Tag archives for Luxury Cars - Page 2

Tesla Model X Delayed

As Tesla hopes to repay its DOE loan five years ahead of schedule, the American electric automaker will be delaying production on the Model X for at least a year.

Tesla originally was on schedule to repay its $465 million loan by the end of 2022, but announced earlier that it now has a target date of repaying the loan by the end of 2017. Unfortunately, those that are eager for the Model X to hit the market will have to be patient, as Tesla now plans on starting production of its electric crossover to late 2014.

SEE ALSO: Tesla DOE Loan Repayment to Finish Years Early

The Tesla Model X was originally slated to begin production later this year, with deliveries beginning early 2014. However, Tesla is also putting more focus on its surprisingly popular Model S, hoping to deliver 20,000 units of its sedan this year. With more focus being placed on the Model S and repayment of the loan, the Model X will just have to sit back and wait its turn.

GALLERY: TESLA MODEL X

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[Source: LA Times]

Discuss this story at Tesla-Buzz.com

By Jason Siu

Tesla Retail Stores Defended by Brand CEO

Elon Musk, tech mogul and co-founder of Tesla is coming to the defense of his company as it faces a lawsuit from dealers in Massachusetts and New York.

They allege the Palo Alto, California-based electric-car maker is violating franchise laws that forbid factory-owned stores, something that’s restricted or prohibited in 48 states. Naturally, Musk denies this claim. In a blog post he said the company has taken “great care not to act in a manner contrary to those rules.” He backs up this assertion with several arguments.

The first point he makes is that most dealerships have an inherent conflict of interest. Pushing consumers toward electric cars undermines the sales of traditional vehicles, which is the majority of their business. Tesla, of course, does not have this problem.

Another one of Musk’s arguments centers on franchise laws. Factory-owned Tesla dealerships cannot unfairly compete with franchised dealers because there are no franchised Tesla stores, therefore no harm can be done.

One of his last points has to do with the location of Tesla dealers. By putting them in high-traffic areas like shopping malls Tesla hopes it can reach potential customers before they decide what kind of car to buy. The stores are staffed by non-commissioned salespeople are there to educate consumers. Vehicles are purchased from the company’s website.

By Craig Cole

Tesla Roadster Successor Not a Guarantee

Despite earlier reports that Tesla would have a successor to its Roadster model set to debut sometime in 2015, the American electric automaker has confirmed that a decision on a new Roadster has not yet been made. 

The automaker is currently focusing on its new Model S and Model X, as well as a more mainstream BMW 3 Series rival that’s expected to be unveiled sometime in 2015-2016. Tesla hopes to have a couple of sedans and a compact SUV on the market before it returns to the drawing board on creating a successor to its Roadster model.

“It isn’t decided that we will build another Roadster, but that would be around the time we would look to have a real ‘halo’ model in the range,” said George Blankenship, vice-president of sales and ownership experience.

[Source: Autocar]

By Jason Siu

Tesla vs The New York Times: Round Three

In what has turned into quite the battle between New York Times writer John Broder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Broder has issued a response to Musks’ most recent claims.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk accused Broder of purposely sabotaging the test, to which Broder has adamantly stated that isn’t the case. In his new blog, Broder gives more clarity as to what occurred – essentially his side of the story as to how he reached the conclusions that he originally reported.

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

Those that have been following the story know that Tesla has accused Broder of driving in a “tiny 100-space parking lot” to purposely drain the battery. According to Broder, that was him driving around the Milford plaza on Interstate 95 in the dark, trying to find the “unlighted and poorly marked Tesla Supercharger.”

Broder’s larger defense, however, against all of Musk’s claims is that the actions he took were a direct result of advice provided to him by Tesla staff, including engineers and PR reps.

If you’d like to read Broder’s full account, which offers plenty of responses to Musk’s statements, follow the source link below. Tesla has already stated that its response would be the American automaker’s last one, so we don’t expect a rebuttal from Tesla… for now.

[Source: New York Times]

Discuss this story at GasStinks.com

By Jason Siu

Next Tesla Roadster to Push Envelope: Brand Boss Says

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The Tesla Roadster is still one of the most interesting electric cars in the world, but brand executive George Blankenship says the next car will “push the envelope beyond what anybody else is doing.”

But that’s just business as usual for Tesla. The brand surpassed most expectations when it debuted the Roadster 鈥?it’s first product. The story repeated itself in many ways with the Model S sedan and Blankenship is already looking toward the second-generation Roadster 鈥?a car that’s still a long way down the line.

Expect the Model X utility vehicle and a smaller sedan sized near the BMW 3 Series before that.

鈥淚f you聽fast forward beyond that,聽we go back to the roadster and do things that people aren鈥檛 doing and push the envelope. That would be the next-generation roadster,鈥?Blankenship told AutoCar.

That, he says, will likely mean the new Roadster improving on the old model’s 200-mile range while offering a sub-four-second 0-60 mph sprint.

GALLERY: Tesla Roadster

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[Source: AutoCar]

By Luke Vandezande

Tesla Model S ‘Performance Plus’ Handles like a Supercar

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Tesla is taking the Model S into “supercar handling territory” according to a product description on its retail site.

The new Model S Performance Plus variant costs $6,500, improves efficiency and improves performance. It manages that by adding upgraded dampers, bushings and stabilizer bars. Tesla also added higher performing tires and wider, staggered wheels.

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

Those wheels are 20 millimeters wider and Tesla says the car’s range improves a modest six to 12 miles.

Apart from the improved range and performance parts, Tesla hasn’t made specific claims to performance improvements like improved lap times or specifications for cornering grip.

Owners with the previous top-dog Model S Performance can also upgrade to the Performance Plus variant, but the tweaks come with a much heavier $13,000 price tag. Unfortunately, the upgrade doesn’t the revised dampers and stabilizer bars.

Discuss this story at Tesla-Forums.com

By Luke Vandezande

Monster Tajima Test Drives Tesla Model S – Video

Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima knows a thing or two about cars having conquered the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb multiple times. 

Recently, he has become a spokesperson for electric vehicles, campaigning a Monster Sport E-Runner EV at the famous event this year.

So it’s natural that a driver like Tajima would want to hop into an EV, but at the same time, boring can’t possibly be acceptable for a man with his resume. He was the first driver to break the ’10 minute barrier’ at Pikes Peak, and after achieving a record nine career wins at the event, Tajima hopped behind the wheels of a Tesla Model S to put it to the test.

Not surprisingly, Tajima was impressed with the Model S’ performance, going so far as to say “the car I test drove today was extremely well tuned and balanced.” He went on to comment that the quality of handling was incredible in the Model S, and believes that no other car model like it will be available any time soon.

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By Jason Siu

Tesla CEO Releases Official Rebuttal to NY Times Story

Tesla spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks’ world turned upside down on Monday after CEO Elon Musk issued a stiff rebuke over an article in the New York Times he called fake.

Shortly after the controversy began, the paper responded, saying “any suggestion that the account was ‘fake’ is, of course, flatly untrue.” But Musk wasn’t finished. At the height of his heated Twitter salvo, he vowed to reveal the details behind the article. Tesla turns data logging on for all media drives after Top Gear’s “BS” report on the Roadster. Musk’s official response is now available, days after the initial flare-up.

In a blog post released late Wednesday, Musk attacks several points from the story in question. One of several issues is that John Broder, the story’s author, reported setting cruise control at 54 mph. According to charts released in the blog cruise control was actually set at 60 mph.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk Calls NY Times Piece on Tesla Model S a ‘Fake’

Another chart from Tesla shows Broder increasing cabin temperature while reporting that he decreased it.

But perhaps the most concerning part of what the data log reveals is that Broder seems to have misrepresented how far the car actually travelled and how long he spent charging the car. The car’s log shows it actually exceeded its stated range rather than falling short as he reported.

Musks blog suggests that Broder carried a vendetta against electric cars.

“We were played for a fool and as a result, let down the cause of electric vehicles. For that, I am deeply sorry,” Musk wrote.

GALLERY: Tesla Model S Data Log

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By Luke Vandezande

Tesla Shares Jump 24% After Maker Reports Profit

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Tesla’s stock price rose 24 percent Wednesday after the electric car maker reported its first quarterly profit.

The maker said that it’s first-quarter net income totaled $11.2 million, up from a $89.9 million loss a year before. Tesla’s revenue grew from $30.2 million in the same time period last year to $561.8 million in this quarter on sales of the Model S sedan.

A total of 4,900 Model S sedans were sold in the first quarter, and the maker said it raised the full-year sales forecast to 21,000 from the previous 20,000 figure.

But the brand’s success isn’t as straightforward as car sales translating to income. It gathered $68 million in zero-emissions vehicle credits sold to other automakers. Brand boss Elon Musk said the ZEV credits were a one-time-time gain.

Despite that, he also expects Tesla to manage a 25 percent gross margin return by the end of the fourth quarter.

[Source: Automotive News]

Discuss this story at Tesla-Forums.com

By Luke Vandezande

Tesla Model S Sets Quarter Mile Record for Production Electric Vehicle – Video

The Tesla Model S packing 416 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque has garnered another accolade: World Record for the Quickest Production Electric Car.

Out at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR), the Model S turned in a best time of 12.371 @ 110.84 mph in the quarter mile, running the sprint to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. On hand was the National Electric Drag Racing Association (NEDRA) to confirm that the Tesla Model S did indeed set a new world record for the quickest production electric vehicle in the quarter mile.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Tesla Model S Review

The test car was even equipped with the 21-inch wheel and tire package, which weigh more than the standard 19-inch offering. The Model S weighed in at 4,690 pounds at the weight scale at PBIR, sans driver.

Watch a video of the Tesla Model S battling it out with a Dodge Viper SRT10 below.

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[Source: Drag Times]

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By Jason Siu