Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Super Car: Tesla Roadster unveiled


Tesla Motors unveiled their uber-chic Roadster, a powerful electric vehicle that looks, feels and drives like many other high-end sports cars Wednesday night. The main difference is the noise. Powered by a 3-phase, 4-pole AC induction motor, the Roadster can go 130 mph and does 0-60 in about 4 seconds, all completely silent.

Tonight was the grand unveiling of the Roadster in a decorated airport hangar in Santa Monica, CA. I don't ride in many sports cars, and I certainly have never been in one that zips across an airport's tarmac without so much as a whisper. But tonight I got a quick ride in the Roadster and all I could hear from the passenger's seat (not even Gov. Schwarzenegger, who flew in for a brief look at the car, was allowed to drive it) was wind noise. And myself saying "Wow" under my breath.

The car is low to the ground, and smooth in all possible ways. But this vehicle isn't just a sports car. It's also a green car. There are zero tailpipe emissions. There isn't even a tailpipe. Tesla Motors is working to provide purchasers with a photovoltaic panel that will turn the driving experience into an actual net producer of energy, according to Tesla Motors chairman Elon Musk.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Super Car: Porsche Boxster 2011


With the first generation Porsche Boxster introduced in 1996 and second generation under the 987 platform designation in 2004, the third generation Boxster is due for launch in 2010 as a 2011 model. This time-line coincides with the recent announcement by Valmet Automotive Oy and Porsche AG to extend Boxster production in Finland until 2011.

Since the changes between the first and second generations were a modest warm-over, although Porsche claims only 20% of components were shared, the third generation is expected to be all-new with a more dramatic design while maintaining its core Boxster identity. Judging by the rendered interpretation above by Lars Saeltzer, the third generation Boxster will resemble Porsche's discontinued Carrera GT V10 supercar.