AD #2421 – Audi Unveils PB 18 e-Tron, Elon Musk Hires Help to Take Tesla Private, Why We Hate Warning Labels

August 24th, 2018 at 11:35am

Runtime: 7:05

0:32 Elon Musk Hires Help to Take Tesla Private
0:59 August Car Sales Expected to Be Up
1:20 Open Wheel Racing Returns to Australia
2:16 BMW Reveals Production Z4
2:41 Infiniti Prototype 10 Concept
3:17 Audi Unveils PB-18 e-Tron
4:29 Jaguar to Build Classic Electric E-Types
5:33 Why We Hate Warning Labels

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52 Comments to “AD #2421 – Audi Unveils PB 18 e-Tron, Elon Musk Hires Help to Take Tesla Private, Why We Hate Warning Labels”

  1. Larry D. Says:

    “This is a pretty big development and indicates Elon is not fooling around about taking Tesla private.”

    I agree, and it really should not be too difficult to do so, and after it is private, it can ignore the Hedge Fund Gamblers and focus on its many present and many more future products.

    Another agreement, the 500,000 EVs a year Chinese factory, will make it a real force in the World Auto Industry.

    And if 10 years from now it can pull another 200,000 in India (which has the same population and worse pollution as china), assuming it, by that time, can sell them for $10,000 (in today;s $) there, it will open the door to a potentially fast growth market for EVs (but I will believe the last one when I see it, too many disappointments from India…

  2. Larry D. Says:

    “How does 764 horsepower and a curb weight of 3,417 lbs. (1,550 kg) sound to you?”

    To me, it sounds utterly insignificant and irrelevant. How many of these to they expect to ever sell? Did the failure of the BMW i8 teach these people nothing? Obviously, even if they do produce this ridiculous toy, they will lose $ on every one of them, even if they sell them for $500,000 a piece.

    I don’t see Elon Musk losing any sleep whatsoever over this silly vehicle.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Regarding the warning labels, I never read them, but they don’t bother me, except the ones on the sun visors that you see when in the car. When the visor labels first appeared, they could be peeled off easily, which I did. Now, you are pretty much stuck with them.

  4. XA351GT Says:

    That racing series in Australia is to be a modern version of Formula 5000. Hence the reason they are using Ford 5.0s There were at one time 2 types of cars and series being proposed. One had a more modern look and the other was like looking at a old Lola F5000 car. The 2 groups merged knowing that if they competed head to head neither would make it. Funny is neither designed passed the FIA or CAMS tests. So a 3rd chassis was settled upon and that is what they will be running. Personally I wish they wouldn’t have added the toilet seat to the cars and went with the Indycar version that is coming in the next season or 2 made of the same material used in fighter plane windshields . It’s a much cleaner design without the blindspot right in front of the driver.

  5. Bradley Says:

    I always thought the warning labels were more about the manufacturer “Covering-Their_Ass” from lawsuits than being truly worried about me.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4, XA
    Are the engines based on the ones in current Mustang GT’s, or are they something else?

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 I think many, or most of the labels are required by law.

  8. Bradley Says:

    I could be wrong, but there really wasn’t such a thing as California Speedsters. Sure there were old speedster cars in California, but California wasn’t significant in that way for automobiles. I would also bet money that the majority of such speedsters that existed in California were simply owned by the Hollywood Wealthy and most of them probably didn’t race them.

    In the United States, the Midwest was the prominent place for racing back in those days.

  9. Buzzerd Says:

    Warning labels – just look at the first third of the car manual but I find them worse on motorcycles. Many new bikes I’ve bought I’ve taken more than a little time peeling off an orange warning sticker off the tank.

  10. Albemarle Says:

    I agree with you John about warning labels. I find they are also a real pain when trying to find some information in the operator’s manual. Just when you’ve given up trying to find the info, turns out they hid it in one of the warnings.

    Come on car companies. Have a heart. Make all the labels and warnings useless and show real information, (like fuel tank size), in a easily found location. Don’t mix useful with useless.

  11. Buzzerd Says:

    Does anything beat being told how a seatbelt works on a plane? If someone doesn’t know how about you just tell just them.

  12. Steve W Says:

    I would think the labels are to prevent losing lawsuits that could arise from careless consumers.

  13. Tony Gray Says:

    Put a 25% tariff on every warning label! Make Owner’s Manuals Great Again!

  14. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’m usually on-board with John’s commentary but I feel that most of those labels can provide reminders and sometimes even information that a user might use. Of course they are driven by our litigious society but if you’re looking for what type of brake fluid you need, what refrigerant your car uses and what tire pressures are suggested, they can be useful. Some of the warning labels can be repetitive and visually intrusive but such is our world (according to Perry, Mason that is, and all the others).

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 Yep, the tire pressure lable is very useful for cars, and bikes. That seems to be the only one I ever consult. My bikes have two different sets of tire pressure numbers, one for light load, and one for maximum load.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    How about a tax on the hypocrites parroting the word “sustainability” without really knowing even what it means using it in their so-called ‘research’ proposals to get Government Cheese and in their papers so they can be published in the journals nobody takes seriously? How about $10 every time this word is uttered? $5? Soon it will add up to billions and billions (to quote the late Popular Astronomer Carl Sagan)

  17. Kevin Anderson Says:

    any word on the price of the new BMW Z4?

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 Under $150K?

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17, 18 More seriously, C and D says the four cylinder version will start in the mid 50′s, and the 6 cyl in the 60′s. Sadly, it will be automatic only, according to C and D.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    20 too much dough for a near-luxury really tiny two seater. I;d rather have a Boxster, or, better, a used 911 for that $. And 911s, of which an amazing 1,000,000 have been made already, are surprisingly reliable, far more reliable than the little bimmers.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Base Corvettes are hard to beat for that money, or gently used ones for half that.

  22. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Think the warning labels are bad on cars, read the ones on an extension ladder. Don’t mind them except when they are not removable. Idiots need them I guess!

  23. Tim Beaumont Says:

    Re: Warning Labels

    USA, United States of Attorneys …

  24. XA351GT Says:

    Kit, to best of my knowledge they are the new Coyote V8s.

  25. XA351GT Says:

    Kit, I confirmed it , yes it is the Quad cam Coyote Aluminator they are using. This thing has some massive wheels and tires . 15×17 rear wheels and 15×12 front wheels the tires are 680mm tall X 405 mm wide pretty much a 405-35-15 tire . The fronts are 570mm tall x 290mm wide or a 285-50-15 as best I can compare.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 It sounds like a good formula, and the simple, relatively inexpensive engines should work well, and be reliable.

  27. Ron Paris Says:

    I can tell you something that drives me WAY MORE nuts than warning labels. Electric E-type Jags! Makes me run screaming in the other direction. Such a sad statement about the industry!

  28. Len Simpson Says:

    Had an E-type 2+2 , tangled with lucas , the Prince of Darkness , don’t think I could for a refurrbed electrified version. played w/several limey jobs in my lifetime,disappointed every time . Styling was the only thing the eccentric beasts had going for them –and don’t forget rot.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 They had a sweet sounding inline six, when it ran.

  30. XA351GT Says:

    If anyone is interested in more info on those Aussie Formula 5000 cars check out the site they have more detailed info about the cars. They also have pics of the 2 original prototypes and the design that was finally settled upon. The cars are going to be built in France .

  31. Terry Says:

    Automakers only “cover their ass” with labels BECAUSE of the trial lawyers trying to find any way possible to get a jury to give them a big payout from the auto companies so that they can go buy their own sports team.

  32. Larry D. Says:

    21 Corvettes’ selling point was always the affordability (relative, of course) compared to various supercars, but they were never refined enough inside or out. Driving a Corvette and driving a 911 is not the same experience. People who pay $50k-150k more for the Porsche (or the ferrari) are not fools. After all, ‘if you are so smart, why aren’t you rich” goes backwards too.

    If Corvette was an independent division of GM they could probably slap another 10-20k on them. But getting rid of “Chevy” and raising the price would lose them some 1,000s corvette sales a month or a year

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 A C7 Corvette is more refined than previous ones, and the interior is much nicer, but the car is still kind of noisy, especially road/tire noise from the rear. The most recent 911 I have even ridden in was still air cooled, and rather noisy, but I suspect the current ones are much quieter.

  34. Chuck Grenci Says:

    For those interested, Formula 1 starts back this weekend (in Belgium): qualifying 9am Saturday (ESPN2) and the race 9am Sunday.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The F cars quickest in FP3.

  36. Larry D. Says:

    33 The Corvette convertible I tried to sit in with the top up was very crowded inside, my hair was pushed against the canvas top, and the interior was really low rent, unacceptable in a $50k ($ of 10 years ago or more) car.

    The noise in sports cars is an asset, not a liability, if it is done right. I did not drive the Corvette so I don’t know its noise, but I bet the noise allows Ferrari to charge another $20k or so for its cars.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 The interior of the current C7 Corvettes is much “higher rent” than in previous generations, but still as nice as in some cars that cost twice as much.

    As far as noise in sports cars, it depends. The exhaust sound of a Corvette is nice, when you get on it. The road and tire noise is less nice. I suspect replacing the run flat tires with non-run flat would reduce that somewhat.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Oops, that’s “not” as nice as in some cars that cost twice as much.

  39. Bob Wilson Says:

    Tesla is stepping back from going public (see link for full text:

    “After considering all of these factors, I met with Tesla’s Board of Directors yesterday and let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public. The Board indicated that they agree.”

  40. Larry D. Says:

    39 heard of it. Disappointing, and these back and forth’s make Musk not look good. I believe taking it private would be better, and would drive the gamblers away and let Tesla focus on its many products.

    37 At the 50k price level there is no room for any plastics in the car, it is ok to not have acres of great wood like in luxury cars, and Porsches and Ferraris have none, but they do have wall-to-wall leather on most or all visible surfaces. Like Corvettes, 911 interiors have improved substantially from the spartan ones of the past, and the 911 was never cheap, even in the 60s.

    The tire and road noise mean that somebody is using a sports car or a supercar to commute or for long trips, while their intended use is at the track, where you usually rev them up and the engine sound drowns the rest.

  41. Larry D. Says:

    39 I meant to ask you about your stats on monthly sales of green cars and esp Teslas. There seems to be a big discrepancy between your higher numbers (July, you claim Tesla sold in the US =14350+1200+1325, much higher than Ward’s 9,300 and Autonews’ obsolete 6,000.

    My question is, how do you get these estimates? Tesla does not announce monthly sales numbers. Do you look at registrations?

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    40 Most of today’s sports cars work quite well for long trips, as long as you are willing to deal with the noise, and you don’t need to carry too much stuff. I’ve used my Corvette for three 1100 mile road trips. The seats are comfortable, and it gets 29.5 mpg at 75-80 on the interstate. More quietness would be nice, though, on a 16 hour trip.

    This is what I’ve used when quoting plug-in car sales numbers:

    Many numbers are “estimated,” but they seem reasonable. Those look like the numbers you give, except for a 100 unit difference for Model 3.

  43. Larry D. Says:

    42 Your link is exactly the page Bob Wilson gave, my question to him was how do they estimate the sales. The page does not provide details on that.

    Sports cars usually are developed with performance in mind,. Engineers get bonuses mostly by the amount of weight they shave off the car. This is not good either for the reliability and passive safety nor for the comfort. The best highway rides are in heavy, full-size sedans, with the longest wheelbases (it is not the length that matters, it’s the wheelbase) and sports cars are weak on both counts, usually they have very short wheelbases as well as low weights.

    To find my first Merc 320 Bluetec I had to drive to Carmel, north of Indy, 4 hours in a louysy Kia rental, probably the Rio or the Soul. Terrible. I bought it, and they gave me a free 6 month warranty vs the 3 they usually do, but the interior was black and I thought it would be too hot in the summers in the old country, so I kept it in the US and in April next year I bought the white/beige interior I transported there. This time a colleague of mine drove me, also about 4 hours, to the Columbus OH area where the dealer was. He had a Scion XA. What a truly terrible little car. I am sure it’s reliable, but it was even worst on the highway than a sports car. Very short wheelbase, very lightweight, a joke, really, and high sides, combined with a very windy day, I thought the wind would take us off the highway at times. Well, one more reason Scion died.


  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 Yep, it would be interesting to know “how” they estimate sales. As you no doubt saw in the report, many of the cars, not just Tesla, have an asterisk with the footnote “Estimated Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Monthly or Quarterly Totals.”

    I guess I’m not very particular about ride quality, or I wouldn’t have a Corvette and a MINI, neither of which ride too well. On good roads, all cars ride ok, though. My best riding vehicle is a 1989 Dodge Caravan, which actually rides fairly well. The Prius is kind of in the middle, in ride quality.

    I’d about forgotten about the Scion xA, which was introduced about the same time as the original xB. The xA was a really basic small car. Yeah, I’m not sure I’d want to take one on a long highway trip, even though I take long trips in cars many people wouldn’t. The Corvette and MINI don’t ride great, but the seats in both are comfortable to me, important for a long trip.

    I find that a Corvette has a long wheelbase for a sports car, 107 inches. The wheelbase of a 911 is only 96 inches, but both the ‘Vette and 911 are the same 177 inch overall length.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I keep learning more about F1, some of which I don’t like. It sounds like Lance Stroll will drive with the “new” Force India team, because daddy or uncle Stroll has money. I guess only the Hamiltons and Vettels get rides based completely on ability.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    43 I’m curious about something. Why did you buy an E in the U.S. to take to Europe? Are they a lot cheaper here, enough to more than make up for shipping it over, or are all of them more “used up” over there, by the time they are 10 years old?

  47. joe Says:

    Tesla going private will not be an easy thing to do. Not many big time investors are ready to poor money in a company that is near bankruptcy. All the new EV’s that will be coming out in a year or two will have a toll on Tesla. Their are many other many many other factors that are not good for Tesla’s future. Some are very obvious. Quality is one of them. The negatives really outweigh the positives. As far as I’m concern, Tesla will not make it as a car company.

  48. XA351GT Says:

    Kit, F1 and most top level motorsport is and has been that way for a long time. in F1 over 3/4 s are sitting in cars because of sponsor money they bring with them.

  49. Larry D. Says:

    43 If I could get a Euro-spec Merc it would be better and more convenient, but the kind of deal I got, I could not. I brought the car there as a US citizen for temporary use only, which allows me to pay the annual license fee only for the months I use the car, usually 2-3. This is significant as the license fee there is close to 1,000 euros for a 3,000 cc car as mine, while the one I have in the US pays only $240 a year or so. The car overseas is locked in my locked garden, and immobilized by the local customs when I leave until I come back and ask it to be driven again.

    I did not research this, I just followed the example of a colleague with a large family, whose brother has a big law firm there, and did what he did in 2010, when he transported his old 6-cyl Landcruiser overseas, also via Toronto (50% cheaper than via NJ). I assumed his brother told him the best way.

    Another example is the Navigation, when I went there I ordered the DVD for Europe and it arrived (cost about $250), they wasted an hour at the dealer overseas before they told me it was not compatible with the US-spec car, and did not charge me anything (returned the part to Merc). (later another friend gave me a free GPS, he had an extra one, which I can stick on the windshield, and works good)

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    49 Tnx for reply.

  51. Larry D. Says:

    50 np. I also have questions as to what market there is for cars like this, since it is already 10 years old and in 5-10 years I may need to replace it. I have green plates, and the number is really small, 1 letter and four digits (!) there are also red plates for people who return permanently to the old country, they are allowed a car they can drive all year and pay no license fees. That could be huge savings for cars of large ccs. I bet the 6.2 in the Corvette would pay 2-3,000 euros a year license fee. But the Prius would be 100% free, and small cc diesels also almost free.

  52. veh Says:

    Re: warning labels…I remember some 25 years ago or so when my son was young, seeing a Batman costume at the toy store, with the warning on it that the costume did not enable the wearer to fly!