Tag archives for Luxury Cars

Tesla Roadster Trumps Supercars in Drag Race

Plenty of exotic supercars made their way to Russ Beach Smith Falls Airport to take part in the ‘Race the Runway 2012′ charity event that raises money for the Russ Beach Smith Falls-Montague Aviation Museum. At the event, millions of dollars worth of exotics took part in a 1/4-mile drag race on the paved runway, with an electric Tesla Roadster turning in the best time of the day.

The Tesla Roadster ran an impressive 10.39 seconds in the quarter mile and bested the likes of a Nissan GT-R (11.536), Ford GT (11.691), Dodge Viper ACR (12.023), a Porsche Carrera GT (12.273), and even a Ferrari Cailfornia (12.639). Of course most of those vehicles listed aren’t made to go fast in a straight line, but other things to take into account is driver experience and traction, two main components of a fast e.t. in drag racing.

That’s not to say the time wasn’t impressive for the electric convertible. Any 10-second car is a fast one, but let’s not jump to any hasty conclusions that the Tesla Roadster would outperform a GT-R or a Viper on a road course.

By Jason Siu

BMW 3 Series Rival “3 to 4 Years Away” Says Tesla CEO Elon Musk

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According to comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Twitter, a “low cost, compelling electric car” is “3 to 4 years away” from being a reality.

Stating that it has always been a dream of his to create such a product, Musk also elaborated that he wished it could happen sooner. This raises the question as to whether the issue is the technology or the demand for such a vehicle. Or perhaps more likely is the possibility that Tesla currently lacks the capital to invest in such a product. The American electric car maker recently announced it would delay its Model X crossover, preferring to repay its DOE loan quicker.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model X Delayed

In previous reports Tesla reps had indicated a 3 Series rival was in the works, priced at around $30,000. At that time the projected launch was for 2015. It now appears as though it would be 2016 at the earliest.

But if there’s any automaker that can make a compelling and affordable electric car, it’ll be Tesla. While other automakers are struggling to get their electric vehicles off the ground and into the market, Tesla has proved that there is a market for EVs with the right balance of performance and luxury.

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

By Jason Siu

Tesla in the Black: CEO Says

Anyone close to the industry would probably agree that Tesla, of all the small EV makers, is making the biggest strides toward leaving its start-up status behind.

Agree or disagree, it sounds like that might finally be the case. Company CEO Elon Musk released a statement today through Twitter suggesting the company is in the black.

“Am happy to report that Tesla was narrowly cash flow positive last week. Continued improvement expected through year end,” Musk said. 

With orders stacked for months worth of production, and a publicized price increase that helped to clinch last-minute buyers, Tesla seems to have the formula for success figured out. In fact, Musk predicted in early October that the company would reach this target.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Gets $2,500 Price Increase

It probably wasn’t very hard, though. The brand doesn’t build cars before they’re sold. Instead, it takes orders and deals with scheduling a backlog of scheduled builds. That would give a guaranteed income figure the brand can leverage.

It’s also important to remember that while Tesla might be in the black now, there isn’t any promise it will stay there. The company operates on a one-car model, building a run of vehicles before moving on to something else.

There is a buyback program for people who purchased the Roadster, but production is concluded which means buying a used one.

Provided the brand sticks to its formula for the Model X, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see a similar dip into debt while the brand’s crossover bites chunks out of the company’s coffers. Ideally, the Model S will sell with enough success to fund the next car without that becoming an issue, but there are many factors at play.

By Luke Vandezande

Tesla Stock Rises After Elon Musk Teases ‘Exciting Announcement’

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Elon Musk and Tesla have been making headlines the last couple of months, from dealing with The New York Times to promising an affordable electric car within five years.

The American automaker’s stock rose the most in nearly five weeks yesterday after CEO, Elon Musk tweeted that the company plans a “really exciting” announcement next Tuesday. According to Musk, he’ll be putting his money where his mouth is in a very major way. The announcement was originally going to come Thursday, but Musk later stated that it’ll come a few days later so that there would be no end of the quarter distractions.

SEE ALSO: BMW 3 Series Rival “3 to 4 Years Away” Says Musk

Tesla surged as much as 5.2 percent after the announcement, but closed 2.5 percent higher. The 5.2 percent was the biggest intraday jump for the automaker since February 19th.

It’ll be interesting to see what the news is, considering Tesla has no plans to display at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

[Source: Bloomberg]

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

By Jason Siu

Tesla CEO Says NY Times Article Likely Cost Brand $100M

A public battle between the New York Times and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is still sprouting news after the disgruntled executive told Bloomberg that the article likely cost the electric car maker $100 million.

Musk spoke about the article in an on-camera interview with Bloomberg, and said the article cost Tesla tens of millions, maybe even “on the order of $100 million.” When pressed about the fact that such a number would suggest the brand suffering roughly 1,000 order cancellations, he quickly corrected himself, saying the number wasn’t that high.

SEE ALSO: Tesla CEO Releases Official Rebuttal to NY Times Story

Instead, he said his estimate was based on the valuation of the company after the article was published and order cancellations – of which he said there were probably a few hundred.

Regardless or the scandal, it also sounds like Tesla will reach its 20,000 unit annual sales goal based on current sales. Tesla is currently building 400 Model S sedans per week.

[Source: Bloomberg]

Discuss this story on Tesla-Buzz.com

By Luke Vandezande

Tesla CEO Musk Admits Fault for Creative Finance Calculator

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk has admitted that the automaker’s online finance calculator was misleading and has confirmed it will be fixed to not include non-financial factors in the online monthly payment.

Musk admitted fault with the calculator during a conference call on Friday, stating that Tesla was in the wrong, and the media was right to criticize it. The online calculator displays the monthly cost of owning a Tesla under its lease-to-buy offer. Problem is, the calculator included factors such as time saved by not having to pump gas, helping lower the monthly payment presented to shoppers with non-cash savings.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Resale Value to be Industry’s Best, Says CEO Musk

Tesla will be fixing the online calculator so that the cost savings estimates are more conservative.

“We were wrong, those people were right,” he said. “We need to fix it.”

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

By Jason Siu

Massachusetts Dealer Denied Injunction Against Tesla

The Automobile Dealers Association in the state of Massachusetts was denied a request for a preliminary injunction against Tesla Motors Inc., which allows the American automaker to continue operating its store in Boston.

The dealers requested the Massachusetts Superior Court for a restraining order and injunction in hopes of stopping the Tesla-owned showroom from operating. The group is now considering an appeal and other judicial remedies, but currently hasn’t made a decision as to its next step.

“Tesla looks forward to continuing to focus on advancing the knowledge of EVs in a convenient, accessible environment,” said Shanna Hendriks, Tesla spokeswoman in an email. “We remain hopeful for a positive outcome of this case.”

SEE ALSO: Tesla Sued by Auto Dealers Association

One thing is for sure, the lawsuit isn’t going to be dropped any time soon according to Robert O’Koniewski, executive vice president of the Massachusetts association.

“Dropping the lawsuit is not an option at this point,” he said. “We feel very strongly that Tesla is operating a factory store outside parameters of our franchise law and our license law, and they are operating that store illegally.”

The injunction is part of an ongoing lawsuit in both Massachusetts and New York, where members of the Automotive Trade Association believe that Tesla is operating illegal dealerships in those states. The Tesla stores, which are mainly boutiques located in shopping malls and other high-traffic areas, have come under attack even though the automaker states that they comply with federal and state laws where they operate.

[Source: Automotive News]

By Jason Siu

Daimler Deserves Credit for Saving Tesla Says CEO

American electric automaker Tesla is enjoying great success, at least in terms of the EV market, and its CEO Elon Musk credits Daimler for saving the automaker in its time of need.

Three years ago, Daimler invested a hefty $50 million into Tesla Motors, a move that surprised even the most enthusiastic Tesla supporters. In a recent interview, Elon Musk revealed that Tesla Motors would now be extinct if Daimler hadn’t stepped in with its funding. In Musk’s own words, “There were a couple of near-death situations.”

Surprised? The bold CEO now has no problems sharing his thoughts on competitor Fisker, and Tesla is clearly heading towards in the right direction. Had Daimler not stepped into the picture however, we wouldn’t be speaking about Tesla at all today, and who knows where Musk would be in terms of finances.

Thankfully Musk confirmed that Tesla’s financial status is “pretty good” and we should be seeing plenty more from the automaker for years to come.

[Source: Autoblog]

By Jason Siu

Tesla DOE Loan Repayment to Finish Years Early

With confidence in spades, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said yesterday that the electric car maker will repay its $465 million government loan in “five years or less.”

The announcement came just days after Musk said he expects the company to be profitable in 2013. Indeed, deliveries of the brand’s second vehicle – the Model S – have picked up with  2,400 shipped in the fourth quarter compared to only 250 during the previous three.

Despite that, Tesla is still losing money so far. The company posted a loss of $89.9 million in the fourth quarter.

SEE ALSO: Chinese Volvo Owners Likely to Buy Fisker

Tesla is faring relatively well, though, compared to automakers like Fisker. Last year the maker of the exotic Karma plug-in hybrid suffered a salvo of negative press after several of its cars caught fire in separate scenarios. Now, Fisker is looking for possible suitors.

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

 [Source: Automotive News]

By Luke Vandezande

Tesla Model X Interior is Shockingly Nice: 2013 Detroit Auto Show

While we’ve seen the Model X electric crossover concept before, the vehicle sitting at the Tesla booth at this year’s Detroit Auto Show is sporting a few modifications.

The main changes to the Model X are with the interior. Tesla calls the vehicle’s cabin an exploration in interior design, and it really is stunning with gorgeous black and white contrasting colors. The black-and-white look is reflected both in the three-rows of seats, as well as the stylish exterior, which features black and chrome accents that show off the white paint. The theme carries over to the vehicles dashboard which  is equipped with the same huge touch-screen that was first seen in the Model S sedan.

SEE MORE: Complete 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The Model X still has those very cool ‘Falcon doors’ and with production slated for late this year, its likely that design will be final.

The electric-only crossover will be available with either a 60 kWh and 85 kWh battery, as well as a handy all-wheel drive mode.

GALLERY: TESLA MODEL X

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Discuss this story at Gas Stinks!

By Sami Haj-Assaad

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