Tesla Model S seven-seater version in the making, will be tested at the Green Hell

A number of developments have taken place at Tesla’s stable ever since its CEO, Elon Musk, announced that the company will test its Model S at …
Tesla Model S seven-seater version in the making, will be tested at the Green Hell

Tesla Model S&nbsp

A number of developments have taken place at Tesla’s stable ever since its CEO, Elon Musk, announced that the company will test its Model S at Nurburgring. Just to jog your memory; the information was shared by Elon after he took a jibe the Porsche Taycan models’ name. So, while the company prepares to put the Model S through its paces on the famed Nurburgring, the entrepreneur has shared another interesting information to keep the buzz high. Elon Musk recently revealed that the Tesla Model S at the Green Hell will be a seven-seater model. This certainly takes things up by a notch because originally, the Model S was supposed to lap Nurburgring to beat Porsche Taycan’s lap record at the ring. Currently, Taycan is the fastest four-door EV to go around the circuit, but it is also the only one in its category.

However, the latest piece of information shared by Elon hints that the company will attempt to set a new record at the Green Hell for fastest lap by a seven-seater car. Currently, the title for fastest seven-seater car around Nurburgring belongs to Skoda Kodiaq RS seven-seat version which lapped the Nordschleife in 9.28 minutes.

Also read: Top 5 Interesting Things about Tesla Cars

Tesla Model S white.png

Another piece of information coming out of Tesla’s stable involved a new world record. Tesla Motors revealed that its Model S became the fastest car at the Laguna Seca by going around the track in 1.36.55 minutes. This makes the Model S quicker than Jaguar XE SV Project 8 by almost a second. However, the car wasn’t a production-spec model but part of an advanced R&D testing. The company noted that it was testing a new powertrain–Plaid– on the Model S, which is powerful than the Ludicrous mode and makes use of three electric motors instead of two. The Plaid powertrain will also make its way to Model X and Tesla Roadster in all likelihood. Currently, the Ludicrous mode helps the Model S dispatch the 0 to 100 km/h run in a mere 2.4 seconds.

*~ Some personal news ~*

We lapped Laguna Seca @WeatherTechRcwy in 1:36.555 during advanced R&D testing of our Model S Plaid powertrain and chassis prototype

(That’s a second faster than the record for a four-door sedan) pic.twitter.com/OriccK4KCZ

— Tesla (@Tesla) September 12, 2019

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The Less Big News It Makes, the More Attractive Tesla Stock Gets

Markets like calm and that is particularly true when it comes to Tesla (NASDAQ:). Tesla stock often is volatile to in large part to CEO Elon Musk having …

Markets like calm and that is particularly true when it comes to Tesla (NASDAQ:). Tesla stock often is volatile to in large part to CEO Elon Musk having a penchant for the controversial and flamboyant.

Tesla Self-Driving Car News: The Latest Project Dojo Rumors

Source: Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock.com

At one point on Wednesday, Sept. 11, Tesla stock was higher by about 5% as the shares paced for their best intraday performance in seven weeks, extending the stock’s September gain to 8%.

That after Tesla stock dipped 7% in August. A simple tweet from Musk noting that Tesla’s flagship Model S recently set the record for seemed to be the catalyst for Tesla stock on Wednesday.

Of course, there’s much more to the story than that and investors should not caught up in something as superficial as an automotive test. Much of the story, meaning can the company produce cars at a rapid enough rate to meet current demand and lure more luxury car buyers away from internal combustion engines (ICE) to electric vehicles.

There are signs electric vehicle demand is growing, as expected. For example, Chilean lithium producer SQM recently said it plans to invest $2.1 billion over the next to bolster production of the material that is a vital ingredient in the production of the ion batteries that power electric vehicles.

Additionally, a recent permit application with the city of Fremont, Calif., Tesla’s headquarters, indicates the company is looking to build another assembly line, which could be used to manufacture the Model Y crossover vehicle slated to debut in 2020.

Reasons to Cheer and Be Skeptical

Few companies divide investors the way Tesla does. the only source of investment decisions for investors, but in the so-called “FinTwit” space, the segment of the social media platform where money managers and pundits dwell, an investor is just as likely to find some noted folks saying Tesla stock is a four-digit name in the future as they are to find someone referring to the stock by the ticker “TSLAQ” with the “Q” referencing a bankrupt company.

Tesla management has previously been prone to bombastic claims regarding cash flow and production targets, so some skepticism is warranted.

“2019 delivery guidance remains 360,000-400,000 vehicles and management said it feels the company is self-funding and able to generate free cash flow except possibly during product launches such as the Model Y crossover next fall,” said Morningstar . “We have heard this assertion on self-sufficiency as recently as late last year and then Tesla raised capital in 2019 so we are somewhat skeptical.”

Conversely, the company has its supporters, including JMP analyst Joseph Osha, who rates Tesla stock “outperform” with a price target of $337, about 40% above the Wednesday, Sept. 11 close. The analyst likes and views rival offerings as “weak.”

Speaking of market position, integral to the Tesla stock thesis is understanding what market the company operates. This is a luxury car company with comps being Lexus, BMW or Mercedes, not a mass-market maker like Chevy, Honda or Toyota.

“Tesla has a chance to be the dominant electric vehicle firm and is a leader in autonomous vehicle technology, but we do not see it having mass-market volume for at least another decade,” said Morningstar. “Tesla’s product plans for now do not mean an electric vehicle for every consumer who wants one, because the prices are too high.”

Bottom Line Tesla Stock

At 42.37x forward earnings, Tesla stock is certainly and that would be a hurdle unto itself if value stocks continue rebounding.

More specific to the Tesla stock thesis is what investors’ tolerance level will be for the company’s spending plans, which could require capital raises. The company is building a gigafactory in Nevada, as noted above is planning a Fremont, Calif. expansion and must effectively integrate SolarCity into its fold. None of those efforts will come cheap and they don’t include new vehicle launches, such as the Tesla pickup truck.

Tesla’s room for growth is compelling, but the company’s ability to manage the cost of that growth is something investors must be aware of going forward.

Todd Shriber does not own any of the aforementioned securities.

The post appeared first on InvestorPlace.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Tesla Channels Elon Musk in Not-so-Humble Model S Brag

Elon Musk gushed that a prototype for the Tesla “Plaid Model S” broke the speed record for a four-door sedan at the Laguna Seca racetrack in …
elon musk, tesla model s recordelon musk, tesla model s record

Tesla channeled CEO Elon Musk in its not-so-humble brag about the Model S that set a speed record at California’s Laguna Seca racetrack. | Source: REUTERS / Brendan McDermid (i), Tesla/YouTube (ii). Image Edited by CCN.

Elon Musk gushed that a prototype for the Tesla “Plaid Model S” broke the speed record for a four-door sedan at the Laguna Seca racetrack in California.

Musk excitedly shared the news on Twitter. He noted that the Plaid Model S would be more expensive than other Tesla models but less than its competitors.

The current version of Plaid has a base price of about $101,000. That’s considerably less than its rival, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, which starts at $187,610.

tesla model S plaid vs Jaguar XE SV Project 8tesla model S plaid vs Jaguar XE SV Project 8
Elon Musk says the Tesla Plaid Model S (on top) will be better-priced than its rival, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S. (Source: Tesla and Porsche websites)

Plaid Model S won’t go on sale until 2020

However, Musk pointed out that the Plaid Model S “is about a year away from production.”

Tesla‘s official Twitter account posted a video of the Plaid completing the 2.2-mile circuit in one minute and 36 seconds.

Tesla Model S beat record set by Jaguar

The Plaid Model S beat the speed record set last year by the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 by one second.

In September 2018, the Jaguar XE lapped the Laguna Seca racetrack in 1:37.54, Motor Trend reported.

Tesla tweeted about the achievement:

Tesla Model S Plaid powertrainTesla Model S Plaid powertrain
Elon Musk is thrilled that the Tesla Plaid Model S prototype set a new speed record at a California racetrack. (Source: Twitter)

Volkswagen CEO heaps praise on Elon Musk

Meanwhile, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess denied speculation that the German auto juggernaut wants to acquire Tesla.

“I wouldn’t consider a stake in Tesla,” Diess told Observer. “I wouldn’t buy a stake because I think all they are doing, we can do.”

As CCN reported, Volkswagen (the maker of the Porsche Taycan) has been investing heavily in electric cars. In January, Volkswagen announced plans to invest $800 million to expand an electric vehicle plant in Tennessee. The facility is expected to roll out its first EV in 2022.

Herbert Diess: I’m a proud Tesla owner

Despite the competition between Tesla and Volkswagen, Herbert Diess says he admires Elon Musk. He’s also a proud Tesla owner.

“When it comes to the next big thing, which is software, Tesla is strong in software,” Diess said. He also rubbished rumors that Tesla will go bankrupt anytime soon because of its recent financial problems.

“I don’t believe that [bankruptcy] will happen,” Diess said. “I like Elon quite a lot and I wish him all the best. Tesla is close now to profitability.”

Shanghai Gigafactory making huge strides

Last week, Tesla announced the roll-out of its Model 3 electric cars in Hong Kong. However, the dubious timing raised eyebrows because Hong Kong has been besieged by protests since June.

That said, Tesla is incredibly popular in Hong Kong. The territory remains a massive market for electric vehicles, thanks to a government policy aimed at reducing traffic congestion.

In mainland China, Tesla is making tremendous progress with the construction of its Gigafactory in Shanghai. In fact, the substation for the Gigafactory 3 site could be operational by September 30, according to Chinese news reports.

Last modified (UTC): September 12, 2019 11:08 PM

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Tesla claims Laguna Seca lap record and has eyes on the ‘Ring, but what’s under the hood?

When that car set a new Nurburgring Nordschleife EV lap record of 7:42, Tesla’s Elon Musk was quick to respond that its own ‘Ring attempt was …
tesla-lap

Quick? Yes. Record-setting? No.

Tesla

We may never know for sure exactly what started the EV performance wars of 2019, but the arrival of the Porsche Taycan on the scene really stirred things up. When that car set a new Nurburgring Nordschleife EV lap record of 7:42, Tesla’sElon Musk was quick to respond that its own ‘Ring attempt was coming (an attempt that Porsche eagerly welcomes). But Musk is now claiming that his company has secured the sedan lap record at California’s Laguna Seca Raceway.

I’m not so sure.

After many tweets surrounding a Nurburgring run for the Model S, on Wednesday Musk claimed the record in the tweet below, promising a video was coming in the next day.

Model S just set record for fastest 4 door ever at Laguna Seca, video tmrw

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 11, 2019

Today, Tesla dropped the promised video of a 1:36.555 lap time around Laguna Seca, indicating that time is a full second faster than “the record for a four-door sedan.”

*~ Some personal news ~*

We lapped Laguna Seca @WeatherTechRcwy in 1:36.555 during advanced R&D testing of our Model S Plaid powertrain and chassis prototype

(That’s a second faster than the record for a four-door sedan) pic.twitter.com/OriccK4KCZ

— Tesla (@Tesla) September 12, 2019

That appears to reference to the 1:37.54 lap time set by the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 almost exactly a year ago. On the surface, Tesla has indeed set a faster time — but dig a little deeper and it’s clear that Jaguar still holds the record for a sedan.

Bozi Tatarevic on Twitter was quick to point out that the car appears to have significant modifications, including a Model 3 steering wheel. Exactly what other modifications the car is running remain to be seen. (We’ve reached out to Tesla for clarification and will update this if any further details are provided.)

The car is obviously extensively modified even down to the steering wheel which appears to be from the Model 3. pic.twitter.com/pP1J31YpL7

— Bozi Tatarevic (@hoonable) September 12, 2019

Tesla itself said that the car is running a new drivetrain dubbed Plaid (“The only thing beyond Ludicrous is Plaid,” per Musk). This three-motor configuration was first announced to be part of the new Roadster, due next year, but Musk recently clarified that Plaid will also appear on the Model S sedan and Model X SUV.

Given the Plaid drivetrain isn’t available to consumers, and given Tesla hasn’t clarified other details such as suspension and tires, it’s impossible to call this lap time any kind of record. But is it impressive? Absolutely. And though we’re on the edge of our seats waiting for the next assault’s results, we’ve got some video footage of this new Plaid-spec Model S on the Nurburgring courtesy of YouTuber Automotive Mike.

Does the modded Model S look like it’s fast? Absolutely, but it’s worth saying that it doesn’t exactly look graceful as it carves its way through the corners. What’s more, its tires sound like they’re also exceedingly unhappy with what’s being done to them thanks to the Model S’ certified Thicc-boi weight of nearly 5,000 pounds.

Much like with the Laguna Seca situation, the Nurburgring “record attempt” doesn’t seem to have a specific class in mind. Nor does it seem to be sanctioned by the ‘Ring itself, with Tesla again having ignored the process for setting a time that’s been adhered to by other manufacturers. Beyond that, our pal Bozi — the Encyclopedia Brown of car esoterica on the internet — points out that there is no official record for electric sedans at the ‘Ring so the Tesla would have to gun for one of three records, two of which are possible and one which is seriously never going to happen.

Those records are for “midrange cars,” which is held by the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 with a time of 7:23.164; “executive cars,” which is held by Mercedes-AMG’s GT 63 S 4Matic+ with a time of 7:30.11; and the “electric (sports) cars” record which Volkswagen set at 6:05.336 with its ID.R and is currently the second-fastest time ever set there. We’ll leave it to you to figure out where Tesla might try and slot itself in.

Now playing:Watch this: Tesla Model S Long Range pulls further ahead of the EV…
8:35

Originally published Sept. 12, 12:09 a.m. PT.

Update, 2:01 p.m.: Adds video and more detail on Tesla’s plans for the Nurburgring.

More about 2019 Tesla Model S Long Range

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Prototype Tesla Model S ‘Plaid’ (Available 2020) Breaks 4-Door Sedan Lap Record At Laguna …

Elon Musk has confirmed that this version of the Model S will go into series production around a year from now, and the same powertrain option will …
CarsModel S Plaid at Laguna Seca

Published on September 12th, 2019 | by Dr. Maximilian Holland

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September 12th, 2019 by Dr. Maximilian Holland


Proving the superior performance of electric vehicles, a prototype Tesla Model S with “Plaid powertrain and chassis” has broken the outright 4-door sedan lap record at the famous Laguna Seca Raceway, in a time of 1:36.555. Elon Musk has confirmed that this version of the Model S will go into series production around a year from now, and the same powertrain option will also be made available for the Tesla Model X.

*~ Some personal news ~*

We lapped Laguna Seca @WeatherTechRcwy in 1:36.555 during advanced R&D testing of our Model S Plaid powertrain and chassis prototype

(That’s a second faster than the record for a four-door sedan) pic.twitter.com/OriccK4KCZ

— Tesla (@Tesla) September 12, 2019

There’s potential for this Tesla Model S to put in an even faster lap time, since the 1:36.555 lap was driven by what Tesla refers to as “a member of the Tesla development team (amateur driver).” The previous lap records for 4-door sedans were held by the limited production (300 unit) Jaguar XE SE Project 8 (1:37.54 — video), at an MSRP of $187,500, and the slower Cadillac CTS-V (1:38.52 — video), at MSRP $89,000. Both were driven by pro racing driver Randy Pobst. In the hands of such a pro, shaving another second or so off the Model S lap time may be possible.

For context, the BMW M4 GTS, BMW M5, Alfa Romeo Giulia QV, and other renowned sports sedans are all a good bit slower to lap the Laguna Seca circuit. Beyond the sedan category, the only faster “4-seat” cars around the circuit are 2-door “coupes” — a couple of Porsche 911 variants, a couple of Nissan GTR variants, and the Camaro ZL1 1LE. Calling these “4-seaters” is a stretch — we’re talking about very cramped jump seats in the back, with almost no head or leg room — only really suitable for small children. In terms of practicality, these are obviously a far cry from a spacious and comfortable sedan like the Model S.

Aside from the above, only 2-seat performance cars and exotic supercars (e.g. McLarens, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis) can lap this circuit faster than the Model S (here’s a decent list of Laguna Seca lap times).

The “Plaid” powertrain goes beyond “Ludicrous” (and former “Insane”) modes (a nomenclature of scale derived from the classic Spaceballs movie), and was previously only known to be planned for the upcoming Tesla Roadster. Unlike previous Tesla Performance powertrains, Elon Musk confirmed that “Plaid” uses 3 electric motors, and that this configuration will be available in both the S and X (as an option) as well as in the Roadster (as standard).

In the case of Model S (and likely Model X), the new variant also features chassis changes, and probably also includes more overall power, likely a track mode, and almost certainly advanced cooling design for the battery, power electronics and motors (among other changes). Musk also made clear that there are no plans to feature this Plaid powertrain setup in the Model 3 or Model Y.

Finally, Musk clarified that the pricing for this powertrain option will be above the current Performance variants, yet more affordable than competitors:

Yes. To be clear, Plaid powertrain is about a year away from production & applies to S,X & Roadster, but not 3 or Y. Will cost more than our current offerings, but less than competitors.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 12, 2019

The Tesla Model S — presumably in a similar Plaid prototype form — is currently in tuning for performance and safety on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, in preparation for setting a competitive lap time. Musk has indicated that it will be another week or two before everything is ready for a safe attempt at the actual timed lap. For example, the Flugplatz area, around 50 seconds into the circuit, involves a high speed jump just before a fast corner, which requires detailed suspension work to be undertaken for safety, especially in heavier EV vehicles.

But we probably won’t try for best lap time this week, as we need to review & tune Model S thoroughly for safety on Nürburgring, especially Flugplatz section

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 11, 2019

The Laguna Seca lap time result, combined with all we now know (and can reasonably estimate) about the new powertrain, suggests that the Model S Plaid prototype should handily beat the recent 7:42 Nordschleife lap time set by the Porsche Taycan Prototype. It will probably also beat the lap times of the Porsche Panamera Turbo and BMW M5, even though these have a considerable top speed advantage down the long back straight. Unless the Plaid powertrain has boosted the Model S’s top speed … ?

Musk has also stated that the upcoming Tesla Roadster will tackle the Nürburgring Nordschleife next year (likely still in pre-production prototype form):

Next year

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 11, 2019

We earlier speculated that a new Tesla Model S powertrain would likely be used to set the Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time. We now have some of the details (Musk says more will be revealed soon). What’s your guess as to some of the other specs of this upcoming “Plaid” Model S? What kind of lap time do you think it will achieve at the Nordschleife? Please let us know in the comments.

Images courtesy of Tesla


Tags:2020 Tesla Roadster, Elon Musk, Laguna Seca lap record, Nurburgring Nordschleife, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model S Plaid, Tesla Model X, Tesla Model X Plaid, Tesla Roadster

About the Author

Dr. Maximilian Holland Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking about social and environmental justice, sustainability and the human condition. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia, and is currently based in Barcelona. Follow Max on twitter @Dr_Maximilian and at MaximilianHolland.com, or contact him via LinkedIn.

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