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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).



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Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 9:23:56 AM , Rating: 1
Corvette Z06 with 0-60 in 3.7 for $75,000 (so $35,000 to spend on gas and anything else) or all electric car which only goes so far before needing to be recharged and requires a $10,000+ battery pack every so often.

And I'd love to know how that car pictured seats 5. Do they mean two adults and 3 newborns in the trunk?




RE: Hmmm.....
By Aloonatic on 1/13/2009 9:43:47 AM , Rating: 2
The "seats 5" claim makes no sense.

As you point out, there is clearly no room in the back from the photo. Some car manufacturers try to convince people that their cars can seat 4, such a Porsche. There's no way that 4 adults could fit in many of these cars comfortably for any real journey but at least they are not silly enough to claim that it seats 5.

Isn't a "roadster" defined as being a 2 seat convertible sports car anyway?


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 9:50:51 AM , Rating: 2
I don't even see how there could be a backseat


RE: Hmmm.....
By quiksilvr on 1/13/2009 10:30:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't even see why they made this car in the first place. Why don't they come out with the sedan for the much more reasonable (though still high) price of $60k? And on top of that, why aren't they implementing the new lithium ion battery technology that triples the battery life and in turn triples the range? I applaud Tesla for their amazing electric technology, but I scold them for not coming out with more realistic vehicles.


RE: Hmmm.....
By CZroe on 1/13/2009 1:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
"Roadster" is usually a 2-seater open-top; not convertable. Well, you could say that a convertible "converts" between a standard "roofed" car and a roadster rather than being defined as either. :D


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gul Westfale on 1/13/2009 9:44:52 AM , Rating: 5
yes, it runs on babies rather than electricity. that way it also helps with overpopulation... what a brilliant car!


RE: Hmmm.....
By austinag on 1/13/2009 9:59:53 AM , Rating: 5
It's the Fatbastard of the car world:
I want your wee babies. Get in my gas tank!


RE: Hmmm.....
By quiksilvr on 1/13/2009 10:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
Chris Hansen: What are you doing?
Fat Bastard: Wha?
Chris Hansen: ...Did you just put three infants in the back of your car?
Fat Bastard: Uh...I...
Chris Hansen: Why don't you take a seat?
Fat Bastard: But I--
Chris Hansen: Take a seat, right over there.
Fat Bastard: *sits* How does he DO that?


RE: Hmmm.....
By bhieb on 1/13/2009 9:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
Or a four door $60K 09 CTS-V with 0-60 in 4.3, and truly seats 5 with a large trunk. Slower yes, but only by a blink or so and much more car.


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 10:32:12 AM , Rating: 3
.6 seconds is a lot. But it doesn't take much to get more horsepower out of a CTS-V. A $6600 Magnacharger kit will get you 120hp/120tq and barely affect fuel economy. If at all. In fact many GTOs running Magnacharger are getting much BETTER fuel economy than stock. 30 mpg highway.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gzus666 on 1/13/2009 10:44:01 AM , Rating: 1
Magnachargers are lame. Roots blowers are way to inefficient. Turbo or a Rotrex centrifugal supercharger is the way to go.


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 12:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
New magnachargers use about .6 horsepower. The good thing about them is that the installation is simple and doesn't require a ton of expensive and heavy custom piping. You literally just bolt it on, put on the belt, retune, and go (plus fuel system upgrades which you need for a turbo as well).


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 1:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
Custom piping isn't that expensive nor very heavy especially for a $60k, nearly 4000 lb car. I understand that there are marketing issues with selling a fast American car with turbochargers (although the Solstice and Sky does/did well) but that doesn't mean they're crap especially today. They could've easily met power requirements and even got a torque boost with a couple of small, dual ball bearing units. On a 6.2L, there's no such thing as turbo lag or even waiting to get into the meat of the turbo's efficiency range. Hey could run a couple of Disco Potato's on there.


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 2:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
I've nothing against turbos either. Just saying that either's solution to making power works. With a turbocharger you have potentially higher peak horsepower. With a supercharger you have gobs of instant lowend torque. With modern superchargers, the argument of "the supercharger robs power" is essentially moot.

But there is simplicity in the implementation of a roots type blower. No tubing. Nice clean, uncluttered engine bay. Engine bays of cars today hardly need to have even less space than they already do. Of course a STS kit eliminates this problem but then you have the issue of turbo lag (not something a V8 really has to worry about though) and extremely long tubing. Not to mention the inherent issues of putting an extremely hot turbo underneath your car (rain).


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 2:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
With a turbocharger you have potentially higher peak horsepower.
Depends on the size and design of the turbo's. There's no hard fast rule on where they make power. Most OEM turbo's are small and spool quickly making their power in lower rpm ranges. The turbo in my car (OEM) makes max power as low as 1700 rpm and putters out at 5000 rpm (4 cyl). It just depends on what the manufacturer and the target consumer wants/expects.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gzus666 on 1/13/2009 2:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
Anymore with current turbo designs, the lag is unnoticeable. Short of the completely decked out race designs that are made to make power up top through cam tuning anyway, turbos are quite quick to make power and do so very efficiently.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Black69ta on 1/13/2009 5:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
Then it is tuned wrong or you misunderstand the specs, A turbo 4 banger usually redlines at 7k-9k and naturally makes peak hp around 1000-500rpm short of redline. If it really peters out at 5k then you are missing out on a lot. And all in at 1700rpm is ludacriss unless it is really, "way" too small. maybe the boost is coming in at 1700rom? Then again OEM, is like a government Uniform: You can have any suit you want as long as its plain black; you can have any power level you want as long as its weak. They are much better than 20 years ago, I drove a 1989 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z Whatever and it has so much lag I thought the turbo was shot, till it kicked in weakly. Good thing is from ebay bet you get a deal on an upgrade turbo that would probably, bolt on.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 7:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
The turbo in my car is definitely on the too small side and it's from the factory. I don't misunderstand the specs at all. It really does make max torque from 1700 to 5000 rpm. Then it takes a nose dive. The turbo in this is operated damn near outside its efficiency map under certain conditions. The redline on the car is 6500 rpm but it poops out totally by 5800. BTW, my car is also direct injected and has VVT.

In the aftermarket, it won't even break 300 whp and that's with supporting mods like "larger" intercooler, 3" exhaust and intake.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/13/2009 7:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the Ecotec LNF can take up 500 hp (crank) in stock configuration. So far we have people rocking 400 whp with just a turbo upgrade and some tuning. There are some issues with the stock ECU limiting boost to 255 kpa but GM's performance upgrade eliminates that limit (along with some other stuff like a CARB legal, warranty friendly 290 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque). Work is in progress on this engine!!!!


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gzus666 on 1/13/2009 2:28:49 PM , Rating: 2
The drive loss is not the only inefficiency unfortunately. That would be a problem with any supercharger. The problem is a roots design is naturally less efficient than a centrifugal design. Also, I believe the one you are speaking of is a twin screw, not a roots as I mistakenly said. While more efficient than roots, they are still a bit rough on the thermal efficiency side.

But, I will agree, they are easy as hell to put on. Custom piping is not really always required, plenty of companies make bolt on turbo and centrifugal kits. Many cost less than that supercharger as well, which is has a bad price to power ratio. Centrifugal supercharger kits are actually pretty damn simple for the most part, I would venture to say in some cases easier than the twin screw.


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 2:54:29 PM , Rating: 2
ATI Prochargers are also good. However from what I've seen, Prochargers seem to be more prone to belts slipping than magnachargers. Another GTO guy I know though is making 650 rwhp with an ATI Procharger on his 402 ci LS engine. Still gets 25 mpg highway too. Nother guy has a pair of twins on his otherwise stock motor GTO. Not sure what he's making. But with him driving it ran a mid 11 in the 1/4 I think. And he can't drive for sh*t and he admits it. Was also on street tires.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gzus666 on 1/13/2009 3:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, the Prochargers are pretty cool. Always good to run a ribbed belt with cogs so you don't get slippage. GTOs aren't the greatest for straight drags, just like Cobra Mustangs, independent rears hop pretty bad on hard launches for the most part, but they sure do make cornering sweet.

When I was younger I worked for a coatings shop, we used to get all the turbos and superchargers off the Pro 5.0 Mustangs. 4:1 drive ratio superchargers are insane, I could make boost with my hand. Some of the turbo snails I saw were psychotic. 55+psi of boost is a beautiful thing!


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/13/2009 4:01:34 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I'm going to an all GTO track day in Bradenton in a few weeks. Getting some drag bags to help with wheel hop and hopefully a new rear diff cover that will also help with wheel hop. As well as having a higher fluid capacity to provide better cooling.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Black69ta on 1/13/2009 5:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Screw Type Superchargers (Whipplecharger), are more thermally efficient than a Centrifugal Supercharger (Paxton).


RE: Hmmm.....
By Gzus666 on 1/13/2009 6:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
Varies by make, screw is usually 70-80%, centrifugal is 70-85% or so. Magnachargers are pretty low on that range. Rotrex is one of the higher end one, they approach turbo efficiencies because of the design. Some sweet ass chargers for sure.


RE: Hmmm.....
By joeindian1551 on 1/13/2009 4:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
So you would pull off the factory Eaton supercharger in favor of a Magnacharger?

Why not switch out the factory R1900 for the R2300 thats on the ZR1?


RE: Hmmm.....
By BZDTemp on 1/13/2009 7:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
There is more to life than straight line speed. Agility is what's really fun and you can't beat lightness in that area since it's about physics.

Something like the Lotus Elise the Tesla is based on would be a lot more fun than a CTS-V, a Corvette or the Tesla cars for that matter. And the light weight also makes for decent fuel economy (in sports car terms).


RE: Hmmm.....
By FITCamaro on 1/14/2009 7:58:30 AM , Rating: 2
The Corvette beats the Elise in highway mpg.

And last I checked, the Elise isn't involved in professional racing like the Rolex series. The Corvette and CTS-V are.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/14/2009 12:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
The Elise is an awesome car to be sure and I would like to have one. I just don't like the engine. It has a weird power curve. The big cam engagement point is too high (I know it's lower on the Elise than the Celica's but it's still too high). A Honda engine would be WAY better but a NA version of GM's Ecotec LNF would be even better than that.


RE: Hmmm.....
By randomly on 1/13/2009 4:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
It's not just about 0-60 times. It's about the PEF, and the Tesla PEF is much larger than just another production Corvette.

They've only found 5 people that can squeeze into the tiny seats. If you're not one of those 5 you are out of luck.


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/14/2009 12:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
PEF?


RE: Hmmm.....
By randomly on 1/14/2009 2:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
Penis Extension Factor


RE: Hmmm.....
By Spuke on 1/14/2009 2:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Penis Extension Factor
LOL!


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