Print 75 comment(s) - last by Totally.. on Jan 15 at 7:19 AM

The Tesla Roadster Sport offers superior performance to the base model Roadster and will begin production in 2011.  (Source: Tesla Motors)
Roadster Sport debuts, merges performance with green-tech

Tesla Motors made news late last year when a number of its Michigan employees discovered they were to be laid off through a posting on a business site in which company representatives discussed the closing of their plant and release of its employees.  While the end of the year brought bad news, 2008 was still a good year in Tesla for some respects as it saw production of its Roadster vehicle begin in March.

A leaner, more consolidated Tesla Motors greeted the press at the North American International Auto Show this week.  The company had big news, announcing a new vehicle, the Tesla Roadster Sport.

The Roadster Sport melds the environmental performance of an all-electric, zero on-car emissions vehicle with the on-road performance of a high-end sports car, and achieves impressive results.  The Roadster Sport can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.7 seconds, two tenths of a second faster than the standard Roadster.

In order to speed up the Sport, Tesla created a hand-wound stator and increased winding density for lower resistance and higher peak torque.  The stator is the stationary coil in an electric motor in which the rotor, attached to the drive shaft spins.  The Roadster Sport also adds Yokohama’s Ultra High Performance tires, and an improved tunable suspension with adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars. 

In the U.S. the Roadster Sport will have a base model price of $128,500, and it will also sell in Europe where it will retail for €112,000 (excluding VAT). 

Michael van der Sande, Tesla’s senior vice president of global sales, service and marketing touted the Roadster Sports performance, stating, "This car can beat nearly anything in its price class – yet it is twice as efficient as compact hybrid sedans.  If you refuse to compromise on performance or the environment, the Roadster Sport is your only option."

CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk lauds, "The Roadster Sport embodies Tesla’s spirit of continuous improvement.  The Roadster has been a great success, but no one at this company remains satisfied with the status quo."

The Roadster Sport uses Tesla Motors' patented powertrain.  It seats two passengers and production is planned to begin in 2011.

Tesla Motors says that it has shipped 150 Roadsters, thus far, and that 1,100 people are still on a waiting list.  However, the wait may be a fortunate one, as waiting customers now have the option of upgrading to a Roadster Sport.

The Roadster and Roadster Sport will go head to head next year with GM's Chevy Volt, which will debut at a much lower price point (around $40,000 before tax credit).

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By KingConker on 1/13/2009 9:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Hmmm....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 9:31:55 AM , Rating: 2
55 miles when pushing the car. Great.

RE: Hmmm....
By foolsgambit11 on 1/13/2009 3:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
Not just pushing the car. Racing the car. We all assume the range numbers were overblown, but I think, also, that it is clear that 55 miles is a worst-case number based on all-out manic driving.

To be clear, I'm not arguing that from a performance standpoint, the Tesla warrants the price tag. It was always clear that the weight was going to impact driving performance. Of course, American drivers are less concerned with sprightly cornering than Top Gear is. But still, it doesn't perform on par with its price. But price/performance isn't the only reason people want this car. And people do want this car. As a toy for the rich, not as a practical vehicle.

In that vein, as a use of money, which is better - $200,000 for a few minutes in space on a Virgin Galactic flight, or $100,000 for a Tesla Roadster (or $125,000 for the Sport)?

The Tesla Roadster is a a toe in the water - is there a real market right now for a full variety of electric cars, or is current technology not up to the task? For the foreseeable future, will the only practical electric vehicles be golf carts, or are we on the road to electric vehicles (eventually) being a viable portion of the transportation industry?

RE: Hmmm....
By Sunrise089 on 1/13/2009 4:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
"In that vein, as a use of money, which is better - $200,000 for a few minutes in space on a Virgin Galactic flight, or $100,000 for a Tesla Roadster?"

The space flight, easy. Virgin doesn't have competitors who offer more performance for less money, and they're (I would think considering the founder and his past success) much better capitalized, making me much more confident that they can deliver on their long-term promises.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki