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Tesla Model S grille

Tesla calls reliability survey ‘statistically meaningless’

Tesla

Tesla has responded to news its Model S has come bottom of a major 2018 car reliability survey – by calling the results ‘statistically meaningless’. What Car?, which carried out the survey, has since countered Tesla’s claim (see below), arguing its survey was “more than representative of Tesla’s real-world presence”.

The What Car? reader reliability survey allows owners to contribute their experiences with their cars for a wider collation of consumer experience. This year, more than 18,000 motorists responded.

The long-serving Model S was by far the worst performer, with a reliability rating of just 50.9 percent. The next ‘worst’ car above the bottom-rung Tesla was the Range Rover, at 67.3 percent. That’s 16.4 percentage points above the Model S.

Tesla Model S

‘This survey is statistically meaningless’

Only 28 Model S owners responded out of a total of 18,000 car owners surveyed by What Car?” said a Tesla spokesperson. “That’s less than 0.3 percent of UK Tesla owners, so this survey is statistically meaningless.

The results of this survey are also at odds not only with our internal figures showing customer satisfaction scores for Model S and X at well over 90 percent, but with statistically valid surveys like our Net Promotor Score and Consumer Reports customer satisfaction survey, which we’ve topped every year since 2013.

90% of Tesla owners saying they would buy the same car again – more than any other brand.

Tesla Model S grille

We are committed to making the world’s best cars, and in order to ensure the highest quality, we review every vehicle for even the smallest refinement before it leaves the factory.

To the extent repairs are needed, the majority of work carried out on cars up to 4 years old is done under warranty and free of charge to the customer while they are supplied with a courtesy car.

Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla repairs can also be carried out in a customer’s driveway or office by mobile service, or even via over-the-air updates, to minimise any disruption.”

Tesla

The Motoring Research view

That such a small portion of the UK Tesla customer base took part in the survey is interesting. Technically, it’s not very telling of the experiences of all UK Tesla owners.

That said, what could have prompted such a poor score from this small cross section? Do they have a grudge to bear? Would the result have been echoed by other owners?

What we can note is that this isn’t Tesla’s first disappointing performance in the survey. The marque came 30th out of 32 in the reliability by marque survey last year, at 52.4 percent.

What constitutes “unreliable” is an interesting question too. Where a conventional-fuel car developing a misfire would be considered a problem, so too could a screen freeze and forced reboot on a Model S. Concerning results and burning questions – that’s what we take from all of this.

Update: What Car? responds

What Car? has responded to Tesla’s statement. “Tesla owners represented 0.19 percent of what was a very robust total sample of 18,000 UK car owners in the What Car? survey,” said the motoring magazine.

“Compared with Tesla’s actual UK market share of 0.11 percent (according to official figures obtained from the DVLA), this means that the What Car? Study was more than representative of Tesla’s real-world presence in the British car parc.

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Tesla Model S

Tesla has launched the fastest car in the world

Tesla Model STesla has launched a new version of the Model S saloon that it claims is the fastest volume production car in the world.

Thanks to a bigger 100 kWh battery, the new Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode can accelerate from 0-60mph in a scant 2.5 seconds – placing it just behind the LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder.

But as those two hypercars were both limited-production models and are also not actually in production anymore, the firm is grabbing the claim that its new Model S is the fastest-accelerating volume production car in the world… ever.

It’s not just about speed either. The larger battery pack extends the range to a hefty 380 miles on the official European NEDC drive cycle, supported by a 315-mile claimed range when tested to the stricter U.S. EPA cycle.

This makes it the world’s first EV to go beyond 300 miles and, thus, the longest-range production electric car yet launched. “By far,” adds Tesla.

The new battery pack, which costs $10,000 (£7,500) extra new or $20,000 (£15,000) for existing P90D Ludicrous owners to upgrade, is also available in the Model X SUV: that now does 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has described the new battery pack as a “milestone”: the cell chemistry is the same and it takes up the same space as the existing battery, but is now able to store much more energy.

“The Tesla Model S P100D is now faster in a straight line than it would be if you dropped it out of a plane,” Musk retweeted.

Tesla Model S

Tesla introduces gimmick-free car finance for Model S

Tesla Model STesla has announced its PCP-style HP finance packages for private buyers of the Tesla Model S in the UK – and its guaranteed resale values are amongst the best in the class.

The company promises 50% of the purchase price of a base 60kWh Model S after three years, plus 43% of all options (including the upgrade to the 85kWh battery pack).

That means, if you buy a new Tesla Model S through the scheme, you know you’ll be able to sell it for around half its value after 36 months.

A typical finance plan for the Tesla Model S through the company’s partner Alphera Financial Services, will involve a 15% down payment and an APR rate of 5.9%.

After three years, the customer can sell the car back to Tesla at an agreed price and pay off the HP contact, or keep hold of it and continue paying the finance.

Of course, payments are likely to be out of reach for the majority of us, with buyers expected to pay £820 a month in finance.

But Tesla points out that the typical Model S driver will save around £156 a month on fuel, as well as additional savings on road tax and London’s congestion charge.

So, in reality you’ll be paying around £650 a month for a car with few additional running costs. Worth it to be driving one of the coolest electric cars on sale?

Tesla biohazard bubble

Tesla’s bioweapon promises to heal the world

Tesla biohazard bubble

“We then closed the falcon doors and activated Bioweapon Defence Mode.” No, not an extract from a new Star Wars movie, but a statement from a press release focused on air pollution. OK, Tesla, you’ve got our attention. What’s the big deal?

The American electric car giant dreams of a cleaner future, which is why it has developed a new High-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filtration system, inspired by the air filtration systems you’ll find in hospitals, clean rooms and the space industry.

In short: Tesla’s HEPA is capable of stripping the outside air of pollen, bacteria and pollution before they enter the cabin, then scrubbing the air inside to eliminate any trace of these particles. Tesla claims the system is “hundreds of times” more efficient than the filters you’ll find in more everyday vehicles.

Wannabe superheroes: your new wheels are ready

In Tesla’s mind, the cabin of a Model S or Model X will be amongst the cleanest places on Earth, maintaining the best possible cabin air quality “no matter what is happening in the environment around them.” Wannabe superheroes engaged in a fight against biohazard threats – your new wheels are ready.

To test the system, Tesla put its cars through a number of real-world trials, including California freeways, smelly marshes, landfills, cow pastures and major Chinese cities. The aim was to ensure the system captured particulate matter, gaseous pollutants, bacteria, viruses, pollen and mould spores.

We’re not sure if Tesla has parked a Model X inside a teenager’s bedroom, but until it has, the system has not been subjected to the most toxic environment on planet Earth.

That said, Tesla did park a Model X inside a large bubble (which sounds like a teenager’s mind), at which point it closed the falcon doors and activated the Bioweapon Defence Mode. Cutting to the chase, in less than two minutes, Tesla claims the HEPA filtration system had scrubbed the air inside the car, bringing pollution levels from extremely dangerous to undetectable levels.

The people involved in the test were even able to remove their gas masks and breathe in the previously heavily-polluted air.

Heal the world… make it a better place

To quote Tesla: “You can literally survive a military-grade bio attack by sitting in your car.”

Literally. Try doing that in a Toyota Avensis.

But far from being selfish, Tesla goes on to claim that Model X and Model S drivers will be able to vacuum clean the air outside the vehicle, improving the environment for all.

To quote Michael Jackson: “Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me, and the entire human race.”

Altogether now…

Tesla biohazard bubble

Tesla's bioweapon promises to heal the world

Tesla biohazard bubble

“We then closed the falcon doors and activated Bioweapon Defence Mode.” No, not an extract from a new Star Wars movie, but a statement from a press release focused on air pollution. OK, Tesla, you’ve got our attention. What’s the big deal?

The American electric car giant dreams of a cleaner future, which is why it has developed a new High-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filtration system, inspired by the air filtration systems you’ll find in hospitals, clean rooms and the space industry.

In short: Tesla’s HEPA is capable of stripping the outside air of pollen, bacteria and pollution before they enter the cabin, then scrubbing the air inside to eliminate any trace of these particles. Tesla claims the system is “hundreds of times” more efficient than the filters you’ll find in more everyday vehicles.

Wannabe superheroes: your new wheels are ready

In Tesla’s mind, the cabin of a Model S or Model X will be amongst the cleanest places on Earth, maintaining the best possible cabin air quality “no matter what is happening in the environment around them.” Wannabe superheroes engaged in a fight against biohazard threats – your new wheels are ready.

To test the system, Tesla put its cars through a number of real-world trials, including California freeways, smelly marshes, landfills, cow pastures and major Chinese cities. The aim was to ensure the system captured particulate matter, gaseous pollutants, bacteria, viruses, pollen and mould spores.

We’re not sure if Tesla has parked a Model X inside a teenager’s bedroom, but until it has, the system has not been subjected to the most toxic environment on planet Earth.

That said, Tesla did park a Model X inside a large bubble (which sounds like a teenager’s mind), at which point it closed the falcon doors and activated the Bioweapon Defence Mode. Cutting to the chase, in less than two minutes, Tesla claims the HEPA filtration system had scrubbed the air inside the car, bringing pollution levels from extremely dangerous to undetectable levels.

The people involved in the test were even able to remove their gas masks and breathe in the previously heavily-polluted air.

Heal the world… make it a better place

To quote Tesla: “You can literally survive a military-grade bio attack by sitting in your car.”

Literally. Try doing that in a Toyota Avensis.

But far from being selfish, Tesla goes on to claim that Model X and Model S drivers will be able to vacuum clean the air outside the vehicle, improving the environment for all.

To quote Michael Jackson: “Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me, and the entire human race.”

Altogether now…

Facelifted Tesla Model S: less grille and more wood

Facelifted Tesla Model S: less grille and more wood

Facelifted Tesla Model S: less grille and more wood

In a move that is most un-Tesla, the American car brand has released these pictures of its mid-life facelift for the Model S – and revealed that new interior trims will be available, featuring wood.

Yes, the interior will come with two new interior finishes – called Figured Ash Wood and Dark Ash Wood. Outside, the new Model S gets a grille-less front-end (just how will it look with a number plate?), as per the Model X and Model 3.

Facelifted Tesla Model S: less grille and more wood

These pictures were leaked yesterday – Tesla responded by sneaking them onto its own press website and claimed that was its intention all along. As such, information is on the scarce side, but we do know the Model S will be getting yet more clever tech. Because Tesla.

This includes the ‘bioweapons defence mode’ which, unfortunately, isn’t quite as exciting as it sounds. It’s essentially a fancy air filtration system which, Tesla says, is 100 times more effective than a regular cabin filter at removing particulate exhaust pollution as well as allergens, bacteria and contaminants.

Facelifted Tesla Model S: less grille and more wood

What could be exciting to existing owners is the faster charge time. Although the electric motor remains unchanged, the standard charger has been upgraded from 40A to 48A, meaning charging from Tesla’s Supercharger network will be even quicker.

Prices will start at £53,800 (post Government grant) for the entry-level 70D model, and American websites are speculating on a range-topping P100D model on its way. That’s yet to be confirmed – but the rest of the facelifted range is on sale now.

Spotify logo

Tesla adds free Spotify Premium to ALL cars in Britain

Spotify logoTesla has given UK Model S owners an early Christmas gift – by adding Spotify Premium to every car in Britain completely FREE of charge.

The automatic upgrade is underway now and will happen ‘over the air’ as part of Tesla’s routine software updates: owners thus won’t have to do anything to get the upgrade.


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Tesla owners won’t need to already have a Spotify account – the full library will be accessible without signing in, via Tesla’s trademark massive touchscreen.

Those who do have Spotify accounts already will be able to port across their playlists, favourites and other Spotify data into the car.

Tesla won’t even charge any data fees for streaming near-limitless music into the Model S.

Tesla’s made the move because its previous digital music streaming service, Rdio, has gone bust. Spotify is a much more well-known and popular alternative and its inclusion in all Teslas in Europe, Hong Kong and Australia is worth £9.99 a month in the UK.

Spotify is among the leading digital archive services, featuring millions of songs from thousands of artists. It claims to have more than 75 million active users, including 20 million paid users.

We ‘drive’ Tesla’s driverless car on UK roads

We ‘drive’ Tesla’s driverless car on UK roads

We ‘drive’ Tesla’s driverless car on UK roads

Like it or not, driverless cars are coming. Manufacturers are competing with various trials of autonomous vehicles around the world, with lots of debate about who will actually bring the first one to market.

But then, in one fell swoop, Tesla’s launched a software update that essentially allows the Model S to drive itself. And there are people out there, in the UK, who have downloaded the latest 7.0 software and now own a driverless car and can use it on the roads. Sort of.

  • Tesla Model S P85D review: 2015 first drive
  • Elon Musk reveals Tesla Model X SUV

You might have detected a bit of hesitation. Tesla is keen to point out that this isn’t an entirely autonomous car. Autopilot is still very much going through the Beta stage – meaning drivers are being used as guinea pigs to try out the system, and will be feeding information back to the manufacturer.

It’s not yet advanced enough to work around town. The system can’t detect oncoming cars and relies on white lines on both sides of your lane to keep you heading in the right direction.

So what can Tesla’s Autopilot do?

So what can Tesla’s Autopilot do?

For the moment, it’s best suited to motorway use. Join the motorway, set the adaptive cruise control and let the Tesla use its sensors at the front of the car to keep you moving with the flow of the traffic. It’s clever stuff but nothing groundbreaking – adaptive cruise control is getting increasingly commonplace on premium cars.

Other sensors, meanwhile, detect the white lines on the motorway and control the steering to keep you in your lane. This is more impressive – but still, not overly new. Volkswagen’s Lane Assist, for example, detects when you’re about to unintentionally leave you lane and nudges the steering.

But these kind of systems usually get pretty shirty pretty quickly if you take your hands off the steering wheel. VW’s system, for example, will alert the driver within 10 seconds if it detects you’ve taken your hands off the wheel.

The Tesla, however, is happy for you to take advantage of its Autosteer for longer periods. In fact, you can cruise for up to 10 minutes on the motorway before having to put your hands briefly on the steering wheel.

But can it change lanes?

But can it change lanes?

Things get more impressive when you want to change lanes. As it is, the Tesla will stay in the lane it’s in, speeding up and slowing down with the traffic, until you tell it to do otherwise.

You do this simply by indicating towards the lane you wish to be in. Its sensors look around and make sure it’s happy to move there – if it detects a vehicle approaching or thinks it’s dangerous to move across, it’ll stay where it is.

When it’s happy, the Model S will change lanes. But there’s an issue. Legislation in Europe means you have to have your hands on the steering wheel while it does so. You’re not actually doing anything – you can hold the wheel very lightly, but allowing it to change lanes on its own is getting a little too close to entirely-autonomous cars than lawmakers would like. In the USA, it can do it without your hands touching the wheel.

Any other clever tricks?

Also as part of the Autopilot system, the Tesla Model S can now parallel park itself. Again, this isn’t particularly new – many manufacturers offer similar systems. But most manufacturers require you to control the pedals. In the Tesla, once it detects a suitable parking space, you simply have to stop the car and press a button for it to slot itself in the gap. You don’t have to do anything.

It works pretty well, too. Systems like this are often a little ropey – abandoning the car too far from the kerb or struggling to park as well as a human could (and often that’s not particularly well at all). But, when we tried it, the Tesla slotted itself into a fairly tight space in no time at all, sticking into the road no more than the cars alongside it.

What next for the autonomous Tesla?

What next for the autonomous Tesla?

Anyone with a Model S, apart from the very earliest in the UK, has the hardware and can simply download the software update to enjoy the benefits of Autopilot. But it’s not cheap. If you’ve already got a Model S without the feature, it’ll cost £2,500 to add it. Buyers of new cars can have it straight away for £2,100.

That sounds a lot of money for a feature which is restricted by regulations and offers little more than Lane Assist. But it is currently in Beta mode, and we’re excited by what it means for the future. Unlike most cars, if you buy a Tesla, it isn’t instantly out of date as soon as a newer version is introduced.

No, you’ll be able to take advantages of updates coming in the future. And if Tesla can manage to get the car so close to being autonomous already, it doesn’t take a genius to work out what’s coming a few years down the lane. It’ll get more competent at tackling motorways. Legislators will be under pressure to be more flexible in their approach to autonomous cars. When you’ve had a passenger ride in a Tesla driving itself down the motorway, it’s easy to imagine that cars will be making their own way through city centres within a few years.

Tesla Model S P85D 2015 review

Tesla Model S gains 'Ludicrous mode' for 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds

Tesla Model S P85D 2015 reviewTesla is to launch an upgraded version of its Model S electric car – capable of 0-60mph in just 2.8 seconds.

This will make it the fastest-accelerating car in the world, claimed the U.S. EV firm (later revised to ‘world’s fastest Model S’)… and the function that delivers this intense acceleration is, brilliantly, called ‘Ludicrous mode’.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the news in a conference call, as part of a series of updates for the Model S executive car, including a price drop for the regular Model S, plus a more powerful 90KWh battery option.

The 90KWh Model S will boast a range further extended by 5%, says Tesla.

But it’s the ludicrous acceleration of the enhanced Model S P85D that’s grabbing the headlines. And we thought the itself-recently-enhanced all-wheel-drive P85D version was already fast: that does 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds (provided you had the ‘Insane mode’ selected…).

Not fast enough for Musk, who described the acceleration of the Ludicrous mode Model S as “faster than falling”.

Generating 1.1G of acceleration force, he said “it’s like having your own private roller coaster”.

Apparently, engineering changes over the regular P85D are not huge – although Tesla has had to design a new fuse to cope with the ‘ludicrous’ rate of electricity flowing through it.

Keen to buy a Tesla Model S with Ludicrous mode? It’ll cost you $10,000 over the P85D – or, if you own one of those cars, Tesla will upgrade it for $5,000.

Sounds to us like not a lot for what now becomes, according to Tesla, even more easily the world’s fastest-accelerating EV…

MORE on MR

Tesla Model S P85D review: 2015 road test

Amsterdam and back in a Tesla Model S

Tesla launches gimmick-free finance for Model S

Tesla Model S P85D 2015 review

Tesla Model S gains ‘Ludicrous mode’ for 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds

Tesla Model S P85D 2015 reviewTesla is to launch an upgraded version of its Model S electric car – capable of 0-60mph in just 2.8 seconds.

This will make it the fastest-accelerating car in the world, claimed the U.S. EV firm (later revised to ‘world’s fastest Model S’)… and the function that delivers this intense acceleration is, brilliantly, called ‘Ludicrous mode’.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the news in a conference call, as part of a series of updates for the Model S executive car, including a price drop for the regular Model S, plus a more powerful 90KWh battery option.

The 90KWh Model S will boast a range further extended by 5%, says Tesla.

But it’s the ludicrous acceleration of the enhanced Model S P85D that’s grabbing the headlines. And we thought the itself-recently-enhanced all-wheel-drive P85D version was already fast: that does 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds (provided you had the ‘Insane mode’ selected…).

Not fast enough for Musk, who described the acceleration of the Ludicrous mode Model S as “faster than falling”.

Generating 1.1G of acceleration force, he said “it’s like having your own private roller coaster”.

Apparently, engineering changes over the regular P85D are not huge – although Tesla has had to design a new fuse to cope with the ‘ludicrous’ rate of electricity flowing through it.

Keen to buy a Tesla Model S with Ludicrous mode? It’ll cost you $10,000 over the P85D – or, if you own one of those cars, Tesla will upgrade it for $5,000.

Sounds to us like not a lot for what now becomes, according to Tesla, even more easily the world’s fastest-accelerating EV…

MORE on MR

Tesla Model S P85D review: 2015 road test

Amsterdam and back in a Tesla Model S

Tesla launches gimmick-free finance for Model S