April 23, 2007

Electric Boogaloo, the Axis views the Tesla up close.

Adil writes:
It is an Electric Lotus Elise weighing 2500 lbs, with 240 ft/lbs of Torque available from 0 RPM. The car is built by Lotus although the Tesla marketers claim that it only shares 15% of the Elise's parts.

It looks good, and very familiar to any Elise owners looking at the pictures. It is also completely silent as evidenced by the movie. At the tail end of the short clip you can see the tach briefly 1/3 of the way up. The woman revved the engine but no one could here it above the conversation.

Given the instantaneous torque, it is supposed to go 0-60 in 4 seconds. 35 People who have put down deposits on the car test drove it in New York's West Village last Friday, at an event hosted by The Classic Car Club. The Club is going to buy one for its members. The cost of running it is 1 cent per mile. The car costs 90k and should be available in the fall of 2007.

AC adds:
I'm not automatically against alternate fuel cars but a sports car has to be FUN TO DRIVE, and while I certainly had tons of fun in my life with slot cars I think SOUND IS a fundamental component of enjoyment. The Tesla's main sound components when driving will be tire and wind noise...not really what you want to hear. Maybe they should come up with an automotive version of putting cards against bicycle spokes.
Another issue from our twisted hyper enthusiast prospective: I'm skeptical their published specs would hold up when using the car as we usually do at the track and if their power consumption is linear. Worse, consider 200 miles with a 3.5 hours stop to charge means a trip from say NYC to Watkins Glen would take some 8 to 9 hours?


  1. Their hearts are in the right place, but they are over-promising on this car. The range at Watkins Glen is probably more like 5 laps, and please note the curb weight is *before* gov't mandated safety equipment. The car will be a great looking DOG if/when it finally hits the street. This has been done. It was called the GM EV1.

  2. I had chance to tour the Tesla factory earlier this year and it looks to be a pretty competent organization. Their final production weight has gone up to 2600 lbs and they are no only promising a range of 200+ miles.

    I posted a writeup along with pictures of an Elise and Tesla side-by-side over at http://www.rahulnair.net/blog/2007/02/20/the-tesla-roadster-the-perfect-elise/

  3. Awesome write-up Rahul; thanks for sharing.

  4. AC, maybe you this might be the perfect solution for the sound problem you mentioned: The VroomBox. This little device makes your car sound like a vehicle of your choosing. So the question is what should a Tesla sound like? A Shelby Cobra or a Vespa Scooter?

    By the way this little gem of automotive ricery was developed by a bimmerforums member. Here's the thread.


  5. HAHAHA..perfect! I'll have to add that to the main post.

    Regarding it being all done by the EV1...well, I think at least dynamically this promises to be on a different planet, How much did the EV1 weigh and how long did it run for anyway?


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