Apple Car Sneak Peek: Exclusive First Look, Details, Patents

apple car news first look
Written by D.M. Towns

The Apple Car, in prototype, is one sweet ride. Here’s our hands-on preview.

aNewDomain, Munich, 01.04.15 — In an exclusive earlier today, our Apple beat reporter, D.M. Towns, got a first-ever look at the Apple Car at a security facility near Moffett Field in Santa Clara, CA.

UPDATE: Our legal correspondent T.E. Wing located the full Apple Car patent application in the USPTO patent database just moments ago. It is readable in full below the fold, with more details here. BREAKING. – DT

apple car news first lookApple’s much rumored Apple Car is well along in prototype. Codenamed the L1Sa, the four-door sports coupe is reminiscent of the Porsche Panamera. Our photographer was not permitted to take any shots or any images other than the official Apple mocked-up hood ornament you see at left. I am that photographer.

But the Apple Car details stun nonetheless.

To  retail for $85K-$125K, depending on RAM and interior appointments, the source told me it will be offered in colors of Snow, Space Grey, Bondi Blue and, for a $5K price bump, purchases with donations supporting the Global Fund to help fund AIDS programs in Africa, it is also available in Apple (PRODUCT)RED™.

Apple Car: Powered by iOS 9, Accessible by Apple Siri, No Keys

Covering Apple, I always strive for objectivity. But to sit in the L1Sa is an incredible experience. The Apple Car embodies everything you’ve come to know and love about Apple over the past decade.

The operating system that powers the car is based on the upcoming Apple iOS 9, and all interior functions and operating controls are initiated  with a single, “Hey Siri” voice command — either by the owner or by an owner-approved driver. There are no keys whatsoever.

An Apple Genius is a button-push away for technical problems and roadside assistance.

Apple Car Specs:

The L1Sa is powered by an industry leading hydrogen fuel cell/electric hybrid powerplant that expects to see a range of 240 miles on a charge of compressed hydrogen, and can reach a top speed of 120MPH.

An Apple iCar engineer I met at the site, who declined to be named for this story, could barely contain his excitement. ‘We set our sights on beating Mercedes and Tesla both in range and time to market, we’re Apple, we do that kind of thing, and by using many of Tesla’s donated Patents and a few of our own secrets, we’re confident we’ll come out ahead.’ ”


The fuel by-product (pure water vapor) is collected and fed to the on-board espresso machine located, for safety reasons, in the center console facing back for aspiring baristas in the back seat.

But on-board coffee isn’t the only perk in this sweet ride. Apple has also given lifetime access to the entire iTunes audio and video library for the first model year buyers. That ensures the built-in headrest mounted iPads will always have entertainment options to offer for all of the L1Sa passengers and drivers.

Here’s What Steve Wozniak Has to Say About the Apple Car

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, whose memoir aNewDomain’s editor-in-chief penned, was more than willing to talk about the L1Sa. Interestingly, he had a few slight reservations.

Yeah, this looks pretty cool, but it’s expensive and they still had to cut back on RAM for the lower model,” Wozniak told Editor-in-Chief Gina Smith about the Apple Car. “That means you have to swap disks from time to time, which is why I really think they should’ve waited about five years when the price of RAM comes down enough to make a quality product. In my humblest opinion, it’s just too soon for this car to hit the market. But Tim’s in charge. At least he’s building in expansion slots.”


Apple expects the Apple Car to hit the streets in late 2017, with a driverless-version deal in the works with the USPS for automated package delivery.

“We know we’re in a race with Google to develop this technology and are already planning to invite them to a road course challenge at Infineon raceway in Sonoma in Early 2018,” my source said, implying that this was, in fact, the only reason he gave us a first look. Apple may not allow it, but these folks want promotion.

Promotion we’re happy to give in exchange of this incredible first-look opportunity.

Unfortunately, the Apple Car is still far from perfect.

Our press day with the L1Sa ended abruptly when, during a live driving test, the car encountered a kernel panic and caught fire on the test track, destroying the only working prototype.

Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton refused to comment for this story. As yet, Tim Cook has not returned calls.

No use denying it, Apple. Here is the full Apple Car patent application, with tons of details and specs. Read it in full below.

US20150097403A1 (Apple)(Reinvented Passenger Vehicle)

For aNewDomain, I’m D.M. Towns.

Gina Smith,  T.E. Wing, R. Tall, Mason Jias and others contributed to this story.

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