Can you really beta a car !!

…. apparently you can according to a post in the FT which explains that the electric car company set up by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk has been struggling to produce an advanced transmission for its hotly anticipated sports car. To avoid further delaying the launch, it has now opted to launch a “beta version”.

This is how new Tesla CEO Ze’ev Drori explains it:

To help speed delivery of cars, we will begin production in 2008 with an interim transmission design. These transmissions will meet high standards for reliability and durability, but the car will not meet the original performance spec for acceleration, reaching 60 mph in 5.7 seconds instead of the promised 4 seconds. When the final transmission is ready, we will retrofit all cars, at Tesla’s expense, to meet the promised performance specifications.

Its a good job that its primarily Silicon Valleys finest – like Larry Page and Sergey Brin from Google – who are at the top of the Tesla waiting list. They’ll know all about living with beta products

You couldn’t make it up 🙂