Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Times says if you want a fast, luxurious EV, just wait 5 years for Audi or Porsche

DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH: Audi and Porsche showed all-electric concept cars at the Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany, above and below, but production models wouldn't go on sale until 2020 -- that's five long years from now.

OH MY ACHING BACK: The low-slung Porsche concept looks like it is aimed at the young and limber. And the 300-mile range would be of limited value to older drivers, who need frequent bathroom breaks.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

We're all familiar with the phrase, "Start your engines."

But Tom Voelk, a contributor to The New York Times, really stretches the meaning of "start" in his story from the Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany on Monday.

After noting Tesla Motors has had the market for "high-end electric cars" to itself since the Model S went on sale in 2012, Voelk claims:

"But that is changing as other automakers start to introduce their own models [italics added]."

Really? 

The story is silent on new production models of all-electric cars from Audi and Porsche, both of which are owned by Volkswagen, but does describe two "concepts" that are at least five years away from production.

This is the same kind of hype and exaggeration you see in automakers' TV advertising, but Times readers deserve better.

New Teslas

If Audi and Porsche actually put their EVs on sale in 2020, they will be competing with a Tesla crossover, the Model X, as well as the smaller Model 3 with a range of 200 miles and a price of around $35,000.

A second-generation Tesla Roadster might also be available and could a second-generation Model S be far behind?

Model S still on top

Until then, the Tesla Model S remains the fastest, most luxurious all-electric car you can buy, one that has earned Consumer Reports' highest rating ever.

Unlike the Times and other publications, Consumer Reports' evaluations aren't influenced by advertising or the fleets of free Audis and Porsches available to automobile writers and VIPs. 

Porsche's low-slung Mission E Concept claims an 0-60 time that is already eclipsed by the fastest Tesla Model S.

The German automakers' response to Tesla's zero-emissions cars has been disappointing.

Still, the Mission E Concept shows Porsche learned a great deal from the two Tesla Model S four-door hatchbacks the automaker purchased and shipped to its engineers in Germany.

And given that country's dark past, any future all-electric models from Audi and Porsche likely will meet resistance from affluent Jewish buyers, who rewarded Lexus, Toyota's luxury division, with early and continuing success.

In July, Lexus outsold Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi in the U.S. for the first time.