The first Tesla Model Roadster sent high-end eco-friendly cars rocketing onto the scene back in 2008, and the evolution of the brand hasn’t stopped there. With the creation of the Model S, the Model X, and now the Model Y, it seems Tesla isn’t planning on slowing down any time soon. In fact, the brand is bringing back its original success for another go at the open road.
The Roadster is of particular interest to the EV community because it’s a super car—a vehicle designed for pure performance. It has broken records across the board, including fastest acceleration and longest electric range. In other words, it’s incredibly fun to drive, which is blowing stereotypes about the performance of pure-electric vehicles out of the water.
What We Love: The Tesla Roadster Stats
We’re going to begin by looking at the baseline statistics of this vehicle, because they’re absolutely insane. You could call this record-setting car both a beauty and a beast, as the exterior belies the power lurking beneath the bonnet.
From standstill to 100 kilometres per hours in 2.1 seconds, the Tesla narrowly beats out the 2.2 seconds of the Porsche 918 Spider, the previous record-holder. You’re also able to add a rocket-thruster, knocking it down even further to 1.9 seconds. Once behind the wheel, you can charge at up to 400 kilometres per hour in the Roadster (if you can find a road long enough) while enjoying the 10,00Nm of torque it effortlessly spits out.
But it’s not all about speed; you can’t have a supercar without fantastic control. Good thing the Roadster’s All-Wheel Drive guarantees great handling. One electric motor in the front and two in the rear allows for all-wheel-drive capability and torque vectoring around corners, and the larger rear wheels encourage controlled motion.
As every electric car dealer knows, you have to evaluate the performance of an electric vehicle in two dimensions: their real-world driving performance, and their energy efficiency. So, the question is: how long does the Tesla Roadster last on the road?
The car is a record-setter for a reason, lasting a ridiculous 1000 kilometres of real-world range before a recharge is needed. Of course, the range will vary according to terrain, load and speed, but with a range like that you need not worry about performance margins.
The vehicle sports a 200 kWh battery according to Tesla, which doubles the one sported by the Tesla Model S. This is how the car can deliver such speed and range, and while there are no hints about charge time from the company yet, we’re all hoping for the standard eight hours overnight we’ve seen before.
Devil in the Details: The Tesla Roadster Trim
Achieving hellish speeds like the Tesla Roadster doesn’t just come from a great engine; it requires a well-considered, detail-oriented design to maximise aero efficiency. Abandoning the Lotus chassis from the first Roadster incarnation was crucial to improving this car’s performance, and it worked! The sweeping curves of this machine now slice through the air with almost no resistance.
Of course, no roadster—electric or otherwise—would be complete without a convertible top, and Tesla have taken a futuristic turn with their design in this respect. The fully-glass convertible rooftop can be slid back for open-road driving, or kept up for the rainier days. It’s also lightweight, so it reduces the tonnage the electric motors need to move.
Finally, and this is crucial: The Tesla Roadster can seat four people. While we might not go as far as calling it a family car, it certainly doesn’t have the same space restrictions as your typical two-seater, which is incredible for a supercar of this calibre.
We’re excited to see where this brand goes next, but for now it’s time to marvel at the accomplishments of one of the best electric car brands in history. The possibilities are electrifying.
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