My brief fling with Tesla Roadster Sport was the closest I’ve come to living like a rock star. Everyone pointed, boys took pictures, females glanced over and an Audi R8 V10 filled the rearview mirror for 10 klicks. The Roadster is the sole serial production “full electric” car you can buy in North America. But the driving experience easily trumped the paparazzi experience — and even the green experience.
Forged in carbon fibre exterior. Body styling and chassis derived from Lotus Elise. French-built carbon fibre body panels shipped to Lotus in England. Panels fitted to a fully aluminum monocoque chassis, built by Lotus to Tesla’s specifications. Final assembly in California. On-board charger can be connected to any outlet in the world (adapter cords provided). Charge times based on outlet voltage and amperage.
Packed with electronics inside. No engine under the hood, but fully packed with electronics and radiators and air-con system. Cooling of the batteries has priority, and the system will divert some cool air from the cabin if necessary. With no gasoline engine noises, prevalent sound at idle is the gurgling of this cooling system. While it can be a bit tricky to place one’s butt in the driver’s seat, once there, your legs stick straight out to the pedals. A small steering wheel requires some effort.
Directly behind the rear seats you’ll find the famous Tesla lithium-ion cell battery pack: 69 cells wired to parallel to create bricks; 99 bricks connected to create sheets; 11 sheets inserted into the pack housing; internally cooled; weighs 990 pounds; stores 56 kWh of electric energy; delivers up to 215kW of electric power; and gives the Tesla a range of 395 kms. All of this provides the highest energy density in the industry.
The Tesla Sport will jump from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. But as impressive as that sounds, it no way conveys what it feels like to keep the Tesla accelerating in anger toward the horizon. The prevalent sound is gear whine, not unlike a jet taking off. And with no gear changes or the slightest fall off in torque to interrupt the insane rate of thrust, it basically feels like, and sounds like, it would keep accelerating into infinity.