Archives for August 16th, 2013

Thread of the Day: Tesla Model S, BMW M5, Mercedes CLS63 AMG, or Porsche Panamera Turbo S?

Thread of the Day: Tesla Model S, BMW M5, Mercedes CLS63 AMG, or Porsche Panamera Turbo S?

It may be an electric car, but the 2012 Tesla Model S is fast. Stupid fast. In our exclusive First Test and Range Verification, a 2012 Model S Signature Performance 85 accelerated from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and completed the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds at 110.9 mph, making it the fastest American sedan we’ve ever tested.

The Tesla Model S’ performance numbers become even more impressive once you realize that there isn’t a huge rumbling V-8 under the hood, but a 416-hp/443-lb-ft AC electric motor in back powering the rear wheels. Also impressive is the fact that the very same Model S that recorded those numbers traveled from Los Angeles, to San Diego, and back without recharging.

Ignoring its green credentials, the Tesla Model S’ performance figures puts it in German super sedan territory, right up against the gas-guzzling BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, and Porsche Panamera Turbo S. All three sedans have twin-turbo V-8s making upwards of 550 hp under the hood. Check out the chart to see how they all break down:

Base Price Weight Power 0-60 mph 60-0 mph Lateral Grip
BMW M5 $92,095 4384 lb 560 hp 3.7 sec 110 ft 0.94 g
Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG $96,805 4256 lb 550 hp 3.9 sec 113 ft 0.92 g
Porsche Panamera Turbo S $176,275 4388 lb 550 hp 3.5 sec 105 ft 1.00 g
Tesla Model S P85 $105,400 4766 lb 416 hp 3.9 sec 105 ft 0.92 g

That brings us to today’s Thread of the Day. If you had to choose between the M5, CLS63 AMG, Panamera Turbo S, and Tesla Model S, which would you choose and why? Sound off in the comments below.

By Christian Seabaugh

100 Tesla Model S Cars Join Las Vegas Project 100 Sharing Scheme

2013 Tesla Model S

2013 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

Let’s assume for a moment that you’re interested in electric cars. (Not a far-fetched idea, since you’re reading a blog called “Green Car Reports”.)

You’re intrigued by the growing number of options in extended-range vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, but most of all, you’re interested in fully electric rides. The Nissan Leaf isn’t quite your style, but the Tesla Model S might fit the bill — especially in light of Tesla’s new leasing program. But before you sign on the dotted line, you’d really like to take one for a long test drive.

According to The Verge, if you’re heading to Las Vegas in the near future, you might be able to do just that, thanks to something called Project 100.

VEGAS REVAMPED

Project 100 is a new initiative spearheaded by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. It’s one of many programs that fall under the umbrella of the Downtown Project, which aims to make Las Vegas a technological and cultural mecca.

Project 100 hasn’t officially launched yet, but initial reports indicate that it’s going to be much more than a simple car-sharing service like Zipcar. Not only will Project 100 members be able to share vehicles, they’ll also have access to bikes, bus passes and more. The goal is to keep Las Vegas residents on the go without being bogged down with the hassle of owning a car:

Ultimately we decided to build something different that’s designed to replace your car 100% of the time. You have one key to your car and we wanted to build something that replaced that one key with one membership and not force you to decide each time which system was best for your need right now.

Of course, to keep those folks rolling, they’ll need to pay a high-roller price: “We’re aiming to keep the monthly cost for most members in the same range as a traditional monthly car payment + insurance which averages around $400 per month.”

Project 100′s first fleet of vehicles will include the Tesla Model S — 100 of them, to be exact. That’s the largest single U.S. reservation in Tesla’s history. Why 100 Teslas? Hsieh is glad you asked:

We chose the Tesla Model S as our primary vehicle for a lot of reasons. It’s a beautiful yet functional sedan that’s very fun to drive. It’s also a big computer on wheels which gives us the opportunity [sic] optimize the member experience over time and test a lot of theories about how people use vehicles. Tesla thinks like a startup and our conversations with their program and engineering teams so far solidified that they were the right long-term partner. Most importantly we wanted to replace peoples’ traditional vehicles with vehicles that do less harm to the environment than a traditional gas-powered vehicle. Since Teslas are 100% electric with excellent driving range, the choice was clear.

Project 100 hasn’t officially opened to the public, so we don’t yet know if it’ll offer daily or weekly memberships to Las Vegas visitors. (We’d be surprised if it didn’t, though.) You can keep up with Project 100′s progress by signing up for email updates on the front page of its website.

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By Richard Read

Tesla Reports 2012 Losses, Expects Positive Q1 2013

Tesla Reports 2012 Losses, Expects Positive Q1 2013

Starting a new car company is hard. Tesla has been finding that out, and it has reported larger losses in 2012 than it did in 2013. It’s not all bad, though – the company is now building 400 Model S cars per day and is on track to produce 20,000 of them this year.

Indeed, the automaker says much of its red ink stems directly from ramping up production of the Model S, the company’s sole product at this point in time. The company says it is now churning out 400 units a day, and is allegedly on track to build roughly 20,000 copies by the end of 2013.

2013 Tesla Model S rear three quarter 1 300x187 imageThe negative numbers don’t seem to have placed a damper on Tesla’s outlook.  CEO Elon Musk stated during the company’s earnings call on Wednesday, “We really have a very high confidence that we will have a profitable first quarter, and this is the very first quarter that we have been at our target production rate.” It’s because Tesla has only just got up and running with its 400-unit-per-day rate that we don’t have full sales numbers yet; the company is still working through a backlog of orders on the Model S – unsurprising, given how impressed we were when we named the Model S our Car of the Year. That said, it still reported sales of 2400 cars in the fourth quarter of 2012 and has grown its international store total to 32. A total of 2650 Model S cars were sold in 2012.

Tesla is aiming to increase its global retail footprint to 52 stores by the end of this year, and also hopes to roll out a leasing program for the Model S and to continue expanding its Supercharger network. Musk stated that the expansion plans will only help to propel the company’s growth, as it currently has “over 15,000″ reservations for the Model S and expect to post a quarterly profit for Q1 of 2013. Ambitious goals, and we’ll have to wait and see how they shake out over the course of 2013.

Sources: Telsa, Automotive News (Subscription required)

By Donny Nordlicht

Tesla Model S Already A Future Classic? Auto Library Thinks So

2012 Tesla Model S

2012 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

Put a group of auto enthusiasts in a room, ply them with suitable amounts of alcohol, and soon conversation will turn to ‘future classics’.

The term refers to a modern car which gains the kind of respect and appeal of a classic vehicle in its lifetime, guaranteeing it a similar status many years in the future.

And according to some, the Tesla Model S electric sedan already makes the grade.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Detroit’s National Automotive History Collection has already decreed the Model S a “collectible vehicle of the future”.

Of all the models released in 2012, it’s the Model S which is most likely to be desired by future car collectors–that’s the suggestion of Friends of the NAHC, which supports the automotive archive at the Detroit Public Library.

Members vote annually on the North American-built vehicle most likely to reach classic status–and Palo Alto-based Tesla’s sedan is the first non-Detroit vehicle to be declared a collectible.

The honor is the latest in an increasing roster of achievements for the electric luxury sedan, including our own Best Car To Buy 2013 title.

The Model S joins other big American names such as the 2010 Chevy Camaro, 2008 Dodge Challenger and 2005 Ford Mustang on the list–as well as last year’s winner, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

Given the car’s significance, current-day appeal and it’s assured future classic status, we’d go as far as saying the Model S is a modern classic–a significant vehicle which already defines its time, and praised highly by auto enthusiasts.

Can you think of any other green vehicles which might become classics? Let us know in the comment section below.

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By Antony Ingram