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Tesla Model X Crossover Coming on February 9



The Tesla Model X crossover, a vehicle that has gathered a lot of attention ever since the first unofficial report linked to it surfaced, is now getting closer to its arrival, with the vehicle set to be unveiled on February 9.

However, the vehicle will not make its debut at the Chicago Auto Show. According to Auto Guide, Tesla will unveil the crossover at its California-based design studio. While the reveal date is certain, we’ll take the location info with a grain of salt.

The Model X will be underpinned by a modified version of the Model S sedan and should come with a luxury topping, which means that, for example, the interior will be flooded with premium goodies. The announced date for the launch of the Model X is approaching fast and we can be pretty sure that more info on the vehicle will make its way online meanwhile.

By Andrei Tutu

Mercedes A-Class EV: A Tesla at heart?

2013 Mercedes A-Class concept motion

Tesla Motors, maker of the electric Roadster and Model S, will build the powertrain for an electric version of Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming A-Class compact, a source close to the American company says. Tesla recently inked a contract with Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company, to provide hardware for electric vehicles. It appears that the A-Class will be the first product of this collaboration.

Tesla founder Elon Musk announced the contract recently, saying that its value exceeded all of Tesla’s previous contracts. A Tesla employee with inside knowledge of the deal told Groen7 that, under the contract, Tesla will design a powertrain for the electric A-Class. The Tesla-powered A-Class will debut as a concept car sometime next year.

Like the EVs from competitors BMW and Audi, the little Mercedes will be more of a prototype than a showroom model. Mercedes will release a few cars to select customers as part of a pilot program, which will gather data on real-world use that the world’s oldest car company can put toward developing its own electric powertrain. Audi is taking a similar approach with the A3 e-tron, as is BMW with the 1 Series-based ActiveE.

Since Mercedes and Tesla have not made any official statements about the A-Class, the specifics of its powertrain are unknown. The BMW ActiveE produces 170 horsepower, and its 32-kWh battery pack gives it a range of 94 miles. The Audi A3 e-tron has 114 hp and a 26-kWh battery pack, giving it a range of roughly 90 miles.

While Mercedes gets a pre-packaged first-generation EV, Tesla gets an outlet for its technology. The company will only sell so many luxury EVs, so developing electric powertrains for other companiess has become an important part of Tesla’s business strategy. In addition to the A-Class, Tesla is building a small batch of RAV4 EVs for Toyota.

As it ramps up production of the Model S (and Model X crossover), and tries to repay government loans, Tesla could use the cash. Meanwhile, Mercedes will have an electric car pilot program to match its rivals’.

By Stephen Edelstein

My 2013 Tesla Model S Electric Sport Sedan: Delivery at Last!

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with Tesla Motors delivery driver

HI-RES GALLERY: 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with Tesla Motors delivery driver

  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with Tesla Motors delivery driver

  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland


  • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with Tesla Motors delivery driver

    • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with Tesla Motors delivery driver

    • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

    • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

    • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

    • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

    • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

    • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

    • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

    • 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

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After 1,386 days of waiting, I first glimpsed  my new 2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan at a local discount tire store.

The Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] delivery rep who was bringing the car up from the New Jersey distribution center to my house in New York’s Hudson Valley had called me from the road, to say he was going to be late.

The car hadn’t yet gotten its New York state inspection, so he was stopping by the tire store, about three miles away from my home, to get the inspection and sticker for the Model S–sitting on a trailer behind his truck.

I sat in my kitchen twiddling my thumbs in frustration for about five minutes. Then I jumped into my Chevrolet Volt and raced over to the tire store.

I couldn’t bear to wait any longer.

Trying to be realistic, I had steeled myself for a tinge of disappointment. After nearly four years of anticipation, hype, and acclaim, my expectations ran so high that it seemed no car could meet them.

“Get real, man,” I cautioned myself. “It can’t possibly live up to the hype.”

My visceral reaction upon first seeing my Model S there in the tire store parking lot was a jolt of euphoria. The car was freaking gorgeous.

I’d seen many Model S cars in captivity, so to speak, at Tesla stores and events. But in the wild, surrounded by the mundane, everyday cars parked at a drab strip mall, the Tesla Model S radiated an extra presence, a feline grace and power. It was a cheetah among wildebeests and water buffaloes.

And it was mine.

I’d worried about my choice of color. Seeing swatches at a Tesla store and playing with the color selector on the Tesla website, I’d specified the metallic green without ever seeing an actual car in that color.

Again, euphoria. The color was perfect: a dark, rich, British racing green with extra sparkle and luster.

After its state inspection, the car was loaded back onto its trailer for the brief drive to my house. I followed in the Volt.

The Tesla rep, an outgoing young fellow who’d given up a successful Broadway acting career to join the Tesla team, rolled it off the trailer and began the exhaustive briefing that every owner gets before the final handover.

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

Enlarge Photo

That was when I learned two unexpected pieces of good news.

First, my car included electrically adjusted and heated seats, which I hadn’t known came with the leather interior option. Second, the car had  Internet connectivity, despite the fact that I hadn’t ordered the optional high-tech package.

With built-in Slacker, that meant essentially any music, instantly. Eddie Cleanhead Vinson? Done.

This was turning into a very good day indeed.

My first solo spin was a five-minute drive to the local high school to pick up my daughter. She was impressed, but I’m not sure her friend noticed.

The second outing was to show off my Tesla to my buddy Chris, a fellow e-car enthusiast.

Pulling onto a local two-lane road with a 40-mph speed limit, I floored it briefly. We both giggled uncontrollably as the car shot silently ahead, touching 70 mph within three or four heartbeats before I quickly backed off.

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

2013 Tesla Model S electric sport sedan on delivery day, with owner David Noland

Enlarge Photo

Too late. I saw flashing red lights in the rear-view mirror.

Damnit. He must be after somebody else. I was only over the speed limit for a few seconds.

How could this be happening?

It was happening. A local town cop happened to be parked precisely where I began my acceleration run.

“Sorry, officer, I couldn’t resist,” I said. “I just got the car an hour ago…I had to see what she’d do.”

“Sir, do you know how fast you were going?”

“Maybe 60 or 70?”

“Seventy-two. In a 40-mph zone.” 

He took my license and disappeared into the police cruiser for a very long time.

When he came back, he said sternly, “Sir, I’m going to cut you a break this time. But from now on, don’t use the public roads to test out your car.”

And he handed me back my license.

Yes, it was a very good day–hopefully the first of many with my Tesla Model S.

Stay tuned.

David Noland is a Tesla Model S owner and freelance writer who lives north of New York City.

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By David Noland

Tesla Roadster EV Trip Around the World Back on Track!



After an unfortunate event which took place in Germany, less than 1,000 km (600 miles) before reaching its final destination, Rafael de Mestre’s second round-the-world trip is back on track (we were there for the first one, as well), after a team of mechanics from Tesla Munchen managed to reassemble his Roadster in no time.

Aside from the lightning-quick repair job, the Tesla proved to be an extremely solid machine, and all that needed to be replaced were a few panels on the front – no structural damage whatsoever occurred in the crash, otherwise it really would have been all over. A nice touch is that they kept the bent and distorted number plate, just to show what the Roadster had been through – we like that.

Now, Rafael is set to reach his final destination of Barcelona, in Spain, three days from now, on September 9th. After reaching Spain, he will then head north, towards Strasbourg, in France, in order to rack up a total of 25,000 driven kilometers.

Strasbourg is also the endpoint for another EV trip around the world, the ‘Electric Odyssey’, undertaken by two French adventurers in a Citroen C-Zero. They should be reaching the French city some time in February of 2013.

Check out the Tesla Roadster EV Trip Around the World Back on Track! photo gallery

By Andrei Nedelea

Rumors Video Roundup: Hot Lapping the Fiesta ST, Cutting Up a Model S, Best of Walter Rohrl – Rumor Central

Rumors Video Roundup: Hot Lapping the Fiesta ST, Cutting Up a Model S, Best of Walter Rohrl

In this week’s edition of the Rumors Video Roundup, we’ve got the Focus ST’s little brother, the Ford Fiesta ST, getting put through its paces in Belgium, a factory-fresh Tesla Model S getting chomped to pieces by the Jaws of Life in the interest of safety, and the owner of a Koenigsegg CCR get his keys out the same way us workin’ stiffs with Civics and F-150s do.

In addition, we take a look at some of the epic driving done by Porsche test driver Walter Röhrl, and ask if it’s possible that a front-drive hot hatch have too much power, in this case in the form of the Mazdaspeed 3. Check out our weekly video roundup below.

Feature Flick: Watch a 2014 Ford Fiesta ST on a Hot Lap

We’ve always though that the U.S. could use more pint-sized pocket rockets, and Ford seems to agree. The Blue Oval’s 2014 Fiesta ST will be joining the Fiat 500 Abarth here in the U.S. later this year. Ahead of its debut, Ford has just released a quick video of the new Ford Fiesta ST on a hot lap at its Belgian test facility.

Feature Flick: Tesla Model S Gets Ripped Up by the Jaws of Life

Electric cars like the Tesla Model S offer up a unique challenge to firefighters. Rather than engines, fuel tanks, and fuel lines, electric cars have motors, batteries, and high-voltage cables that can potentially electrocute someone trying to save an occupant after an accident. Because of the challenge, Tesla has just put out a video showing just how firefighters should dismantle a Model S in the event of an accident.

Feature Flick: Koenigsegg Keys Locked in Car

It turns out that this “oops” moment doesn’t just happen to college students – it also happens to owners of Koenigsegg CCR supercars. Automotive blog Carscoops came across this video of said Koenigsegg owner fishing his keys out of his apparently locked car through a crack in the window — and, yes, that does seem to be a wire hanger he’s using.

Feature Flick: Celebrating Walter Rohrl’s 66th Birthday

Today marks the 66th birthday of Walter Röhrl, rally driver extraordinaire and present-day Porsche test driver. Born on this day in 1947, Röhrl grew up as a ski instructor and chauffeur, but at age 21 he tried his first rally. The rest is history: Röhrl became one of history’s most storied and accomplished rally drivers, immortalized on YouTube for his fancy footwork and daring driving.

 

Feature Flick: Does the 2013 Mazdaspeed3 Have Too Much Power?

The 2013 Mazdaspeed3 channels 263 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque to its front wheels, making for an entertaining drive. On this Feature Flick, Carlos Lago asks if the hot hatch, which is rough around the edges, is fun because of or in spite of its powertrain.

By Edward A. Sanchez

Tesla Model S Officially Launched



When the Governor of California attends an event, you know it’s something big! Yesterday, June 22nd, will remain in automotive history as a grand day: the day the Tesla Model S was officially launched. All speakers who took part in the event called it the best car in the world, then the best sedan, then the first luxury sedan powered solely by electricity – we honestly hope they got those all correct.

There was a real sense of pride amongst the Tesla workers, as people like CEO Elon Musk, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Model S designer Franz von Holzhausen praised the car, while the workers cheered in the background. Who wouldn’t want a luxury sedan that can seat up to seven people (two of which have to be kids), with a range comparable to a normal car’s (in the top spec version, at least), and a sub six-second (sub five-sec in the top spec) 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time, while controlling all the car’s functions from a gargantuan 17-inch touch-sensitive display – while that last part may not be the most practical solution, as you always have to look before you press, it’s still awesome to behold.

The event also marked the start of customer deliveries, with the first three cars being delivered to their owner’s doorsteps, in an attempt to “make them smile”. Two cars went to Chicago and one stayed in California, while the rest were picked up by their owners from the factory, being part of the launch ceremony.Now, after this grand launch, it’s time to see these cars we’ve heard so much about, on the road, doing their thing, quietly and cleanly.

By Andrei Nedelea