Tesla Model 3 might already be running late (AutoComplete, Ep. 17)
Welcome to Auto Complete Road Show's weekly look back at all the biggest news in the automotive world.
My name is Tim Stevens.
I'm editor-in-chief of Road Show.
And I'm joined this week by Antuan Goodwin.
Antuan, how the heck are you?
Been in South all week so I sound a little Southern, like All right, well I'll turn up my Vermonter accent.
And we'll have some nice things to complement each other.
Now we got a lot of news to go through this week.
It's been a really busy week.
And we got a lot of stories just out of Tesla alone.
So I think we might as well start there and get that out of the way.
Cuz I had the earnings call just yesterday, the day before we're recording this.
And the biggest news out of that was that Tesla, or Musk in particular, said that the initial production date for the Model 3, which had been July of next year, is impossible.
He just doesn't think that they can possibly meet that, but he did have some pretty audacious demands.
He says that they're hoping to build 500,000 cars per year starting in 2018.
Now, by way of comparison They built 50,000 cars last year, so that's a ten fold increase in just over three years.
Antoine, they've got a really huge factory, they formed a NUMMI factory that which can probably turn out that many cars, but that seems a little bit optimistic to me, that they can ramp up that quickly.
Well part of the reason he says that meeting the deadline is
It's quote impossible is because they're simplifying the model three.
So its construction is going to be a little bit simpler.
It should fly off the line a little bit faster than the model S and model X.
But part of that.
That is likely that they have to do a lot of retooling.
You know, because the model s and model x are very similar.
Building those two cars.
There's a lot of shared.
But if they're gonna be making it a lot simpler, there's probably a good chance that a lot of that time leading up to it just gonna be getting tooled up and figuring out how to build the thing And of course they're going to get the Gigafactory up and running as well.
That's already underway.
They did give us some pictures of that not too long ago.
Which when completed, will be, I believe it's going to be the biggest single building in the world in terms of square footage.
Which is pretty impressive.
But that'll be producing batteries than any other country in the world when it's up to speed.
So there's a lot of moving pieces that need to come together before Tesla can produce as many cars.
But they've obviously got a lot of cars to build.
They're somewhere in the order of There are 400,000 pre-orders for the model three, both my wife and my in-laws also pre-ordered a model three so there's potentially going to be two model threes in my family.
Anton, anyone that you know pre-order one?
Nobody that I know, no-one's talked to me about it but I'm pretty sure that a couple of people, a couple of friends, have some pre-orders secreted away.
Keeping it on the DL?
Well, it's definitely going to be exciting to watch as we go forward.
In fact, if all goes well, we'll be actually taking a look inside the Tesla factory in the near future so stay tuned for that.
We'll give you more details when we have some things lined up there.
Let's move on to the next Tesla story, which is also on the Model 3.
Elon Musk confirmed that it will have a Ludicrous Mode.
He was asked on Twitter this week and his response was of course the Model 3 will have Ludicrous Mode.
On the Model S and the Model X Ludacris modem basically make some changes to the electronic circuitry in the car, allows it to suck more power out of the batteries more quickly and it will take the cars to 60 in about a half of second quicker in both cars, but it's a $10,000 option on those cars and Antoine, I think that might be a little bit too much for the model three.
Do you think they'll discount that a little bit on the cheaper car?
I'm not 100% sure.
I mean, it depends on how much those components cost, really.
And it really just sort of depends on, I don't know, I think a part of it is that things like ludicrous mode can't really be great for the battery and so maybe if you put it behind a pay wall that's high enough people, maybe everyone won't get it.
So then five, ten years down the line you won't have a whole bunch of Model Three drivers complaining about the battery life on their car is less.
So you give that option to people who probably have enough money to buy it and then will probably be moved on to another car in five years.
Where as those people plan on keeping there models for the long haul maybe didnt treat their battery with a little more respect.
It's a really good point and also Tesla's basically dealing with a lot of maintenance and warranty related issues so they'll certainly want to try to keep those to a minimum if they can, definitely putting a high price on something like this that might be a little more damaging to components might be a pretty good way hopefully to keep the warranty claims down.
One of the many questions about the Model 3 as we go forward but again, that's a $10,000 option on the S and the X Hopefully it'll be a little cheaper on the model 3. We'll see, we also got new details this week on the model S. It got a little bit of an upgrade.
But it's now available with a 75 kilowatt hour battery pack over the base 70 that was on their before.
This will give you up to about 250 miles of estimated range.
That's up from about 230 on the 70 kilowatt hour.
But the really interesting thing is that all model S's that have a 70 are actually Offering with or shipping I should say with 75 kilowatt hour packs and it's a software unlock to go from 70 to 75.
Antoine is that a little bit disingenuous or is it just you know a kind of keen cost areas?
Yeah that definitely seems a little more disingenuous.
I mean Again, batter packs, they never really fully discharge or fully charge up.
Just so that you can maintain a part of the life.
So you're never really getting the full 100% of the battery's charge capacity.
But, to not give, it seems a little bit disingenuous to not really let people know that they've had more battery than, it just seems a little weird.
And also to put that behind a $3,000 pay wall.
It's a lot weird.
It's definitely strange.
I can see both sides of the equation, because Tesla's already doing this with autopilot, pretty every model S and X they sell these days has the ability to run autopilot has all these sensors that it needs to be able to do that But that's a $3000 unlock and you basically they're flipping a switch in software to turn that on.
So that's not the end of the world.
I can kind of see that and I can see how it would be some cost savings in production simplicity for Tesla to basically put 75 kilowatt hours at a minimum in every car but.
It is interesting to me though.
And I'm waiting to see what the backlash is like.
That people are driving around at 75 kilowatt hours in their car.
But they're not able to tap into it.
Looks like the double-edged sword.
Of the sort of everything about a Tesla software upgradeable it seems like.
Where you start getting into a world where your car has microtransactions.
[LAUGH] That does seem a little weird, especially you can imagine a situation where you are sitting on the side of the road and you're out of charge but [UNKNOWN] and says hey you've actually got another five kilowatt hours sitting in there.
Pay me $3,000 and you'll get to the concert on time.
Mostly hopefully don't Get to quite that degree.
Final Tesla story this week, Tesla posted a demonstration of their touted bioweapon defense mode.
If you're unfamiliar with this it's basically a set of filters that are available in the Model X and the Model X. They demonstrated that by putting it inside of a bubble, putting a car inside of a bubble, and filling it with 2.5 micrometer particles of Something, they didn't say what, and within a few minutes of, less than two minutes as a matter of fact, the car had filtered all of them out of the interior of the cabin and it was clean after that.
In fact, after that it began to clean out the rest of the bubble itself.
I don't know how good of a test this is, Antoine.
It's a little hard to visualize a 2.5 micrometer particle.
We don't really know what sort of particle it is.
I think the interesting thing here is calling it bioweapon mode is definitely their marketing.
But the thing that's interesting sort of pointing out is that in areas where there is a lot of pollution in the air.
This is sort of a if we can clean this amount of air.
That you're not gonna have any problem driving around in markets like China where the air is sort of known for being more polluted.
Or in situations like that.
So it's sort of, look we can do all of, it's like how in pickup truck commercials they show like toeing the space shuttle.
So yeah definitely it can tow your boat, this is the same thing for sort of pollution and markets where pollution [LAUGH] is an issue.
Yeah particularly if where talking about something like diesel particulates, which are actually a little smaller than this, but presumably it would work there as well.
Total transgression we were actually thinking of trying to do this test as well, but we couldn't find a way to test this individual way or indeed an intern willing to get in a bubble Full of biohazard material so Tesla got ahead of us here.
But anyway, if you are interested in bio-weapons or if you're interested in getting the best quality air in your car this should be a good defense for you.
This is another Rather pricey option offers on the S and the X. Presumably it will be there on the three as well.
All right Antoine what do you think is that enough Tesla news for the week?
Enough Tesla news for the week.
All right let's move onto some more interesting news this is one of the bigger stories of the week.
Google and Chrysler have bought companies partnering this week.
Google announced that Fiat Chrysler and they have come to an agreement that Google will be purchasing one hundred, Of the upcoming Pacifica Hybrid minivans and some of them will be going to California and some will be tested in Detroit.
Now Google's gonna be outfitting these with their autonomous gear that they're running right now on Lexus SUVs putting it on the Pacifica minivan and testing them in California and again also in the Detroit area.
Basically, learning more and in a more real world car and in a more modern car.
It's also a very good marketing opportunity for Chrysler, I think.
Antoine, what do you think Chrysler has to learn and what do you think Google has to gain from this partnership?
Well, I think Chrysler has a lot to sort of learn in that it basically means that it frees them up to let someone who's an expert in the field be an expert in the field.
It's like, you know, you go into a parts supplier for anything, it's, establishing that relationship with Google means that advances that Google makes in autonomous driving, Chrysler benefits from them.
On Google's side, I think what's interesting in choosing a minivan is that it sort of speaks to the idea that self-driving technology is getting to a point where It's something that you can think about eventually, trusting putting your kids in.
A tiny little google bubble car, a luxury SUV, a sports sedan, those are things for like, rich techies and stuff, but a minivan is a family vehicle, so people are really careful about what they put their families in.
So you see a self driving minivan putting a million miles on the road a couple of years from now you think well yeah I'll definitely I'll think about putting my kids in here.
And that's a big step as far as a psychological leap for people accepting the technology.
It definitely is encouraging.
I think we were all pretty big fans of the Pacifica.
I think we were all ready to be underwhelmed, but we've all been surprised by how good it looks and presumably how good it's going to be when it does hit the road.
That they're using the Hybrid version is great so they'll be able to do some plug in action on that as well.
And since it's got, you know all the electronic power steering and all the assistants, they shouldn't really have to do a whole lot to fiddle with the car to make it self driving other than of course strapping a lot of sensors on the roof and doing lots of other software tweaks, but I'm curious to see where this goes, and I think it also speaks to the difference in approach as we look at what Google's trying to do on the Automotive front, and what Apple may or may not be trying to do on the automotive front.
Google being very up front and working in partnerships with existing players and basically trying avoid all the headaches with trying to learn how to build a car.
Or if the rumors are correct, Apple trying to do everything their own way and kind of make their own mistakes.
We'll see how things shake out.
It's definitely an interesting story and again, I think a bit of good P-R for both companies in this case.
Some other news from the Fiat Chrysler world.
We got pricing this week on the 124 Spyder.
This is basically a car that's built on top of the MX5 Miata platform, but giving some more Italian style and flair to the thing.
The base Fiat will be priced at $24,995.
That's about a thousand dollars more than the base Miata.
But if you go with the Abarth Edition, which has 160 horsepower, you're gonna be spending $28,195 which is $500 cheaper than the MX5 Club Model, and it has 5 more horsepower.
Which would you go for, Antoine?
This is gonna seem a little blasphemous.
But I like the looks of the Fiat anyway more than the MX-5.
[UNKNOWN] free horsepower for less money.
I'd lean towards that.
I really like the Miata.
But the things that I like the most about the Miata are the driving dynamics.
If this engine is as good as I think it's gonna be And the driving dynamics are the same.
It's a win-win for everybody involved.
[CROSSTALK] The look of [UNKNOWN].
I totally agree.
I'm still a little bit unsold on the looks of the Fiat, but I think I do like it.
I'm definitely curious about the driving dynamic.
I'm wondering what they've done to tweak the suspension if anything.
Or with the base Miata.
There's some thought that maybe it's gonna be a little bit softer, a little bit different to drive.
I guess we'll have to wait and see.
But yeah, I'm probably with you, Antoine, I think I'll probably go with a PM myself, if only to be a little more different.
Do you think they'll do the whole power hard top retracting thing or is it already niche enough with the [INAUDIBLE].
I don't know, the one that I saw in Geneva had a fixed hard top on it, the rally edition.
So that is kind of what I would go for.
If I'm gonna go hard top, I'm just gonna bolt it on and call it a day.
Also the big lights in the front, too, which I would also go for, if those were offered as an option.
I don't think those will be offered though, but it would be pretty cool if they did.
All right, we're going to take a quick break here but before we do, I want to give you a quick rundown of some of the news and some of the great features we have on Road Show this week, at theroadshow.com, of course.
First up is my drive of the Aston Martin DB11 Aston Martin was brave enough to take a prototype version of that car.
And not only take us out to get a ride in it.
But also to give me the keys and let me drive the thing.
On a Bridgestone test track in Italy.
So very early first drive of the Aston Martin DB11.
Not going into production until toward the end of this year.
But you can check that out on the roadshow.com.
We also have a review of the latest Toyota Camry.
I know, perhaps, not as exciting as an Aston Martin DB11.
But it is one of the best selling cars in the world for a very good reason.
And Andrew Crock, check that out.
We've also got an amazing comparison of every generation of the Volkswagen GTI, by the folks at Carfection.
It's an amazing video, they've got them all together at one time, which was a quite a logistical feat, and it's worth checking out.
Antoine not to put you on the spot, but which generation GTI would you go for?
I'm between first and second gen.
I'm not sure which I'd go for, but one of those two, yeah.
For sure, earlier the better I think by and large.
All right, we're gonna take a quick break.
And we'll be back with more Auto Complete on Roadshow.
Welcome back to Auto Complete, your weekly rundown of all the biggest automotive news on Road Show.
I'm Tim Stevens, the editor in chief of Road Show, joined this week by Antuan Goodwin.
Antuan, are you ready to talk about some recalls?
This is my favorite part of the show actually.
It's so exciting.
I know, I'm so excited myself.
I even hate to mention the work Takata, but ultimately we do get some more updates on the Takata side of things, between thirty five and forty million new air bags are going to be recalled, there was speculation a couple of weeks ago that this would come to pass, and it has indeed come to pass, three new manufacturers have been pulled into the loop this time, they are Tesla The company formerly known as Fisker and Jaguar Land Rover also now being included in this new expanded recall.
As ever, it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
And at this point, it's kind of hard to imagine which cars are not going to be included.
And to [UNKNOWN] think this could get even bigger or have we reached Speak to Cotta.
I have a bad feeling it's going to continue to grow.
That's what happens when you're one of the largest tier one providers and then something goes wrong in your production, it just effects everybody and the sort of, I think we'll be feeling the ripples of this for a long time.
Especially to Cotta themselves.
Yeah for sure and at this point the onus is on them to prove that a given product is not defective and that is a very difficult thing to prove.
You know if you have a fault that's one thing but if you're trying to prove that your entire product line isn't defective that's a very difficult thing.
And if we indeed wind up recalling every Tecant airbag yeah this is going to be an incredibly huge show.
We'll keep tracking it of course and give you the latest on that front and we've also got a couple of more recalls to go through.
GM is recalling 4,800 trucks and SUVs for a suspension defect.
They are the Escalade, Tahoe, Suburban, Sierra, and Yukon, of course all very closely related products.
If you have one of those you should definitely check it out or look for a recall.
And Nissan is recalling 3.5 million US cars manufactured between 2013 In 27 four.
An airbag defect covers a lot of their models, almost all their models actually in those times so check out the road show dot com for the full list and see if your car is affected.
Hopefully not, but if so maybe get a new steering wheel out of the deal.
That's all the recalls.
And did I miss any Antoine?
Or did we cover them all this week?
I believe that's all of them that we've seen.
I think that's it.
Alright, let's move on to something more fun to talk about, which is the new Corvette Grand Sport.
This is, if you're not familiar, basically a car that's going to slot in between the Stingray and the super charged Z-O six.
We've got pricing his week and, appropriately, it fits right in between the Stingray and the Z-O six.
It starts at $66,450.
That's $14,000 less than the Z-O six.
$11,000 or more on the Sting Ray.
You basically get all the suspension tweaks and all the look of a ZO6 but without that pesky supercharger.
Alright, Antoine, I go to ask, which would you go for?
The ZO6 or the Grand Force?
Sorry, am I using my money or someone elses money?
Let's say your using someone else's money.
When you're using your own money, I say the ZO6
[LAUGH] With your money?
With my money, the basic Corvette Stingray has a healthy amount of horsepower.
And I'm a handling and precision kinda guy, so the Grand Sport definitely has its appeals to me.
Keeping $14,000 in my pocket for tires and track dates definitely appeals to me.
Yeah, you'll need a lot of those tires, I think, for sure.
I'm with you, I'd definitely go with the Grand
For it as well.
If only because yeah handling's more important.
And I do think that there have been some issue with those superchargers.
I think by and large Chevy's got them bolted down at this point.
But even so I don't think that you really need that extra horsepower unless you live right next to Road America maybe.
Maybe you can stretch the car's legs on the long straights.
But yeah, I'd go grant support myself, say 14 grand, that will get you a couple track days out of it.
We got a JD Power study this week that said that older drivers don't want autonomous cars, baby boomers, just 23 percent of them would like to have autonomous functionality in their cars And those older than baby boomers.
The pre-baby boomer generation easy for me to say, only 18% of them would like autonomy.
That's [INAUDIBLE] compares to about 50% of Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers who do want autonomy and it's a little bit surprising to me because in a lot of ways this generation has the most to gain from autonomous functionality.
As you get older a lot of people had to lost their licenses, they can't get around on their own anymore [CROSSTALK] Right now what Toyota's whole autonomous push is our drivers are getting older.
We want to make sure we can continue to serve them well beyond the days that they can continue to drive.
It seems interesting that we may come to a day where they feel like it's being forced on them just because it's a lot of technology to learn.
i think with younger people you come into a situation where you take a lot of the technology underneath the technology that you use for granted.
So there's only so much that you have to hold onto in your brain.
A smartphone comes out with a better camera.
You're not thinking about how does a smartphone work.
You're just thinking, the camera's better.
So this is what I need to hold onto.
With older and older generations they have to keep more of that information in their head as far as Well I've just figured this part out.
Now I've gotta figure this part out.
Yeah and that definitely makes a lot of sense and of course, there is ultimately trusting in technology which is something that a younger consumer would be more likely to do or somebody who is maybe a little bit older might be a little bit less trusting.
But ultimately I think there's definitely points to the marketing part of the equation which is something that people are definitely going to have to do Particular companies like Google, as they launched their wearable device Google glass there was no marketing at all around that so ultimately the story get out of hand and that pretty much [UNKNOWN] before even have chance to release, so I hope that we see some attempts at positive marketing for.
Autonomy here before those products start to hit market otherwise we could find ourselves with a story that gets out of hand.
Especially if we have the unfortunate incident where a car crashes and causes an intrigue or worse.
But I think we're gonna have to wait and see but definitely it was interesting to see the decline in acceptance on Tom's cars.
I for one am pretty excited but Antoine, Do you trust them?
Will you trust them?
I trust them so far.
Yeah, I trust that the technology will get to where it needs to be.
That's where I am.
I definitely think we'll get there.
We're not there yet, obviously and in fact spending quite a bit of time inside of a model X lately I can say that it's amazing how far along we're absolutely are but there are a lot of short comings there for sure.
So we got some ways to go but yeah, I'm bullish on the timing myself.
And final story this week McLaren taking something out of the vault, something amazing, something that made me want to sell all my possessions and get a second mortgage on my house.
But selling McLaren F1, car number 69, with just 2,800 miles on the clock, there was no pricing offered but the car was expected to go somewhere in excess of $10 million, this is basically a minty fresh version of one of the greatest super cars of all time Even includes the titanium tool kit that came along with it, plus everything else in one of the most amazing cars of all time.
Unfortunately, I can't possibly scrap to go to $2 million.
I don't know about you Antoine but I'm unfortunately not that lucky.
I know a guy.
You know a guy?
You should call that guy and you should ask for some favors.
Yeah, man, this One of my favorite cars of all time.
I don't know about yours, but it's cool to see that they're still around and available in almost new condition.
Yeah, it's one of the most unique super cars of all time.
So it will be interesting to see where this ends up.
Yeah, we'll be watching the pricing for sure.
It will be out of the reach, even if we all pooled our money together, I think unfortunately it wouldn't quite fit.
But a great car and hopefully someday McClaren will make a new hyper car With central seating like that and maybe then we can afford something.
Alright that's it from me this week.
Antwon, anything else you want to add before we call this auto complete to close?
I do not.
It's been pretty comprehensive.
It's been great to have you Antoine.
Thanks for your perspective, and thank you everybody for joining us.
We'll be back next week with another rundown of the weekend news on AutoComplete.
[UNKNOWN] Stephens signing off, and we'll see you next week.
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