedan, X4 crossover, and Mini Cooper, reports WardsAuto.

The industry trade journal cites a report from the German newspaper Handelsblatt, which in turn is based on interviews with anonymous sources close to BMW chairman Harald Kruger.

The decision to sell all-electric versions of the 3-Series, X4, and Mini Cooper is partially motivated by the need to compete with Tesla Motors, and to match electric-car programs of other German luxury brands, the report said.

2017 BMW 330e i Performance2017 BMW 330e i Performance

The 3-Series in particular is likely the vehicle most directly targeted by the Tesla Model 3, the 215-mile, $35,000 electric sedan unveiled by the Silicon Valley company in April.

It has already been reported that an all-electric powertrain will be offered in the 3-Series—BMW’s core model—as part of a 2018 redesign.

While it initially resisted the idea, BMW may also view offering electric powertrains in its regular models as a less-expensive option than adding more dedicated „i“ models.

Both the i3 and i8 use carbon fiber-reinforced plastic body shells and aluminum subframes that aren’t shared with other models.

This reduces the profit margin of these „i“ models compared to the rest of BMW’s lineup.

In its latest 7-Series large luxury sedan, BMW has incorporated individual structural members of carbon fiber within a largely steel structure, meaning the dedicated CFRP body shells may not be needed.

2016 BMW X4 M40i2016 BMW X4 M40i

BMW is expected to launch an i5 extended-range electric crossover in 2018, as well as a convertible version of the i8 and a new electric flagship sedan code named „iNext.“

To some extent, though, the move away from dedicated BMW plug-in models has already begun.

In the U.S., the carmaker offers plug-in hybrid versions of the 3-Series sedan, as well as the X5 SUV, and the 7-Series sedan will follow.

These models wear „i Performance“ badges, but they have nonetheless obliterated the „i“ division’s short-lived monopoly on plug-in hybrids within the BMW lineup.

Whether there will be any further dedicated „i“ models after the i5 remains to be seen, but the shift in tactics underscores the slow spread of battery-electric powertrains across the lineups of more and more manufacturers.

In other words, electric powertrainsaren’t just for special vehicles any more.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1106218_bmw-will-electrify-its-regular-cars-what-happens-to-i-models

Tesla misses 2016/Q2 Wall Street targets, but logs gains in vehicle production

Although Tesla fell far short of Wall Street estimates for earnings and revenue, the company showed progress in increasing its production capabilities, which have long been an issue for the electric automaker.

With these improvements, Tesla said it is on track to deliver 50,000 vehicles in the latter half of this year, which reaffirms its previous guidance.

Tesla shares wavered in trading after the closing bell.

The company reported a second-quarter adjusted loss of $1.06 per share on $1.56 billion in sales. That’s more than double the loss analysts, on average, were expecting. Thomson Reuters‘ consensus estimate called for a loss of 52 cents a share on revenue of $1.62 billion.

Telsa also continued to burn through cash as it invested in production improvements and the construction of its gigafactory in Nevada. But its cash position improved and stood at $3.25 billion as of June 30, fueled in part by a $1.7 billion offering in May. The company expects to log another $2.25 billion in capital expenditures this year to support its accelerated Model 3 production schedule.

Despite these results, Tesla investors remain much more focused on next year rather than these near-term earnings, said Ben Kallo, a senior research analyst at Robert W. Baird.

„I think this is actually what I call de-risking the quarter,“ Kallo told CNBC. „We got the quarter out of the way so now we got a couple months where Elon can start telling us more about the Model 3.“

Kallo is looking for the new model to be introduced in the back half of this year, and when it is, it will be a positive catalyst for the stock.

Tesla said Wednesday it completed the design phase for its Model 3, which it is being marketed as a more affordable version of its high-end cars. Some production equipment for the Model 3 is ready, and Tesla expects to begin building the body and general assembly centers later this year.

After the Model 3, the next priority will be developing the Model Y, a small crossover vehicle, CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s earnings conference call. Musk said he expects strong demand for this vehicle in the range of 500,000 to 1 million units a year.

14,402 vehicles delivered in 2Q

In a letter to shareholders, Tesla said that it finished the second quarter consistently making 2,000 vehicles per week. For the entire quarter, Tesla produced a record total of 18,345 vehicles, an 18 percent increase over the first quarter and up 43 percent over the second fiscal quarter of 2015. Nearly half of the cars it produced occurred in the final four weeks of the quarter.

Tesla said it delivered 14,402 new vehicles, consisting of 9,764 Model S and 4, 638 Model X, which was higher than the company stated in its July production update.

With the improvements in vehicle production efficiency, Telsa said it expects to make 2,200 vehicles a week by the end of the third quarter, and 2,400 a week by the end of the fiscal year.

Meanwhile, new vehicle orders rose 67 percent over the same quarter last year.

Tesla also is seeing increased demand from customers who want to lease their vehicles, and it expects direct leasing to rise from 8 percent of deliveries in the second quarter to about 15 percent of deliveries in the third quarter. While this trend is not surprising given the high cost of the Model S and Model X, Tesla will need to strike new deals with lenders to fund the program.

In its letter to shareholders, Telsa said it had reached its funding limit with a banking partner for its leasing program, but it expects to add new partners in order to continue to sign new leases.

The construction schedule for the Gigafactory manufacturing facility is on track to support volume Model 3 production in late 2017, the company said.

Favorable pricing for the Model S, which rose 3 percent sequentially, and improved manufacturing for the Model X, helped Tesla report „strong“ sequential gross margin increases. On a GAAP basis, its automotive gross margin was 23.1 percent. On a non-GAAP basis, gross margins increased 200 basis points from first-quarter to 21.9 percent.

More to come on autonomous drive technology

During the company’s conference call, Musk did not back off its push toward autonomous driving. In fact, the company said the new technology it is working on will „blow people’s minds.“

„It already blows his mind,“ he said, declining to provide more specifics information.

There has been some talk among analysts that a new version of autonomous drive technology might be rolled into the Model 3 when it is unveiled later this year.

On Monday, Tesla agreed to buy SolarCity for $2.6 billion, after first proposing the deal in June. The move signals that Tesla is trying to move from being an electric car company to a broad sustainable energy business by offering a wide range of integrated products.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/03/tesla-reports-second-quarter-earnings.html

The 15 coolest concept cars revealed this year so far

Automakers are pushing bold, innovative ideas forward with their latest concept cars.

Faraday Thumb23Rob Ludacer

Whether it’s a car with nothing inside but a sofa and TV or an electric car resembling the Batmobile, concept cars give us a glimpse of how technology will shape the future of driving.

1. Volkswagen unveiled a microbus concept meant to give a modern spin to the classic Volkswagen bus at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

1. Volkswagen unveiled a microbus concept meant to give a modern spin to the classic Volkswagen bus at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Volkswagen

Called the BUDD-e, the electric car gets up to 373 miles of range.

The doors open with a simple wave of the hand, and you can control the console’s interface by making hand gestures.

The doors open with a simple wave of the hand, and you can control the console's interface by making hand gestures.

Volkswagen

You can also use the interface to control things like the temperature and lighting in your house.

2. The big unveiling to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show was Faraday Future’s concept car, the FFZERO1.

2. The big unveiling to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show was Faraday Future's concept car, the FFZERO1.

Rob Ludacer

It can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds.

Four motors placed over each wheel give the car a top speed of 200 miles per hour. It’s also capable of learning the driver’s preferences and automatically adjusting the internal settings.

Four motors placed over each wheel give the car a top speed of 200 miles per hour. It's also capable of learning the driver's preferences and automatically adjusting the internal settings.

Faraday Future

Although Faraday Future plans to release a production car in 2020, the FFZERO1 is just a show car.

3. LeEco, a Chinese tech company, unveiled its Tesla killer concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show.

LeEco is also partners with Faraday Future.

Called the LeSEE, the car has a top speed of 130 miles per hour. It also has an autonomous mode.

Called the LeSEE, the car has a top speed of 130 miles per hour. It also has an autonomous mode.

LeEco

The steering wheel will retract back into the dashboard when the car is in autonomous mode.

4. The Lincoln Navigator concept car comes with giant gullwing doors. It was unveiled at the New York Auto Show in March.

4. The Lincoln Navigator concept car comes with giant gullwing doors. It was unveiled at the New York Auto Show in March.

Ford

We won’t be seeing those doors in the production model of a Lincoln Navigator anytime soon, unfortunately.

The six seats inside can be adjusted 30 different ways, and there’s entertainment consoles on the back of four seats so passengers can watch TV or play games.

The six seats inside can be adjusted 30 different ways, and there's entertainment consoles on the back of four seats so passengers can watch TV or play games.

Ford

There’s even a built-in wardrobe management system in the trunk so you can turn your car into part walk-in closet.

5. BMW’s Vision Next 100 was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It comes with an AI system called Companion that can learn your driving preferences and adjust accordingly in advance.

5. BMW's Vision Next 100 was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It comes with an AI system called Companion that can learn your driving preferences and adjust accordingly in advance.

BMW

The side panels of the Next 100 are made of carbon fiber.

The steering wheel will retract into the dashboard when the car is in autonomous mode.

The steering wheel will retract into the dashboard when the car is in autonomous mode.

BMW

There’s also a heads-up display that will show information about your route on the windshield.

6. BMW added to its Vision 100 line in June. Here we see the Mini Vision Next 100 that was built for ridesharing.

6. BMW added to its Vision 100 line in June. Here we see the Mini Vision Next 100 that was built for ridesharing.

BMW

The car can recognize who you are when it comes to pick you up and will greet you with personalized lighting.

The steering wheel will shift into the center of the console when the car is in autonomous mode.

The steering wheel will shift into the center of the console when the car is in autonomous mode.

BMW

The BMW also comes with a heads-up display that will show information about your route on the windshield.

7. The last addition to the BMW Vision 100 line is this futuristic Rolls-Royce.

7. The last addition to the BMW Vision 100 line is this futuristic Rolls-Royce.

Rob Ludacer

The Rolls-Royce is also completely autonomous.

Because the car envisions a completely autonomous future, the interior is composed entirely of a two-person, silk sofa and a giant OLED TV.

Because the car envisions a completely autonomous future, the interior is composed entirely of a two-person, silk sofa and a giant OLED TV.

Rolls-Royce

There’s also a secret compartment in the car for storing your luggage.

8. McLaren unveiled a stunning concept car called the 675LT JVCKENWOOD at the Consumer Electronics Show.

8. McLaren unveiled a stunning concept car called the 675LT JVCKENWOOD at the Consumer Electronics Show.

McLaren

The McLaren 675LT comes with a wireless networking system so it could communicate with other cars on the road about traffic and accidents.

The car comes with a steering wheel that looks like a video game controller!

The car comes with a steering wheel that looks like a video game controller!

McLaren

The controller is meant to help the driver control the heads-up display while in motion.

9. Italian automaker Pininfarina unveiled a beautiful hydrogen-powered concept car at the Geneva Motor Show.

9. Italian automaker Pininfarina unveiled a beautiful hydrogen-powered concept car at the Geneva Motor Show.

Pininfarina

The car, called H2 Speed, refuels in just three minutes.

It has a top speed of 186 miles per hour and can go from zero to 62 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds.

It has a top speed of 186 miles per hour and can go from zero to 62 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds.

Pininfarina

The car can regenerate energy from braking.

10. Audi unveiled its connected mobility concept car in April. There’s a longboard integrated in the bumper in case you want to roll from the parking lot to work.

10. Audi unveiled its connected mobility concept car in April. There's a longboard integrated in the bumper in case you want to roll from the parking lot to work.

Audi

It conveniently pulls out when you need it and is stored in the bumper when you’d rather travel on foot!

The car’s infotainment system can calculate the fastest route based on real-time data and will suggest using the longboard if that seems faster.

The car's infotainment system can calculate the fastest route based on real-time data and will suggest using the longboard if that seems faster.

Audi

It will even show you the best parking spot to make the longboard portion of your commute shorter.

11. Aston Martin showed off a beautiful concept car in May called the Vanquish Zagato Concept.

11. Aston Martin showed off a beautiful concept car in May called the Vanquish Zagato Concept.

Aston Martin

All of the body panels in the Vanquish Zagato are made of carbon fiber.

Aston Martin made the car with Italian auto design company Zagato. The two have worked together since 1960.

Aston Martin made the car with Italian auto design company Zagato. The two have worked together since 1960.

Aston Martin

There’s not too many details on this car since it’s just a concept, but it sure is pretty.

12. Jeep showed off a crazy looking wrangler in March at the Easter Jeep Safari, an off road rally.

12. Jeep showed off a crazy looking wrangler in March at the Easter Jeep Safari, an off road rally.

Chrysler

That is a monster car.

The Wrangler Trailcat concept had to be stretched to 12 inches to accommodate the massive engine providing 707 horsepower.

The Wrangler Trailcat concept had to be stretched to 12 inches to accommodate the massive engine providing 707 horsepower.

Chrysler

It comes with racing seats from a Dodge Viper.

13. Toyota unveiled a strange-looking concept car dubbed the uBox to appeal to Generation Z in April.

13. Toyota unveiled a strange-looking concept car dubbed the uBox to appeal to Generation Z in April.

Toyota

The uBox is all-electric.

The interior is entirely customizable so it can transform into a mobile office or fit more people.

The interior is entirely customizable so it can transform into a mobile office or fit more people.

Toyota

It also comes with a nice curved glass roof that lets plenty of light inside.

14. French automaker Renault showed off a stunning, high-tech sports car dubbed the Alpine Vision in February.

The Alpine Vision is a two-door, two-seater sports car.

It can go from zero to 62 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds

The interior is decked out with a LCD gauge cluster in the center console.

15. Lastly, Croatian automaker Rimac designed a stunning, all-electric concept car for the Geneva Motor Show.

15. Lastly, Croatian automaker Rimac designed a stunning, all-electric concept car for the Geneva Motor Show.

Rimac

Called the Concept_One it can accelerate from zero to 62 miles per hour in just 2.6 seconds.

The Concept_One can reach a top speed of 185 miles per hour.

The Concept_One can reach a top speed of 185 miles per hour.

Rimac

It has a regenerative braking system that allows it to generate energy whenever it brakes.

http://www.businessinsider.com/coolest-concept-cars-revealed-in-2016-2016-6

Elon Musk: we’ll ultimately be in the position where almost everyone will be able to afford a Tesla

The Internet is still waking up from the madness that was the Model 3 unveiling, but Tesla CEO is – as always – looking towards the future. While in Norway recently, Musk talked about Tesla’s upcoming EV. No, not the 3, but the even cheaper and smaller electric vehicle that will be coming out after the 3 debuts. Musk said the following, talking about the Model 3 (to start):

I’m super excited about being able to produce a car that most people can afford. And there will be future cars that are even more affordable down the road, but, with something like the Model 3, it’s designed such that roughly half of the people will be able to afford the car. Then, with fourth generation and smaller cars, we’ll ultimately be in the position where almost everyone will be able to afford the car.

You can hear it for yourself at about 12 minutes into the video above. It’s worth watching the whole thing, because Musk also mentions fossil fuel subsidies, that mysterious mass transit solution thing and
dying on Mars.

What’s most interesting about Musk’s comments about Tesla’s future is that he may not be around to steer the ship when this next EV arrives. Musk has said that he will remain the Tesla CEO at least until the Model 3 production has ramped up, but after that, who knows. As he said a year and a half ago, „I will never leave Tesla forever, but I may not be CEO forever. Nobody should be CEO forever.“

Tesla’s Model 3 Reservations Rise to 400,000

Eager Tesla customers continue to reserve the Model 3, despite the ballooning wait times.

Reservations for Tesla’s recently unveiled, mainstream electric car, the Model 3, continue to climb.

According to a speech from Tesla’s Vice President of Business Development, Diarmuid O’Connell, this week, reservations for the car are now approaching 400,000.

That’s an eye-popping figure for an electric car that’s only been available to reserve for about two weeks and won’t start shipping until the end of 2017. Many of those reservations were made before the car was even unveiled on March 31. Now Tesla needs to figure out how to make and deliver those cars on time and budget.

Many of the later orders of the Model 3 likely won’t be fulfilled until 2019, or even into 2020 (four years from now).That’s assuming Tesla will remain on track to start shipping the car at the end of next year, too.

A driveable prototype of Tesla's Model 3.
A driveable prototype of Tesla’s Model 3. Katie Fehrenbacher/Fortune

To get that volume of cars made and delivered on time, Tesla TSLA -2.56% could have to change the way it makes its cars considerably. Tesla has only delivered a little over 100,000 cars in total over its lifetime. During O’Connell’s speech at a conference in Amsterdam, he said the rapid reservation rate gives Tesla the “visibility” and “confidence” into what it would take to build the car.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted the day after revealing the Model 3 for the first time (when the car had close to 200,000 reservations) that Tesla is “definitely going to need to rethink production planning.” Tesla will likely have to expand production at both its Fremont, Calif. factory more quickly than expected, and it will soon have to start producing a greater number of batteries at its massive battery factory still under construction outside of Reno, Nevada.

O’Connell said that Tesla is “looking at ways to amplify early production.” The company is investigating possible ways to scale up initial investments and ramp up more quickly than previously anticipated. Tesla plans to use lessons learned from the difficulties it had with manufacturing the Model X, Tesla’s SUV electric car.

That car was delayed for years, and it faced slow production at the end of 2015 and into early 2016. The company has admitted hubris for the Model X in trying to fit in too many complex features into the first version of the car.

According to estimates from Cairn Energy Research Advisors, Tesla could ship a little over 400,000 of its Model 3 cars by the end of 2020. But before 2020, production of Model 3 could likely be constrained. For example, Tesla could ship 12,200 Model 3 cars in its first production year in 2017, and another 64,660 Model 3 cars in 2018.

During O’Connell’s speech, he boasted reservations for the Model 3 “have exceeded all of our expectations as far as the rate at which we received reservations,” further describing the Model 3 as “the car for which the company was really set up to build.”

O’Connell suggested that the great demand for the Model 3 delivers a message to the rest of the auto industry that there is “incredible demand” for great electric vehicles out there. In addition, the massive demand refutes the point that other automakers have made that no one wants electric cars, he argued.

To make a reservation for a Model 3 car, Tesla customers only have to put down a fully refundable deposit of $1,000. So it’s unclear how many of the reservation holders would turn into Model 3 buyers.

If all 400,000 reservation holders bought $35,000 Model 3 cars, Tesla would have booked $14 billion in orders. That’s an unprecedented sum—not just in the auto industry, but for a launch of a product in general.

Source: http://fortune.com/2016/04/15/tesla-model-3-reservations-400000/

Tesla Model X: When an SUV can make you vomit while out-accelerating almost every Porsche, Ferrari or Lamborghini ever made, Modena and Stuttgart have a problem.

model-x

I hate SUVs for the same reason I hate houseboats. Bad houses, bad boats. Luxury SUV’s make me sick. Is there anything more American than the idea that you can have it all, without compromise, for a price? You can’t, otherwise Escalades and Expeditions would be running in NASCAR.

Except now you can, because I just took a Tesla Model X P90D to Ojai, California, and for the first time in my life, I wanted an American car.

The Model X P90D represents everything I hate. It’s an awkwardly-proportioned, 5440 pound, electric, semi-autonomous, 7-seater SUV, packed full of technology that cannot possibly last, from a company critics claim cannot survive.

And I absolutely loved it.

Flaws? It’s a new company. If reliability is your concern, lease one and enjoy the most advanced, brilliant and fascinating vehicle in its class. The standard warranty is four years. Prepare for loaners.

The exterior is what it is. If you want the future now, this is what it looks like. If you’re satisfied with yesterday, you already know what’s available today. I think the X is handsome. Ish. Once behind the wheel, I didn’t care.

The Model X P90D gets about 250 miles of range. I’d like 50 more. Was it a problem? Only in my mind. As with any Tesla, you should install a high-speed charger at home. If not, prepare to meet some new friends at your nearest Tesla Supercharging station, and scratch 2-3 hours a week off your schedule.

The interior is spartan, at best. I still don’t buy into the wisdom of replacing all controls with a touchscreen, however large and gorgeous. The seats are the best I’ve ever used, and that includes the 1972 Citroen DS and SM, my personal benchmarks.

model-x-art-1

The Model X is a vehicle that makes no sense and yet perfect sense, an SUV with 716 horsepower that does 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, or 3.2 with the “Ludicrous” software upgrade.

A Ferrari Enzo does it in 3.14.

When an SUV can make you vomit while out-accelerating almost every Porsche, Ferrari or Lamborghini ever made, Modena and Stuttgart have a problem. Handling? The X is based on the same platform as the Model S sedan, which means it’s magnificent. Lower the air suspension, set the steering to Sport, and the X shrinks around you. I’ve never felt safe driving an SUV as I would a sports car, until now. Even my old Cayenne Turbo was a brick by comparison.

The Model X is the SUV someone else would have built if they had any balls.

My god, those Falcon doors. Even if the X was utter junk, they could sell a year’s production based solely on these doors. Alas, you don’t need to be Nostradamus to know those will be a problem. If you lease past four years, get the extended warranty.

It has autopilot, which is what Tesla calls its Autonomous Driving suite. Light years ahead of competing systems, it is the only one today that approaches full autonomy. It’ll do 99% of the driving 90% of the time. It has a steep learning curve, but once mastered, autopilot is a revelation. Until Mercedes and Volvo come to the table, everything else is a joke.

The enormous one-piece panoramic windshield makes the cockpit feel like the first row in an IMAX theater. After driving the Model X, every other car feels like you have an eye infection. Why this windshield hasn’t been done before in the US, I don’t understand.

The Model X is the SUV someone else would have built if they had any balls. It is the world’s greatest SUV in a class of one…a class called The Future. The X is to SUV’s what the S is to luxury sedans, which is what Tesla is to the entire car industry: an icepick in the face of convention. Granted, there are stellar cars out there: the Cadillac CTS-V, the Porsche 911, the BMW M2, the Mercedes AMG-GT and the Volvo XC90, but these are jewels in the sediment of an industry left behind by true innovation. I love the Model X not merely as a vehicle, but as a profoundly American vehicle, the automotive manifestation of what this country is supposed to stand for. Ambition. Ingenuity. Confidence.

model-x-art-2

American inventor mythology is that of someone being told something couldn’t be done, and then doing it. Is there a more American story than Musk’s? The immigrant who became a tech titan, then launched a rocket company, then entered the car business?

The Model X, like Tesla the company, is an example of what happens when you apply that most American of methods to a problem. Throw out the book. Solve it from the ground up. Dealer networks suck? We’ll sell direct. Nowhere to charge? We’ll build our own network, and we’ll make it free. Autonomous Driving? Software updates? Let’s give Tesla owners access to the very best tech, and let’s wirelessly update it all the time.

By these standards, Tesla is the most American car company there is today, and the brilliant Model X is the most American car currently on the market. It is an example of what happens when a company is willing to take risks on our behalf rather than at our expense. Whatever critics may claim about Tesla’s ability to deliver, Musk’s greatest sin is his rush to sell us something truly better, which is why I deem the X worth every penny, flaws and all.

I can’t wait for the Model 3. If you believe in what really makes American great, neither should you.

http://www.thedrive.com/new-cars/2875/why-the-tesla-model-x-will-make-you-want-an-american-suv

Tesla Model X: Electric Meets Extravagant

With gull-wing doors and Lamborghini-like acceleration, Tesla’s Model X P90D Ludicrous—an electric all-wheel-drive luxury SUV—comes loaded with contradiction

WINGS OF DESIRE | The Falcon Wing Doors on the Tesla Model X P90D Ludicrous are at once thoughtfully engineered, largely impractical, and very, very cool.
WINGS OF DESIRE | The Falcon Wing Doors on the Tesla Model X P90D Ludicrous are at once thoughtfully engineered, largely impractical, and very, very cool. Photo: Tesla

LET’S ADDRESS WHAT some might consider the morally inconsistent status of an all-electric luxury SUV costing $135,400. By design, the Tesla Model X P90D Ludicrous (that’s the real name, apparently) is meant to be green and efficient—and well-to-wheel, net-to-net, EVs are way cleaner than gas-powered cars. Electric vehicles are a technical expression of our belief that the atmosphere is the blue commons, owned by all. Egalitarian in impulse, in other words.

But the Model X is also the rarest sushi of materialism, class privilege under a blister of tinted glass, a suede-lined pachinko parlor of the soul. Just remember as you pull up to Nobu in West Hollywood and supermodels come running out to the valet to take a picture with your Model X with the doors up: You’re saving the planet.

Here’s the hard part for most people: It can be both. A feature of a free society is that some have more than others; such are the risks and rewards of capitalism. This is a given. This is gravity. But everyone, no matter their lifestyles, can consume less. And, by the power of numbers, a lot of lesses add up to quite a lot.

So some Hollywood celebrity downsizes to a Gulfstream IV and now she’s Mother Earth? Well, yes. Consider it a self-imposed carbon flat tax.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still function. It also seems to apply to the Model X’s famous Falcon Wing Doors, since they are simultaneously unnecessary and absolutely vital to the entire enterprise; deeply thought-through yet completely spurious; impractical and…well, more impractical. But you get used to them, because they are so cool. See above re: supermodels.

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Or retired aerospace engineers. Or French tourists. Or the hard-core, mainlining petrolheads who kept me waiting in the parking lot at Venice Beach, Calif., while they selfied themselves, laughing madly, sitting in mid-row seats while the doors were up. When all the doors are open you can look through the Model X as if it were a picture window with a Tesla-shaped sill and sash.

Would minivan-style doors have been a more sensible technical solution to a mid-row door opening? Infinitely. You could have done the doors off the Dubonnet Xenia easier that the Model X. But the spell these doors cast—let’s call it emotional engineering—is payoff for some of the shrewdest design money ever spent.

2016 Tesla Model X P90D Ludicrous

Photo: Tesla

Price, as tested: $135,400

Powertrain: all-electric all-wheel system comprising dual three-phase, four-pole AC induction motors; liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack (90kWh nominal); on-board charger and supercharger enabled; permanent all-wheel drive.

Horsepower/torque: 532 hp/713 pound-feet of torque

Length/weight: 198.3 inches/5,381 pounds

Wheelbase: 116.7 inches

0-60 mph: 3.2 seconds

Towing capacity: 5,000 pounds

Cargo capacity: 77 cubic feet (total interior storage, six-seat configuration)

A bit of context: The Falcon Wing Doors came about because Tesla CEO Elon Musk liked them and wanted them, full stop. He has said he didn’t want the production car to be a dialed-back version of the concept car, which is just the sort of initiative and forward thinking that gets people cashiered from General Motors.

To aficionados, Mr. Musk’s move smacked of pride since in over a century of automotive design, from the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing to the DeLoreans to Lambos, gullwing doors have always looked cool and never really worked.

To name a few of the problems: ease of entry and exit, weather sealing and wind noise. From a safety standpoint, center-hinged overhead doors cut into the kind of rectangular geometry around a door opening that lends it rigidity.

What if it snows overnight? What if it’s raining? Where do you put the ski racks and bicycles and the Thule roof module full of hiking gear?

Who cares? Have you seen the doors open?

Most maddening was creating a dead-stable pivot point for the doors, which rise and fall slowly on the motorized breeze not like falcon wings but more like seagull wings, with a double fold. The solution required a heroic amount of costly magnesium in the car’s dorsal spine.

Mr. Musk has copped to overreach with the Model X. Maybe he tried to do too much, what with the Model X’s sensor-rich Autopilot driver aids; the dancing shuttle-craft seats; the HEPA air filtration system with the “Bioweapon Defense Mode” setting; the panoramic windscreen, a stunning soap bubble of a canopy over your head. Dude, you’re forgiven. But then again, I’m not a stockholder.

Practicality for fascination. This is the card Mr. Musk continues to play to his advantage. This is the part of the Tesla business plan that might as well have been quoted out of the Old Testament. The rich will want the riches.

2016 Tesla Model X P90D Ludicrous
2016 Tesla Model X P90D Ludicrous Photo: Tesla

Not to be confused with the Model 3 compact sedan that debuted so boffo this week, the Model X is a full-size SUV with dual electric motors front and rear, providing all-wheel drive. Although its body structure is almost entirely aluminum and magnesium, our flagship test car (P90D Ludicrous) was quoting a massive 5,381 pounds, most of it in the floor-mounted battery pack. Four-corner air suspension with five ride-height settings, from off-road to highway, is standard.

The Model X is a luxury family mover, with five-, six- or seven-passenger seating options, with a rear trunk and a frunk (a front trunk). The deeply tinted glass canopy creates a pretty magical space, although (another old lesson, relearned) the California sun is too bright through the roof glass. I understand additional tinting is available.

The front and mid-row seats are mounted on powered pedestals that glide forward as if to a Strauss waltz, easing access to the third row’s two cozy bucket seats. The seats’ pedestal mountings allow passengers more foot room than otherwise.

All the doors open electrically, which can take some getting used to. If you get in and put your right foot on the brake, the driver’s door will swing closed, even if you have not yet retrieved your left leg. The door will gently gnaw on it until you take your foot off the brake.

The price for the “standard” Model X 70S with a 70kWh battery is $80,000, which is about $5,000 more than a base Model S—a fact that is academic because Tesla won’t be building any base Model X’s for some time.

Elon Musk has copped to overreach with the Model X. Dude, you’re forgiven.

The company will instead be filling orders for the flagship P90D (“P” for performance). These will come with a face-flapping 713 pound-feet of insta-torque from two huge four-pole AC induction motors ($35,000) and the famous “Ludicrous” Drive Mode ($10,000), which essentially permits the battery to violently eject electrons in pursuit of maximum acceleration. In Ludicrous Mode, the Model X P90D max output is 532 hp.

That’s the version that Tesla provided me, and I want them to know, I’m on to their game. It is very hard to find fault with a six-seat SUV that accelerates like a Formula Atlantic open-wheeler. Jeebus. Stamp the accelerator and it goes off like a sprung mousetrap. Tesla estimates 0-60 mph in a Lambo-like 3.2 seconds. While doing so, the Model X quietly withdraws everything from your pockets and scatters it conveniently under the back seats.

And then, between 50 and 100 mph, it’s goodbye, Charlie. The P90D Ludicrous operates at an entirely different frame rate than just about anything on the street in L.A. It takes a sustainably harvested baseball bat to Panzer wagons like Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Range Rover Sport SVR.

Around the City of Angels, the sweet, effortless blurt of our EV hot-rod tempted me to do, well, questionable things. No yellow light ever turns red for the Model X P90D. No hole that opens up in traffic is ever too small or far away.

Falcon wings? Maybe Icarus. But if the Model X flies too close to the sun, there’s always more window tint.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/tesla-model-x-electric-meets-extravagant-1460046720

Tesla, Model 3 orders will not be first-come, first serve, but rather customers with more expensive configurations will get order priority over less expensive models.

CORRECTS SPELLING OF PHOTOGRAPHER'S LAST NAME TO PRITCHARD, NOT PRICHARD - Tesla Motors unveils the new lower-priced Model 3 sedan at the Tesla Motors design studio in Hawthorne, Calif., Thursday, March 31, 2016. It doesn't go on sale until late 2017, but in the first 24 hours that order banks were open, Tesla said it had more than 115,000 reservations. Long lines at Tesla stores, reminiscent of the crowds at Apple stores for early models of the iPhone, were reported from Hong Kong to Austin, Texas, to Washington, D.C. Buyers put down a $1,000 deposit to reserve the car.  (AP Photo/Justin Pritchard)

Tesla Motors unveils the new lower-priced Model 3 sedan at the Tesla Motors design studio in Hawthorne, Calif., Thursday, March 31, 2016. It doesn’t go on sale until late 2017, but in the first 24 hours that order banks were open, Tesla said it had more than 115,000 reservations. Long lines at Tesla stores, reminiscent of the crowds at Apple stores for early models of the iPhone, were reported from Hong Kong to Austin, Texas, to Washington, D.C. Buyers put down a $1,000 deposit to reserve the car.

In the first 72 hours, Tesla received 276,000 pre-orders for the upcoming Model 3. Given Tesla’s limited production capacity, the demand has by far surpassed the supply. Yet not one Tesla customer ever has to worry about paying some ridiculous dealer markup.

Before we go any further, let’s put that deposit number in perspective. The Model 3, with a starting price of $35,000 (before federal tax incentives) is entering one of the most hotly contested sales segments, the compact luxury sedan.

Cars like the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes C-Class are crucial, high-volume vehicles to get buyers and lessees into the fold at a somewhat reasonable price point. The lease programs especially are designed to keep customers loyal and hopefully get buyers to move up the spectrum to more expensive vehicles as their income increases.

According to GoodCarBadCar.net, the top four best-selling small luxury sedans of 2015 were the 3 Series (94,527 units), C-Class (86,080 units), Acura TLX (47,080 units), and Lexus IS (46,430 units). In only three days, Tesla got more people to plunk down a deposit then the total combined sales of the top four compact sedans in an entire year. Of course, a deposit does not necessarily guarantee a sale, but the amount of interest in the Model 3 is staggering and turned out to be much more than initially predicted.

Usually, when an incredibly high-demand car hits the showrooms and dealers have waiting lists of customers, buyers tend to encounter something on the window sticker known asADM-Adjusted Dealer Markup (you may see other acronyms that do the same thing.) Basically, the dealer tacks on an additional premium of extra profit that relates to what they think they can get for this car. They know some buyers won’t pay, but some will. It’s simple supply and demand economics. Some Porsche dealers are asking $115,000 for an $84,000 Cayman GT4. Ford dealers are tacking on markups to the Shelby GT350 that are almost twice the price of the car!

High-end cars like Porsches are targeted towards folks with a lot of income that probably can afford the premium if they so chose. The Model 3, on the other hand, is aimed at your average new car buyer—someone who most likely has to manage their budget a bit more carefully than your typical 911 GT3 buyer. It is important to Tesla’s success that when a potential customer runs the numbers and determines they can afford a Model 3 at whatever price point they desire, that the car is not snatched out of their reach by a dealership wanting to pad some profits.

Tesla’s direct sales model means that a dealer will never be able to sell a $35,000 Model 3 for $50,000, because out of the 276,000 people that are interested there will be at least a few hundred willing to pay the extra $15,000 to get one in their driveway. That’s not to say that folks willing to pay more aren’t getting preferential treatment. According to Tesla, Model 3 orders will not be first-come, first serve, but rather customers with more expensive configurations will get order priority over less expensive models. (Existing Model S and Model X owners get first crack too.)

But someone who ordered a $35,000 Model 3 can rest easy knowing that despite the popularity, as long as they are willing to wait, the price of that car will not change because some dealer wants to take advantage the market conditions.

People hate the car buying process because no matter how much research they do, at the end of the transaction they often feel like they got taken by the dealer. Whether or not that is reality doesn’t really matter. For many years, the dealers controlled the information, and while the internet has equalized the game in many respects, a lot of car buyers don’t walk away from a car purchase with a good feeling. This is why third party buying tools like TrueCar and haggle-free used car dealers like CarMax are so appealing; they reduce the price anxiety.

Of all the cool features that will be in the upcoming Model 3, the best might be the fact that you don’t have to be rich to buy a car and not feel like you got ripped off

Tesla will unveil its much-anticipated Model 3 mass-market vehicle in Los Angeles at the end of March 2016

Tesla will unveil its much-anticipated Model 3 mass-market vehicle in Los Angeles at the end of March.

Elon Musk Bill Pugliano / GettyNo Tesla-topianism, please.

Buzz before the event has pushed Tesla stock back up above $230 a share, from a crater of about $140. That’s a 40% upswing in only a month.

It has also set off a new round of what I’ll call „Tesla-topianism.“

This is the notion that the arrival of a $30,000 all-electric car in a market dominated by gas-burning vehicles will be the disruptive-innovation earthquake we’ve all been waiting for.

The Model 3 means it’s RIP for the internal combustion engine. So long, ICE! But hey, that century was a nice run.

The mistake remains the same

Bernstein’s Michael W. Parker and Mark C. Newman published a research note last week in which they enthusiastically encapsulated this bullish sentiment regarding electric vehicles, or EVs. (I’m quoting it at some length because it’s both informative and entertaining):

For car manufacturers, it is still possible to dismiss the electric vehicle as simply a rich person’s toy. This misinterpretation of „new“ as being „niche“ and „impractical“ has real pedigree. Blackberry and Nokia viewed the iPhone in these terms in 2007: why would anyone pay $600 for a phone with only one button? But with a mid-priced addition to Tesla’s product mix, the company will no longer be competing just with the BMW 5-series and Audi A6. It will be competing with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

We didn’t think so. Our expectation is that the auto industry is going to have a common response to the launch of a modestly priced, attractive, electric vehicle in the first quarter of 2017: accelerate whatever they are doing in the EV space immediately.

It is very likely that the prestige, engineering and visceral thrill of German motoring has dissuaded many people from buying a Tesla Model S over the last few years. But if you agree with that statement, do you also agree with this statement: „It is very likely that the prestige, engineering and visceral thrill of Japanese motoring will dissuade many people from buying a Tesla Model 3 over the next few years“?

This is where the analysis of Tesla’s future competitive prospects tends to go wrong. The basic idea is actually correct: Tesla is aiming to transform the mobility landscape and accelerate the switch from fossil fuels to sustainable electric power. CEO Elon Musk has said as much.

But viewing Tesla’s current vehicles as luxury-market competitors doesn’t work. There’s demand for luxury cars, and there’s demand for Teslas. And the two flavors of demand aren’t the same.

Tesla was able to sell just over 50,000 vehicles last year because there are that many buyers out there who think a long-range electric car with a lot of luxury appointments and excellent performance is something they want to put in their garage.

There could be many more of this type of buyer, but EVs — even Teslas — are still difficult to own, mainly because they take a long time to recharge (gassing up, by contrast, takes just a few minutes, and gas stations are almost everywhere). And that means there’s probably a ceiling on this first wave of Tesla owners.

TeslaKim Kyung Hoon/ReutersA Tesla Model S being charged.

Why people buy Japanese cars

Enter the Model 3, which is supposed to bash through this ceiling. Hence Parker and Newman’s suggestion that no one will buy a Japanese car in the face of the overwhelming challenge from the Model 3.

The problem here is that demand for Japanese cars, especially in the US, defines a huge chunk of the mass market and has for decades, just as demand for German luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW defines the luxury segment.

Demand for Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys is demand for reliable, affordable, fuel-efficient products. It has nothing to do with demand for alternatives to gas-burning engines. You buy a Toyota Corolla because you want a way to get around that won’t let you down. You buy a Tesla because, to a degree, you want to change the world.

Anyone shopping for, say, a Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru or for that matter a Kia or a Hyundai, is unlikely to have Tesla on his or her radar. Once the Model 3 has been around for five or 10 years, that could change. But in the short term, given the miserable sales that traditional automakers have seen with EVs, it will be up to Tesla to prove that the market exists.

2015 Toyota Camry XSEToyotaA Toyota Camry.

A tough virus to get rid of

Yes, General Motors is said to be trying to beat the Model 3 to market with the Bolt EV, due to arrive in late 2016 (the Model 3 won’t hit the road until late 2017). But GM is simply doing the Bolt now because it can — the automaker is fully recovered from its 2009 bailout and bankruptcy, is printing money on big pickup trucks and SUVs, and has a CEO in Mary Barra who thinks it’s worth it to invest in the technologies and mobility services of tomorrow without betting the farm on them.

Tesla-topianism has been a tough virus to eradicate. Every time you think Tesla watchers, particularly in the finance industry, have figured out that the automaker is becoming a real car company (not a go-go growth tech company), those Tesla watchers crank up some new narrative that has Tesla doing something monumentally awesome that alters reality as we know it (that’s why the Apple analogies come fast and furious).

But then you look at the facts. For example, Toyota sold over 9 million vehicles worldwide in 2015.

Tesla and Musk could move humanity forward in terms of eventually retiring the gas-burning engine. But against staggering numbers like that, it will take Tesla decades, if it survives, to have a meaningful impact. And adding one new car to the portfolio isn’t going to speed things up.

 

http://www.businessinsider.de/mistake-about-tesla-and-the-model-3-2016-3