Tesla Remains Perfect, Audi Hopes to Follow Its Lead

Safety is quickly becoming a trademark quality for Tesla. The California-based electric carmaker builds the Model S sedan, which achieved the best safety rating of any car ever tested back in 2013.

Now it can lay claim to something else no other automaker has ever been able to accomplish: a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) perfect score for an SUV in its 5-star crash-testing system.

Yes, the Tesla Model X is now the safest SUV ever tested by the government agency. Continue reading >>>

Car Safety 2016: Warnings, Assists, and Autopilot, Oh My!

Car scanning road ahead

We love cars, but find the fact that it took almost 1.6 million U.S. motor-vehicle fatalities to make wearing a seat belt mandatory in America troubling. Happily, annual fatalities have declined fairly steadily since their early-‘70s peak, despite the fact that Americans now drive well over one and a half times the number of miles they did then, often while using a smartphone. And with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing and rating vehicles for safety and crashworthiness, we have to admit it’s getting better.

Smartphones can, of course, pose huge risks to drivers, so much so that NHTSA partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation to create the distraction.gov website, and “distracted driving” now has its own Wikipedia entry. But the connectivity and processing power of smartphones can also be used to help drivers avoid accidents and to make sure authorities get alerted quickly and with all the information they’ll need to respond to an accident. And those capabilities will definitely be required for any future “self-driving,” “autonomous,” or Autopilot-equipped cars. As we learned at NEMPA/MIT’s recent panel on the intersection of technology and design, a whole new world of car safety and driver-assistance technologies is available–and evolving–so we’re going to take a look at some of the more important and effective new tech.

Continue reading >>>

Which Electric Cars Can Compete With $2 Gas?

tesla_model_x

Electric cars solve a lot of problems. They don’t pollute, they can be recharged at home overnight, and they save owners money by eliminating the need for gasoline.

The trouble is, electric cars could end up being remembered as the right cars that happened at the wrong time.

The quality, reliability, comfort, and driving range of electric vehicles are better than ever before. They offer a gas-free way to commute to work and the peace-of-mind of driving on clean energy.

What EVs don’t have is the right timing. Gas prices are still hovering around $2 per gallon, so it’s hard for car buyers to justify the added cost and limited range when compared to a gas-powered car.

For an electric car to succeed in an era of cheap gas, it needs to have something special. Keep reading for the electric cars that should thrive regardless of gas prices.

Continue reading >>>

Ring in the New Year with the Most Exciting Cars of 2016

2016 Ferrari 488

Another year has passed, and as time goes on things in the auto industry are starting to get a little shaken up. Yes, we did have a pretty great 2015, with some amazing cars leaving a lasting impression. But as we look forward to the upcoming year, we can expect auto manufacturers to yet again step up and produce some cars that can get us really excited. These cars have been on our radar for quite some time as they’ve been teased and previewed, but now it’s time to buy.

Continue reading >>>

Excessive Bentley Bentayga Makes Other Cars Look Good

Not that you would... but you could

Not that you would… but you could

You know you’re among a different class of buyer when the vehicles on your shopping list cost more than most homes in the United States.

The new Bentley Bentayga is the luxury brand’s first venture into the SUV market. It’s brutish and sleek, powerful and graceful. With a starting price of about $229,000, it’s also wildly expensive and can quickly eclipse the $300,000 mark with the right options ticked.

Buyers will get the world’s fastest production SUV thanks to a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 that makes a mighty 600-hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is estimated at about 185 miles per hour.

We know this vehicle is far from what most people can afford, so why do we bring it up?

Because it makes other cars look darn appealing.

Continue reading >>>

Tesla Model X Will Set New Standard for SUVs

Tesla Model X

It won’t be long before the traditional automakers put out an SUV that has gull-wing doors, electric power, and front doors that open as the driver approaches the vehicle.

Just as the Tesla Model S made German automakers step up their premium sedan game and forced them into building electric sedan concepts, the newly unveiled Tesla Model X will do the same for SUVs. Yesterday we compared some currently available models to the X, and it’s pretty clear there just isn’t any competition.

The Model X isn’t a vehicle that’s the result of an evolution of SUVs to this point. This is a vehicle that completely revolutionizes the SUV. As such, it will be only for those who are looking to join that revolution.

Those looking for predictable dependability and practicality need not apply. There’s a Kia Soul for that.

Continue reading >>>

You Could Be Closer Than You Think to Driving an Electric Car

Tesla Model X Falcon doors

Let’s take a few minutes to talk about Tesla, because things at the electric automaker are about to get seriously supercharged.

Bad puns aside, electric cars are becoming more accepted in the U.S. and around the world, and Tesla is a big reason why.

With immediate plans to get into the crossover and small sedan markets, the Tesla logo could soon be found in driveways across America. With at least one model priced near a loaded Honda Accord, perhaps one of those driveways could be yours.

Continue reading >>>

Anyone Else Ready for the Tesla Model X?

Tesla Model X

It all started with a tiny squeak behind the fireplace.

Some investigation on my part led to the discovery of a baby mouse in the venting system, which in turn led to the removal of handfuls of insulation, which in turn led to the discovery of a perfectly folded newspaper dated September 1988.

I thought maybe I had discovered a hidden stash of money long forgotten by a previous owner, but all I found was a 26-year-old sports section. After the disappointment subsided I headed to the garage to look deep into its abyss to find some tools, so I could fix the damage I did in my quest to remove said mouse and prevent others from entering my abode.

It was there that I made my great discovery. A discovery that could potentially set me up for a future of gas-free motoring.

Continue reading >>>

Tesla Gets $40 Million in Model X Pre-Orders, Signs Deal with Benz

Tesla Model S

I learned today, courtesy of Automotive News, that

Tesla is among the most-shorted U.S. stocks. Almost 65 percent of its shares available for trading, or float, were sold short as of Jan. 31, the second-highest total in the Russell 1000 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Selling short means you’re betting that the price of the stock will go down, and Tesla has lost a lot of money bringing the Model S sedan (above) to market. But it’s telling the world that 2012 will see income of possibly $600 million, and most will be due to sales of the Model S—up to 5,000 cars.

You never know what to believe with guys like Elon Musk, but he has convinced a lot of people that his Model X, the gullwing SUV we told you about, will be the latest and greatest.

After the February 9 reveal, Tesla got deposits of $5,000 a pop (or $40,000 for the top-line Signature series), representing around 500 SUVs. The top-end version will do 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, beating out the Porsche 911 Carrera.

Continue reading >>>

Green Update: Tesla’s Model X EV Crossover

Tesla Model X, doors open

Describing a car with all its doors open, somebody once said, “It looks like an unbuttoned double-breasted suit.” So does the Model X with its “falcon-wing doors.” These are gullwing doors hinged to fold inward as they rise, permitting easier entry.

Car and Driver called it “mostly a gimmick,” which it is. I would not want to be inside this car in a rollover. Otherwise it is basically a Model S, but stretched to take 7 passengers. Buyers can choose AWD with a second electric motor driving the front wheels and 0-60-mph times (maybe) of 4.4 seconds.

Two batteries are available—with 60 or 85kWh, giving a range of about 215 or 270 miles, respectively. The car is going to be 10-12 percent heavier than the Model S sedan, which already weighs 4,700 pounds. So the S should perform a bit better, unless you get the AWD model.

Prices will be in a range similar to the S, from about $49,900 to $97,900, depending on options, batteries, etc., and this includes the federal $7,500 tax credit. But Model X won’t be available until 2014. Still, Tesla is taking $5,000 deposits and has already gotten several. The S will start selling in July.

Continue reading >>>