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The News for October 2nd, 2015

Greg Kachadurian October 2, 2015 The News! 20 Comments

Welcome to the Redusernab News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Tesla Model X is finally ready for production… looks almost exactly as we thought it would

  • Porsche builds a limited-run 911 GTS for the Rennsport Reunion

  • BMW builds the high performance X4 we’ve been… expecting

  • Mazda teases new concept sports car and it looks legit

  • There’s a new Mitsubishi Lancer….

  • What’s your automotive news?

Tesla Model X


It’s been three years since Tesla Motors released a concept for their first SUV, the Model X. It being Tesla, this was an all-electric SUV and it looked quite a bit different than anything else – at least when you ignored that it was styled like a taller Model S. But it had “falcon wing” doors and the promise that it would be technologically superior to anything else that calls itself an SUV.

The Model X is weeks away from its first deliveries, so Tesla finally dropped more info on its final specifications. Let’s just say it’s a rare example of when concepts actually go to production without any of the usual dilution. In a few ways, it’s actually more potent.

Tesla borrowed the same 90kWh battery from the Model S along with its dual-motor powertrain, effectively making this all-wheel drive. In 90D spec (90kWh, dual motor), each motor produces about 259 horsepower. The P90D (Performance, 90kWh, dual-motor) specification bumps that up to 259 horsepower front and 503 horsepower rear.

That means it’s great at tackling the elements but it also means ludicrous performance figures. When equipped with the P90D configuration and the Ludicrous Speed ugprade, the Model X can hit 60 mph from a standstill in a claimed 3.2 seconds. Top speed on each model is 155 mph.

Range on each model is an EPA-estimated 250 miles on the P90D and 257 miles on the 90D. Every Tesla is allowed free access to the growing Supercharger network to make at least some long distance travel a possibility.


The Model X’s shape has not changed too much from the concept at all. The biggest changes in styling happen at the front which no longer looks like it was directly carried over from the Model S. There’s less going on up there now but the goal was to make it more aerodynamic. The Falcon Wing rear doors still exist too and now feature sensors which can alter the opening arc depending on how much clearance there is. The downside of those doors is that a roof rack can’t be fitted. But a neat feature that can make you forget about that limitation is a large, all-glass panoramic windshield which gives drivers a bigger view of the road ahead and the heavens above. That does come with solar tinting, too.

With a medical grade HEPA filter, it cleans the air going inside like no other. Pollen, bacteria, viruses, and pollution never reach your lungs. There’s even a bioweapon defense mode (I shit you not) that creates positive pressure inside the cabin to protect occupants from a Volkswagen.

I bet that joke has already been made a thousand times now…

Anyway, the Model X also features an impressive arsenal of tech to make driving safer. Cameras and radar/sonar systems continuously scan roadways to provide real-time back to prevent collisions. Brakes can be automatically applied at highway speeds and there’s also a side-collision avoidance system of some sort. Blind-spot monitoring and navigation with real-time traffic updates are also available.

So that’s the Tesla Model X. It’s no less unique than the concept was and it’s gotten even better since. Pricing info doesn’t seen to be out yet for all models, but the high end model will go for at least $130,000.

Be sure to also check out coverage from our friends at Autoweek who had a .

[Source: Tesla, ]

Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Rennsport Reunion Edition


Porsche is one of those brands that loves making special editions of just about anything worth celebrating. PCA turned 60? You get a special edition! 5 Million Facebook fans? YOU get a special edition! Rennsport Reunion V was pretty cool? Everybody gets a special edition!

That’s exactly how I picture the board meeting went when they announced a new special edition Porsche 911 would be built to honor the fifth Rennsport Reunion, a weekend festival that sees legends of Porsche’s decorated racing history back on the track. It’s called the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Rennsport Reunion Edition and only 25 will ever be built. It starts life as a standard Carrera GTS with a 430 horsepower 3.8-liter flat-six and is only available with a manual transmission.


Exclusive features are mostly cosmetic both inside and out, but otherwise it’s a loaded GTS in terms of hardware and other options. Starting with the interior, it’s painted in custom “Fashion Grey” and has decorative black and red decals on the hood, roof, and rear decklid striping on the side with the PORSCHE logotype. It rolls on twenty-inch Sport Classic wheels painted in a high-gloss black and that same color is used on various exterior trim pieces.

Inside the Rennsport Reunion Edition, there’s carbon fiber trim on the dashboard and various other places on top of a black and red interior. It also features illuminated door-sill guards in carbon fiber to display the model designation and the Rennsport Reunion V logo is embossed on the center compartment lid so you can remember which car you’re in.

And that ( various optional extras that are now standard) is how Porsche celebrates one of the greatest historic motorsports events around. Like it? Pricing starts at $148,335 and only 25 units will be available exclusively to the North American market, so take out a “business” loan or something and hurry up!

[Source: Porsche]

BMW X4 M40i


[Filed under “Because They Could”]

BMW has gotten one step closer to building the full-fledged M version of the X4 sports activity vehicle that we all know is coming. In a world where talks of a joint supercar project between BMW and McLaren are downplayed by the BMW M executives but they’d decorate a reborn Isetta with M badges if they got the chance, welcome to the BMW X4 M40i: the closest thing to an X4M we could ever want.

The recently launched X4 gains a new top model with the M40i as well as a proper sport version. It certainly looks like a proper sport version thanks to its aggressive M-inspired aero kit and twenty-inch light-alloy wheels. Its interior will also feel the part with the awesome M Sport steering wheel (speaking from experience), sport seats, and X4 M40i digital lettering on the instrument cluster to serve as a reminder that you should’ve waited for the M2.


But speaking of M2, word is that the new engine they’re debuting in the X4 M40i will likely be what the M2’s engine is built upon. That’s a good thing because it’s a twin-scroll, single turbo inline-six with 360 horsepower and 343 lb.-ft. of torque. 0-62 mph is less than five seconds and efficiency is about 27 mpg combined (by European calculations). Supporting upgrades include stronger springs and stabilizers, increased camber on the front axle, adaptive dampers, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. All in all it should actually be a quick machine even if it doesn’t look like it.

No pricing or release info was given.

[Source: BMW]



Mazda might finally be answering our prayers with a new concept they’re planning on bringing to the Tokyo motor show. It’s not going to be another crossover or some robot bicycle *cough* HondaIt’s going to be a full-fledged sports car above anything else. They’ve not given it a name yet but they have released a teaser photo with the promise that it’s “modern but maintains a sense of lineage and authenticity, appearing almost to condense Mazda’s entire history of sports car development into a single model.” You thinking what I’m thinking? The Tokyo motor show runs from October 30 to November 8. You will see more on this when it’s available….

[Source: Mazda]

2016 Lancer GT

2016 Lancer GT

Sigh… There’s a new Mitsubishi Lancer but there isn’t a new Evo. It has a new lower front fascia. It also has new wheels and new paint colors. There is no more Evo. It has increased value from some new standard features like air conditioning and power door locks. It’s also got a hands-free system with Bluetooth and a USB port for audio. There is also no more Evo. It has a new CVT which reduces noise, improves smoothness, and promotes a balance of fuel economy with good acceleration from an available 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 168 horsepower. Has anybody made it this far? They’re not building the Evo anymore and pricing starts at about $18,000. I’m sad.

[Source: Mitsubishi]

What’s your automotive news?

[No picture this week]

By the time this is posted, I’ll probably have landed in Los Angeles, did a ring and run on Jeff’s house, and settled into whichever rental gets tasked with taking me to the bay area for a family wedding. The joys of flying standby mean to get from point A to point B, you sometimes have to go to point C first. But at least I can make an adventure out of it… like navigating through LA’s hellish freeway network.

So what’s your automotive news? If you saw anything, drove something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything newsworthy that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

  • bigredcavetroll

    I have a bad habit of not really taking care of my cars’ paint, mostly because a lot of the vehicles I’ve had in the past have had crap paint but were mechanically sound, so I’d focus on maintaining the mechanical things and just delaying things like rust. Yesterday I really washed my truck for the first time in over a year. Bad, bad idea not keeping it clean. I had run it through automatic car washes and sprayed it down with a pressure washer a few times (including the engine compartment, which usually looks cleaner than the outside of the truck), but not seriously washed it by hand since then. There are lots of ugly things going on with the paint now. I was going to wax it after I clay bar’d it, but the paint is bad enough that I had to use polish on it. I managed to get the hood polished and waxed, and it looks tons better, but it started raining so I had to go inside. I guess that’ll teach me to keep my cars clean(er).

    • Sjalabais

      Did you take any photos? I wash our cars fairly regularly. The Honda has truly sh*tty paint, the Toyota looks somewhat solid – both cars are 13 years old. This evening, my wife and mother-in-law intend to polish the Toyota, the old car of my mother-in-law. I gave it a thorough cleaning this morning, and just like any other time I do that, I realize that you can’t be enough “paint-conscious”. There’s always some tarmac, bird poo, tree sap or stone splits attacking it.

      Also, I just learned that rust converter is a no-no because of its acidity. If anyone here has an opinion on rust converter, I’d like to hear it. Use it a lot on the cars for minor rust spots, and it’s about 50/50 that it works as intended. What I just heard is that the acid that remains on the paint after treating the surface with rust converter (which also works as primer) will detoriate the paint further. Thus undermining its entire point.

      • bigredcavetroll

        No, I should have though. I agree that it’s really not possible to be paint conscious enough. Both my Frontier and my wife’s Fit have little nicks in them from stones and bugs that would be there no matter what and can’t really be prevented. It probably doesn’t help that my truck lives under an oak tree and has acorns that rain down on it all the time.

        I’ve never had success with a rust converter that comes in a spray can. The only rust inhibitor/preventor/converter that I’ve used that has worked really well has been POR-15 (POR=Paint Over Rust). It’s susceptible to UV radiation though, so it has to be painted over or in a spot that doesn’t see much sun. I don’t know if POR-15 is sold internationally though.

  • Dean Bigglesworth

    Meh. Meh. Meh. Fuck Yes!. Meh..

    Slightly off-topic, having driven both the X4 and the X3 on the same track I thought the X3 handled better. Probably just down to suspension and tyres, which felt weird because the X4 was equipped with the “better” sports suspension and tyres.

  • Manic_King

    Not really a automotive related experience but I noticed that local ferry co had teamed up with Kimi Räikkönen to produce Iceman Gin Long Drink in a can. Bought it and it was complete crap, watery, weak, awful. Made in Belgium where people probably don’t know how the real thing, Finnish favorite and the daddy of all canned G&T -like drinks (Hartwall’s Original Gin Long Drink) tastes like. Disappointed.

    • pj134

      There’s canned gin and tonic in the world? Dammit Pennsylvania.

      • Manic_King

        I guess you could order from some expat shop nowadys, or if not, make your own:

        Some back story with slightly OTT intro:

  • Citric

    The front of the Tesla X bugs me, it looks like it’s not finished. I have made an improved version in MS Paint.

    • Manic_King

      Mad MS Paint skillz right there.
      Let’s say they will not use your much improved version, where would NA form factor reg. plate go, to center or to one side of that beak? There really is quite a lot of emptiness there.

      • Sjalabais

        There’s no doubt in my mind as to what will be the most popular void-filling option for the model X.

    • nanoop

      Nice Kia. Or was it Ford-Martin?

    • ptschett

      I Have No Grille, And I Must Scream

  • pj134

    Don’t mess with my emotions Mazda.

  • nanoop

    The rhs front brake seized on the daily driver. I could push back the piston, but it seized again on the test drive.
    So I do know now that for a 1st gen Focus there are no brake piston refurbish kits available within two working days here. Bit the bullet and had a workshop swapping out the entire caliper.
    Now I checked the wheel temperatures, and lhs is slightly warmer than the rhs. I guess I should order a kit, just in case…

    • Sjalabais

      I’ve had issues with brake calipers since I bought the Honda. Greased them a lot, until one of them (front right) seized while driving and had to be replaced, the car stranded and all (3000NOK for the job). That happened a week after I asked another shop to replace the rear calipers, which they just greased and called “good enough”.

  • CraigSu

    Tease me some more, Mazda. I can take it, I promise.

    • hwyengr

      This is going to be the longest month. Because you just know they’ve had a breakthrough on the laser spark plugs and the rotary will now burn as efficiently as a reciprocator, right? Right? Please?

  • tonyola

    The Mazda looks teasingly good, but I’m in fear about what lies on the flanks hidden in the shadows – swoops, scoops, vents, creased lines, and complex surfacing all in the current fashion? Hope not.

  • ptschett

    The model X reminds me.
    Sunday, I had just crossed the ND border headed northbound on I-29 when I see an interesting-looking, white, high-end sporty-looking sedan ahead of me in the distance, going the same direction as me but inexplicably several MPH slower. I knew that I knew what it was, but couldn’t place it. One of those swoopy so-called “coupe” sedans from M-B or BMW? Maybe a Porsche Panamera or Audi RS7? Nothing quite fit till I got close enough to read the license plate, “burns kW” and the “T” badge on the decklid, and then I understood why that Model S was going at such an energy-conserving pace; their last chance at a Supercharger was about 200 miles behind them.

  • After 5 years of reading good reviews of it online, I finally found it on sale for 30% off. Followed me home for $350.


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