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The Courts Transportation United Kingdom

Top Gear Fights Back At Tesla 369

Posted by timothy
from the shocking-truth-as-a-staid-defense dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Top Gear's producer Andy Wilman responds to Tesla's lawsuit: 'We never said that the Tesla's true range is only 55 miles, as opposed to their own claim of 211, or that it had actually ran out of charge. In the film our actual words were: "We calculated that on our track it would run out after 55 miles."' Interesting points, and as far as I can remember also correct. But I'm assuming Tesla is going the get the PR they want on this regardless of any court rulings."
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Top Gear Fights Back At Tesla

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  • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @10:55AM (#35699992)

    I disagree, I used to do some acting, and it could take an enormous amount of time to get a short segment filmed. It's not uncommon for a 5 minute piece to take an entire day to film, or at least several hours. And if you're inside or on a sound stage it's not that big of a deal, but if you're having to restrict yourself to the portions of the day that have light, you're in a much less predictable situation. Even the sun going behind the clouds can make shooting a cohesive scene impossible until it returns.

    Most of the rest of it is going to be pretty easy to determine and should largely be settled by the time this goes to trial. If Tesla's employees gave them the estimate that will quickly be determined. And Tesla did eventually admit that the breaks had failed, at least in the way that a consumer would call broken.

  • by burnin1965 (535071) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @11:42AM (#35700286) Homepage

    when you ran out of fuel in the other cars, you took a few minutes to fill up and could go back out. The Tesla, on the other hand, was done for the day as it took something like 12 hours to recharge

    An issue, yes, an insurmountable issue, no, and an issue that was only in the minds of the Top Gear hosts rather than reality.

    Running out of charge and pushing the car to the shop was a stunt, a hoax, it was fake, neither car ran out of charge [crunchgear.com].

    I like watching most of the Top Gear shows but I expect them to flog cars not their egos and stubborn pride.

  • by arikol (728226) on Sunday April 03, 2011 @12:14PM (#35700500) Journal

    ...and one of the reasons they used their track, and track driving for this range estimate is that the Tesla is marketed as a... wait for it... sports car. Furthermore, the Tesla is based on a VERY popular car used for track days.
    The verdict is that the Tesla is not very good at fulfilling its intended purpose and will give an owner who wants to play on a track less than an hours enjoyment, provided that he brings the car to the track on the back of a lorry and takes it out that way too.
    So, if the car is driven hard, then range goes down. That's just normal. What makes it so bad for the Tesla is that topping up the tank takes the rest of the day.

    Drive to track - 50 miles
    Drive from track - 50 miles

    That's almost half the Tesla's range at economic driving speeds.
    That leaves maybe 25-30 miles of trackday fun.

    Drive normally (and normal in a sports car is not te same as normal in a minivan) and range will probably not be 250 miles to begin with. Batteries also degrade pretty fast. All in all, the Tesla is probably great fun, looks great, but isn't even practical as a sports car.

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