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Blind Spot Detection, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Warning Systems are not currently offered on the Tesla Model S. Or are they? Well, no, not yet at least.
The cars seem to have been built with those additional safety tech features in mind, however, as a secret Model S data screen reveals.
If you want to find this secret screen, simply press your finger on the Tesla logo on the middle top of the onboard 17-inch infotainment screen for five seconds. When you release, a prompt for a password appears. We don’t have a password for you, nor would we want to provide you with one, as messing with the options within could damage your vehicle. Proceed with caution, if you choose to proceed at all.
The folks at Drag Times did have a password and the video embedded on their page shows some interesting features, as seen in the picture above.
Looks like some other settings can be changed from this screen, too. We wonder if where it says “Performance: Sport,” we could upgrade performance levels even further, unlocking some torque and increasing acceleration. We’re also interested to know what’s telling the vehicle it’s set up for left- or right-hand drive would change.
If you’re wondering if you can simply turn on adaptive cruise or lane departure warning, should you find your way into this locked screen, we doubt it. As far as we know, the Model S hasn’t yet been fitted with the appropriate sensors to work such systems.
Could a future Model S include these important safety systems? We’ll say, “yes.”
By Nick Jaynes
What cocktails go best with all this car chatter? Automobilemag.com is here to help with weekly recipes. Remember, this is for talking about cars, not driving — always designate a driver. With the arrival of warmer weather in most of the country, we’re celebrating the spring-like weather with associate web editor Donny Nordlicht’s favorite drink: the sky-blue-colored Aviation. Combine two ounces of gin with half an ounce each of lemon juice and maraschino liqueur and a quarter ounce of crème de violette in a shaker filled with ice. Shake well, strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with a cherry.
Not Gonna Happen: You might scoff if I told you I expected to earn eight times my current salary by 2015. Even if I told you I was starting two extra jobs, you would probably think it overly optimistic to expect to increase my salary by such a large amount in just two years. Imagine my skepticism, then, when Maserati says it will sell 50,000 cars worldwide by 2015. For reference, the Italian brand delivered just 6307 new cars in all of 2012, an eighth of what it plans to shift by mid-decade.
Maserati believes it can octuple its annual sales volume by adding the Ghibli (aka a baby Quattroporte) and the Levante SUV to the just-released Quattroporte. But given that the Ghibli doesn’t go on sale until later this year, and the Levante might not reach showrooms until next year or later, it’s hard to believe Maserati can pick up 43,693 extra sales so quickly. Even once the Ghibli and Levante launch, is there really such a large market for Italian luxury cars? Only if hordes of buyers ditch their Audis, BMWs, Jaguars, and Mercedes-Benzes for the new Maseratis — and that isn’t likely to happen on such a short timetable.
Jake Holmes, Associate Web Editor
Racing Roadtrip: Between last weekend’s final rounds of NCAA basketball, what could have been better than putting 750 miles on a 2014 Mazda CX-5? As long as I had one to sample, I decided to dash from Southern California to St. George, Utah, and pick up a rug stored for me there. I left before Sunday’s dawn. In the next 370 miles I found the CX-5 to be the friendliest and most agreeable creature since Snowy the terrier in The Adventures of Tintin. Mine was the Touring model equipped with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder that growled playfully when started and proved to have plenty of midrange while barreling up mountainsides. Meanwhile, the vehicle’s solidity and composure yielded delights in every mile.
Supplemental entertainment came from listening to The Art of Racing in the Rain. This touching novel by Garth Stein made the hours vanish. I found myself quibbling with canine narrator Enzo’s ranking of Steve McQueen among his very favorite actors but cheering on when, with gastric revenge in mind, he accepted a bottled pepper from the story’s villain and defiled an area of rich Berber carpeting. The narration ended too soon–just as I’d cleared Sin City on the return leg. I-15 was clogged with traffic from the casinos and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which had hosted the NHRA. If John Force was in our midst, he was often going 3 mph rather than 300 mph. But the CX-5 was still a delight.
Ronald Ahrens, Contributor
Small World: I’d never driven a 65-series AMG model before, so when handed the keys to a matte grey Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG on Tuesday, I made sure to chronicle the occasion in photos. The next day, I stumbled on the Twitter and Instagram accounts for one Michael Kubler. (@F1Mike28). Kubler works at AMG in Affalterbach, Germany, where he hand-builds engines — V-12 engines, to be exact. I turned to the photos, and sure enough — Kubler had built the twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter twelve-cylinder I fell in love with the night prior.
Go figure. Thank you, Michael, for building one of the most amazing engines I’ve ever had the opportunity to sample in a road-going automobile.
A night with the CL65 was amazing, but it wasn’t the high point of the week. That might go to finally having the chance to drive a friend’s 1991 Isuzu Impulse RS, one of roughly 1402 imported to North America before Isuzu stopped building cars outright. Pity all Isuzu’s car products didn’t boast the RS’ turbocharged 16-valve four-banger or its rear-biased AWD system.
As a lover of quirky cars, I’m glad this Impulse still exists — but I’m happier yet that there are still people who care for and about cars like this. I can’t help but feel that many self-professed “car guys” can’t appreciate cars outside of a few select “exotic” or “premiere” brands. Pity, because there are so many other interesting — and, gasp, enjoyable cars — in the automotive spectrum. Ignore, dismiss, or crush them, and you’re destroying history. Need proof? Of those 1402 Impuse RS models shipped to North America, no more than 150 are still on the road today.
Evan McCausland, Associate Web Editor
Getting Kinky: I recently noticed a trend in recent automotive design: the front window kink. This is a little dip in the daylight opening just aft of the A-pillar, often near to the side-view mirror. I first noticed it on the 2014 Cherokee, and began noticing it on the current Toyota Camry and 2014 Highlander, and on the outgoing Kia Forte, among others. Although I generally find the detail to look out of place in every application, if it means the end of slab-sided designs and gun-slit windows, I’ll take it.
Donny Nordlicht, Associate Web Editor
Patrolling in Style: The 5-0 in Dubai just got an upgrade to its fleet — a major upgrade. The Dubai Police recently added a $450,000 Lamborghini Aventador to cruise the streets for crooks. Sure, it’s fast (0 to 60 mph in three seconds), but the article raises the question of practicality: how does one fit a suspect into the backseat?
John Kalmar, Graphic Designer
Give Me Affectation: The Automobile Magazine staff is still arguing over the Camaro Z/28‘s bare-bones interior. To some of us, the lack of a radio and optional air-conditioning delete says, “serious sports car.” Others in this office have, not wrongly, pointed out that such savings cannot possibly make much of a difference in a 3800-pound, 500-hp car and thus amount to little more than pointless posturing.
This got me thinking: how much of what we love about sports cars is mere affectation? It’s easy to make fun of huge spoilers and fake carbon fiber, but how about the manual transmission? It’s almost always slower than a modern dual-clutch automatic, a fact Porsche drove home by kicking the stick-shift out of its hardcore 911 GT3. But while we’re talking about Porsche, what’s the point anymore of the left-hand ignition? Drivers don’t run to their cars at the starting line anymore, and most expensive passenger cars have keyless fobs anyway.
Angry yet? You should be. Race cars are meant to go as fast as possible, and thus must mercilessly dispense with outmoded technology and conventions. But sports cars are not race cars. Sports cars are meant to evoke emotion. So, give me a stick-shift. Give me thousands of gauges that I don’t really need (so long as the important ones are in my direct line of sight). Don’t give me A/C. I’ll sweat it out with a grin on my face.
David Zenlea, Associate Editor
Rough Day: I’m having a rough day, as you can see by this picture. I’m in northeastern Spain driving the new Jaguar F-Type roadster, which goes on sale this spring starting at $69,000. The model pictured here is the F-Type S, which has a 375-hp version of Jaguar’s supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 that’s good for a 4.8-second 0-to-60-mph time and a top speed of 171 mph. It starts at $81,000, while the F-Type V8 S, with 488 hp, will cost $92,000. Jaguar points out that each model of the F-Type is about 25% cheaper than comparable Porsche 911 models. The automaker has high hopes for the F-Type and expects about half of worldwide sales to come from the United States. I’m not allowed to share my driving impressions of the F-Type just yet; check back at Automobilemag.com on Tuesday evening, April 17, when the embargo lifts, for my story.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor
Right Road, Wrong Car: I sampled the 2014 Kia Cadenza this week. The drive route was fantastic leaving the Presidio in San Francisco, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, and continuing up the lovely Pacific Coast Highway. Although the big sedan handled the tight road better than I had expected, I kept wishing I were on this exact route in my 1992 Miata. Even the Cadenza’s 293 hp was far too much for the slow-moving dump trucks and sedans on the road. My little Miata would have been perfect. Sadly it was 2000 miles away in my garage. Oh well, it looks like Spring might finally be coming to Michigan and I’ll soon be able to enjoy my little roadster on a more regular basis.
Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor
****tail Chatter: Somebody painted one whale of a willy on the Nürburgring this past weekend. No one has taken responsibility for the novelty-sized phallus, but I’d like to virtually high-five the mystery vandal here and now. Well done, bud(s).
Chris Nelson, Road Test Editor
Charlie Horse: I like the Fiat 500 Abarth but because it’s probably the craziest car you can buy for $25,000. It has a relatively small engine, it makes a lot of noise, and it’s a handful on the track without being outwardly deadly.
While I’m not sure adding an automatic transmission to the Abarth is a good idea–the softer Turbo model is a much better model for a two-pedal setup–I’m sure it should earn a few sales with people who like crazy cars but never learned how to use a clutch. But to say that these tweaks will help the Abarth appeal to more women is suspect. I’m not saying that Fiat North America president Tim Kuniskis is misogynist, but maybe a little shortsighted: the Abarth might not appeal to women as much because it’s marketed either by a topless/blatantly flirtatious Catrinel Menghia or by Charlie Sheen and his questionable ethics. Perhaps it’s time to consider making your Abarth ads a tad more feminist, before retooling your factories?
Ben Timmins, Associate Web Editor
The Politics of Green Cars: Fisker has laid off 75 percent of its workforce with the remaining employees apparently sticking around just to sell off assets and take the company through bankruptcy. Tesla’s Elon Musk appeared before the Texas state legislature this week to argue against the need for franchising his dealerships. Musk, whose Tesla Model S is our 2013 Automobile of the Year, also won a ruling in New York Supreme Court case that allows him to continue selling cars in company owned dealerships (kind of like Apple stores). Judge Raymond J. Elliott III ruled that dealers can’t use the Franchised Dealer Act to sue competitors, and their attempt to do so proves Tesla has value in the open market. Tesla also is paying off its Department of Energy loans ahead of schedule. Fisker, obviously, is not, and we’ll end up about $192 million short thanks to Henrik Fisker’s ill-conceived business plan and poorly built cars. One might say the DOE under President Obama isn’t picking winners and losers; it’s picking both. That hasn’t prevented the Fox News juggernaut from confusing Tesla and Fisker. In a “report” that mentioned Fisker, Bill O’Reilly says “Tesla had $523 million in losses…” not true. And Musk said this week he’s “hurt” that former vice presidential candidate and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin lumped Tesla in with Fisker. Don’t you wonder how easily O’Reilly and Palin get this confused?
Todd Lassa, Executive Editor
With the official deadline for first customer deliveries drawing ever nearer, and with the first car already delivered to a board member, Tesla are aiming high with their Model S. Despite requiring only 8,000 sales per year to stay in business, they are envisioning 20,000 to be sold in 2013.
That number is expected to rise in 2014 to 35,000 as Tesla will add the Model X crossover to their range. Despite the air of optimism, Tesla isn’t actually doing that well at the moment, as they have reported first quarter losses of 84% compared to 2011. They have sunk their money into the production of the Model S and have yet to benefit (financially) from their investments.
Another plus point for the Model S is its very good crash test rating, receiving 5 stars from IIHS. Definitely a big selling point nowadays. We expect the Model S to do very well, and BMW’s 5-Series may have a new, much more advanced rival on its hands – a rival which it cannot beat in the manner in which it beats its other rivals, a rival which is so fresh, people may forget the BMW.
The EV is the next step in the evolution of the car and it has been suppressed over the years to maintain our oil addiction. The Model S is the first EV people actually want to buy by the thousands (after GM’s EV1 which so mysteriously disappeared) and if it proves reliable, the sky is the limit for tesla.
Story via autonews.com
The Tesla Model S is brilliant. While we’re smitten with the quick electric car – the Motor Trend 2013 Car of the Year – Tesla CEO Elon Musk tells us there’s much more to come, including the Model X, an electric truck, and possibly self-driving cars. Musk also reaffirmed that the more affordable and higher-volume Tesla car is on the way.
In an interview with Motor Trend, Musk has revealed a bit more about the company’s future, looking past the production version of the Model X prototype — a three-row, seven-passenger SUV with gullwing style doors. We’ve also previously reported Tesla is planning a BMW 3 Series challenger that could arrive in 2015 after the Model X rolls into dealerships early in 2014. What Musk calls “an electric supercar” is part of Tesla’s plans as well, perhaps as a loose successor to the original Tesla Roadster. Most surprisingly, Musk admits he’s also been thinking about producing an electric truck. “We have this idea for an electric truck that could really be a big improvement in truck technology.”
Musk would also like to dip into autonomous cars. “I do think it will be interesting to do self-driving cars, perhaps working in conjunction with Google…” With the reelection of President Barack Obama, Musk hopes hybrids and electric cars will continue to become more affordable. He told Reuters that he would support tax credits of up to $10,000 on electric cars.
Read the full Motor Trend interview with Tesla’s Elon Musk right here.
Source: Motor Trend, Reuters
Tesla has left us enamored with its Lotus-bodied Roadster but if we want to see the next-generation drop-top, the California-based electric-vehicle maker has to roll out its mass-market Model S sedan first. Set to launch in 2012, the Model S is Tesla’s first fully home-brewed vehicle and will be manufactured at its new, unannounced facility on the West Coast.
While details on the Model S broke early last year, Tesla has yet to announce where its electric sedan and next-generation Roadster will be built. Rumors speculate the plant will be located in Southern California — however, Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently told Automotive News that the formal announcement will be coming in the next few weeks.
BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class when tuning the ride and handling.
post on the Tesla Model S for more vehicle details.
Automotive News (Subscription required)
By Benson Kong
Oh, ye of little faith. You thought nobody could make a cool electric car, but Tesla Motors has the pulse of Silicone Vally types and has transformed the Model S into a huge success.
We've talked at length about what makes the Model S good, but buying a car is always something a bit different to liking it. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has found the perfect way to make it a lot more affordable, by launching a "revolutionary new finance product" in partnership with Wells Fargo and US Bank.
You can buy a Model S with a 10% down payment, which is actually covered by the US Federal and state tax credits ranging from $7,500 to $15,000. New Jersey, Washington and DC also have no sales tax for electric vehicles, so basically all you have to do now is worry about the down payments.
Obviously, the rates will vary depending on what trim you buy, but Tesla says that "when considering the savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, depreciation benefits and other factors, the true net out of pocket cost to own a mid-range Model S drops to less than $500 per month."
Watch Elon's announcement in the video below and watch out for the words "Mercedes S-Class". This guy is the Steve Jobs of plug-in cars, only healthier.
By Mihnea Radu
It seems that everybody has very good things to say about the Tesla Model S, and if you needed more convincing that it is a very good car, Consumer Reports can now confirm this, as well, after having done a brief review of the car. However, it was not their car, which is what they usually do – buy a car, then test it extensively for a while.
Even so, the brief test again brought to light the Model S’ qualities, such as the sleek design, low drag coefficient, excellent performance, elegant and simple interior, and the 17-inch touch screen display, which has mostly been praised by reviewers who have had a chance to use it so far.
They will be doing a full review of it once they get delivery of their very own car, so until then, this is all they have to say about it. One thing they didn’t like, though, were the door handles, which the reviewer called ‘fussy’ – they do work, though, and will definitely impress your friends.
2013 Tesla Model S
Loaners cars are now routinely provided by luxury carmakers when their customers have cars in for servicing.
Now Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is joining the crowd, providing Model S luxury sports sedans to its Model S (and Roadster) owners while their cars are in the shop.
But according to CEO Elon Musk, these aren’t just any Model S: All the loaners will be the top-end, most luxurious Model S Performance version with the 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack and punchier acceleration than lesser models.
Road testers have logged the Tesla Model S Performance accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds (the original factory quote was 4.6 seconds).
That’s a number that exceeds most luxury sedans on the market today, although to be fair, repeated use of that acceleration is likely to have a negative effect on the car’s EPA-rated range of 265 miles.
Musk discussed the loaner plan in an interview with USA Today, in which he also promised that Tesla employees would drop the temporary Model S cars wherever the customer requested–rather than requiring the owner to bring the car in to a Tesla service center.
Initially, the loaner fleet will number about 80 vehicles spread among Tesla’s 21 current service centers.
The fleet will expand as Tesla opens more stores and service centers across the country; the company lists another 13 service centers as “coming soon.”
Musk noted that the idea for luxury loaners hadn’t originated with Tesla. He attributed it, instead, to Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus.
But a top-of-the-line loaner–nicer, in many cases, than the Model S that’s in for service–is certainly a step up from hearing the service guy yell, “Hey, Manny, whadda we got in the back for this guy?”
Porsche may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think electric vehicles. However Ferdinand Porsche developed what is believed to be the first hybrid car in 1906 for Austrian car builder Lohner. In the last few years, Porsche has begun using modern hybrid technology to increase efficiency in their SUVs and even a few race cars. The forward thinking company is again looking forward by building three full electric Boxsters to test the practicality of the drivetrain and current state of infrastructure in place for the use of electric powertrains.
Details are still scarce, but the vehicles are said to have one or two electric motors with as much as 180KW or roughly 240 horsepower. While this is 15 horsepower short of a standard gas-powered Boxster, the electric version undoubtedly stomps it in torque output. Porsche claims the Boxster E is capable of performance figures that match a Boxster S.
The three Boxster E’s are currently just rolling laboratories for testing the propulsion technology and the infrastructure needed to maintain electric vehicles. Porsche currently has no plans of a full electric production vehicle. However with hybrids currently for sale and possibility of their next super car using a kinetic energy recovery system, this work surely won’t go to waste. If at some point in the future we are all forced to commute in electric vehicles, wouldn’t you rather it rolled out of a factory known for building race cars rather than refrigerators?
Give us your opinion on this; are electric vehicles the way forward, and if so, do you want manufacturers to make them as entertaining as possible, or should we just throw in the shop towel?
Source: Porsche AG
By Mike Febbo
Tesla Model X at 2013 Detroit Auto Show
HI-RES GALLERY: Tesla Model X at 2013 Detroit Auto Show
Tesla Model X at 2013 Detroit Auto Show
News In Your Inbox
Unveiled live at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] is giving us new ideas as to what the interior of its Model X crossover may look like.
Tesla calls it an “interior exploration”, giving a hint as to the different colors and trim materials you can expect from the production Model X.
The work has been done by Tesla Design Studio, and uses a mix of white and black leathers to bring contrast to the three rows of seats–the back rows, of course, accessed via the unusual ‘falcon wing’ rear doors.
The black and white theme continues to the dashboard facia, dominated by the same huge touchscreen display you’ll find in the Model S sedan–albeit mounted proud of the dashboard.
The exterior, also contrasting in black and white, is unchanged from the last time we saw the Model X.
Much of the Model X’s hardware is based on that in the Model S, with 60 kWh and 85 kWh battery options. Befitting its crossover body, the Model X will also offer electric all-wheel drive. Production is expected to begin in late 2013.
For more live photos, news and specifications from the show floor, head over to our Detroit Auto Show page.