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Tesla Model S Sets Nürburgring Lap Record for Fastest Production EV

The Tesla Model S Plaid now holds the record for being the fastest production EV around the Nürburgring. A time of 7:35.579 meant it was a whole 11.431 seconds quicker than the Porsche Macan Turbo, which previously held the record. The news off was first tweeted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and the Nürburgring soon released a statement confirming the same. 

A side view of a Tesla Model S Plaid being tried out on the track

The ‘Plaid’ powertrain has been the most significant update that the Model S has received since its first launch in 2012. It includes a tri-motor electric powertrain producing 1020 hp and 1,050lb-ft of torque – enough to propel the car to a claimed top speed of 200mph with a 0-60mph time of 1.99sec.

Musk mentioned in his tweet that the car that set the record was in complete stock guise and “directly from [the] factory,” leading us to believe that there were no changes or adjustments made to the tires, brakes, or suspension.

A side view of the Tesla Model S Plaid driving on a road with blue sky in the background

A side view of the Tesla Model S Plaid driving on a road with blue sky in the background

He also mentioned that the next target for the Model S Plaid would be to set another lap-record, this time in a track-specced iteration, with additional aerodynamic pieces, carbon-ceramic brakes, and stickier tires. However, this will not be a company effort.

A side view of a Tesla Model S Plaid being tried out on the track

The Nürburgring lap record is an impressive feat for the EV; however, it’s worth mentioning that the 1,914hp quad-motor Rimac Nevera will very likely be quicker around the Nordschleife, if (or when) it does give it a go.

– Submitted by Vishal Venugopal

Best New Performance Hybrids & Electric Cars

No one would argue that the past year-and-a-half has been a truly challenging period for human civilization, though it has not seemed to put even a dent in the momentum of the vehicle electrification movement. If anything, automakers were presented with a unique opportunity to showcase their credentials in this space; with the disruption of routine living circumstances, this was a moment when the global audience’s attention could be more easily procured, if done in the right way.

As it happened, a slew of new electric vehicles would be announced and even enter production during this time, bringing with them much excitement, fanfare, and most importantly a positive outlook on the future, albeit through an automotive lens. Nevertheless, automobiles are a topic that most people have in common, and the industry certainly didn’t fall short on providing its fair share of feel-good moments during this gloomy time – definitely for the car enthusiasts, and probably for the green movement too.

EVs (such as the Porsche Taycan) ordered by customers before the pandemic started, were generally delivered on-time if not ahead of schedule (like mine). During the pandemic, production levels remained vigorous, along with the unveiling of new models – some of which are simply game-changing. The emergence of cars such as the Rimac Nevera, Lotus Evija and Pininfarina Battista proved that automakers were generally unfazed by the chaos of the past 2 calendar years, delivering the goods as promised and not finding any reasons to have done anything but.

There’s no shortage of hybrid options either, with many of the world’s most impressive machines displaying the incredible potential of this technology. The likes of Ferrari’s SF90 Stradale and Lamborghini’s Sián have been showcasing that hybrid engines are not just a stop-gap measure before electrification proliferates. Rather, they are viable complement to fully-electric cars, both now and likely into the distant future. Bio fuels could play a key role in this development, and possibly even prolong the existence of the combustion engine for some time to come.

Here are 15 of the Best New Performance Hybrids & Electric Cars, you can buy today.

Acura NSX Type S

Acura RSX Type S at Race Track

Acura has just announced that they will be producing a limited-edition NSX Type S variant for the 2022 model year, which will also serve as the swan song for the brand’s halo car (now in its second generation). Officially unveiled during Monterrey Car Week, the Type S will be the “quickest, most powerful and best-handling production NSX ever” according to the automaker, with an enhanced version of the 3.5L twin-turbocharged hybrid engine now producing 600 hp and 492 lb-ft of torque. The 9-speed DCT and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) have also been optimized to get the most out of the car’s improved performance. The NSX Type S will also come standard with a carbon-fiber roof, as part of its weight reduction protocols.

Distinctive design cues and more aggressive aerodynamics are also at the core of the car’s improved driving character, with race car components – such as a GT3-inspired rear diffuser – being among the most easily distinguishable features. The NSX Type S will also come with redesigned front and rear bumpers, unique 5-spoke wheels, Pirelli P-Zero tires, and a retuned adaptive suspension system. Optional features such as Gotham Gray exterior paint and an available Lightweight Package – which includes carbon-ceramic brakes and more carbon fiber components – are also exclusive to the Type S. Limited to a production run of only 350 units.

Rimac Nevera

Rimac Nevera

Although it is not the first EV to be powered by 4 permanent magnet electric motors, the Rimac Nevera does come with its own unique electric drivetrain design. By strategically placing a pair of 200 kW electric motors in front and another two 500 kW electric motors in the rear, the engineers were able to give the rear-biased Nevera an ideal 48:52 (front:rear) weight distribution. However, a deeper inspection reveals more intricacies in the design, as the planetary gears for each of the 4 wheels are purposed in such a way that the Nevera is also optimally balanced from left to right as well. Genius.

It’s probably a good thing that this Rimac was built with a predisposition to exhibit ballet-like agility, because it’s going to need all the grace in the world to tame all that’s brewing within. In combination, all of the 4 electric motors can generate up to 1,914 hp (1.4 mW) and 1,740 lb-ft of torque (2,360 Nm). This allows the Nevera to absolutely annihilate the popular 0-60 mph benchmark in just 1.85 seconds, with an equally impressive 1/4 mile time of just 8.6 seconds – good enough to make it the fastest production vehicle ever made, by some margin. Top speed is stated as 258 mph (412 km/h).

Ferrari SF90 Stradale

Ferrari SF90 Stradale at Race Track

At first glance the SF90 Stradale sounds like a car we should all fear; a soul crushing proposition. It is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (Ferrari’s first) with four-wheel-drive, built on a new ‘multi material‘ platform and has even more electric driver aids than ever before. It is enough to make old-school Ferrari fans and drivers run straight for the exits (probably to pick up a 458 Speciale instead). But those who are willing to consider the outcomes with an open-mind are sure to be satiated, if not entirely blown-away.

In the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, the company has partnered its F154 V8 engine with a 7.9 kWh battery, which allows the twin-turbocharged V8 hybrid to produce up to 986 hp in total. The three electric motors combine to deliver 217 hp, an can even bring the SF90 Stradale to a speed of 84 mph and complete over 15 miles, all on their own power. Aside from a mind-boggling 0-60 mph time of 2.1 seconds, this configuration also makes the SF90 the first mid-engined Ferrari to be all-wheel drive. Handling is also greatly enhanced with torque vectoring now being available on the front-axle. The car also features an all-new chassis made of carbon fiber and aluminum. The sleek body panels and its aerodynamic shape help the model make a whopping 860 lbs of downforce at speed, and the whole profile of the car is extremely low so it can slash through the air at high speeds.

Porsche Taycan Turbo S

Mamba Green Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

The Taycan Turbo S is the ultimate Porsche EV. The absolutely mind-boggling 750 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque it instantaneously produces, rockets the car from 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds – hypercar territory, that is. It manages to combine this with 911-level handling characteristics and is infused with the same essence we’ve come to expect in all Porsche sports cars. Porsche ceramic composite brakes (PCCB) are standard fare on the Turbo S, as are the otherwise optional 21” Mission-E Design wheels. To provide even more extra stopping force, the Turbo S is also fitted with larger front and rear rotors than what is installed on the 4S and Turbo models.

With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo range of Porsche Taycan models, we’re now entering the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover / estate. While a number of the Cross Turismo models’ design elements bear an obvious resemblance to the sedans, they offer something very distinct as well.

Lamborghini Sián

Lamborghini Sian

Amongst this list of very special cars, the Sián is perhaps the most special. That’s because the Lamborghini Sián is the most notable example of an automobile which uses a supercapacitor – the ‘super’ added because, well, you need a really, really big capacitor to help power a car. In this configuration, the supercapacitor collects and stores energy (primarily from regenerative braking). In certain moments (such as a launch), the supercapacitor dumps all of its energy into an electric motor which immediately and briefly adds an extra 34 hp on top of what the Sián’s 785 hp 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 engine produces. This means that up to 819 hp is sent to all 4 wheels, with the electric motor integrated into the transmission to reduce weight and improve responsiveness.

As long as the supercapacitor keeps getting recharged – which can be achieved with just seconds of hard braking – there will always be that extra bit of power boost at the car’s beckoning. Compared to an EV battery which takes much, much, longer to fully recharge, and weighs substantially more, you might be wondering why supercapacitors aren’t the dominating technology in electric or hybrid vehicles today. Well, there are a few very important reasons for this. For one, supercapacitors aren’t able to store energy for long periods of time like a battery, making them unviable to be the primary food source for an electric vehicle… at least for now.

Tesla Model S Plaid+

Tesla Model S Plaid+ Rolling Shot

Tesla recently announced that they’ve added a new trim for their Model S and Model X. The base “Long Range” models will still use dual-motors, while the new high-performance models will be replaced with “Plaid”. While this is mostly down to marketing and rebranding, the Model S will have also have a Plaid+ option later this year; for performance junkies, this is the most significant news as this package incorporates Tesla’s latest battery technology. The Plaid+, with it’s brand new architecture, is said to be capable of 0-60 mph in under 2 seconds and a range of up to 520 miles on a single charge.

Needless to say, figures like those will surely lead to an upheaval of the current status quo in EV-land and will have competitors scrambling to keep up. Word is, these claims are far from anecdotal, as an 1,100 hp prototype version of the Tesla Model S Plaid+ has already beat the Mclaren P1’s lap time at the legendary Laguna Seca raceway in California, USA. Tesla is already taking orders on its website, where it starts at a price of $131,100.

Koenigsegg Regera

Koenigsegg Regera

Koenigsegg unveiled its Regera hybrid hypercar model at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and since then it has generated plenty of hype amongst car enthusiasts and performance junkies. Besides a regular combustion engine, the Koenigsegg Regera also utilizes 3 electric motors which dole out 700 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque via a 4.5 kWh liquid-cooled battery pack. As a result, the car now produces 1,500 hp (which the company likes to market as 1.11 MW), making it the most powerful hybrid supercar in the world. Its combustion engine is a 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 which produces an out-of-this-world 1,100 horsepower and 922 lb-ft of torque without electric assistance.

Koenigsegg has gone on to claim that the Regera can theoretically reach top speeds of over 400 km/h, although this has not yet been made official.

Lotus Evija

Lotus Evija in London

Lotus has been hyping their new fully-electric automobile, going as far as saying that the Evija will be a “mind-blowing supercar”. The car features two electric motors which output its outrageous 2,000 hp. The battery is placed in the middle of the car where a typical internal combustion mid-engine car would have its beating heart, helping it to achieve an ideal weight distribution. Lotus sought to strike the perfect balance between a track car and a road car, and that extends to the cabin – a minimalist, driver-focused interior design but with plenty of the comfort and convenience features you’d expect in a civil grand tourer. The Lotus Evija has been named as ‘The One to Watch‘ in Top Gear’s 2021 Electric Awards .

The Lotus Evija was built with a simple goal – to be the absolute pinnacle of world-class engineering and the most powerful performance car ‘For The Drivers’. It harnesses Lotus’ technical expertise, fine-tuned over more than seven decades, to create a masterclass of automotive excellence. Judges at the IDA commented that the Lotus Evija “paves a way towards a more sustainable future whilst embodying an exceptional aerodynamic aesthetic”, and that “its seductive style elevates the Evija to be the world’s most premium sustainable car”.

Audi e-tron RS GT

Audi e-tron GT Rolling Shot

The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is the four-ringed company’s first entrant into the high-performance EV weight class. It looks to shake up a playing field which includes the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan, the latter of which it shares many of the same underpinnings. Audi has marketed the e-tron GT as a fully-electric grand tourer, as a opposed to a sports saloon EV like the Porsche Taycan. This sets clear expectations right away of what makes the e-tron GT an entirely unique offering – not quite as powerful (compared to the Turbo and Turbo S), a little less nimble and sharp in the handling department, slightly more utilitarian with extra cargo room and a typically impressive Audi-esque interior.

The entry-level e-tron GT  produces 469 hp, which can be boosted up to 523 hp when using launch control. This is good for 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 152 mph, making it most comparable to the Porsche Taycan 4S which ends up being a smidge quicker using the same measuring stick. Stepping up to the RS model will net you 590 hp with 637 hp available in overboost mode. This allows the RS e-tron GT to complete the 0-60 mph sprint in 3.3 seconds, which is slower than Tesla’s and Porsche’s quickest EV models by 1.3 seconds (Model S Plaid) and 0.8 seconds (Taycan Turbo S) respectively.

Pininfarina Battista

Pininfarina Battista Canyon Drive

When the Pininfarina Battista was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019, it was touted as the first fully-electric hypercar. Having been teased with bits and pieces up to that point, the Battista would finally secure its place in history as the first complete amalgamation of a zero-emissions hypercar. I doubt that anyone would be offended – least of all, Pininfarina – if the Battista was mistaken as ‘just another’ one of Ferrari’s super cars. Afterall, the design elements are deliberately signature from the company; and that’s really the best part of it all.

Beneath the silhouette lies something less familiar – the absence a typically mid-mounted combustion engine, for one. The Ferrari…. I mean…. Pininfarina Battista is fully-electric, and beyond that very notion, things only start to get even more crazy. The Battista utilizes 4 motors – one for each wheel – which produce a combined 1,900-horsepower and 1696 ft-lb of torque. That level of performance and technological sophistication won’t come cheap either, with each car priced at around $2.3 million USD.

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro Side Profile

The new Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro isn’t just another version of the original Aston Martin Valkyrie with some added aerodynamic parts. They’ve also increased the wheelbase of the original chassis by 380 mm, and added 96 mm and 115 mm to the front and rear track width respectively. These changes effectively lengthen the entire car by 266 mm, essentially making it a ‘longtail’ version, as their rivals McLaren would call it.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro still uses the same Cosworth-built naturally-aspirated V12 engine with a 6.5L displacement – but now with 1,000 hp available at a screaming 11,000 rpm. Significant weight has been shed on the Valkyrie AMR Pro by removing the entire hybrid system, using an extremely light carbon fiber body, and incorporating carbon fiber suspension components. Thanks to its aerodynamic efficiency, the Valkyrie AMR Pro offers track performance previously only seen on Formula One cars.

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Mercedes AMG Project One at Race Track

After months of teasing and speculation, Mercedes-AMG has officially unveiled the world’s first road legal car equipped with a Formula 1 powertrain – the 1,000 hp Project One. Its 4-digit power output comes from an improved version of the hybrid system found inside the W08 F1 car, which also includes a turbocharged 1.6L V6 engine and four electric motors. The two front electric motors on the Project One are of the latest and greatest technologies available, with each unit being capable of revving up to 50,000 rpm and producing 160 hp on their own.

The third electric motor is integrated into the turbocharger, while the fourth is mounted directly on the car’s combustion engine, producing another 120 hp of the Project One’s total power output of “beyond 1,000 hp”. Mercedes-AMG has also claimed that the turbo lag on the Project One is not only eliminated in this setup, but the response times should now be shorter than those cars powered by a naturally-aspirated V8.

Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo Rolling Shot

Porsche has provided no shortage of options within any of its model line-ups, with the relatively recent addition of E-Hybrid models serving up even more choices for those seeking a more eco-friendly experience from the brand. While the Taycan is the only model fully-committed to electrification, the E-Hybrids are an impressive alternative for those who aren’t quiet ready to make the big step over to the other side. Currently, E-Hybrid models can be found within the Panamera and Cayenne model line-ups, and are destined to be in the mix with other models such as the Cayman, 911 and Macan in the not so distant future.

The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is at the top of the food chain when it comes to the range, and is the only model (notwithstanding the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid) to feature a hybridized version of Porsche’s 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8. On its own, the petrol engine produces 563 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque, with the E-Hybrid electric motor adding up to 134 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Sport Turismo estate-style body would definitely be our pick, as it also provides a greater sense of both utilitarianism and style to boot.

Koenigsegg Gemera

Koenigsegg Gemera

Hinted at for a long time under the codename ‘KG12′, the latest Koenigsegg megacar has been revealed: The 2022 Koenigsegg Gemera. The Gemera is Koenigsegg’s first proper 2+2 GT car, or due to the power it produces, ‘mega-GT’ if you will. The car outputs a combined total of 1.27 MW of power, or by more traditional measurements, 1,700 HP and 2,581 lb-ft of torque. This is achieved through the combination of an extremely powerful, 2.0L twin-turbocharged camless + freevalve inline-3 engine – nicknamed the ‘Tiny Friendly Giant’ – which produces 600hp all on its own, and is partnered with three electric motors.

Two electric motors are placed at each rear wheel, with a third motor attached to the crankshaft of the engine to boost power to the front axle. All three motors have a combined output of 1,100 HP. Koenigsegg has confirmed that orders can be taken through the Expressions Of Interest website, and that the base price is $1.7 million USD.

McLaren Speedtail

McLaren Speedtail Wallpapers

Meet the new Speedtail – an aptly-named addition to McLaren’s Ultimate Series of automobiles. This limited-edition car – of which only 106 examples will be built – represents McLaren’s unyielding pursuit of maximum top-speed. Whereas other McLarens blend handling, acceleration, and driving dynamics in a harmonious package, the Speedtail has a more singular focus. That focus is speed; ludicrous amounts of it. McLaren has labeled the Speedtail a Hyper GT, which seems fitting given the excess of the car and its abilities.

This 1,055 hp car will take you to 250 mph, and then to the Opera, on the same set of tires (to paraphrase McLaren spokesperson, Wayne Bruce). More than that, the Speedtail is a car that reminds us that the automotive world serves to inspire and excite us, as much as it does in moving us from one place to the next. Though, in the case of the Speedtail, it moves us unlike anything else out there.

E.C.D. Automotive Design Tesla-Powered Range Rover

Sliding electric motors into vintage vehicles is hot right now, and the folks at E.C.D. Automotive Design have done just that with a classic Land Rover Range Rover. Inside, there’s a Tesla direct drivetrain that…

The post E.C.D. Automotive Design Tesla-Powered Range Rover first appeared on Cool Material.

Tesla Model S Receives Plaid+: Supercar or Family Sedan?

Tesla has been keeping the EV market on its toes for years and today is no different. In Q4, Tesla announced that there would be some major changes to an upcoming Model S. Production for that much-needed model refresh are to start production in the coming weeks. 

Typically when a vehicle model update takes place, the exterior is what receives the most attention, not the case for Tesla. The new Model S interior received a lot of attention, with good reason. It will now feature a 17.0-inch display that is very similar to the one in the Model 3 and Model Y. Tesla says the new tablet display has a brighter screen with a resolution of 2200×1300 and improved responsiveness.

Model S Plaid

In the released photos of the Model S, it appears that Tesla has cut the steering wheel in half. It appears to be a larger, minimalist rendition of an F1 steering wheel. It is also missing the indicator stalks, which tells us these controls will likely be mounted on the steering wheel. The dash and ventless HVAC systems appear to be similar to the Model 3.

Model S Plaid

The images released also show an additional display where you would normally see climate controls for passengers in the rear. The rear seats also receive bolstering on both sides, giving the new Model S a welcome refresh as it has been the same for years. 

Model S Plaid

As far as exterior updates are concerned, the new Model S appears to have a more aggressive look overall. The lower section of the front fascia comes with the majority of the updates, though Tesla has included new wheels for the Model S. It now looks a bit more sporty and more reflective of its performance. 

A new trim level has been added to the Model S and Model X. The Long Range base models will still include dual-motors, while the performance models will be replaced with the Plaid model. This is simply just a rebranding of the performance model name. However, the Model S will have a Plaid+ option to come later this year, which will have Tesla’s new batteries incorporated into its structure. The Plaid+’s new batteries will provide 0-60 times of less than 1.99 seconds and a range of 520 miles on a single charge.

According to Motor1, Tesla has also confirmed that the Model X will receive the same interior and exterior updates as the new Model S. 

New Tesla Cybertruck Reinvents the Pickup Truck

At an event, away from the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show 2019, Tesla unveiled its highly anticipated Cybertruck. The next stage in building a model range, the Cybertruck is Tesla’s most controversial design yet.

In true Silicon Valley style, Elon Musk took to the stage on Thursday to unveil his latest model. Things didn’t go entirely to plan though. During a part where Musk intended to demonstrate the “armour glass”, he invited Tesla’s head of design, Franz von Holzhausen, on stage to throw a metal ball at the side windows. The idea was that it would just bounce off, causing no damage. The Cybertruck is supposed to protect occupants against bullets and sledgehammers The armour wasn’t as strong as it perhaps should have been as the window cracked on impact.

Of course, the biggest story is the pickup truck itself. Tesla rips up the rule book, as you would expect. The design features lots of straight lines, seemingly inspired by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works or the classic DeLorean than by any conventional pickup truck. It has proved controversial.

The exterior bodywork is milled from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel using Tesla armour glass for the windows. This is said to make it extremely strong. The glass, which we suspect will be redesigned before the market launch, gets a polymer-layered composite skin for its strength.

The interior features 6 seats. 3 in the first row and 3 in the rear together with a 17 inch display. The passenger cell is separated from the rear bed. From the side, you wouldn’t guess that it was a pickup truck. The rear bed is hidden by a gently sloped rear panel. It’s 1.98 metre rear bed has a payload capacity of 1,580 kg and 2,830 litres of space.

Under the chassis sits Tesla’s battery system. In its highest specification, it should hit 60 mph in a blistering 2.9 seconds with 500 miles of range. Tesla will in fact offer the Cybertruck in three options. The single motor, rear wheel drive option will manage a 250 mile range with a 6.5 second 60 mph sprint. The dual motor, all wheel drive model cuts the sprint time to 4.5 seconds and increases range to 300 miles. It is the triple-Motor, all whee drive model that gets the blistering pace and huge range.

Tesla Cybertruck Interior

At all four corners, the Cybertruck uses air suspension. This allows Tesla to program some convenience features, including a program which drops the ride height for entry and exit.

The Cybertruck is available to order immediately with a $100 deposit. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2021 with tri-Motor versions to follow on 2022. A full self driving mode costs extra. Pricing of the range starts from $39,900 for the entry level, rising to $49,900 for the mid range and $69,900 for the top of the range model.


Tesla – Autonomous Ride Sharing Service

Elon Musk Reveals Plan To Establish Tesla ‘Ride Sharing Service’ by 2020

From an investor’s perspective, t can be argued that Elon Musk’s eccentricity lands him in hot-water more often than what is desirable, but there is no denying that it is also what fuels his ambitions and vision for the future of our world (and beyond). Today, Musk announced his latest project at Tesla’s ‘Autonomy Day’ event which took place at the company’s California headquarters.

Though this new venture takes place on Earth, it is no less interesting or ambitious of a target than any of his other proclamations.  Musk made it very clear to investors at the event, that a Tesla-operated autonomous taxi service will be rolled out in 2020. I have a feeling that as he loves to shake things up in the tech-world, it should come as no surprise that this statement is being made after soon-to-be-rival ridesharing company, Uber, announced that it will become publicly traded in the beginning of May.

As opposed to functioning entirely on a fleet of commercially-designated Tesla vehicles, the service being offered will rely heavily on existing Tesla owners with compatible cars to ‘share’ their car on the ‘Tesla Network’, which in theory makes it more akin to ridesharing than a mainstream taxi service. The differentiating factor of course, is that Tesla’s service will be fully autonomous.

Musk cleverly made sure to convey that the service was not only appealing to its future users, but also to existing and potential purchasers of his electric cars. He made bold claims, such as stating that owners could earn as much as $30,000 per year lending their car to the Network during periods when they wouldn’t need it for personal use – such as during holidays, work trips or general down-time.

Powered by new Samsung chips, Tesla’s latest version of autonomous driving software and hardware will, as Musk explained, “…be able to drive themselves anywhere on the planet, on any road and in any/all possible weather conditions without anyone watching over the controls.” This means that Tesla’s autonomous cars in theory, are not limited to specific environments or circumstances and should be able to travel anywhere a human-operated vehicle can (and maybe more). It also means, that drivers (or more accurately, riders) won’t have to pay attention to the road – ever again – should they choose to embrace full-autonomy.

Fully self-driving vehicles, once and for all, plain and simple.

The Tesla boss confidently iterated that there will be over 1-million self-driving taxis on the road when the service is rolled out. Elon Musk at it again; making certain that his inventions are as practical as they are unconventional.

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Tesla Surfboard

Elon Musk habitually makes bold claims on social media regarding the next big that he comes up with during his downtime. Yet, we did not expect the eccentric CEO to unveil a product that does not involve transportation, space travel, or whatever improvements he has in mind for existing technology. You must admit that a lot of us were blindsided when Tesla unveiled a limited edition surfboard that retails for $1,500.

In the past, Musk offered us items that such as apparel, toys, collectibles, and gadgets. In retrospect, it’s a common practice for companies to do so in order to promote the brand, and Tesla appears to be no different. Nevertheless, it looks like the electric car company plans to target consumers who love the sun, wind, and waves.

The combined efforts of the folks from Tesla Design Studio alongside renowned surfboard shaper, Matt “Mayhem” Biolos, and Lost Surfboards, gave birth to this sleek and capable product. The body is wrapped and reinforced with “Black Dart” carbon fiber, which, according to the product description, mimics the interior of the company’s electric vehicles.

To contrast the matte carbon fiber scheme of the top deck, the bottom flaunts a bright red shade and both sides neatly showcase the company logos. There are currently no plans to produce more than 200 units of this exclusive item, which certainly makes it a must-have gear while supplies last.

You can be sure that this surfboard will easily fit inside or outside your Model 3, S, or X. A little patience is required since orders will normally take around 2-10 weeks to fabricate and deliver. Owners should know that the fins are not supplied in the package.

Tesla Surfboard

Photos courtesy of Tesla

The Rise of the Electric Supercar: Today’s Benchmark Electric Supercars

A few years ago car enthusiasts looked at the absurdly styled electric cars manufacturers were pumping off the assembly line and laughed. Fast-forward to the present and we’re now seeing what was once a hysteric destroy our beloved gas-powered supercars on the track.

Technological advances have allowed electric cars to become some of the worlds fastest machines. Complete with incredible track times and impeccable interiors, these cars truly have it all.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here; not all electric supercars can climb to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds like the new Tesla Roadster, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be given credit where credit is due.

A Brief History of the Electric Automobile

Edison Electric CarEdison Electric Car
Source: Wiki Commons

Electric cars have been around since the mid-19th century. However, their high cost, low top speed, and extremely short-ranged batteries sparked a loss in interest.

From the late-40s to the early 70s, gas engines were creating big power, entrenching themselves as the cultural icons that they have since become.

It wasn’t until the energy crises of the 1960s and 1970s that a revival of interest in the electric automobile was seen.

The Rebirth of Electric Cars

In 1970, all states were required to take control of their air quality and meet specific standards under the Clean Air Act. Along with it, the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) Oil Embargo of 1973 helped generate more interest in electric cars as gasoline prices skyrocketed.

Later on in 1976, Congress took control and passed the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act. This allowed the Energy Department to support research and development in these types of vehicles.

Unfortunately, the technology at the time just wasn’t sufficient to make these cars practical and reliable. Instead, their gas-powered counterparts remained the dominant force in the market

By the 1990s, emissions regulations once again urged automakers to revisit the concept of electric vehicles. From there, technological advances and environmental awareness in the early 21st century surged a demand for alternatively powered vehicles, paving a pathway for electric vehicles to once again enter the market.

The World As It Is Today

As 2018 marches on, the world is a very different place than it was in the 70’s and 90’s. Today, electric cars aren’t just competitive, but their becoming downright common. Thanks to Tesla, which led the charge of the acceptable electric car in the early 2000’s, electric vehicles are gaining prominent ground in the marketplace.

Today, every major manufacturer has an electric vehicle… or one in development. Fantastic!

So, with that in mind, we thought we’d discuss two all-electric supercars that you may well find tearing up the pavement!

The Tesla Roadster

The fastest production car (0-60 mph) ever made. Period.

When Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, promised a surprise during the Tesla Semi Unveiling Event, the world was not ready for what he had planned. Capable of reaching 100 mph in just 4.2 seconds, this electric supercar is capable of completing a quarter mile in as little as 8.9 seconds.

If your jaw hasn’t yet hit the floor, Musk has hinted that the top speed will be above 250 mph. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Roadster is capable of shattering the Agera RS world record top speed of 277.9 mph.

After all, this car does come packed with 7355 ft lbs of torque. Yes, you read that right.

What’s Under the Hood

A single 200 kWh battery pack supposedly will provide the Roadster with a 620-mile range per charge. If this is true, this electric supercar will shatter another world record in regards to distance per charge. Three powerful motors, one in the front and two in the rear, give the Roadster its power, along with all-wheel drive and torque steering.

Get in Line

Don’t get too excited tough, the Roadster isn’t scheduled to start production until 2020. However, if you’ve got some cash burning a hole in your pocket, put your money where your mouth is as you can now reserve one for $50,000.

See also: Holy Crap! Tesla’s Announced Roadster Will Be the Fastest Production Car Ever Made

Rimac Concept_One

The Rimac Concept One Finally Gets Tested on US SoilThe Rimac Concept One Finally Gets Tested on US Soil

You’ve likely seen it all over this site: the silver bullet who squashed the Porsche 918 by at least 2 car lengths on a drag race. Although not as fast as the Roadster is said to be, the Concept_One is still a flagship of performance electric supercars.

An engine that forces out 1224 hp and 1181 ft lbs of torque allows this car to reach 60 mph in just 2.4 seconds, topping out at just over 220 mph. Everything is powered by a single 90kWh battery pack that is capable of taking you up to 350 km.

Exterior & Interior

Rimac Concept One InteriorRimac Concept One Interior

Although its performance numbers are quite impressive, the looks and features of the Concept_One are where it truly shines. The entire bodywork has been precisely designed to provide maximum aerodynamics, as well as elegant and emotional lines that leave innocent bystanders speechless.

Once you sit in the Concept_One, you’ll never want to get out. The seats position drivers close to the center of gravity while at the same time hugging the body to provide maximum comfort. A seamless, spectacular display integrates today’s latest technology to truly provide the driver with a unique experience.

Rimac Concept One Electric SupercarRimac Concept One Electric Supercar

Getting Your Hands on One

Unfortunately, the Concept_One is not an easy vehicle to get ahold of. Aside from needing to have a million dollars to spend, Rimac is said to only be manufacturing 8 units of the Concept_One a year. That’s pretty reasonable in my opinion, considering how majority of the car is hand-crafted to perfection.

Is it Really a Supercar Without The Roar?

Technically, yes.

Don’t get me wrong, the Concept_One and the Tesla Roadster are two of the best electric supercars on the market today. But these cars, along with the others, all have one common problem – the roar of the engine (or lack thereof).

What makes a supercar so thrilling? Most would say its a combination of the head-turning looks, unnecessary amounts of power, and the mean, aggressive engine noise. So what happens when you take away one of those factors? Does the car become less attractive to the buyer?

In my opinion, yes. If I’m driving a car thats pushing over 1200 hp, I want it to sound like it. I’d much rather hear the engine rumble and rattle windows as opposed to listening to the wind and tire noise as I tear up and down the streets.

To me, this is a huge drawback to an electric supercar. There’s almost something addicting about the aggressive, angry noise of a gas-powered supercar that an electric one just won’t be able to provide me.

Perhaps in the future automakers will find a way to accurately simulate it, but until then, countless others and myself will be out of luck.

Elon Musk teases a flying version of Roadster supercar. Is he serious?

Tesla surprised the world last week when it revealed its Roadster on the same day it debuted its much-awaited (and much-hyped) electric-powered semi truck. Founder Elon Musk claims the car can do 0-60 in just 1.9 seconds, which would make it the fastest production car, and will have a 620-mile driving range.

Now, he’s claiming the supercar may eventually possess the ability to fly. He took to Twitter Sunday first to clarify that the 0-60 time is “the base model performance” but also to tease a “special option package that takes it to the next level.” We’ll let you read it below.

What to make of the latest Musk claim? Well, the unexpected news about the Roadster has already led many observers to wonder if Tesla is spreading itself too thin and creating more financial strains at a time when it needs to focus on fixing production bottlenecks for its Model 3 sedan, its attempt at an affordable, mass-market car, and reversing mounting financial losses. This will likely only add fuel to that fire.

Musk is also CEO of SpaceX and has frequently borrowed technologies developed by the rocket developer for Tesla, including a space-grade superalloy for Tesla’s “Ludicrous Mode,” notes Electrek. So he’d certainly have a leg up on his competitors in that regard.

Or, he could simply be joking.

Musk expressed uncommon skepticism about flying cars earlier this year in a TED Talk, saying they’d be noisy and generate high levels of wind force, according to USA Today.

“If something’s flying over your head and there’s a whole bunch of flying cars going all over the place, that is not an anxiety-reducing situation,” Musk said at the time. “You’re thinking, ‘Did they service their hubcap, or is it going to come off and guillotine me?'”

So we’ll ultimately have to wait for more details from Musk and his Twitter feed. Meanwhile, the Roadster will launch in 2020 with a Founder’s Series model priced at $250,000 and limited to just 1,000 models.

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Ferrari, not Tesla, might be the stock to buy

Last week Tesla’s earnings – or lack thereof – were one of the big stories in the auto industry. As usual, the electric carmaker didn’t make money, but the news sent the market, analysts, and Tesla’s devoted fans into a lather. But another company, this plucky upstart called Ferrari, also attracted a positive reaction from the market and actually had the financials to back it up.

Ferrari posted net revenues of $898 million (at today’s exchange rates) EBITDA of $265 million (a slightly complicated way to snapshot financial performance) and an adjusted net profit of $136 million in the first quarter. The company delivered 2,003 cars, and sales of its V12 models increased 50 percent. It quietly made progress nearly a year and a half into its life as an independent automaker. For 2017, Ferrari expects to deliver 8,400 cars and rake in net revenue of $3.6 billion.

No one thought Ferrari would flounder when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spun it off in fall 2015. With a rich history, expensive products, and its own loyal fan base that’s arguably even larger than Tesla’s, the company seemed poised for success, though skeptics wondered how it might fare after longtime chief Luca di Montezemolo stepped down before the spinoff. Plus, the company remains within the FCA sphere, as its key stakeholders are largely connected to its former parent in some way, and Chairman Sergio Marchionne also steers FCA.

Last week’s results showed Ferrari is gaining footing in the evolving automotive world, and analysts responded. UBS analyst Michael Binetti reiterated Ferrari stock (RACE on the NYSE) as buy status and raised his target price from $85 to $92. Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas was even more bullish, raising projections to $100 in the next 12 months. Shares were trading around $82 Monday morning.

Both analysts viewed Ferrari as something different than a conventional automaker stock, with Binetti comparing it to luxury house Hermes, which produces high margins even for a specialty goods maker. Jonas suggested Ferrari’s singular reputation and history (16 Formula One Constructors titles, the most ever) could insulate its products when autonomous and electric cars become even more commonplace.

“In our view, a Ferrari is not transportation,” he wrote in a note to clients. “Ownership is viewed as an exclusive club, and membership requires more than just money. In a world where pleasurable human driving experiences on an open road become increasingly scarce, the value of this club’s membership may indeed appreciate.”

Ferrari is working on electric technology and has shown a willingness to diversify its product line with hybrid and turbocharging technologies in recent years. It also offers the GTC4 Lusso, a hatchback, with greater functionality than the brand’s cars traditionally offered.

Tesla, meanwhile, posted revenues of $2.7 billion in the first quarter but booked a net loss of $330.3 million, $48 million more than in the first quarter of 2016. Its stock was trading around $311 per share Monday morning.

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