Will this BWR bar fit a Tesla?
If so, and you know a Tesla owner that wants one (after having driven it, the Tesla needs one IMO, read on...), here's a shameless plug
for my BWR bar that's for sale (somebody please buy this thing so I have fresh funds to waste on other Lotus goodies)...
So, I suppose I should post this in the "Pic of your Lotus with normal cars" thread, but the Tesla isn't so normal...
So here are my thoughts.
In a nutshell? Itís a muscle car for rich hippies.
Itís amazingly fast. Stunningly so as a matter of fact and that's saying something as I was most recently flogging a 510hp Jag XKR (Pics: 2010 Jaguar XKR - amoroso's Photos
Broadcast TV review: Car Guy - 2thedeuce.com
) which certainly was no slouch itself. The Tesla looks great, but now I'm just pandering to this Lotus audience!
. But, besides being the shot heard 'round the world (the start of a revolution) and being the new 'gotta have it' toy, acceleration is pretty much all it does exceedingly well.
Before I go on to my criticisms, I need to caveat and couch them. My thoughts are purely from a hardcore enthusiast's / track rat's perspective. For 99% of the general population out there, my dings won't really apply. Even we LTers need to step back, admire and appreciate what these engineering and business teams have accomplished in the past few years. This car is a pure electric and it works quite well. Of course the usual PEV limitations apply (range, etc.), but it is one of a kind and a stellar achievement. Everyone I saw test drive one yesterday came back with a big ol' **** eating grin
on their faces and loving the Tesla roadster. This is their market (especially here in Boulder, CO, where Tesla just opened their newest gallery yesterday), their buyer (I.E. not hardcore track addicts / racers), with $100k ($60K in CO! Colorado Tesla Buyers Get $42,000 Tax Credit - Tesla - Jalopnik
) to spend on a sexy sports car with high MPG/ LowCO2. Ok, so that's what's hot, now what's not...
By far, the biggest disappointment (besides no chicks digging on it / me while I was driving it
) is the steering. Iím shocked at how heavy and uncommunicative it is, especially with the pea-shooter 175 section width AD07s up-front. Scary bad when viewed in that light. My Elise with the 195s up front is way better in the steering department. As in: Was that a beetle or a spider I just ran over?
Wait a momentÖ
In the case of the Tesla thatíd play out more like thisÖ
ďHoly ****! This steering is heavy.Ē
Heavy actually isnít even the right descriptor, but I don't know how to articulate it better at the moment. What I, and other 1 percenters that I spoke with, thought was strange was that the first say 20 degrees of steering is great then all of a sudden... "HELLO HEAVY WHEEL." Would a TitanQR rack help? I dunno.
The weight is my next complaint (combined with the aforementioned 175s makes for a pretty understeery lilí pig by the way), but thereís not much you can do about that penalty (save for some wider tahrs up-front). 0% charge still equals all the weight. The rub there is at least there are no altitude related power loses to contend with for those of us that are leading elevated lifestyles.
Brake feel is meh, but thatís the gig with all regenerative systems. The one thing I did not expect is the amount of deceleration associated with completely lifting off the gas. I donít imagine itís worse than say an F1 car (Si, habla hyperbole!) at speed, but I can imagine that you wouldnít want to feel that affect mid any corner you might be currently attacking. Just donít lift, all right?
Also the center console is way wider than the Eliseís making the footwells even tighter as a result. Good thing the Tesla only has two pedals!
Speaking of pedals, it bears repeating that the acceleration is flat-out tremendous. I would have LOVED to have drag raced it with the XKR I just spent a week testing. 510hp / 461tq 5.0L supercharged V8 vs. 276 lb / ft at 0.1 RPM woulda been a ton of fun. As fast as the Jag was, the Tesla woulda taken it. Hell, up here at altitude the Tesla woulda taken the Aston DBS and the Gallardos (including the Balboni 550) that I drove recently (2009 Aston Martin DBS Volante - amoroso's Photos
). That is saying something. I wish there were some STi, Evo, Camaro driverís, etc., out and about yesterday looking for a fight. I'd a taken it to 'em and it woulda been funnnnn! I'd love to take the Tesla to the drag strip and see what she'll do.
The final thing that isn't for me is the throbbing silence. Given how juvenile I like to be (Fujita CAI, FF header, de-cat & Stage II exhaust) and how much of the experience / viscerality is the sound. I have a tough time with PEVs and hybrids lacking soul in the sound department. Letís see what Brabus comes up with going forward, note ďV8 soundtrackĒÖ 2009 Brabus Tesla First Drive on Inside Line
Given all that though the really amazing part is guess what car it tied on the Top Gear track? 911 GT3. Yep. the exact same lap time. I guess that epic acceleration makes up for all the things I'm whining about?
Final Verdict: Although the Tesla Roadster isn't for me (and I'd venture a guess most all of you on this forum), it is, nonetheless, very impressive and I'm excited to see a new US car company hopefully succeed and bring innovative products to market, all while creating new jobs for our citizenry. So while I sit here kind of bashing it thatís only because itís not quite perfect. What it does well it does amazingly well.
More pics here (note the killer CF interior bits!):
2010 Tesla Roadsters - amoroso's Photos