All posts by Jim Dvorak

Managing Director of SOEC since 2005. Veteran of the Southern California automotive scene. Involvement with Saleen dates back to the mid 1990s.

FIRST 2017 MODEL YEAR S302 BLACK LABEL READY FOR DELIVERY

From our friends at Saleen Automotive.

2017 S302 Black Label coupe finished in Oxford White. Production complete and ready for delivery to new owner.

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]

PAIR OF S302 WL (17-0016 & 17-0017) HEAD TO GOSCH FORD

From our friends at Saleen Automotive.

Gosch Ford of Temecula got their first set of White Labels. This is one of our Premier Saleen Authorized Dealers servicing Southern California.

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]

GAS2: TESLA REMOVES PERFORMANCE-LIMITING SOFTWARE

By: NICOLAS ZART on January 20, 2017
Original Article: GAS2.ORG; Feature Photo: Arthur St. Antoine

Tesla Removes Performance-Limiting Software From Model S & Model X

Elon Musk in 2012 Tesla Model S
Elon Musk in 2012 Tesla Model S

Tesla is removing performance-limiting software from its Model S and Model X. You didn’t know about the software at all? If not, you’re not the only one, but I’ll update you.

More importantly, though, has Tesla solved the overheating issues that restrict power output?

And does this mean we can finally race a Model S on a track?

Not really.

Tesla Removes its Performance-Limiting Software

Before you inundate Tesla Motors with questions, note that this specific software limits the power output according to how many times it considers you have full-open-throttle accelerated the Model S and X. The ramifications and implications are many for Tesla and the automotive industry at large, which has been suffering from ethical business decisions.

As of now and according to Tesla’s President of Global Sales and Service, Jon McNeil, from our friends at Teslarati, the performance-limiting software will be removed from the Model S and Model X via the usual over-the-air software update.

New Tesla Model S jets to 60 mph
New Tesla Model S jets to 60 mph

The story erupted on the Tesla Motors Club (TMC) forum in recent weeks, where McNeil admitted the company was limiting the performance of some of its Model S and Model X in order to protect them from excessive wear and tear. Fair enough, but it wasn’t clear if the wear and tear are part of the rolling stock or the thermal management system of the battery and controller.

One of the reasons the Model S hasn’t been raced successfully so far is you can only use its full power for the first lap or so. Things drastically change in the second lap. The battery and controllers heat up. The car deliberately lowers its performance output, eventually to a crawl. We witnessed this clearly a few years ago when Steve Saleen was developing his own version of a performance Model S, the Four Sixteen, which we covered here. The racing restrictions were the overheating of the components and battery pack. Steve assured us he overcame that restriction eventually. Our initial test drives around an undisclosed California race track were convincing for a start.

However, racing is one thing. Buying a $135,000 performance car for its impressive numbers only to have it throttle back in an undisclosed way is quite another.

Tesla Community Members Up In Arms

CEO Elon Musk, center, with CTO J.B. Straubel, left, and Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen watch as Tesla launched the Model S, at their factory in Fremont, Calif., on Friday, June 22, 2012. The event marked the start of its Fremont assembly line and, the company hopes, eventual entry into the mass market with its revolutionary electric car. (Patrick Tehan/Staff)
CEO Elon Musk, center, with CTO J.B. Straubel, left, and Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen watch as Tesla launched the Model S, at their factory in Fremont, Calif., on Friday, June 22, 2012. The event marked the start of its Fremont assembly line and, the company hopes, eventual entry into the mass market with its revolutionary electric car. (Patrick Tehan/Staff)

Members of Tesla community didn’t react well to this performance-limiting software infringement on the Model S’s stated performance. A few threads on the company’s forum highlighted that the overuse of Tesla’s Launch Mode feature throttles back the Ludicrous Model S’s performance. But the issue got worse when P85D and P85 owners, post Ludicrousmode, reported the same problem on their Model S, which were not Ludicrous. It eventually culminated when other owners reported the same restrictions in Launch and Max Power modes.

What was brought to light eventually was that Tesla used an algorithm that counted how many times the cars were driven with open throttle without stating it. It would then throttle back performance, sometimes reducing the overall horsepower by as much as 100 HP. Since the claimed performance of the Model S and X wasn’t met over and over and was highlighted on Tesla’s forum, the company discreetly added a disclaimer to its online Design Studio confirming the limiting software. Tesla wasn’t upfront and took a lot of heat from some of its owners. This is something the company can’t afford to do. Here’s why:

Now What?

Tesla is very adept at making its client handle marketing, while other carmakers rely on huge budgets. What can it do when it gets caught with numbers that don’t match the claimed performance?

Unlike other carmakers that spend millions of dollars on a monthly base, Tesla doesn’t officially have a marketing department, in the traditional automotive sense. Handling negative publicity is crucial. Tesla owners are notoriously technically savvy and bleeding-edge adopters. It doesn’t take much for them to realize numbers and performance don’t add up. Selling these people a product that doesn’t work as advertised is extremely dangerous. Undisclosed performance-limiting software is a mistake that Tesla must avoid at all costs, considering the scandals VW and other carmakers are currently facing. While not technically the same issue, stating one thing and acting contrary in an undisclosed way is a slippery slope. Rightfully, Tesla kept the performance-limiting software story internal and away from the news.

But what about racing? Does that mean we can now race a Model S? Not so fast. The car is still throttled back it heats up around a race track. It’s understandable. Tesla didn’t design your car for racing. We’ll have to wait for the Electric GT (EGT) Championship series to tackle that.

The moral questions are more along the lines of what if you purchase a certified pre-owned Performance Model S or X? Does it mean you will be even more throttled than buying a brand new one? Are you going to be “paying for” the consequences of the previous driver when the company sells you a used car?

Consequences and Conclusion

These are serious learning lessons for Tesla. After the VW diesel scandal, carmakers know they can’t withhold information and claim the contrary. This hinders on federal crime laws and no one wants to go that route, especially the financially fragile Tesla Motors company.

It takes an entire society to accept de facto norms imposed on it. It only takes a few vocal people to stop and sometimes reverse the process. Case in this point, thanks to Tech_Guy in the Tesla owners community, McNeil was forced to acknowledge the performance limiting software by writing:

“Based on your input, we have decided to remove all software performance reductions tied to frequent max power usage. These changes will roll out with our next software update (in about three weeks).

We had put these reductions in place to proactively protect the powertrain from wear and tear. Instead, we will monitor the condition of the powertrain and let our customers know if service is needed so that we can take proactive steps, such as by replacing parts if necessary, to maintain the vehicle’s performance.”

The conclusion is simple, bordering simplistic. Ethics are mostly interpretations based on a solid bedrock. Our political world in shamble only reflects our society subconscious and acts as a shadow self. Tesla is the darling of the EV community. It can’t afford to say one thing and hinder performance. This is something the automotive industry at large is learning the hard way.

[Source: GAS2]

FABULOUS FORDS FOREVER! AT KNOTT’S: SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 2017

Fabulous Fords Forever at Knott’s Weekend 2017

* Registration for the 2017 show will open in January 2017.
* Bring your Saleen — no matter its condition — to the largest non-judged show of its kind in the world!
* Pre-Register — you can do so online or download a form at fabulousfordsforever.org

SATURDAY, APRIL 29:
Club Members: Join us for a members-only dinner event — RSVP Required for each person in your party — Send an email to jimd@soec.org or call 714-369-8621 for more info. Casual attire, pay-your-own meal and expect to pay $12-20-plus for your meal per person. Space is limited, and spouses (or significant others) and family are welcome. We expect a group of about 50 people. More info to be announced.

SUNDAY, APRIL 30:
We’ll do an early morning cruise to Knott’s (see lower map below) — Steve and Molly are expected to attend — unsure if they’ll do the cruise, but if you want to cruise to Knott’s, meet at Saleen at 7:45 a.m.; planned departure by 8:00 a.m. Everyone’s invited. You must be pre-registered for the show and have your confirmation card hanging from your rear view mirror as you enter the Knott’s gate.

We will need some volunteers to help parking from 5:30 – 10:00 a.m. and you get a free VIP lunch with journalists and celebrities plus preferential parking, but we need a commitment by April 4. You must also have your car registered for the show, or get a ride with someone (let Jim D. know if you need a ride).

We might need additional helpers starting at 7:00 a.m., so if you arrive early, please let Jim D. know you can help and we’ll give you a vest or a task to help with.

Cruise to Knott’s from Saleen Sunday morning…

More information on Sunday’s event itself and Facebook links at:
* http://fabulousfordsforever.org
* https://www.facebook.com/FabulousFordsForever

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PAIR OF S302 WL (17-0011 & 17-0012) HEAD TO BILL PIERRE FORD

From our friends at Saleen Automotive.

I raise you a pair of Saleens. 2017 S302 White Labels heading off to Bill Pierre Ford in Seattle.

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]

S302 YL (16-0054) HEADING HOME TO KANSAS

From our friends at Saleen Automotive. Congratulations Adam!

Took some pics of this S302 Yellow Label (16-0054) inside since we are having some long needed rain. This Yellow Label is headed to its new home in Kansas to see its owner for the first time. I know you will enjoy Adam!

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]

“SPECIAL PRICING” FOR FINAL 2016 S302 WHITE LABEL

This is a cool opportunity to get a unique build, as “last of” cars often give a Saleen a desirable provenance for the rest of its life. And not only that, it looks like a great deal for a lucky future Saleen owner! Buy it while you can!

From our friends at Saleen Automotive.

Final 2016 S302 White Label, $44,995.00

One of our good dealers had a 2016 left in their inventory. So we picked up this car and brought it to California for some sunshine and Saleen treatment. This car is being converted to a White label with Black label upgraded wheels and painted calipers. The car is a 400A with leather interior and a manual trans. I am helping the dealer move this unit since they are under snow, buy converting the car. This car is going to have an MSRP of $51,824. For a last minute Christmas gift you can purchase this car for $44,995. The car will be done by Christmas and available to ship to have before the first of the year. This is a non California emissions car. For inquires call Saleen Headquarters and ask for Vehicle Sales. Price does not include tax or license fees.

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]

CALIFORNIA SPECIAL S302 WHITE LABEL BUILD

Congratulations to Steve Cwynar on purchasing his second new Saleen Mustang!
* Read about Steve’s 15-0030 S302 Yellow Label coupe.

From our friends at Saleen Automotive.

The California Special Mustang in Magnetic Gray is going to our great local customer Steve! This will be his second S550 Saleen Mustang, a daily driver so to keep mileage off his Yellow Label.

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[Source: Saleen Automotive]