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Top Gear Responds To Tesla’s Law Suit

Just a few days ago we’ve talked about the fact that Tesla Motors is suing BBC’s Top Gear because of their 2008 episode in which they’ve reviewed the Roadster model. The law suit claims that TG’s review of the vehicle was rigged and its assertion that the car does not even work in the real world had been decided even before Jeremy Clarkson drove the Roadster.

Tesla Is Suing Top Gear

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First I would like to say that I like Top Gear a lot and the Tesla Roadster is one of my favorite cars at the moment so I can’t really choose sides. Anyway, it seems that Tesla Motors is suing BBC and Top Gear for rigging the test/review (or whatever you’d like to call it) on the Lotus Elise-based Roadster.

The automaker filled a writ at the High Court as they believe that the Top Gear’s test is distorting reality and is biased. Their biggest complaint is with the part when the car apparently runs out of electricity and is being left in the garage to fill up its battery. I remember seeing that episode and Clarkson said that the Tesla Roadster is “not working in the real world”, a statement that is not true at all if you ask me.

More than that, Tesla Motors believes that the events in that episode were faked (quite a shock, isn’t it?) and that the Roadster’s brakes were not really broken. The funny thing is that rumors say that the company’s UK director was aware of the rigged review, before the episode was aired.

Source: DailyMail

Tesla Roadster Goes On Tour

Tesla Roadster

Tesla Motors is organizing the “Oz Goes Electric” tour with the aim of allowing fans from the eastern coast of Australia to get a closer glance at the sexy electric-powered sports car. The tour started yesterday and the car will journey 1,864 miles (3,000 km), which according to the automaker is the longest road trip made by an electric vehicle in Australia.

This tour will cover the states of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and will feature test drive events, along with public displays of the car. In Victoria, the tour has been included in the local government’s Electric Vehicle Trail, a program created in order “to improve the awareness, understanding and acceptance of electric vehicles.”

The Tesla Roadster holds the production EV record for the distance covered on a single charge – a remarkable 311 miles (501 km), set in Australia back in 2009. Besides the great driving range and excellent looks, the car is also very fast, as it needs 4 seconds to reach 60 mph.

Source: Carscoop

Tesla presents the new Roadster 2.5 refresh

Tesla presents the new Roadster 2.5 refresh

Tesla is definitely in a much better place these days, as after its IPO, a lot of money has been added to the accounts of the electric vehicle manufacturer.

In order to celebrate this, the company has just revealed the 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5 refresh, which improves the looks of the electric sportscar, but also adds new options to the range.

The biggest change is at the front, where a new grille has been added, in the vein of the Model S concept we saw some time ago. The rear bumper has also received a new diffuser, but not a lot is known about its impact on the aerodynamics of the EV.

On the inside, the seats have been redesigned, in order to offer a better comfort to the driver and passengers. They will also be able to enjoy a 7-inch touchscreen display, which can be wired to a backup camera system.

No pricing has been revealed as of yet, but you can’t expect any huge changes here.


Tesla boss Elon Musk says he’s broke

Tesla boss Elon Musk says he's broke

Believe it or not, starting your own car company, especially one dedicated to selling electric vehicles, isn’t that easy.

If you need an example, here’s Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who used part of his money from selling PayPal to EBay to start the electric carmaker, as well as a few other companies. Now, the rich guy isn’t so rich, as he revealed in court documents for his divorce from his wife, Jennifer, that he is almost broke.

According to the statements, Musk now relies on personal loans from friends and has monthly expenses of around $200,000. His only income is “just” $8,255, probably his salary as Tesla CEO. As such, his only remaining liquid assets are worth $650,000.

Musk did reveal that he hopes to get some cash incoming after Tesla goes public in the near future, but until then, he is just making ends meet. So, if you thought of getting your own electric Roadster, help Musk out and buy one now.


Tesla planning electric crossover after Model S

Tesla planning electric crossover after Model S

Tesla Motors, the company responsible for the well received electric Roadster, has some big plans for the future.

As most of you know, the company will enter into production the Model S around 2012, offering a luxury sedan for those with an eco-friendly attitude and a wallet capable of supporting a pricey electric vehicle.

But what about after the Model S? Well, the CEO of the company, Elon Musk, says that the lineup will begin to grow at a more consistent pace. When the sedan arrives, the Roadster will end production. It will be followed, a couple of years after, by a new generation sportscar.

But even though that’s fine and dandy for those with deep wallets, Musk also says that a crossover electric vehicles and many other such projects are on the drawing board and will be built so that they are affordable to the regular customer, not just rich people with a passion for EVs.

Musk, who recently won the Automotive Executive of the Year Innovator Award, concluded by saying that the cars his company will make will push the industry forward and, hopefully, give other carmakers new ideas for EV development.


Green violence: Toyota Prius pushes Tesla Roadster under the wheels of a VW Touareg

Green violence: Toyota Prius pushes Tesla Roadster under the wheels of a VW Touareg

It seems that the Toyota Prius isn’t happy with the popularity that the Tesla Roadster is experiencing these days and has decided to start taking out the models that have been sold already around the world.

This, at least, is the conclusion that can be drawn out of a recent accident from Denmark, where a Toyota Prius bumped a Tesla Roadster in the rear and pushed it under the big wheels of a Volkswagen Touareg SUV.

Although the concrete details aren’t know, it still makes a pretty interesting picture to look at, to say the least. You can even see a bit of the Tesla’s bodywork hanging by the rear bumper of the Toureg high in the air.

Hopefully we won’t report any other green car on green car crime anytime soon.

Source: Autopia via Jalopnik

Audi e-Tron-based R4 electric sports car will rival Tesla Roadster

Audi e-Tron-based R4 electric sports car will rival Tesla Roadster

Seeing how popular the Audi e-Tron became after its unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it seems that Audi will create a production-ready vehicle by 2012. Confirmed by Audi of America’s president Johan de Nysschen, the R4 sports car will feature a top of the range electric version while gasoline-powered ones will also appear after it.

The report, revealed by the guys at AutoExpress, which also published these drafts of a possible design of the future Audi R4, show that it will most likely rival the Tesla Roadster, and will be based on the Boxster and Cayman platform from sister company Porsche.

The model, which will be situated between the TT and the R8, will be available in multiple body types, including a soft top convertible (shown here), a hard top one and a coupe. In terms of design, it will be quite aggressive and touch the futuristic side of things.

According to AutoExpress, it seems that an upgraded version of the drivetrain featured on the e-Tron will be built into the production R4 model, with the power coming from four engines, two on each axle, and offering around 300 HP and a massive 4,500 Nm of torque. The top speed will also be upgraded to about 140 mph (225 km/h).

Overall, it the news from the website is good, we can expect the electric Audi R4 to appear around 2012 or 2013, depending on the way the development of the model goes. Until then, we can only dream of this electric roadster.


Win a Tesla Roadster with the Dark Void video game contest

Well this is certainly interesting, Japanese games developer and publisher Capcom is certainly pulling out all the stops in order to promote its upcoming Dark Void video game. The company is taking it as far as holding a contest for which the grand prizes are either a Tesla Roadster, costing about $109,000, or a jet pack.

All you need to do is to head on over to the website of the competition, and, from what I could tell, fill in a contact form. You do need to be a resident of the United States though. Besides the guy or gal who will be walking away with the car, Capcom will also be choosing five more contestants and taking them on an all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2010 so that they can ride in a Tesla Roadster with the development team of Dark Void, a futuristic third person shooter set to be released at the beginning of 2010 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

Enjoy the hilarious video promoting this campaign below.


Tesla customers angry over price increase

According to AutoExpress, a lot of Tesla Roadster buyers are angry at the company’s decision to ask them to pay for a kit that initially came as standard. The kit includes extras like High Performance Charger or alloy wheels and US deposit holders are now required to pay an extra $7,000 (around £4,900). As far as we know, the decision is only available in the US, an UK spokesman saying that prices won’t rise in the Kingdom.


Brabus presents tuning program for the Tesla Roadster

Tesla Roadster Tuning Brabus

Wow, that’s something interesting. Though actually we were wondering when will the first tuning programs for electric cars show up. And it looks like German tuner Brabus, specialized in programs for Mercedes cars is among the first ones to announce a tuning program for the Tesla Roadster. No power upgrades here, only a series of styling upgrades. These include a “space sound generator” that makes the Tesla sound as if powered by a mighty V8, race car engine or “Beam” and “Warp” futuristic sounds. Brabus has also fitted the car with LED running lamps, underbody neon lighting, a rear wing, new wheels (18 inch on the front and 19 at the rear), plus a matte white paint finish. The outcome depends a lot on each person’s tastes, but all in all we think it’s a decent upgrade and it shows that electric cars are ready to go mainstream. Of course, that doesn’t mean Tesla is ready, because they have a lot of problems on their hands now, not to mention that there haven’t been many Roadsters available so far.

Photo Gallery: Tesla Roadster tuning by Brabus

Tesla Roadster Tuning Brabus


Tesla Roadster crashed in France

Tesla Roadster Crash France

We took quite a few cars for test drives and we had a lot of fun doing that. However, sometimes test drives go wrong and there’s no fun in that. After some time ago we saw a Dutch journalist wrecking an Audi R8, this time we have a Tesla Roadster crashed by one of their own. Apparently, a Tesla sales director took a passenger for a demonstration in southern France last Wednesday, when he lost control of the car and crashed it. Beside the fact that the car was going around 100 mph (160km/h), the road was also wet and the visibility was poor. Though the car looks pretty banged up, both passengers survived: the driver suffered a broken hand an minor bruises, while the passenger was released from hospital after some investigations.

Photo Gallery: Tesla Roadster crash in France

Tesla Roadster Crash France


Tesla chose California for its Model S electric sedan production

Yesterday, San Jose authorities approved the lease of nearly 90 acres of city-owned land and Tesla Motors announced that they’re planning on building a $250 million facility in California, where they’ll assemble the upcoming Model S electric sedan. Tesla was planning on building the plant in New Mexico, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Treasurer Bill Lockyer worked out a tax break for the Silicon Valley company. Actually, Arnie is such a big fan of the project that he, along with several other celebrities, like George Clooney and Kelsey Grammer, allready placed their orders for the Roadster.

According to Tesla, the new facility will create around 1,000 jobs and will produce 1,500 Roadsters starting next year and 15,000 Model S, after the electric luxury sedan will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2010. Though the Model S will be priced at around $60,000, Tesla’s CEO Ze’ev Drori announced that they’re also planning on creating cheaper and more affordable electric cars, that could appeal to a larger audience. “It is our intention to service the entire market [..] We are not a niche player. We are going to work down the road on cars which will be substantially less expensive again.”


The first Tesla crash happend in San Francisco

In case you haven’t heard, the Tesla Roadster is the first electric sports car to enter production soon. Finally we can say good bye to all the ugly little cars and save the planet in a stylish and sporty way. But untill you can make your deposit for the car, you can see how it performs in the crash tests. Even though they were unplanned ! Looks like the first Tesla crash took place in San Francisco. Fortunatelly nobody got injured, but the poor car got squashed between a Mercedes and a Toyota Camry. That’s a shome, considering that only nine Tesla cars were manufactured so far. You can see for yourself in the photos what happened.

Would you buy one ?

Tesla Motors to sue Fisker

Yesterday, at the San Mateo Superior Court in California, Tesla Motors filed suit against Fisker Automotive. Henrik Fisker, the creator of the Fisker Karma, was hired last year by Tesla to design its upcoming electric sedan, called WhiteStar. According to Tesla, the reason Fisker accepted this job was “to gain access to confidential design information and trade secrets, then announced a competing vehicle”.

After the Tesla Roadster was successfully launched, the company announced that next year or in 2010 they’ll also introduce an all-electric passenger sedan, priced somewhere between $50,000 and $70,000. Apparently, after Tesla found out that Fisker is about to create a competitor for the WhiteStar, they’ve fired him, decided to dump his original design and started working on another one.

So far, no official reaction from Fisker, but stay tuned because we’ll keep you informed in this interesting case.


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