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The week's top news stories, 17 June

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The week's top news stories, 17 June

The automotive news wheel is always turning. If you’re not constantly checking CarAdvice – which you should be doing, by the way – it can be easy for some headlines to slip through the cracks...

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CarAdvice podcast 107: Ford Australia's Daniella Winter talks Mustang
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CarAdvice podcast 107: Ford Australia's Daniella Winter talks Mustang

Kez Casey and Scott Collie join Mandy Turner this week. In car news, the 2019 Skoda Kodiaq RS has been confirmed, 2018 Ram 1500 pricing and specs have been released, and the Kia Cerato will get the GT treatment. Also, International Engine of the Year goes to Ferrari, the 2019 Mazda MX-5 is getting a more powerful engine, and Elon Musk is promising 'full self-driving features' for Tesla in August...


Tesla to lay off nine per cent of workforce
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Tesla to lay off nine per cent of workforce

Tesla will cut thousands of jobs in search of reduced costs and strong profit margins, as part of a restructure promised by Elon Musk last month. In an internal email to staff, the company's CEO said the cuts were "almost entirely made from [its] salaried population and no production associates were included" which, if the email is to be believed, shouldn't impact Model 3 production numbers...


Tesla Autopilot: Elon Musk promises 'full self-driving features' by August
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Tesla Autopilot: Elon Musk promises 'full self-driving features' by August

Elon Musk has taken to Twitter promising some 'full self-driving features' will be rolled out as part of an August update for Tesla's Autopilot driver assist system. At the moment, Autopilot is limited to Level 2 automation. Although stories about Tesla 'drivers' sleeping and sitting in the passenger seat – and, unfortunately, crashing while reliant on the system – abound, Autopilot is only meant to operate under constant driver supervision...


International Engine of the Year: Ferrari, Peugeot, BMW among winners
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International Engine of the Year: Ferrari, Peugeot, BMW among winners

Ferrari has scooped International Engine of the Year for the third year running, beating out Porsche and Tesla (yes, really) for the honour. The 3.9-litre bi-turbo V8 from the 488 GTB, GTB Spider and Pista scored 486 points from the judges, comfortably beating out the 3.0-litre turbocharged flat-six engine in the Porsche 911 (198 points) and the 6...


Tesla Model X: Autopilot could be at fault in fatal accident
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Tesla Model X: Autopilot could be at fault in fatal accident

A preliminary report from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says Autopilot may have steered toward the dividing barrier on US Highway 101 before a fatal accident involving a Tesla Model X earlier this year. It's worth mentioning up front, the investigation isn't complete, and the NTSB hasn't nailed down a probably cause for the crash...


Tesla Model 3: Deposit refund data revealed, teardown shows production cost
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Tesla Model 3: Deposit refund data revealed, teardown shows production cost

Tesla's profit margins – or rather, its constant losses – have been the subject of countless column inches, but no-one has done the maths on what a Model 3 actually costs to build. That is, no one had until WirtschaftsWoche broke down four Model 3s in what Elon Musk described as the "best analysis of Model 3 to date"...


Around the Tracks: Crashed Corvettes, Fernando Alonso and wireless updates
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Around the Tracks: Crashed Corvettes, Fernando Alonso and wireless updates

When we're not creating it ourselves, the CarAdvice team spends a lot of time finding and consuming motoring content from all over the world. Here's a handful of the articles, videos and social media posts that most caught our eye last week. Some of them are brand-new, others have been online for a while. Enjoy them – just not too much, okay?


Toyota ranked most valuable automotive brand, again
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Toyota ranked most valuable automotive brand, again

Toyota has been named the most valuable automotive brand in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands chart, with an estimated worth of US$29,987 million ($39,400 million). Placing 36th on the countdown, the Japanese brand beat fellow automotive manufacturers Mercedes-Benz (46th) and BMW (47th) in the top 50, with Ford (96th) and Honda (97th) just slipping in the top 100...


Tesla Model 3: Consumer Reports backflips on 'don't buy' verdict
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Tesla Model 3: Consumer Reports backflips on 'don't buy' verdict

It's amazing what difference a week can make in motoring. Just last week, Consumer Reports said it wouldn't recommend the Tesla Model 3, after testing revealed some strange behaviour under brakes. Elon Musk responded quickly, telling the world he – or rather, Tesla – could fix the problem with an over-the-air update...


US consumer groups label Tesla Autopilot system 'deceptive'
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US consumer groups label Tesla Autopilot system 'deceptive'

Two groups, The Center for Auto Safety and Consumer Watchdog, have called on the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the Tesla Autopilot system. The two organisations claim Tesla and its CEO, Elon Musk, have deliberately misled and deceived "consumers into believing that Autopilot is safer and more capable than it is known to be", and have "made it reasonable for Tesla owners to believe, and act on that belief, that a Tesla with Autopilot is an autonomous vehicle capable of 'self-driving'"...


Tesla would 'die' if it made entry-level Model 3 now
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Tesla would 'die' if it made entry-level Model 3 now

Elon Musk, outspoken Tesla CEO, has confirmed the company's precarious financial situation is the reason it can't build the entry-level Tesla Model 3 at the moment. Responding to a question posed on Twitter by Ivaylo Ivanov, Musk replied, "Shipping min cost Model 3 right away wd cause Tesla to lose money & die"...


Tesla Model 3 'not good enough to recommend' - Consumer Reports
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Tesla Model 3 'not good enough to recommend' - Consumer Reports

Elon Musk is promising to fix the problems with the Model 3's braking performance, after Consumer Reports – a similar publication to Choice – returned poor results in its braking tests, and dubbed the car 'not good enough to recommend'. During testing, Consumer Reports discovered "flaws – big flaws" with the 'affordable' Model 3's brakes...


Tesla Model 3 Performance specs revealed
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Tesla Model 3 Performance specs revealed

Tesla has finally announced what we can expect from the Model 3 Performance, which should be making its way to US customers soon. So, what's the story? Tesla knows a thing or two about acceleration, so we'll start there. The 0-60mph (0-97km/h) sprint takes 3.5 seconds in dual-motor Performance models, before topping out at 250km/h...


Tesla Model S involved in another Autopilot accident
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Tesla Model S involved in another Autopilot accident

Another Tesla Model S has been involved in an accident with Autopilot engaged, raising more questions about how humans interact with semi-autonomous driver assist systems. Police say the car smashed into a stationary firetruck at around 100km/h, leaving the driver with a broken right ankle. The airbags in the car fired, while no-one from the firetruck was injured...


Tesla Model X tows Boeing 787 Dreamliner - Video
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Tesla Model X tows Boeing 787 Dreamliner - Video

Avid motoring enthusiasts probably remember Volkswagen towing a Boeing 747 with a diesel V10 Touareg. People saw diesel very differently in 2008, and the 747 was still alive and kicking. Now, Tesla and Qantas have teamed up for a more up-to-date take on the same stunt...


Tesla Model 3: Dual-motor, Performance order books open this week
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Tesla Model 3: Dual-motor, Performance order books open this week

Elon Musk has confirmed the order books will open for dual-motor and performance-oriented Model 3 variants this week, with production to start in July. The news was announced (surprise surprise) on Twitter, and matches an April tweet claiming the expanded line-up would be available from "probably July"...


Tesla teases new model in shadowy video
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Tesla teases new model in shadowy video

Tesla has offered a very brief look at a new model, as part of a tightly-produced promo video dubbed 'Tesla 2018'. Along with footage of the Model 3 driving through a warehouse and some shots from the production line, the video shows an unfinished car partially obscured by a sheet...


Nikola sues Tesla over Semi truck design
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Nikola sues Tesla over Semi truck design

Nikola has filed a lawsuit against Tesla, claiming the Silicon Valley-based electric vehicle (EV) firm copied the design of its One fuel-cell truck for the Semi. The company is suing for US$2 billion ($2.66b) over alleged copying of design elements like the One's wraparound windscreen, aerodynamic fuselage design, the mid-entry door to the cabin, and front fender...


Tesla expands on first quarter results
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Tesla expands on first quarter results

Elon Musk and Deepak Ahuja, CEO and CFO at Tesla respectively, have told investors the company will be turning a profit during the second half of 2018. In the quarterly letter and call to investors, the two Tesla high-ups reinforced their belief the company won't need additional external funding this year, thanks in part to a comprehensive restructure of contractors...