Something as slinky and as whiplash-inducingly fast as Tesla’s Roadster will undoubtedly redecorate the automotive landscape in years to come. Personally, I can see both sides of the situation and understand the challenge of leaving the scream of internal combustion behind—that is a serious hurdle we’ll have to cross—but how can something which reaches 60 in 1.9 seconds, 100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and covers the quarter mile in 8.9 seconds not grab your attention?
That from-a-stop sort of performance hasn’t been seen in a road car ever—and that thrust comes from having twice the capacity of the Tesla Model S P100D, is capable of outrunning 1,000-horsepower Supras from a dig. Of course, anything with the Roadster’s advertised 7,375 lb-ft of torque at the wheels and four wheel-drive will leave anything short of a funny car behind.
Seeing as the P100D could hit sixty in 2.3 seconds, this sportier, lighter, and better-tired machine will touch the same speed in possibly less than its advertised time. As mentioned in the video above, the customer needs to rest their head against the headrest to avoid whiplash.
As battery technology has been spearheaded in the last five years, both Renault and BMW—big marques, admittedly—have stepped up their battery capacities up by more than half their original figures without increasing weight or cost.
Probably, the Roadster might be less efficient than those found in Tesla’s more economy-oriented offerings. The Roadster’s wider tires, broader intakes, and angular shape will offset its slipperiness, but it might compensate slightly with a carbon structure, which will help put the power down thanks to its added rigidity.
A carbon structure may not lighten the frame enough to make the Roadster a featherweight, but when the car will hit the market in 2020, there’s a chance the heavyset batteries will drop in weight to roughly 2,800 pounds. Even with a carbon chassis, the porky Roadster should tip the scales at roughly two tons, so it won’t be a nimble track scalpel—though it’s design ethos is more Veyron than Elise, interestingly enough. The original Roadster was based on a Lotus, after all.
What else appeals about this car is its considerable range—amounting to 621 miles on one charge at freeway speeds. If tire technology advances as quickly as the forecasted battery technology might in the next forty-eight months, there’s a good chance that figure might be quite conservative. Currently, the car is marketed with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, but the specific requirements of a car with this much weight, response, and torque might necessitate a new style of rubber.
It’s all speculation at this point, admittedly, but the car will be a game-changer in the same way the Bugatti Veyron was a decade ago. Perhaps this car will change the naysayer’s opinion, but it will most often be done from afar— only those with $250,000 burning a hole in their pocket will get to experience its slotcar acceleration on a regular basis.