It may no longer be in production, but there is no doubt that the Tesla Roadster is the most desirable of all the electric cars available today. Supercar looks, supercar performance and a supercar price, the Tesla is a car that excites interest and invites comparisons with Ferrari and Lamborghini.
And in such illustrious company, the Tesla can hold its head up proud. This may not be such an accomplished all-rounder as a Porsche 911, but then it was never intended to be: it is a blindingly quick plaything that is quite simply out to impress at every opportunity.
My all-too-brief experience with the Tesla Roadster allowed me to try the car out on some of the best driving roads in England, and the car certainly did not disappoint. Breathtaking acceleration and impressive levels of grip made the car great fun to drive on a variety of roads.
Unlike almost every other supercar, achieving the manufacturers' claimed acceleration time is easy. Typically, a manufacturer will give their cars to a racing driver to achieve the fastest acceleration time in their cars. The cars will be taken to a test track and fitted up with precise timing equipment and the racing driver will do a full racing start in order to get the best time possible. Few ordinary drivers can achieve the same levels of performance.
With a Tesla, achieving those times is much simpler: just put your foot on the accelerator. There are no gear changes to worry about, no concerns about balancing the throttle against the clutch; you simply point the car in the right direction, put your foot hard on the accelerator and hang on for dear life.
Combined with the impressive handling, the Tesla Roadster is quite possibly the fastest real-life road car in the world. For sure, there are faster cars on a race circuit, but I struggle to think of a single car that could be driven quite as quickly on normal roads as a Tesla Roadster.
Yet the Tesla is also very easy to drive slowly. Drive through a built-up area and the car can potter about at low speeds quite happily. It certainly is not in its element in town - you are sitting low down and visibility is not wonderful - but it is certainly no worse than any other mid-engine sports car.
Anyone who thinks that electric cars are silent needs to take a trip in a Tesla Roadster. The motor screams from behind your ear like a jet fighter. Drive one of these cars and you will never miss the rumble of a V8 engine ever again.
Of course, it is not perfect. The interior is not built to the same quality as a Porsche, the touch-screen information system is too small and fiddly to use, the luggage space is minimal and all-round visibility is poor - but all this is nit-picking. You do not buy a Tesla Roadster for pottering through the town to the shops, or to commute hundreds of miles; you buy a Tesla Roadster to have fun. And, in that regard, it certainly achieves its goals.
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