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Man criticises Elon Musk – gets Tesla order cancelled

Man criticises Elon Musk – Tesla cancels his order

Man criticises Elon Musk – gets Tesla order cancelled

A man who wrote a blog post criticising Tesla boss Elon Musk and complaining about an event in which ‘no food was provided’ has had his order for a Model X cancelled by the firm.

Venture capitalist Stewart Alsop was one of the first to leave a deposit for the upcoming Model X electric SUV, and had been invited to a special launch event hosted by Musk himself.

In the original blog post, Alsop said: “Starting a 7:00pm event at 8:50pm is simply unacceptable, particularly when the invited guests are actually your customers! But for you to stand up at 8:52pm and not even acknowledge that you have wasted your own customers’ time was insensitive and poor judgement.

“You should have apologised right then, but you didn’t. You have our email addresses, since we’re all the people who put a $5,000 deposit on your new Model X. When I was invited to the launch event, I was excited to hear that I could drive to the factory and see and touch a new Model X, even if I’ll have to wait another 3–4 months to actually get mine.

“Instead, I drove 2.5 hours round trip. I arrived on time, waited around 30 minutes outside the building, got packed inside the building with 3,000 other people for another 60 minutes, got moved from one room inside the building to another to wait another 20 minutes with the same 3,000 people. And then, drum roll please, you shuffle out on stage and start with a slide show — an amateur slide show at that — all about how safe the Model X is.”

He went on to complain that he left feeling angry and hungry, as no food had been provided.

In a follow-up blog post, Alsop explains that he received a phone call saying that Musk didn’t ‘feel comfortable’ with him owning a Tesla, so was cancelling his order.

He added: “The end result is that you have decided that I can’t own one of your cars, and I am terribly disappointed. I had outlined in the original post how excited I was at the prospect of owning a Tesla, especially the Model X and especially the configuration I ultimately ordered — the P90D in red with black leather seats and the Ludicrous Speed option.”

The Tesla boss has since tweeted, describing Alsop as a ‘rude customer’.

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.


Read more:


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.

Man criticises Elon Musk – gets Tesla order cancelled

Elon Musk reveals Tesla Model X SUV

Elon Musk reveals Tesla Model X SUV

Tesla boss Elon Musk has taken the covers of the company’s new Model X SUV at an event held in California.

Like the Tesla Model S, the X is powered by two electric motors creating a combined output of 762hp – meaning it can hit 62mph in just 3.2 seconds.

That’s in ‘ludicrous’ mode – typically, the P90D model takes 3.8 seconds, while providing up to 250 miles of range from a single charge.

With the batteries located on the Model X’s floor, Tesla says it’ll handle better than other SUVs thanks to its low centre of gravity. It also boasts the lowest drag coefficient in its class of 0.24 – thanks partly to an active spoiler that adjusts depending on speed.

The Tesla Model X is practical, too, with seven seats and a towing capacity of 2,250kg. Tesla says it’s ‘designed to be the safest car on the road’ with automatic emergency braking and a side-collision avoidance system as standard.

Elon Musk reveals Tesla Model X SUV

Every model will also come with a forward-facing camera, radar and 360-degree sonar sensor that, the manufacturer claims, will ‘enable advanced autopilot features’. Although they’ll just be used for tricks such as automatic parking for now, Tesla hints that they bring ‘the Model X ever closer to autonomous operation’.

Like the concept version revealed in 2013, the Model X features ‘Falcon Wing’ doors that require just 30cm of space on either side to open. They open automatically as the driver approaches the car, meaning they never need to touch the door.

As in the Model S, the Model X will feature a large 17-inch touchscreen on the centre of the dashboard to control the car’s features, from audio to vehicle data.

Prices are yet to be confirmed for the UK, where the Model X is expected to go on sale before the end of the year. Expect them to be similar to the Model S, starting at around £55,000 and going up to £90,000.

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

Tesla Model S P85D 2015 review

Tesla Model S P85D review: 2015 first drive

Tesla Model S P85D 2015 reviewTesla gives the Model S another engine, makes it even faster. How fast? Try McLaren and Ferrari fast. The results are extraordinary.

Richard Aucock | May 2015

Tesla is being good to Britain. We drive on the left, yet we’re not denied factory-built right-hand-drive versions of its extraordinary Model S full-range EV. It officially launched here in 2014 and sales are, from a standing start, already in the hundreds, growing by the week as the dealer network grows too.

We even enjoy Tesla Superchargers here, those ultra-fast (and free) recharge points that can fill the 300-mile-range battery in the time it takes to drink a latte and check some emails. London to Edinburgh in a zero-emissions EV? Not a problem if it’s a Tesla.

Now, we’re getting an upgraded model – an all-wheel-drive Model S, with two electric motors; an additional one joins the existing rear-mounted motor, sitting up front (and munching into, although not devouring, the front luggage compartment). Soon, a Tesla spokesperson told us, there will be just a single rear-drive Tesla Model S; the rest of the range goes all-wheel drive, courtesy of Dual Motor tech and signified by the ‘D’ in the name.

Why? Several reasons. One being, surprisingly, it’s more efficient. This clever car can juggle between motors, using one or both when it’s most efficient, and also flipping between front and rear motors on long trips to ensure they’re always operating at the most efficient temperature.

But the other significant reason is traction. Or, rather, the challenges of not breaking it when deploying the Tesla’s monster power and torque. The top-line P85D we’re testing here has supercar power. Genuinely. How does 701hp strike you?

Sending this through just two wheels can, at times, be sub-optimal (as McLaren’s Ron Dennis might say). Four-wheel-drive traction means grip between four wheels, not two – so more can be transferred to the road without being pegged back by traction control.

The key acceleration figure bears out the logic of this thinking: 0-62mph takes just 3.1 seconds. We have checked it, and it is correct. Extraordinary, no? This modern but unassuming saloon car is Porsche 911 Turbo S fast, yet with local emissions that match a Nissan Leaf. With deliveries about to start in the UK, and with prices starting from £85k (before the Plug-in Car Grant is taken off), what do lucky owners have in store? We found out.

What’s the Tesla Model S P85D like to drive?

Tesla Model S P85D 2015 review

We found the rear-drive Tesla Model S jaw-dropping for acceleration, response, intensity and energy. The P85D takes it to another level, one barely believable for what’s still a luxurious and urbane BMW 5 Series rival. It’s incredible.

This isn’t acceleration, it’s hyperdrive. You have two acceleration modes: Sport and Insane. Insane was our default. It really is insane. It’s claimed to generate 1G of acceleration force and, using a smartphone app, we confirmed this. It is also the only road car I can remember that ‘rollercosters’ your stomach each and every time you give it the full beans: it’s a thrilling, incredible sensation that has you shaking with excitement.

Just as amazing is the traction you sense when deploying this. There is no metering of power or torque, no restrictions from the physical grip of the tyres; the P85D bites and drives hard, on all surfaces, at all angles. Floor it out of a gravelly dual carriageway layby and you can be up to the speed of the traffic in an eyeblink – faster than either you or the traffic around you can comprehend. It’s warp drive that, thanks to all-wheel drive, now comes to virtually any situation.

It’s not all about just straight-line acceleration though. All-wheel drive makes it more tenacious on British B-roads, too. The Model S was already a surprisingly wieldy thing for one so large (4,978mm long), heavy (2.5 tonnes) and wide (1,984mm), largely thanks to the sense of a lack of mass at the front end.

The P85D further enhances this with the ability to deploy ridiculous drive forces, instantaneously, in virtually any situation. Electric drive means power is delivered hesitation-free, and 701hp means said power is colossal: distribute it between all four wheels for ample stability and you’ve something almost peculiarly tenacious on tight UK roads.

Should you buy a Tesla P85D instead of a sports car?

Tesla Model S P85D 2015 review

So, all this performance, delivered so uniquely, with added practicality, eco saviourness and standard-setting onboard tech: surely the Tesla P85D’s a smarter buy than a slower, dearer and less practical Porsche 911?

We can see why some would think so. For £85k (or, with options, £105k for the test car – reduced to £100k with the government grant), it offers supercar pace that has already led to umpteen YouTube videos showing the P85D taking on all comers in acceleration races. Y’know, Lamborghinis, McLarens, Ferraris, that sort of thing.

This is why those who like the idea of an everyday supercar such as the 911 may steer towards the Tesla as a leftfield alternative. So it would be unfair to point out the EPAS doesn’t have anything like a 911’s feel or feedback, that you notice its considerable size in a way you never would with the compact 911, and it feels decidedly saloon car-like behind the wheel rather than like a low-slung sports car. Buyers would get all that.

The fact it performs so well, offers so much practicality and has the world-saving kudos that comes from it could just clinch it in this sector that buys cars just as much for how they look and what they say about them as how they drive.

And it’s here where the Tesla could do a bit more. The interior is great, with real wow-factor, so it’s a pity the exterior can’t quite match it. A touch more finesse, a bit more sharpness of the lines, a bolder front end, all would help the Model S’ potential to sway supercar buyers. It’s a big car but could do more to hide it – and could do a lot more to shout about the fact it’s so high-tech and groundbreaking.

Oh, and why do the visual changes for the P85D amount to little more than a different badge, bigger wheels and red brake calipers? This car is a rocketship, Tesla – shout about it!

Verdict: Tesla Model S P85D (2015)

Tesla Model S P85D 2015 review

The Tesla Model S P85D is a striking, memorable car that you’ll talk about for months for one reason: acceleration. Extraordinary acceleration. The pace, and the forces it generates, are astounding and the fact this is combined with an EV range of nearly 300 miles is even more amazing. It’s an other-worldly achievement.

Buy it for these reasons and you’ll be delighted. Buy it instead of a Porsche 911, or a BMW i8 PHEV supercar, and you might yearn for just a touch more sophistication of style and final chassis tune. Here’s where Tesla’s youth arguably shows through – not in a stark way, but it’s now competing in an exalted sector, and these tiny differences matter.

But the fact many will still consider the Tesla instead of a premium alternative shows just what the firm’s achieved. And, with the P85D’s almighty acceleration bettering almost anything else on the road, it’s now far more than just a quick EV with a big range. It’s a quick EV with a big range and warp drive as standard.

Rivals: Tesla Model S P85D

  • Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
  • BMW i8
  • Porsche 911
  • Audi R8 e-tron
  • Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

We’ve mentioned the Porsche 911; for many buyers, the Panamera S E-Hybrid is likely to be a more obvious challenger. And if they really do want a supercar, there’s also the BMW i8 and forthcoming Audi R8 e-tron. But maybe the Tesla’s practicality is the big win for you? Then the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid might appeal – as might the £30k list price saving…

Specification: Tesla Model S P85D

Engine Two electric motors

Gearbox Single-gear electric, four-wheel drive

Price from £85,000

Power 701hp

Torque 442lb ft (600Nm)

0-62mph 3.1 seconds

Top speed 155mph

MPG n/a

CO2 0g/km

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