Archives for September 1st, 2013

After Model X: third-generation Tesla models will be sedans, crossovers





Watching the video of last week’s Tesla Motors shareholder meeting was like eating a box of chocolates, to paraphrase a certain Mr. Gump. Besides finding chewy sales projections and crunchy Supercharger network tidbits, we also found something equally delicious, but with a more subtle texture.



During a brief discussion of its third generation of electric vehicles, one slide (pictured above) seems to reveal that the company plans on using that future platform for a crossover as well as a sedan. The different body types went unmentioned by CEO Elon Musk, but there it was on wall behind him for all the world to see.



Musk did say, however, that the company expects Gen III production to be an order of magnitude greater than that of the Model S sedan and its platform-sharing sister, the Model X SUV. As well as being smaller, we expect the upcoming cars to be about 40 percent less expensive, which should greatly help drive sales.



What we didn’t hear any news about during the presentation was the next generation of Tesla sports car. Previously rumored to be coming in 2014, it is still likely in the planning stages, though the focus is clearly now on high-volume vehicles. Hit us up in the comments below and tell us if there’s a vehicle type you’d like to see Tesla make.

By Domenick Yoney

Tesla Future Touchscreen Tech Hinted by Exec

What if you could have a 17-inch iPad built into your car? It’s almost a reality for one of the more than 250 folks who own a Tesla Model S, save a few key features.

Unfortunately, those features are probably some of the most important ones that give the iPad its massive appeal. Take the interface — it’s something Apple guards dearly. So Tesla can’t copy exactly how an iPad works, and probably doesn’t want to. Or maybe they do?

George Blankenship, vice president of Tesla sales, recently spoke with AutoGuide and hinted at some of the cool developments buyers and owners might look forward to soon. Easily topping the list, there’s a chance Tesla might open its coding crypt to outside program developers.

“Asking us is there something we will never do? That page will never fit in our dictionary,” he said. “Do I see a day when [outside app development] will happen, yes I do.”

Much like what made the iPhone so successful, Tesla wants to think “10 years into the future,” Blankenship said.  While offering an app store is hardly forward thinking when it comes to handhelds, porting that possibility into a car with a massive touch display might be.

“What we want to make sure of before we enable something like that is that we have a complete separation between two things in the car. One is the interface where somebody could do things like that in and the other being the operation of the car itself,” Blankenship said.

With the Model S, Tesla already started offering remote updates. Customers wanted to change steering feel to offer normal, sport and comfort modes. They also wanted a “creep” feature to make the Model S feel more like an internal combustion engine (ICE) car with an automatic transmission. A few weeks after those requests came in, a remote update appeared and the car suddenly met those requests.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Flagship Store Opens in Canada

But those are only a couple of the tweaks Blankenship said customers can expect to see soon. Among the others: automatically extending door handles.

Just one of many steps Tesla engineers took to make the Model S extremely aerodynamic, the car features door handles that sit flush with the panels when they aren’t needed. With the push of a button, those handles extend to offer access, but that’s not good enough. Blankenship said owners will be able to customize their cars soon to make the handles extend automatically when the key fob comes close enough.

At launch, the car offered memory for two driver preference presets, but now there’s capacity for 10. One thing is clear: Tesla is committed to offering its customers a dynamic driving experience.

By Luke Vandezande

Tesla Model S Top Speed, Child Capacity Tested – Rumor Central

Tesla Model S Top Speed, Child Capacity Tested

We’ve tested our 2013 Automobile of the Year, the Tesla Model S, extensively. But some people are curious to see what else the electric sedan is capable of, as these two amateur test videos show. In one clip, a driver tries to find the Model S’ top speed, while the other seeks to find out if you can squeeze a kindergarten class into the EV.

As we’ve seen in other videos, the Tesla Model S can out-accelerate such powerful sports sedans as the BMW M5, and this new video gives us an idea of how fast it will go if you keep your foot on the gas pedal. The video shows a man driving his Model S Signature Performance equipped with the 85-kW-hr battery on a sparsely populated highway. As he mashes the “throttle,” there’s a subtle hum but otherwise the cabin is eerily quiet. There’s no physical needle to peg, but the digital display finally tops out at an indicated 133 mph.

In the second video, a group of kindergartners questions the Model S’ seven-passenger capacity. The five- to six-year-olds, who are all naturals in front of the camera, count out loud as they appear out of the car’s cargo area, cabin, and frunk. By the end of the video, a total of 16 kindergartners are found stuffed in the Model S’ various orifices.

Check out both videos below.

Source: YouTube





By Alex Nishimoto