Print 89 comment(s) - last by jtemplin.. on Jan 29 at 8:20 AM

Frontal crash test.  (Source: Tesla Motors)

Side crash test.  (Source: Tesla Motors)

Aftermatch of rear crash test.  (Source: Tesla Motors)

  (Source: Tesla Motors)
Tesla Motors' highly anticipated Roadster comes closer to fruition

Tesla Motors' Roadster has been in development for quite some time now, but it appears that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for the project team.

Malcolm Powell, Tesla Motors' Vice President of Vehicle Integration, announced yesterday that The Tesla Roadster has passed all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and is legal for sale in all 50 states.

"Thanks to great design, structural analysis, build quality and well run test management, we have successfully completed the entire suite of dynamic impact testing to meet both FMVSS and, as importantly, our own very strenuous internal performance targets," said Powell. "This is a great achievement for Tesla; it takes us another (major) step closer to our final goal and is another demonstration that EVs are as real as any other vehicle on the road."

The Tesla Roadster performed admirably in front, rear and side crash tests. "I always find it interesting when people say, 'Isn't it dangerous carrying all those batteries around?' Well I don’t know about you, but I’d rather carry a load of relatively inert battery cells than 10 gallons of highly volatile, flammable liquid," added Powell. "I will not comment on how other companies design their vehicles but at Tesla, we have paid great attention to the integrity of the design for crash management."

In addition, the vehicle passed basic rear view mirror, lighting and windshield defogging/defrosting tests.

Production of the $100,000 roadster will begin on March 17 although the first models to roll off the assembly line will come equipped with "temporary" transmissions.

Tesla claims that the temporary transmissions are of a design that has been road tested more than 100,000 miles, so owners shouldn't be too concerned about reliability or safety. Performance, however, does take a nose dive -- the first production models will only accelerate 0-60 in 5.7 seconds instead of 4 seconds as previously promised.

The temporary transmissions will be replaced with production-level hardware at Tesla Motors’ expense when it is available.

The Tesla Roadster is loosely based on the aluminum-intensive Lotus Elise and features an electric motor powered by 6,381 lithium-ion cells. The projected range for the two-seater is just over 200 miles.

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RE: Rather sad
By EricMartello on 1/25/2008 5:01:18 AM , Rating: -1
Yes, $50K more because it's electric - a currently inferior method of propulsion for passenger vehicles. That has to be some of the most retarded logic I've seen to date!

The main selling point of this car is that it is electric - aside from that it is non-impressive in any aspect. Yet, most tree-huggers who would consider an electric car to "be green" (despite the fact that electric motors emit ozone gas which is far more harmful than C02) are not interested in high performance. I mean, if you're willing to drive around in something as embarrassing as a Prius or obviously lack a sense of style and taste in cars. Performance? Bah!

5.7 seconds is slow, period. If you're talking about high performance cars, 0-60 isn't really that important. For acceleration you want to look at 1/4 mile ETs and to get an idea of handling, you look at lap times on popular race tracks.

Oh, and that 5.7s figure is based on fully-charged batteries. Keep in mind that as the batteries are depleted, the voltage drops and so does performance. With LiIon batteries, they voltage drop is broad, with a sudden cut-off.

RE: Rather sad
By eye smite on 1/25/2008 5:08:09 AM , Rating: 3
Thank you for providing a classic example of someone too close minded and opinionated to change. I'm inspired.

RE: Rather sad
By EricMartello on 1/27/2008 9:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
Change is only warranted if it is an improvement in some aspect. The Tesla is pure fail, starting at $100K.

RE: Rather sad
By hubajube on 1/28/2008 4:07:26 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. The Tesla IS indeed a failure. 200 mile range (unless you live in a one horse town this is just a "look at me" I'm green mobile poster), a dog slow 0-60 of 5.7 seconds (a Camry could give you a run for your money), and a ridiculously high price tag of $100,000. I wonder how much it would cost if they had to develop their own car.

Considering the price, you would think there would have been more effort to make this car the premium electric car it's supposed to be. Not a "master of none" car. No thanks, I'll stick to the regular Elise, at least I don't need to invest in a flatbed truck company to own that car.

RE: Rather sad
By Spivonious on 1/25/2008 9:30:12 AM , Rating: 1
5.7s is slow? Maybe on a racetrack. My car is rated around 8s and it's plenty zippy for me.

RE: Rather sad
By Spuke on 1/25/2008 10:21:27 AM , Rating: 2
5.7s is slow? Maybe on a racetrack. My car is rated around 8s and it's plenty zippy for me.
For a $100k car, electric or not, it's slow. I don't see this as a hindrance because it's exclusivity might be enough to entice the rich buyer. But it will be, like other cars in that price range, just a toy.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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