Prototype Stories August 4, 2016

Nissan today in Rio unveiled its BladeGlider “working prototype” which combines electric powertrain with a futuristic design and moderate 268 horsepower split between two rear 130kW electric motors. Max speed is quoted as nearly 200km/h (125 miles/hour), with 0-100km/h (0-62) taking less than five seconds.  No information was given on the battery pack size but as this is a two model exhibition car, it is likely to differ in a big way from any possible related production car.

The system features torque vectoring, controlling the torque delivered to the driven wheels, improving the handling even further. With torque vectoring, if the car starts to understeer, it automatically sends more torque to the outside wheel to restore the handling balance. Designed to add to the driving experience rather than govern it, the torque vectoring system has three settings: off, agile and drift mode. Power is supplied by a high performance, five module lithium-ion 220kW battery. Bespoke cooling systems have been developed for both the battery and the motors.

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Prototype Stories June 28, 2016

You might remember when we reported on biker Joseph Neuman crashing a Tesla Model 3 photo shoot in the Marin Headlands in San Francisco not long after the unveiling event. Now the official pictures of the shoot are finally emerging. expand full story

Prototype Stories April 27, 2016

Prototype Stories April 17, 2016

We had a good look at the Model 3 during the unveil event last month, and Tesla shared a few promo shots afterward, but it’s always interesting to see a product in a non-staged environment and where it is intended to be utilized. In the case of the Model 3, that would be on the road.

At the unveiling event, Tesla officials described the Model 3 units used for test rides as “engineering validation cars”. While Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company was still working on the vehicles and a few design details will end up more refined than what we are seeing right now, it does sound like those Model 3’s are close to what will go into production next year. expand full story

Prototype Stories April 13, 2016

Proposed CA bill hopes to put Google’s driverless prototype cars in the regulatory clear

Truly autonomous vehicles are poised to be an exciting technology, but as with any other technology, there are always regulatory hurdles to be cleared. As first spotted by public records sleuth Mark Harris, a bill working its way through the California legislature would require the state’s DMV to effectively legalize Google’s ambitions of having a driverless fleet of self-driving Koala cars…

Prototype Stories March 16, 2016

Ever since Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a comment about the Model 3 unveiling during a special event for Tesla owners at the company’s France headquarters in Chambourcy last January, there’s been persisting speculations that Tesla would only show pictures of the car during its March 31 unveiling.

When asked about when we will get to see pictures of the Model 3, Musk answered:

“The first pictures of the Model 3 will be end of March… I am being a little coy here, we are not gonna show everything about the Model 3 until a lot closer to production time.”

An audience member asked for more details, but as it is often the case when it comes to future products, Musk refused to elaborate. At the time we reported on the comment, we simply interpreted it as something similar to the Model X unveiling where some of the features weren’t revealed until the launch years later, but never as an indication that Tesla would only show pictures since the question was directly asking for pictures – probably since the person asking wasn’t expecting to be able to go and see the car in person.

But it didn’t stop speculations. Now after Tesla sent out more invites for the March 31 unveiling in Los Angeles, we are now told that Tesla will indeed have Model 3 prototypes at the event and not only pictures. expand full story

Prototype Stories December 22, 2015

Less than 2 weeks away from its big reveal at CES, Faraday Future released today a teaser video hinting at a new car ownership experience for its upcoming long-range electric vehicle. expand full story

Prototype Stories October 22, 2015

Google’s driverless car could be ready in less than 3 years says a consultant on the project

Google’s driverless car project has been long in the making. The company lead development in the field since 2009 and as of September 30, they have accumulated 1,210,676 miles on autonomous mode through 2 fleets: one in Mountain View, CA and  one Austin, TX. Google’s latest official comments on the timeframe of the project suggested a commercialization of the technology around 2020, but a consultant on Google’s driverless team revealed that the vehicle could be ready in less than 3 years…

Prototype Stories September 7, 2015

Last week Tesla opened the online design studio of its upcoming all-electric SUV, the Model X, to a select few reservation holders. Bringing online the design studio gave us a chance to see the final design of the Mode X, especially a great look at the interior, but Tesla didn’t include a 360 degree view of the vehicle and the company is intentionally not showing the front-end (see picture above).

We have seen so many spy-shots of Model X prototypes in the past few months that there’s little left to the imagination at this point, but Tesla might still have a few surprises for us… expand full story

Prototype Stories May 8, 2015

During the conference call discussing Tesla’s Q1 2015 financial results, JB Straubel, Tesla’s CTO, revealed that they were operating a fleet of “hundreds” of Model X prototypes.  Generally, these prototypes, when testing on open roads, are covered by wrapping to camouflage the body in order to keep the final design somewhat secret. Today, a picture of a Model X with almost no wrapping emerged.

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