Wednesday’s news was electrifying, in a sense, with two stories regarding electrified motoring.
Tesla Model 3 Specs Leaked and Confirmed
Specifications for the new Tesla Model 3 were leaked yesterday on the Tesla Owner’s Forum, later being confirmed by a Tesla spokesperson. Consisting of an internal memo for Tesla representatives, the sheet contains talking points between the Model S and the Model 3. Previously there was only speculation regarding range and acceleration figures, which have now been confirmed as 215+ miles of range and 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds.
The memo also shows the efforts Tesla is taking to ensure the flagship Model S is differentiated enough from the economic-minded Model 3 to still warrant consideration by shoppers. Those interested in range will be tempted by the Model S’s larger battery packs–as compared to the singular offering in the Model 3–while those interested in performance will certainly be tempted by the Demon-baiting 0-60 times as low as 2.3 seconds.
Expect more news of the Model 3 as we inch closer to the July delivery date.
Geely to the Rescue: Lotus’ Only Hope?
The Malaysian-owned automotive group Proton is selling its controlling stake in the British sports-car maker Lotus (Exige 350 Sport pictured) to China’s Geely. Zheijang Geely Holding Group, the parent company of Geely, has owned Volvo since 2010, and seeks to expand its foreign automotive interests. Proton was forced to sell Lotus through a $350 million USD bailout by the Malaysian owned government. Lotus fetched a surprising $129M, considering it has yet to turn a profit this century.
It is unkown if the separate-yet-connected Lotus Engineering firm is still in existence. Geely’s strategy with Volvo seemed to give them the money to do what they were already doing, so we can hope Lotus is offered a similar treatment. Do not be surprised to see larger Lotus’–perhaps even a SUV or CUV–as Geely’s home market of China prefers larger cars.
Smart gets Smart with its Fourtwo
Smart, the iconic modern “tiny” car, announced that it would no longer be offering a gasoline-powered model for the US market, to instead focus on electric vehicles. The dropping of the $15,400 base, gasoline model leaves dealers a $24,550–before state and federal incentives–base electric model as the cheapest model to peddle. Federal incentives of $7,500 soften the blow, as do local incentives: California’s $2,500 incentive reduces the base price to below the gasoline model.
The 85 Smart dealers located throughout the country have overnight been converted to a pure-city car purveyor, as the 70-80-mile range does not leave room for much travel. The lack of a quick charge feature further reduces the possibility of an occasional lengthy jaunt. While 82 of those 85 dealers are also Mercedes dealers, the 3 remaining Smart-only dealers may be sweating right about now.
Big Sur, Next Year
The Northern California coastal community of Big Sur–and its iconic stretches of Highway 1–is blocked from tourist travel this year due to a number of landslides. Most recently, on Saturday the 20th of May, a quarter-mile of the highway was covered by over a million tons of rocks, bulging the coastline below and adding to the most expensive year of road repairs California has ever faced, totaling over $1B dollars. The scale of the required removal effort becomes apparent when you notice the minuscule Highway 1 on either side in the picture above. There is no estimation for a reopening of the route.
More Mark Fields: Don’t Feel Bad
In a brief Mark Fields update, it has been revealed that the former-Ford CEO is walking away with a $57.5M payment package, as well as retaining use of the company jet until Aug. 1st. So, despite being let-go after three years, we shouldn’t feel too bad for the guy.
Stay tuned Monday-Friday for daily news-recaps of the important stuff in the automotive sphere.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.