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The Week in Tesla News: Model S to Put a Ring on It, Tesla Truck Teased, Tesla Car Insurance

Tesla Model S

Tesla had much of its thunder stolen by Porsche this week in the world of electric vehicles news, as the German sports car maker introduced the production versions of the 2020 Taycan Turbo and Turbo S in a delightfully over-the-top presentation looking down over Niagara Falls.

Related: Which 2019 Electric Cars Have the Greatest Range?

Predictably, Tesla isn’t one to take slights (or even perceived slights) such as this lying down, which leads us directly into this week’s first bit of news …

Tesla Circling Nurburgring Run for Model S

According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the company’s larger four-door performance sedan is headed to “the Green Hell” (aka the Nurburgring) for testing. I have to be very clear that neither Tesla nor Musk have stated that the sedan is headed to the Ring to go after some kind of record, but the timing of the announcement is … well, you decide.

Guess which car holds the four-door, all-electric sports-car record at the fabled track. You got it: Porsche’s Taycan, which completed a lap in 7 minutes, 42 seconds, and also debuted this week to much fanfare. A good way to steal some of Porsche’s thunder would be to show that the Model S, too, can handle that environment — even if the conditions in which the Tesla will be testing won’t be ideal for a high-speed run. According to Road and Track, the Model S would run during what’s called an “industry pool session,” where timed laps aren’t allowed and the amount of traffic on the course would make such a run difficult (not to mention dangerous).

Tesla Pickup Truck in November?

Tesla Pickup Truck

Musk also announced on Twitter that the much-hyped Telsa pickup truck will be making its debut in “November most likely,” which would pop another EV truck into the marketplace to take on the forthcoming offerings from Rivian, Ford and Nissan. All we’ve seen so far from Tesla about the pickup truck’s appearance is this teaser image, but according to an interview Musk gave in June, it will look like something out of a sci-fi movie and be priced at less than $50,000. (Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.)

I Just Saved a Bunch of Money on My Car Insurance By Switching to … Tesla?

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla announced that it will begin to offer insurance for owners of all models of its vehicles, including the Roadster, with a pilot program that will launch in the state of California. According to Tesla, the pricing will be competitive and is designed to be offered at rates that are 20 percent (or even as much as 30 percent) lower than current rates.

For all you interested Tesla owners and shoppers: Take those numbers with a grain of salt, and we’d encourage you to get a quote before making any decisions. How is Tesla so bullish on those insurance figures? It says it knows so much about its cars now (including safety and repair costs) that it can offer lower rates while still turning a profit, an important alternative revenue stream for the company. And if the automaker wants to make self-driving cars a reality in the near future, having control over the insurance side of the market could grease the wheels for that, as well.

One final note: Tesla’s vehicles have enough sensors and record enough data that it could use driving profiles to adjust its rates, for example, if the driver speeds frequently. But the company has said that it won’t do that.

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2018 Tesla Model S

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