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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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By masher2 (blog) on 1/25/2008 12:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
> "sorry but $100K for a sports car that barely keeps up with a $50K Corvette? "

And a $120K Mercedes G55 is slower than both. Different vehicles, different markets.

People buying $100K two-seaters are looking for exclusivity and bragging rights, not a chance to drag race a Corvette. The Tesla's initial production run has already sold out, a strong indication the vehicle will sell fine.


By Spuke on 1/25/2008 1:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People buying $100K two-seaters are looking for exclusivity and bragging rights, not a chance to drag race a Corvette
And a BIG part of that bragging rights is being able to beat any and all cars on the road. Ask any F430 or 911 Turbo owner. These guys don't buy these cars simply to look pretty. They view their cars as a shark among the fishes.

Take a early 90's Sentra, spend about $15k in engine and suspension mods, line up against a F360 on the freeway, and watch as the owner pounds on his steering wheel in anger.


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