Last night, Tesla Motors opened its showroom in Artarmon, Sydney and delivered the first nine Model S cars to Australian buyers. Yes, after what feels like a decade (but was actually a little under two years) the world's favourite high-performance, fully-electric sedan is here. And at a price surprisingly close to parity with the US.
Robotic cars that drive everyone around are a distant dream at best, but that hasn't stopped auto manufacturers from selling their whiz-bang appeal. In September it was Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, who teased a new "Super-Cruise" feature in the automaker's 2017 Cadillac model. A month later it was entrepreneur Elon Musk, who announced “Autopilot” in his company's upcoming “D series” Tesla S electric roadster.
It wasn't that long ago that every major sports car manufacturer scoffed at the idea of inserting hybrid-electric powertrains into their track-tuned road-rockets. They reasoned electric motors simply don't light anybody's fire. Even if you don't particularly like that argument, it's a fair one. There really isn't anything like the sensation of unleashing a howling V8 on the open road, or near a gaggle of awestruck teens in the neighborhood. Performance cars exist to arouse a multitude of senses. Their engines sound amazing.
In the future, getting out of a sticky situation might be as easy as clicking your heels together. Design firm iStrategyLabs just unveiled a prototype system called Dorothy (yeah, that Dorothy) that will fasten to people’s shoes, allowing them to click their heels and end up safely back home in Kansas.