30 November 2006

Even yet still more Tesla

A road test review, with video, in the LATimes.

But I can tell you, even from my brief spin in this dog-eared prototype, the Tesla Roadster delivers on its promise, which might be summarized as "stupid fun for smart people." I think the Latin translation of same should appear on the company crest.

Once the transmission is warmed up a bit (by the way, Tesla will use a dual-clutch gearbox instead of the Xtrac-supplied unit, which has proved balky), I nail the throttle. It's not the violent, near-breakaway acceleration of a Porsche 911 or Ferrari F430. It is, instead, an instant, fluid, irresistible surge that doesn't hesitate for mechanical housekeeping like gear changes. The oft-quoted number of 0-60 in 4 seconds is impressive but unfairly limited, since the real heart-flutters begin after that. The motor torque (about 205 pound-feet) stays constant until about 6,000 rpm then gradually falls off until about 13,500 rpm, which is dentist-drill territory.

I only dared a few short bursts up to 85 mph before having to choke off the electrons, but clearly, this car will sling itself up to three-digit territory like a ride at Six Flags Over Hell.

It's over too soon.

Sounds like good sex!

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