2008 Tesla Roadster Review

wallpaper_4982_800x600 Any car nut knows exactly what you’re talking about when you mention Tesla Roadster.  The general population?  Well, not so much.  The Tesla Roadster is a unique development.  The fine folks at Tesla Motors started with a Lotus Elise chassis.  Fantastic choice, considering the light weight and dynamic performance of the Elise.  With the nearly 1,000 lb battery pack, weight needs to be kept down wherever possible.  Oh, didn’t I mention?  The Tesla Roadster is an electric car.  Not a hybrid, mind you – purely electric.  There’s no gas engine to be found.  No sir, this puppy plugs into your wall at night to recharge.

Depending on how you drive, you could get as much as 220 miles to a single charge.  For most people, that’s far more than enough.  Of course, if you keep your foot on the “loud pedal”, then you’ll see reduced range.  I put loud pedal in quotes because this is an electric car – it’s nearly silent in operation.  Of course, that non-loud pedal will get you from 0-60 in about 4 seconds and some change.  Yep, it’s a sports car.  Amazing efficiency.  Fantastic performance.  Stunning exotic design.  Is there anything this car can’t do?

2008 Tesla Roadster Specs

  • 248 HP Electric motor
  • 211 lb-ft of torque @ 0-6000 RPM
  • One speed transmission ( in final production model )
  • Up to 220 mile range on one charge
  • Base price: $98,000
  • Curb weight: 2690 lbs

2008 Tesla Roadster Reviews

wallpaper_5007_800x600 Inside Line drives the 2008 Tesla Roadster and has this to say – ‘With 248 horsepower and between 205 pound-feet and 211 lb-ft of torque available from zero rpm to 6,000 rpm, this 2,690-pound roadster accelerates steadily and even quickly as we drive up the steep roads that wind through the redwood trees. Put foot to floor and the Tesla goes and goes and goes (no gears to shift, remember) until the electronics shut down your progress at arount 125 mph – a little north of that when the new powertrain comes out — or the battery pack runs out of juice.’

Times Online drives the 2008 Tesla Roadster and has this to say – ‘Driving the car takes some getting used to. But boy is it quick. It does 0-60mph in 4sec. Like a petrol car, you just put your foot down and go. The real trick with electricity is that it’s alive. You put it in a box and it either escapes or dies. The best way to use power is at the point of generation, which is what hybrids do but then you are back with the problem of having two powerplants and the extra weight. Electricity is the best way to run an automobile in the sense that there is no maintenance of any kind.’

Automobile Mag drives the 2008 Tesla Roadster and has this to say – ‘Despite its weight, the Tesla changes direction as quickly as a water strider on a still pond. Compared with the Elise, its wheelbase has been stretched several inches (all of it behind the B-pillar) to accommodate the power pack, and the unintended consequences include weight distribution similar to the Elise (37.5 percent front/63.5 percent rear, a shift of only 1.5 percent to the rear despite the heavy battery pack) and a smoother-riding platform. First gear incorporates strong regenerative braking from the rear wheels, and the taller second gear can cope with driving from rest to the Tesla’s top speed of 135 mph.’

wallpaper_5067_800x600 Autoblog drives the 2008 Tesla Roadster and has this to say – ‘Laying into the long pedal from a rolling start elicits instant acceleration on par with only a handful of exotics, but without any of the aural drama. The horizon comes towards you with authority, but the only sound is a faint whir that’s quickly drowned out by tire and wind noise. Despite the electric motor’s 248 hp and 200 lb.-ft. of torque, things begin to fall flat around 6,000 rpm – something of a disappointment since we were looking forward to revving the electric motor into the stratosphere. But that would have been totally unnecessary. The chosen road provided a number of straights that would easily put our license at risk, and undulating corners offered in a variety of angles quickly snubbed them out.’

Motor Trend drives the 2008 Tesla Roadster and has this to say – ‘I check the mirrors again. Still no traffic. I’m almost grimacing as I release the brake and pound the accelerator to the floor. Whrrrrrrr…30 mph, 40 mph, 50…in the four seconds it’s taken to read this sentence, the Roadster has shrieked to 60 mph (Tesla’s claimed 3.9 seconds would seem entirely plausible in a controlled setting). There’s no wheelspin, axle tramp, shutter, jutter, smoke whiff, cowl shake, nothing. I’m being eerily teleported down the barrel of a rail gun, head pulled back by a hard, steady acceleration. Bizarre. And before too long, profoundly humbling to just about any rumbling Ferrari or Porsche that makes the mistake of pulling up next to a silent, 105-mpg Tesla Roadster at a stoplight.’

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Published on March 25, 2008 in Electric Cars

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