The Most Expensive SUV: The Lamborghini Urus

In December of 2018, the very first SUV of Lamborghini, the Urus, will be available for purchase. One car dealer says they expect the cars to sell out as soon as they arrive. The company, Manhattan Motorcars, sells luxury brands and has already received orders for over 60 Urus SUVs. Despite its significantly large price of $207,000 or $225,000 with all options and customizations, the model is already prevalent. With a top speed of 190 mph, there is no wonder why this 4-door, 32-valve V8 transmission has attracted new customers. In fact, a surprising 70 percent of Urus buyers so far have never owned a Lamborghini.

The Lamborghini brand is one that most buyers stretch themselves to get into, such as younger generations. Since the new model allows wealthy people living in areas with bad roads to purchase the cars without ruining them, Lamborghini hopes to attract big money buyers. The company also expects to attract new buyers due to the market’s obsession with SUVs. The Urus is set to act as the company’s anchor for cash flow and sale stabilization.

This radical change to the Lamborghini brand is expected to double the company’s annual production. At the end of 2018, Lamborghini will have a total output of around 5,000 cars, with 1,000 being the Urus. By the end of 2019, however, the SUV will account for more than half of the anticipated production of 8,000 cars. If Lamborghini sells the 3500-plus Uruses, it hopes to annually, company sales will be effectively doubled.

The design of the new SUV was contemplated, as all Lamborghini models are held to a WOW standard. To achieve their goal of creating a truly authentic and memorable experience, the company ultimately decided to design the Urus’s dashboard aviation-style. Hexagons were used throughout the design to give the car a futuristic and genuine appeal.

The vehicle’s start button can be found in the center under a red flip cover. If you are going somewhere, you better mean it! The shifter is a large handle fashioned to imitate a jets throttle and is framed by smaller levers: the left allows the driver to select one of the six driving modes (Strada–street, Sport, Corsa–race, Neve–snow, Sabbia–sand, and Terra–off road); the right activates the customizable Ego mode.

While the exotic interior design is enough to attract most, the Urus doesn’t stop there. Compared to any other SUV, this one is ridiculously fast. Lamborghini asserts that the SUV goes from 0 to 62mph in 3.6 seconds, compared to the Tesla Model X (Tesla SUV) that runs 0 to 60mph in 3.3 seconds.

To top it all off, the Lamborghini Urus is the least expensive new Lamborghini you could buy. It is also a daily driver, an unbelievably fast and safe vehicle, and it can literally drive on anything (solid). 

The Most Expensive SUV: The Lamborghini Urus

The Tesla Semi: Ready or Not, Here it Comes

In what is becoming a tradition of sorts, Tesla motors has recently dropped another automotive bombshell with the announcement of an all-new, 100% electric semi truck. The Tesla semi sports some very impressive specifications, including an estimated 500-mile range. The superior torque output of electric vehicles is a natural fit for the commercial trucking industry and the Tesla semi exploits this fact with a payload of over 80,000 lbs and a blistering 0 to 60 acceleration of 20 seconds; 40 seconds faster than comparable diesel semi trucks.

The electric big rig was presented in two styles; a flat top, lower profile standard truck and the high-top aero model, which carries the sleek roofline up and over the cargo. Both versions will be rated as Class 8 with capacity for the heaviest loads, but with a modest range of 500 miles, they are expected to be targeted mostly for regional trucking. Although a long-haul version with a sleeper cab is said to be in the works, the regional trucking between ports and distribution centers accounts for about 80% of routes today, so demand is expected to be high for the Tesla Semi. In fact, PepsiCo recently announced an order for 100 of the first production Tesla Semis.

Tesla plans to follow a similar model to the one used in the development of their world class electric passenger vehicles. The impressive efficiency and class leading range is possible through the help of lightweight materials. The pre-production models introduced are constructed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, however it is expected that production models will be made from aluminum, just as the passenger Tesla vehicles. Tesla also has revealed plans to launch a network of solar charging stations for the Semi, which will be quick-charge high output chargers capable of providing 400 miles of range with 30 minutes of charge. These charging stations can also be implemented at distribution centers and shipping terminals directly, allowing for virtually continuous use, especially on repeated routes.

The cab of the Tesla Semi is just as high tech and austere as one would expect from Tesla. The driver sits in the center of the vehicle, formula one style. The driver’s display is flanked on either side by large touch screen panels that allow a custom view of trip and vehicle metrics. Operators of these trucks will feel more like Captain Kirk piloting the Starship Enterprise. The Tesla Semi dazzles inside and out; on paper and in person. However, the verdict is still out as to whether the trucking community will welcome or shun the electric workhorse.

The Tesla Semi: Ready or Not, Here it Comes

The New Tesla Roadster

Even though it was the Tesla Semi truck that was the showstopper at last week’s Tesla event, the newly unveiled Roadster was also a runaway success, at least in the eyes of many industry professionals. Though doubts remain about CEO Elon Musk’s ability to run the company in the black, there’s no doubt that he has turned out an incredible piece of machinery.

 

Bent on “disrupting the automobile industry,” Tesla seems poised to do just that. With a 0-60 acceleration time of 1.9 seconds and a top speed of over 250 mph, Musk claims the Roadster will be one of the, if not the most, fastest production cars in existence. Throw in a 620 mile driving range and 10,000 Nm of torque, and you’ve got an electric car that can rival most gas-powered ones, none of whom can rival the overall metrics of the Roadster.

 

If there’s one drawback to Musk’s Tesla demonstration, it’s in the financials. The base price of the Roadster currently sits at $200,000, with a reserve price of $50,000. Unfortunately, there’s no word on the Model 3 that has 400,000 customers already in the wings, but it does shine a bright spot on the future of the company. Musk has already stated that he wants to hit a production rate of 5,000 Model 3s per week to meet the demand, which is convenient, since that’s also when the company will announce their first quarterly results for 2018.

 

Not everyone is convinced that the Model 3 will live up to the hype. Bloomberg reports that it is a “sedan plagued by production problems,” although there are reports that the first invites have been sent out to customers to pick up their Model 3s. Whether it continues remains up to the company. Regardless, Tesla needs the Roadster and the Model 3 to be a success, as reports are that the company is burning through $8,000 a minute, or nearly half-a-million every half hour.

 

Furthermore, the claim of a 0-60 speed of 1.9 seconds is also in doubt, since the fastest some professionals have been able to get the car to 60 is 2.3 seconds; the actual finished product may be significantly lighter than the ones out now, but matching that alongside a top speed of 250 MPH, faster than the take-off speed of a jet aircraft can be tricky.

 

Regardless of claims, there’s no doubt that Tesla is fulfilling Musk’s vision of disrupting the industry, and given automobile enthusiasts a car that is the incarnation of their wildest fantasies.

The New Tesla Roadster

What You Need to Know About Ethos, a New Kind of Life Insurance

Some of the most difficult financial challenges faced by members of the Millennial Generation are related to making decisions about their futures. We are talking about a generation that was raised in the shadow of the Great Recession and rising income inequality; for this reason, it should not be surprising to learn that Millennials are often apprehensive when discussing financial products such as life insurance.

 

The problem with the life insurance industry is that many companies have not adjusted to the ethos of Millennials, which means that they are still chasing profits through the sale of ancillary financial products. Millennials tend to be suspicious of such motives because they know about the history of the subprime mortgage meltdown, the Dot-Com bubble and the excesses of the student loan industry.

 

Many insurance companies have tried to lure Millennials through fancy mobile apps, but none of them have been able to accomplish the simplicity and transparency of Ethos, an insurer that focuses on the true nature of life insurance.

 

Ethos does not rely on networks of salespeople or intermediaries to offer term life insurance, which is the kind of policy that makes the most sense to young families who rely on a sole breadwinner. Ethos presents term life insurance clauses, costs, payouts, and conditions as they are; this is a company that does not rely on trying to sell investment products to individuals who are mostly interested in providing protection to their loved ones should they pass away unexpectedly.

 

Term life insurance does not have to be complicated; Ethos allows policyholders to define the basic elements such as the term, cash payments and beneficiaries. The terms of the policies last between 10 and 30 years, meaning that they are ideal for providing protection during some of the most financially challenging periods in the life of a family. Single parents whose relatives do not enjoy financial freedom stand to benefit the most from term life insurance since they can have peace of mind insofar as providing a cushion to their children in case of the unthinkable.

 

Ethos allows prospective policyholders to get a solid idea of what their financial life will be like with a term life insurance policy. Since there are no salespeople trying to make commissions, applicants can take their time discussing this important decision with their loved ones, and they can do so without being pressured into considering investment plans to go along with their policies.

What You Need to Know About Ethos, a New Kind of Life Insurance

The Answer to Today’s Life Insurance Problem? Tomorrow

The life insurance industry is facing a problem. Millennials simply aren’t purchasing policies. They seem to not see it as an important part of life. They associate life insurance with senior citizens and assume that they should only care about it when they are older. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Life insurance is incredibly important as soon as you become an adult and it is smarter to purchase a policy when you are younger, when premiums are cheaper.

In order to appeal to millennials, life insurance companies must use the tools of today: smartphones and applications. In order for today’s youth to become interested and engaged in the life insurance discussion, they must be approached in a manner that they are familiar with. This is exactly what one company is attempting to do.

Tomorrow Ideas, a startup company based in Seattle, has created an app that will, hopefully, get millennials excited about their life insurance. The startup has earned $2.6 million in seed funding from venture capitalists and is expected to be a hit with its demographic. The Tomorrow app takes the process of setting up a will and living trust and buying life insurance and boils it down into a simple and easy-to-manage app. Users can make small or large changes to their will in the blink of an eye. The idea behind the app is that users don’t need to go to a lawyer every time they want to change their will. It makes the process simpler and much more user friendly.

One of the founders of Tomorrow, CEO Dave Hanley, was inspired to create the app when his father died without a will. He had to take care of his father’s estate while also dealing with a mother with dementia. He was in need of a quick way to make changes to a will, living trust or to purchase a life insurance policy. And so, Tomorrow Ideas was born.

While there are other services very similar to Tomorrow, Hanley and company believe that what sets Tomorrow apart is its friendly mobile user interface as well as the fact that it is something of a one stop shop for life insurance, wills and living trusts.

Will the application be able to appeal to the millennials of today? We will have to wait and see what Tomorrow brings.

The Answer to Today’s Life Insurance Problem? Tomorrow

Tesla Model 3

July 28, 2017, Tesla Inc. revealed the new Tesla Model 3. During the “handover” event, 2,000 employees, press, and other guests waited for the unveiling of Tesla’s first mass-market electric vehicle. Employees from different departments discussed their contribution to the creation of the car and shared behind the scenes information. It was also announced that 30 select employees would be receiving a production-ready vehicle before the car’s official launch.

A 10-second countdown was initiated shortly after 9:00 pm concluded by Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, driving onstage in a red Model 3. Musk gave a presentation discussing things like the time and energy put into the design, the challenges of mass production, and the love and appreciation he and his company have for all of their wonderful customers, some of whom have already pre-purchased a Model 3. After his presentation, servers offered decadent desserts while members of the press were offered short test rides in the new model.

Since the beginning of Tesla Inc. 13 years ago, Elon Musk has envisioned affordable electric vehicles (EV). The company’s first shipped EV cost the consumer approximately $109,000, a price that exceeded Musk’s dream. Over the next nine years, Tesla took strides to evolve into the world’s first mass producer of electric vehicles.

The brand new Model 3 can be purchased at a base price of $35,000. While there are many features for individual customization, the price will change with each new addition. Although the term ‘basic’ seems a little drab, the Model 3 has plenty of features to get you excited. For starters, the EV’s range is approximately 220 miles. This means a typical driver can go multiple days before needing to recharge. The EV’s speed is also quite impressive. It can get up to 60 miles per hour in about 5.6 seconds reaching its top speed at 130 to 140 miles per hour. Another enthralling feature of this model is the digital display. At the handover event, Elon Musk noted that a goal of the company was to create a simplistic yet effective display for Model 3. Instead of multiple knobs and buttons, one 15 inch center touchscreen will control any changes need, as well as the car information.

For those with pockets a little deeper, Tesla offers different ways to customize individual models. For an extra $1,000, consumers can choose between a few colors outside of the default black for their car. Consumers can also elect to upgrade from rear wheel drive to dual motor all-wheel drive. The Ludicrous mode featured in older versions is offered as an option in Tesla’s new model. For around $8,000, the Model 3 offers premium options such as autopilot, self-driving, a premium audio system, and much more.

Tesla Model 3

Alternatives to the Tesla Model 3

Twenty years ago, electric cars were an idea, a hope, and a dream. Ten years ago, they were a reality though extremely pricey. A consumer would need to pay over $100,000 to own an EV. Today, prices have decreased, and society is on its way to more affordable, mass-produced electric vehicles. Earlier this year, Tesla Inc. unveiled the newest addition to their line, the Model 3, their first mass-produced EV. While the reasonable pricing and exemplary design have encouraged the populace to purchase an EV, the extensive waiting list has caused many to look at what other options might be available. The Model 3 is in a league of its own, but there are many companies hard at work to bring some competition to Tesla. For those looking for an environmentally friendly vehicle, here are the top 3 alternatives to the Tesla Model 3.

 

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

 

The top alternative to the Model 3 is the 2017 Chevy Bolt. Ranked #1 in the compact cars category by U.S. News’ Best Cars. It also ranked #1 in small cars, hybrid and electric cars, and hatchbacks. Based on an evaluation of 18 pieces of research and data elements, the Chevrolet Bolt received an overall score of 8.9 out of 10 points. The vehicle comes with an astonishing range of 238 miles in a single charge. It has space for five passengers and comes with plenty of room for cargo, and to top it all off, it comes with tech-savvy features, such as a 10.5-inch touchscreen system.

 

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

 

The 2017 Ioniq is available as an electric vehicle, a hybrid, and a plug-in hybrid. The strong driving performance, stellar fuel economy, an appealing base price, and upscale interior landed this Hyundai at the #11 ranking in compact cars. It was also ranked #6 in hybrid and electric cars,  #13 in small cars, and received an overall score of 8.4 out of 10. This alternative is highly efficient with a 124-mile range and includes a 7-inch intuitive touch screen system.

 

2017 Nissan Leaf

 

This alternative is the option for anyone looking for a daily vehicle. The U.S. News’ Best Cars ranked the Leaf as #21 in compact cars based on an evaluation of 65 pieces of research and data elements. It also received #15 in hybrid and electric cars, #30 in small cars, and #24 in hatchbacks with an overall score of 7.6 out of 10. While it isn’t as upscale as its competition, this Nissan offers a spacious interior, a cushioned ride, and a range of 107 miles.

Alternatives to the Tesla Model 3

Far-Fetched: Flying Taxi Service

The automobile industry is one of the most complex and fascinating industries in the world. One of the more interesting facets of the industry is the sheer amount of innovation and technological advancement that we are currently seeing. Manufacturers are working on self-driving cars, electric cars and everything else in between. And just recently, one of the most desired and dreamt-of fantasies of the automotive industry could become a reality: the flying car.

 

Practically since the dawn of the automobile and the airplane, human beings have always wanted to mix the two as seamlessly as possible. Television, movies and other media have, for decades, depicted a world where human beings can take flight in their personal vehicles. And while we are still not at that stage, we are on the verge of a major breakthrough.

 

According to a report from Business Insider, Volocopter, a German-based startup, has struck a deal with the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (DRTA) to test out self-flying taxis for five years.

 

The flying taxis can fly for up to 17 minutes and can comfortably seat two passengers. The company has worked with the DRTA in order to create a set of predetermined routes for the tests. The tests will take place before the end of the year, meaning that the citizens of Dubai will be looking up to a sky full of flying taxis.

 

Although the taxis have the ability to sly themselves, they will be manned by a pilot for the entirety of the testing period. And while it is intriguing to think that the world will see a flying taxi service within the year, it also lends itself to many more questions.

 

Will this technology be implemented into personal vehicles as well? Will they be pilotable or will they exclusively function autonomously? What will guidelines and regulations look like for the vehicles? These are all questions that will hopefully be answered by the time flying vehicles make their way into the hands of eager consumers. But until then, the world will watch Dubai as it takes a tremendous leap towards the world of tomorrow.

Far-Fetched: Flying Taxi Service

Apple’s Self-Driving Car

You know the name; you’ve seen their products; you’ve more than likely purchased a few of them at one point or another. They’re one of the most valuable and recognizable companies in the world. The empire that Apple has built is a wonder to behold. And that empire was built on technology and software, but now, the company may be getting into the automotive industry.

 

There have been rumors of Apple entering the automotive industry for quite some time, and for a moment, it had appeared as if nothing would come of it. But just a few months ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company is indeed working on a self-driving car; in a manner of speaking.

 

While there have been several documents and files that have led the public to believe that Apple was working on a full-fledged, self-driving vehicle, it turns out, according to Cook himself, that the company is really working on the software side of things. Based on Cook’s description of the project as being “one of the most difficult AI projects to work on,” it is assumed that the company was originally working on creating a complete vehicle, but as the project became much more difficult, they scaled it down and instead chose to focus on software.

 

In essence, this means that Apple will ditch their long-lasting tradition of manufacturing both hardware and software, and instead create only the software. And Apple has already released a similar feature. Apple CarPlay is a software that can be installed into the infotainment system of almost any vehicle. The software acts as something of a conduit for the driver’s existing iPhone. With CarPlay, drivers can play music from their phone, use the iPhone’s built in navigation, and even respond to texts and make use of Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri.

 

Since Apple is no stranger to automobile software, this project should be familiar territory. That is not to say that this project will not be difficult, as creating software to allow for autonomous driving is vastly more complex than creating software for multimedia use.

 

In short, Apple is more than likely going to steer away from developing a self-driving car; they will, however, focus on creating software for cars to drive themselves. And although the prospect of having Apple, who is renowned for their stable software, create self-driving software for vehicles, one can’t help but wonder just how amazing it would have been to get behind the wheel of the Apple Car.

Apple’s Self-Driving Car

Two Eye-Catching New Car Concepts

We are living in a digital age. Smartphones can now complete almost all of the tasks that only refrigerator-sized computers could back in the 80s, smartwatches can track our heart rates and play music, and our appliances can connect to the Internet. The household of the Jetsons is almost a reality. But I’d like to talk about an important part of our daily lives that doesn’t live inside your house: the car. Automobiles and the technological revolution that they are currently going through seems to be the topic of conversation on everyone’s mind. There are a striking number of new-age concepts and technological innovations in the automobile industry that I would love to share with you. I figured I would start off with the two that I find most interesting.

Mercedes-Benz F 015

Robert Taurosa Car Concepts
One of the hottest topics of conversation in the world of cars is that of the self-driving car. The Mercedes-Benz F 015 capitalizes on this trend in a major way. By using advanced sensor technology and cameras, the F 015 can read any and all driving patterns on the road and drive itself. This allows the driver and passengers to relax and have some free time. The car’s interior features swiveling seats that face each other and a small desk in the center. The walls of the car feature LED screens that can be used to display information about business or your family trip to DisneyWorld.

The Oasis Car

Robert Taurosa Oasis
The Oasis Car from Rinspeed is as unique as it gets. The car’s design rivals that of a modern Smartcar; however, the Oasis is far more technologically inclined that the Smartcar. The Oasis boasts several far-out features that one can only dream of, including: headrests with built-in speakers, a full-motion steering wheel that can be fitted with a keyboard, a ceiling with multiple LED lights, a three-monitor computer placed on the dashboard that can be used for Internet browsing as well as traditional navigation and multimedia functions, and, quite possibly the most unique feature of all, a miniature garden. If this car ever makes it to production, I would love to test-drive it.

As I’ve said before, there are plenty of other boundary-pushing concepts for the automotive industry. I will definitely discuss them throughout this ongoing series. Be sure to come back next month for part two!

Two Eye-Catching New Car Concepts