The Tesla Roadster was a revolutionary vehicle in its own right, and was the first car to be exclusively powered only by a battery. It was way ahead of its time, and had the image of a pricey sports car.
Those on the lookout for a car that has great handling would do well to opt for the 2011 Tesla Roadster. Its interior, however, could be a major drawback for buyers. Although the car could make do with better suspension, it is undeniably one of the best of its kind available in the market. In fact, the available 10-mode adjustable suspension has the potential to make the car even better. Many people would mistake the 2011 Tesla Roadster to be an electric car with electric power steering, but the truth is that the vehicle doesn’t have power steering. This gives the 2011 Tesla Roadster superb response, despite the fact that it can be quite cumbersome trying to park the car in congested areas.
The eerily muted thrust generated from the electric motor is where the real magic of the car lies. The tire noise is more audible as compared to the subdued whining sound from the electronics tucked behind the right shoulder of the driver. Despite these odds, the 2011 Tesla Roadster has superb acceleration, especially due to all that torque that it boasts of.
Body styles: convertible
Engines: 288-hp electric
Transmissions: one-speed automatic
Models: Tesla Roadster 2.5, Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport
For 2011 the Tesla Roadster 2.5 was given added power as well as an aggressive new look that features a revised front fascia and rear diffuser. Additional changes include the introduction of glossy forged wheels that come in either silver or black, new seats with lumbar support system, added sound insulation, an improved touchscreen and a backup camera.
The Roadster 2.5 trim is equipped with cast aluminum wheels (17-inch rear wheels and 16-inch front wheels). The 2.5 Sport Trim has all the features of the 2.5 Trim variant. It also has adjustable suspension and forged alloy wheels. . Apart from the power boost, these are optional items in the basic model.
As is the case with the Lotus Elise, the 2011 Tesla Roadster has a rather squeezed interior. While there are the standard leather upholstery and heated seats, one cannot expect the standard of luxury that is normally synonymous with a car of this price. Sports cars are not known for their abundant space, and the Roadster is no different. Additionally, the Roadster’s cabin is quite cumbersome to enter and exit. Fairly tall drivers would really have to squeeze their way through in order to fit. In the 2011 version, however, the company has redesigned the seats and included additional sound insulation. This offers better improved cabin comfort to commuters.
The 2.5 trim consists of cruise control, a removable soft-top, air-conditioning, heated seats, leather upholstery, power locks and windows, a touch screen electronic interface, a spare mobile electric connector, a four-speaker audio system with a CD player and Bluetooth, and a USB audio/iPod interface.
The 2.5 Sport trim includes other options like carbon-fiber or a body-color hardtop, special charging connectors, winter tires, upgraded leather upholstery, carbon-fiber exterior styling flourish, and an extended leather interior trim. The entertainment section of the 2.5 Sport Trim has a larger touch screen interface, a rear-view camera, navigation system, and a seven-speaker audio system with a subwoofer. The car also has HD and satellite radio.
Performance & Handling
The 2011 Tesla Roadster features a 375-volt air-cooled AC-induction electric motor that can generate 288 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The Sport variant is slightly more powerful, delivering 295 lb-ft of torque. Both the Standard and the Sport versions are equipped with a single-speed transmission system. The basic model of the 2011 Tesla Roadster goes from zero to 60 mph within 3.9 seconds, as estimated by Tesla itself. The Sport version is quicker by 0.2 seconds.
Tesla has claimed that the lithium-ion battery of the Roadster has a maximum range of about 245 miles. With the optional 240-volt high-power charger, the car needs approximately 3.5 hours to get recharged from a discharged state.
Standard safety features for the 2011 Tesla Roadster include antilock brakes and traction control.
EPA Fuel Economy
Tesla Roadster: N/A
- Acceleration is impressive
- Runs quiet
- Handles superbly
- Doesn’t require gasoline
- Highly collectible already
You Won't Like
- High price
- Sparse list of features
- Interior is cramped
- Entering/exiting is difficult
- Non-power steering
- Takes 3.5 hours to fill up
- Safety equipment is limited
Striking to behold and with formidable performance capability, the 2011 Tesla Roadster is no-gasoline-required sport model that’s got a high price tag and a low volume of interior space.
If You Like This Vehicle