This is a Stick Post
When you think of a rally Porsche, you might imagine one of the 1980s Dakar racers, or maybe a ’60s 911 swinging towards Monte Carlo. This one is a little different.
Mötley Crüe isn’t the only 1980s hair-metal band getting into the world of auto promotion. Poison frontman and reality show star Bret Michaels is following their lead and doing some advertising of his own. Where the Crüe have been all over the airwaves in recent years with a Super Bowl ad for Kia and music licensing with Dodge, Michaels has taken a very different route by becoming the pitchman for Nissan Commercial Vehicles.
The videos run the gamut to advertise predominantly the NV line of full-size vans, but the NV200 shows up a few times too. The star of this new campaign is Michaels’ full-length music video (above) for the song Tough Love. It’s basically a parody of all of those ’80s rock ballads where the bands would slow the tempo down a little and reveal their softer side. Michaels rocks out at the Nissan proving grounds in Stanfield, AZ, while showing off the evaluation process and strutting around like a proper rock frontman. There are also a bunch of shorter videos (below) with the singer highlighting each part of the vans’ torture testing. Although, the dialogue in these come off a bit more stilted. With these ’80s metal bands getting into advertising, can it be long before Warrant is shilling for Fiat or Ratt for Mazda?
I don’t know exactly what’s so cool about this old bus, but I can’t get over how sweet it looks.
Belarus police found out how hard is it to stop a truck driver on the run. It took at least 80 shots to bring a four-axle car carrier to a halt after a long and wild chase last Sunday.
As we’ve seen recently, a smart buy today can lead to a huge profit tomorrow . Having said that, I pose this challenge: Find the best car you can buy on eBay for a meager $20k budget that will appreciate over time. You have 24 hours.
I’d be willing to bet that 99 percent of all Porsche Macan owners will never take their vehicle on a track or see any more off-roading than a dirt path to a summer cottage, yet I maintain that there is no better venue to explore the absolute outer limits of the automaker’s newest small family transport than on a racing circuit and an off-road course. It’s testing at each extreme of the vehicle’s operating envelope, with both challenges requiring very different capabilities. With that in mind, and looking forward to dirty floor mats and corded tires, I jumped at the opportunity from Porsche to wring out its new Macan S at Willow Springs International Raceway, located in Southern California’s high desert.
The range-topping Macan Turbo (base price $72,300 plus $995 destination), with its 400 horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 gets most of the glory these days. But many, including myself, would argue that its slightly less powerful sibling, the Macan S, is actually the pick of the new litter. Despite having 60 fewer horses under the hood and giving up six-tenths of a second in the sprint to 60 miles per hour, it costs a massive $22,400 less – money better spent on equipment that improves the crossover’s ride comfort and capability, or perhaps a well-used Boxster for weekends.
Despite a reasonably attractive starting price of $49,900 (plus destination), very few Porsche buyers will leave the showroom with a base model. My Dark Blue Metallic Macan S tester was equipped with a slew of mechanical upgrades, including air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus), Sport Chrono Package and 21-inch 911 Turbo Design wheels. A Premium Package and a few other miscellaneous options bloated its price to $69,870. That’s a very steep price for the premium compact crossover segment, but it’s still less than a base Macan Turbo.
Rather than toss us keys in the Willow Springs paddock, Porsche delivered its Macan models to us scribes in Pasadena and then routed us over Angeles Crest Highway towards the track, which is located near Edwards Air Force Base. This generously provided me with another three or so hours behind the wheel, most of it on twisty two-lane mountain roads that were a nice preamble before our track and off-road excursions.
- In real-world driving on smooth pavement, it’s hard not to be impressed with this crossover’s road manners. Whether negotiating sweeping corners or short straights, the compact five-passenger Macan feels as planted as a two-passenger sports coupe half its height. I have nothing but praise for its engine, brakes and suspension on the public roads – quite honestly, each are a bit overkill for the actual task at hand, especially on heavily patrolled American roads.
- If forced to muster a complaint, I’d lodge it at the electrically assisted steering, which feels a bit light for my tastes (Porsche uses the same basic steering rack as the Audi Q5, but its ratios and boost have been altered to suit its higher-performance badge). I prefer my steering a bit heavier, especially mid-corner when the front wheels are heavily loaded.
- Despite sharing its Modular Longitudinal Platform (MLP) with the aforementioned Audi and a half-dozen other VW Group siblings, the engineers from Stuttgart have meticulously reworked every component to ensure i’s pure Porsche – meaning in stock form it is every bit as capable on a track as it is on public roads. Competitors may offer crossovers with sport packages and oversized wheels and tires, but nobody (not even Audi’s range-topping SQ5, which weighs nearly 300 pounds more) can touch the powertrain on today’s entry-level Macan S, which arrives with a standard twin-turbocharged V6, dual-clutch (PDK) gearbox, six-piston front calipers and 19-inch alloys in staggered sizes, the latter of which can be good for performance but may be irksome come rotation or replacement time. Most of those are firsts for the segment.
- Track time was configured as a lead-follow event, behind a Cayman piloted by a talented Porsche Sport Driving School instructor. Although most would believe the sports car would leave a much larger crossover eating its dust (of course, its lap times were quicker), the Macan S wasn’t far off the coupe’s pace. The 4,112-pound crossover (the S model is about 130 pounds lighter than the Macan Turbo), with electronics configured in Sport Plus mode for aggressive track duty, made excellent use of its PASM and PTV Plus on the tight circuit. The standard all-wheel-drive system is shared with the automaker’s 911 Carrera 4, meaning the Macan S genuinely behaves like a sports car, clawing its way around each corner with minimal body roll. With four very active contact patches, I was able to actually pull out of the corners quicker than the fleeing rear-wheel-drive Cayman. I tossed and threw this crossover around at ridiculously fast speeds and it maintained its composure in spectacular manner.
- The twin-turbocharged V6 and PDK twin-clutch gearbox deserve praise, too. The engine generates plenty of torque down low, and it doesn’t mind running up to its 6,700-rpm redline. The transmission operates in lightning-quick fashion when the Sport Plus button is engaged, and it intuitively downshifts into turns and holds its gear when tenaciously cornering. This Porsche would never be even my tenth choice as a track car – it’s still too big and heavy – but it has the capability to really scoot when prodded. “Mechanically sound” and “technically brilliant” – two phrases I’d use to describe the on-track performance of the Macan S.
- To prove itself equally as capable off-road, Porsche later led us up a short, but challenging, dirt trail in the mountains surrounding the track. Despite rolling on high-performance Continental summer tires that lacked aggressive tread blocks, the determined Macan S used its electronically controlled all-wheel drive system to slowly creep up some very steep inclines (there’s no low range transfer case, so the traction control automatically brakes a spinning wheel to send power to the axle with the most grip). Hill Descent Control worked its magic on the way down. Ground clearance seemed to be the limiting factor, as expected, but my tester was able to use its air suspension to raise the chassis and gain some additional space beneath its rails when the going got tough. I’d personally choose something less expensive to scrape and dent on the Rubicon (a Jeep Wrangler comes to mind, or even a Cherokee or Grand Cherokee), but the outing on the loose trails convinced me that the Macan S has billy goat genes beneath its slick bodywork.
- A day behind the wheel of the entry-level Macan S demonstrated that Porsche has raised the dynamics bar in the compact crossover segment, much as it did with the Cayenne a decade ago, delivering a model that is competent and comfortable on the street and extraordinarily capable (maybe unnecessarily so?) on track and dirt. It remains to be seen how many people will pony up this sort of money for a compact CUV, but so far, the Range Rover Evoque has proven to be a masterstroke for Land Rover, which suggests that the Macan could be a huge success. In any case, Porsche’s new baby leaves the less-costly BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK and the Audi SQ5 chasing taillights and inhaling dust – at least until we see each of them answering the new challenge.
Buying a used car can be a smooth, hassle free process. Or it can be absolute hell on earth. What’s your used car buying horror story?
General Motors and its Chinese joint-venture partners, SAIC and Wuling, have announced a new seven-passenger minivan for the world’s most populous country.
Called the Baojun 730, the budget-minded people mover will be available in four trims (Standard, Comfort, Luxury and 1.8 Comfort) and with two available engines. The base mill is a 1.5- liter four-cylinder, which GM says was developed specifically for “economy passenger vehicles.” Although mum is the word on power, it can return impressive fuel economy, netting 7.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (33.1 miles per gallon). The other engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, although there’s not a lick of info available on it. Regardless of engines, the sole transmission is of the five-speed manual variety.
Considering its primary purpose is to haul people and stuff, the 730′s three rows of seats look reasonably spacious for a vehicle that rides on a mere 108-inch wheel base. There’s no word on total passenger volume, although GM claims that even with seven passengers, there’s nearly 12 cubic feet of cargo room.
Despite its status as an economy entry, there is a reasonable level of connectivity in the 730. An eight-inch touchscreen looks to be running some form of Chevrolet’s MyLink system, while USB and Bluetooth connectivity will also be available. Cruise control, a backup camera and dual-zone climate control – relative rarities on a budget Chinese MPV – are also available.
Scroll down for the full press release from SAIC-GM-Wuling.
Some automakers like to treat customers well even after the’ve purchased a car. These ten offer the best perks to their customers.
Ask most people what kind of cars Aston Martin makes and they’ll probably tell you it makes sports cars. But it doesn’t. No, Aston Martin actually makes luxury GTs that focus at least as much on fine craftsmanship as they do on outright performance. In other words, any Aston Martin – from the ‘entry level’ V8 Vantage to the flagship Vanquish – packs an unrivaled attention to detail. But for those looking for that extra measure of exclusivity and intricacy, there’s Q by Aston Martin. And this is its latest project.
Similar to the Ferrari Tailor Made program, Lamborghini Ad Personam, Porsche Exclusive or Rolls-Royce Bespoke, Q by Aston Martin is dedicated to meeting the specific needs of individual customers who want their luxury GT crafted just so.
We’ve seen several specially crafted and eye-catching Q projects at auto shows around the world, created to showcase what the division can do. This one was commissioned by a dealership in Los Gatos, CA. Starting with a DB9 Volante, the Q division gave it an equestrian theme with saddle tan leather with diamond-quilted ivory Alcantara trim, light burlwood veneer, specially-embroidered horse-head logos and saddle-style luggage fitted to the rear console. The exterior is finished in Ashen Blonde metallic with ten-spoke diamond-turned wheels in satin champagne and Howlite stone-inlaid logos.
This one-off DB9 will be auctioned off at the Menlo Charity Horse Show, held August 5-10 at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton, CA, with proceeds to benefit the Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired.
I’ve somehow conned Aston Martin into believing I’m a legitimate individual. As such, they are allowing me to commandeer a V8 Vantage GT for the weekend. What do you want to know?
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Filed under: Military
The upheaval that comes with being reassigned across the globe is an issue that many military families are forced to face. We know it’s tough on families, but did you know that it’s increasingly difficult on the vehicles of service members and their spouses? A change in contractors for automotive shipments is making the process of relocating to a new base an even bigger challenge for soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.
Military.com reports on the issues, which have arisen a few months after the Department of Defense brought in a new vehicle-shipping contractor, International Auto Logistics. Significant others and service members complain that IAL’s online tracking system is often incorrect. That might be tolerable, were it possible to get a hold of an actual human being to locate a vehicle, but even that is being made difficult due to unanswered phone lines and full voicemails. That’s left those waiting on their vehicles fed up.
A Facebook group has sprung up to catalog the complaints. “International Auto Logistics: Reviews, Complaints and Inconveniences” was just formed last week and it only has 275 members, but that hasn’t stopped dozens of complaints from popping up on the group’s wall, while others are looking for advice on navigating the IAL shipping minefield.
The company’s president and CEO, meanwhile, blamed the issues on a “perfect storm,” according to Military.com.
“It’s not an excuse, but we started at the busiest time of the year,” Doug Tipton told the website. IAL was originally supposed to start shipping vehicles during a slow season – late fall – so that any bugs in the system could be squashed before the busier summer months. Instead, the former contractor, American Auto Logistics, contested the $305-million contract, delaying the IAL’s takeover from the end of last year to May 1.
On top of that, Tipton said the company was overwhelmed by the call volume from customers who wanted to know where their vehicles were at, an issue confounded by the hiring of new employees who lacked adequate training time.
“It has been a little rough around the edges starting up, but we’re getting better every day,” Tipton said.
While that should prove to be good news for servicemen and women who are yet to ship their vehicles, for those that haven’t seen their rides since May (which is a fair few, considering the Facebook page), it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be patient with IAL.
A new Porsche 911 GT3 RS is coming. We’ve seen it making a big fuss on the Nürburgring, but we didn’t know quite what it will look like — until now, when the UK’s CAR magazine dug up patent photos that show the car pretty clearly.
The war for the front-wheel drive lap record on the Nürburgring is heating up! Earlier this year the Seat Leon Cupra 280 locked it down, only to lose it months later to the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-R . Now Renault’s corporate cousin Nissan reportedly thinks they can do it faster.
It’s just you, the open road, and a classic Alfa Romeo or BMW. No traffic, no drama, nothing to separate driver from machine. Does it get any better than that?
Consumer Reports is calling on Toyota to issue an official recall of 178,000 Camry Hybrid sedans from model years 2007 to 2011, claiming that a pair of issues affecting the brakes are so dire they demand a more official action than what the company has undertaken so far.
The first issue, as CR tells it, relates to a clog in the brake-fluid reservoir filter, which if left untreated could lead to a number of dashboard warning lights. The “front brake assist could be temporarily lost,” too, according to Toyota’s own notice to dealers and owners of affected models. The company has issued a “service campaign” that will fit a new brake-fluid reservoir free of charge to any affected model brought to a dealer by June 30, 2017.
The other issue plaguing the fuel-sipping Camrys is being treated via a warranty extension, and focuses on the ABS brake actuator, a particularly expensive (both in terms of parts, at $1,000, and labor, around $3,000) item that is necessary for the anti-lock braking to function. There’s also a related issue with the brake pedal’s “stroke sensor,” which like the actuator can lead to a very difficult-to-depress brake pedal. The warranty extension increases the coverage of the actuator to 10 years or 150,000 miles (whichever comes first).
While both the service campaign and the warranty extension were prompted by a number of complaints and an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only the 2007 and 2008 models were investigated. Toyota broadened the scope of the issues, including 2009 to 2011 models, when it announced the service campaign and warranty extension. Despite the company’s actions, CR claims that as of this writing, the 2007 and 2008 Camry Hybrids have still managed to rack up 269 complaints, with 14 reported crashes and five injuries.
CR ends its bit, arguing that the nature of these issues and the effects they can have on the way a vehicle behaves warrant an even greater action, saying:
“We think Toyota’s proper action would be a recall. Greatly diminished brake function is a serious safety concern. A recall is more comprehensive and widely published than a mere service campaign, and owners don’t have to wait for a problem to happen before qualifying for the repair. Besides that, unlike extended warranties, recalls don’t expire and are performed proactively.”
Thoughts? If NHTSA didn’t demand a recall, do you still think the issues are dire enough to demand one? Could (or should) Toyota satisfy CR’s demands by stepping up the information campaign regarding the warranty extension and service campaign? Have your say in Comments.
Rallying may enjoy a very strong association with all-wheel drive, but it wasn’t so long ago that the World Rally Championship was populated by cars that slipped and slid across gravel and tarmac using rear-wheel drive. One of those was the Toyota Celica. While the little Celica eventually joined the gravel-spewing masses with an all-wheel-drive rally car, Toyota is returning to its rear-drive rally roots with a modified version of the critically acclaimed GT86.
Called the CS-R3, the new model boasts all the necessary changes to turn the diminutive twin of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ into a car capable of tackling the tough, twisting paths that are so routinely conquered by the world’s rally cars. That means, of course, the CS-R3 has gotten a power bump.
Expected output sits between 240 and 250 horsepower, thanks to a new racing exhaust and manifold, as well as other changes. The ECU has been replaced with an item a bit more suited to racing, while the compression ratio has also been adjusted to boost the output.
Power continues to travel to the rear wheels, although a six-speed sequential racing box, complete with a racing clutch and a lightweight flywheel, has replaced the GT86′s six-speed manual. The brakes, meanwhile, are 13-inchers in front and 11.8 inches in back on tarmac stages, while gravel stages demand 11.8-inch rotors at all four corners. Regardless of brake disc size, four-piston front calipers and two-piston rears are standard.
While Toyota is debuting this car at the 2014 Rallye Deutschland, it’s not going to be racing there. Instead, the event will serve as the “pathfinder” car for the rally, and will tackle each course with an eye on safety, ahead of the actual WRC cars.
Toyota has already committed to offering the CS-R3 as a customer option, promising that it will be a “cost-effective option.”
“It’s important to say that the GT86 CS-R3 which Isolde [that's Isolde Holderied, a two-time women's WRC champ] will drive is not the finished article; we need the data from Rallye Deutschland to finalize our development program,” Nico Ehlert, Toyota Motorsport’s principal engineer for customer motorsports. “But it does represent a significant step in the GT86 CS-R3 story and gives a clear indication to our future customers that this project is progressing quickly.”
Scroll down for the full press release from Toyota.
The man who built this rear-wheel drive ’75 Corolla in his garage didn’t have a lot of experience modifying cars. Maybe that’s why his Corolla is so excellent.
We’ve been saying it for a while, but the E30 M3 is the next future classic. And the proof is right here: A 69,000 mile, super clean, example just sold for a nutso $58,000. That is crazy money for one of these cars.
This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that’s actually important — all in one place every weekday morning. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn’t your time more important?
What if the cars you race blow their engines all the time and you can’t find anything on the market you like? You start your own company and build stupidly fast yet affordable cars, that’s what.
It looks like Americans are feeling more confident about borrowing money again, at least when it comes to their cars. Credit reporting giant Equifax has released its latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, and the data suggests that auto lending is booming in 2014.
The total amount of outstanding auto loans in the US amounted to $902.2 billion in the company’s analysis. Not only was that a new record, it was also a 10-percent increase from a year ago. “Auto lending continues to thrive, accounting for more than fifty percent of all new non-mortgage lending through April of 2014,” said Dennis Carlson, Deputy Chief Economist at Equifax, in the study.
The results mixed some bright spots with some seemingly worrying trends following the recent subprime credit crisis, though. According to the report, year-to-date new auto loans as of April 2014 reached $163.5 billion, the highest amount since 2005, and the number of them in that period was also at record levels. According to Carlson, the amount of delinquencies was at near-record lows of less than 1 percent of that $902 billion.
“Subprime lending has grown across all sectors in 2014. This is good news as a fully functioning second-chance market is essential for a healthy economy,” said Carlson in the study. Auto loans to these buyers reached $46.2 billion year-to-date, an eight-year high, which made them about 28 percent of the total loan balance from this year.
The rest of the report indicated a strong credit market elsewhere too. Banks issued more credit cards, and overdue accounts were at a five-year low. The total amount in mortgages was actually down from last year, but delinquencies were lower as well. Want to know more? Scroll down.
Traffic sucks, so why not start your morning off with some music? You provide the toast and we’ll provide the jams.
Oh, and I was wrong, it’s not a GA5, it is indeed a GA3, I thought that had to do with the number of doors, but apparently not. The pretty blue JDM number tag tells me it’s definitely a GA3. THIS IS VERY IMAGE HEAVY!
The first of perhaps ‘hundreds’ of gigafactories is now one step closer to reality: Tesla and Panasonic have announced their official agreement to work together on the gigafactory. The two companies have worked together for many years on electric vehicles, but this new deal takes the partnership to a whole new level.
The basic gist, since the agreement itself has not been released, is that Tesla will take care of the exterior (the “land, buildings and utilities”) while Panasonic will pay for the machines inside in order to, “manufacture and supply cylindrical lithium-ion cells” that Tesla will then use to, you know, build battery packs. Panasonic’s machines will take up half the space while a network of as-yet unnamed suppliers will be involved in the other half, according to the press release announcing the deal. Read it below.
There’s been lots of speculation as to where the Gigafactory will be built, but the exact location probably won’t be revealed until later this year, so don’t expect any battery packs from the Gigafactory to be coming any time soon. That’s why Panasonic is still going to be building Tesla cells in Japan for the time being.
As previously announced, the Gigafactory is expected to make batteries for around 500,000 EVs a year as well as more for stationary storage needs. That means 35 GWh worth of cells and 50 GWh worth of packs each year by 2020. We expect more information to trickle out today along with Tesla’s quarterly earnings.
Orange you glad I didn’t say banana? Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Buick Riviera represents that marque’s original entry into the personal coupe wars. This one is also unexpectedly orange. You need to decide if its condition – and its color- will make its price the apple of your eye.
No, I’m not kidding. Go on, terrify everybody in the room.
Europeans get very serious about their hot hatches. So do the Japanese. In fact there’s been a whole back-and-forth lately over who makes the fastest one, and now Nissan looks set to throw its racing hat into the ‘Ring.
That would be the Nürburgring, of course, where automakers trade bragging rights like baseball cards – only they don’t give them up willingly. Renault set the front-drive lap record in 2008 with the previous Mégane R26.R then set the bar even higher with the Mégane RS 265 Trophy. That was before Seat stole the honors with its Leon Cupra 280, only for Renault to take them back again with the Mégane RS 275 Trophy-R. Seat is rumored to be considering a renewed assault, but it won’t be the only one nipping at Renaultsport’s heels in the coming years.
Honda, for its part, has made no secret of its ambition to set the record with the upcoming Civic Type R, and now word has it that Nissan is planning an assault of its own. Its weapon of choice would be an upcoming Nismo version of the new Pulsar hatchback which is just hitting the European market now as a rival to the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, et al. There’s no word on what its specs would be, but if it’s going to challenge these players, it’s going to need between 270 and 300 horsepower, a stiff suspension, big brakes and probably some sort of trick differential.
Now if you’re thinking that Nissan would only be stealing the record away from its own sister company, consider first of all that, despite their alliance and common CEO, Renault and Nissan operate as two separate companies. If anything, one could end up lending its expertise to the other, much like Audi did with Bentley at Le Mans where the latter interrupted the former’s winning streak in 2003. Not that Nissan needs any tips on how to tackle the Nordschleife: with the GT-R it has, after all, been trouncing everything this side of the record-holding Porsche 918 Spyder.
7:54 is the time to beat. Game on.
Comic-Con 2014 was chock full of amazing costumes, cool art, mind-blowing TV pilots and fascinating encounters. Because even a weak Comic-Con is better than most other events. Here’s our complete roundup of all the most incredible things we saw last weekend.
It’s easy to understand why some of us don’t like the idea of autonomous cars. We enjoy the drive, adore the freedom, and practiced heel-toe downshifts for too damn long to give it up. But Ben Collins – former Stig and current halfwit – managed to sum up nearly every idiotic argument into one two-minute TV segment.
Last month, we went behind the scenes of the filming of BMW’s new Driftmob, web video, bringing you one post from the practice sessions, and another from the shoot itself, which took place in an enormous traffic circle in Cape Town, South Africa. Today, BMW has launched the final version of Driftmob, and it’s pretty damn cool.
The plot is pretty simple: just like a flashmob, in which people invade a location and perform choreographed dances to music, much to the delight of surprised onlookers, the “driftmob” features a quintet of red M235i coupes that take over a traffic circle and perform choreographed dances – sideways – to the delight of onlookers. The only differences are that, in this case, the onlookers are mostly paid extras (though there were many unwitting passersby that joined the crowd at times) and the only music is a constant squealing of tires-a sweet song if we ever heard one. Then, after about two minutes of tire-smoking shenanigans, the coupes vanish.
As promised, we will have a more detailed, behind the scenes story about the filming of the video, including insights from Rhys Millen, Samuel Hübinette, Dai Yoshihara, Rich Rutherford, and Conrad Grunewald, the five guys who executed these remarkable stunts. Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy the short flick.
Some tragic news from Michigan today, as police investigate a man who apparently lost control of his car, drove into a vacant home filled with swarms upon swarms of bees and later died from his injuries, according to a local report.
But it certainly can happen. Rarely, for sure, but it can.
After nearly a year and a half of dutiful service, Edmunds has sold its long-term Model S, and the postmortem on their time with the Tesla proves, once again, that building a car from scratch is hard.