The world paused in anticipation, and then Tesla introduced its Model 3. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s no surprise to learn that Elon Musk finally unveiled his long-awaited Model 3 — a $35,000 pure electric sedan that promises a range in excess of 200 miles — in Southern California this week. Gloating under a huge digital sign clicking off the number of consumers who have consumed enough Kool-Aid to justify a pre-order deposit (nearly 130,000 last we checked), the Tesla front man said that each one will accelerate to 60 mph in less than six seconds, be equipped with a Supercharger, and plant a seedling tree every 100 miles along the highway to help reforest America. Okay, we made that last one up. April Fools.
More information: http://www.engadget.com/2016/03/31/tesla-unveils-its-35-000-model-3/
Ferrari F40 owner mistakenly believes his rare million-dollar exotic car is a snowmobile. I’m old enough to remember lusting after the Ferrari F40 when it debuted in 1987. Despite plenty of bad press over the years that followed (it was reportedly temperamental, difficult to drive, and unreliable — what early Ferrari wasn’t?), collectors are vacuuming them off the market quicker than a Roomba does pet hair. Which leads us to question this looney owner in Japan who drives his F40 to a local ski resort. Instead of renting a Polaris snowmobile for the snow, like we would, he wraps the rear tires of his F40 with steel link chains and attacks the mountain rally style. It’s more crazy than epic… and, of course, Red Bull is behind it.
More information https://youtu.be/he0WvPDxjZc
AutoWeb drives a Subaru to the Antarctic tip of South America. We recently had the opportunity to pilot a handful of Suburu crossovers — Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek — through Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego. That’s right, we took an expedition to the “End of the World,” which to those familiar with a map of the planet means the southernmost reaches of Chile and Argentina. Read along as we blow through a windshield, side glass, and more than an armload of tires on our question to see how durable a Subaru really is… and how dirty we could get the abused vehicles.
More information: http://editorial.autoweb.com/expedicion-patagonia-with-subaru-exclusive/
Stick shift vs. Automatic — We have the definitive answer. Back-to-back comparisons are some of the most enjoyable pieces of editorial we put together, but this one — a transmission showdown — takes the prize. Porsche generously lent us a Cayman GTS and a Boxster GTS — virtually identical mechanically — that allowed us to do a blissful apples-to-apples test to determine which was the more superior gearbox. Our verdict? Read the story to find out.
Nürburgring has removed the Nordschleife speed limits. Last year, after a crash in March killed a bystander, the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany imposed speed limits meant to prevent vehicles from going airborne on certain sections of the track. It was an odd thing, despite its cloak of improving safety, as every other race track in the world essentially allows its drivers to run as fast as they can. The good news is that the facility repaved sections and improved fencing throughout the winter, thereby allowing them to lift any velocity restrictions going forward. Now, let’s see if the Porsche 918 Spyder can uphold its production record…
Your headlights likely suck. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a watchdog group funding by the insurance industry, is tired of being left in the dark. More specifically, it is frustrated that so many of today’s passenger vehicles are fitted with lousy headlights — especially considering how advanced illumination technology has become. To put a bit of light pressure on automakers (pun intended), the IIHS has implemented a new headlight testing regime. The first round of testing didn’t go very well, as it found that most everyone is driving with poor headlights. Except Prius owners, of course, because they can apparently do no wrong. The best defense against poor illumination is to always buy the upgraded lighting package, whether xenon or LED, as what you can see just may save your life.
More information: http://jalopnik.com/why-so-many-of-todays-headlights-suck-1768222130
The Volvo XC90 Excellence. Riding the wave of popularity that has swept-up its all-new full-size SUV, Volvo has introduced its opulent XC90 Excellence to the American marketplace. Launched in China last year (where it will likely sell very well), the new model rides on the same standard wheelbase as the XC90 T8, but its 7-passenger cabin has been reconfigured to seat just four — two up front, and two in the second row. The executives in the back seats will enjoy reclining chairs wrapped in soft Napa leather while they sip champagne kept chilled in an on-board cooler. While their buttocks are gently massaged, their ears will be soothed with tunes delivered from 20 Bowers & Wilkins speakers. It’s all good, until your eyes catch the base price of $105,895. For a Volvo.