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Basic Questions About Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport

l33tb0y

Member
Nov 21, 2020
8
4
Texas
I am trying to find a Tesla Roadster online, because I would like to make it a collectors item and drive it around until the Tesla Roadster 2020+ model is released. However, there are a couple concerns I have about this car.

First, I am taller than average. I stand at 6"4. I am not overweight, however. I was wondering if I would actually fit in this small of a car as such a taller than average person. My concern is that I saw a video online that the steering wheel does not raise in the car.

My second question is relating to upgrading the Tesla Roadster battery. If I pay Tesla to upgrade the Roadster battery pack to a new version of the battery, how much range will I reasonably expect to get out of the new battery pack in this old Roadster?

Finally, I have a 220V power outlet in my garage that I'm not using. I've never plugged anything into it. The people who built my house had the 220V power outlet for the purpose of using a big construction table with a power saw, but they never ended up buying the house and the outlet has never been used. Would I be able to charge the Tesla Roadster from this outlet?

Do you think there would ever be an option for Tesla to upgrade the old Roadster to support Super Charging? If not, why not? Does Supercharging involve the installation of an entire computer system into the vehicle?

Thanks for your time.
 

IslandRoadster

Red Roadster #609!
Nov 24, 2018
318
216
Bainbridge Island, WA
First, I am taller than average. I stand at 6"4. I am not overweight, however. I was wondering if I would actually fit in this small of a car as such a taller than average person. My concern is that I saw a video online that the steering wheel does not raise in the car.

I’m not sure if there’s a maximum height, but I once had a guy who was 6’4” drive my car and his head stuck up above where the top would be. Not a problem if you’re driving with the top off as he was, but wouldn’t work well with the top. After that, I told people not to get one unless they were 6’2” or shorter.
 

l33tb0y

Member
Nov 21, 2020
8
4
Texas
After that, I told people not to get one unless they were 6’2” or shorter.

Interesting! Thank you for the valuable feedback. Another concern of mine, and this is extremely concerning, is that it seems like the Roadster battery has remained unavailable for the past three years. This brings up a much higher level concern about Tesla's reliability long term when it comes to critically important parts needing to be replaced. Yes, I can walk into a show room and purchase any Tesla right now. But to me, the real test of Tesla's support of parts/replacements is how effective Tesla is able to service it's older models such as the original Roadster.

If you really needed important parts to be serviced/replaced such as the Roadster battery, would you be able to do that? It sounds like the answer is "no". To me, that is extremely concerning. I can take a Toyota Camry that is 10 or 20 years old into a service center and have anything replaced instantly. The same is true for a rare exotic vehicle like a Lamborghini that is entirely made by hand overseas.

I am curious to learn your outlook on this lack of availability of batteries for older model cars. Besides batteries, have other parts also been unavailable for years that are needed to sustain older model Teslas?
 

ellidz

Member
Dec 27, 2018
17
16
Los Angeles
I think your battery concerns, while common for new buyers, aren't warranted. My 2008 still gets ~170 miles on a standard charge and over 200 on a range charge. I wouldn't pay 30k to get more distance on it even if the upgrade was currently available.

It doesn't support Super Charging, though it can charge at 70A.

It's a blast to drive, but I think I'd be pretty sore if I used it for road tripping...
 

X.l.r.8

Supporting Member
Feb 18, 2018
1,455
914
Toronto/Miami
Basically you at present cannot replace the battery, only preserve what’s available. 2+ years is how long people have been waiting for even a standard battery. The aftermarket items will require reprogramming of the PEM abs that’s never going to happen, so while replacement packs will become available, unless they mimic the charge/discharge conditions of the original cells it simply will not work. Tesla will not/ cannot release the software so unless you assemble the original team I doubt any progress beyond the official 2.0-3.0 packs will be available.
Supercharging requires a handshake between the car abs it’s account and the mothership, so you are correct, it would require a new computer to make that work, and it would have to talk to the old one, again so one would need to understand the system fully to interstate the system. The battery would be marginal in supercharging rates abs to be honest anyone hoping to push 150kw into a roadster is probably buying the wrong car. No one is trying to get a 2G phone to run the latest iOS, or getting a Nokia 7110 to accept Alexa programming. The best we can hope for is accelerated level 3 charging, and continued support from OVMS because Tesla have pretty much exhausted their time and funding for these cars. A $30,000 battery pack is probably the same return on selling a model 3 so I’m sure they will pursue that avenue fir a while, but as for manufacturing any parts not in inventory, that’s pretty much not going to happen.
 
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l33tb0y

Member
Nov 21, 2020
8
4
Texas
Basically you at present cannot replace the battery, only preserve what’s available. 2+ years is how long people have been waiting for even a standard battery. The aftermarket items will require reprogramming of the PEM abs that’s never going to happen, so while replacement packs will become available, unless they mimic the charge/discharge conditions of the original cells it simply will not work. Tesla will not/ cannot release the software so unless you assemble the original team I doubt any progress beyond the official 2.0-3.0 packs will be available.
Supercharging requires a handshake between the car abs it’s account and the mothership, so you are correct, it would require a new computer to make that work, and it would have to talk to the old one, again so one would need to understand the system fully to interstate the system. The battery would be marginal in supercharging rates abs to be honest anyone hoping to push 150kw into a roadster is probably buying the wrong car. No one is trying to get a 2G phone to run the latest iOS, or getting a Nokia 7110 to accept Alexa programming. The best we can hope for is accelerated level 3 charging, and continued support from OVMS because Tesla have pretty much exhausted their time and funding for these cars. A $30,000 battery pack is probably the same return on selling a model 3 so I’m sure they will pursue that avenue fir a while, but as for manufacturing any parts not in inventory, that’s pretty much not going to happen.

XLR8: Thanks for your valuable and insightful feedback. You certainly bring up many great points. Based on your experience with Tesla, if you were in my shoes as an outsider who has never worked with Tesla before and my first impression of Tesla was very bad with the discovery that they no longer support their original 2011 vehicle and the battery packs are widely unavailable, if you were in my shoes and you made decent money with the cash to easily pay for a Tesla Roadster 2020+, would you still consider buying it even knowing that Tesla turned their backs on their original vehicle? If they no longer support the 2011 model less than 10 years after it was built, what makes you think they won't do the same thing for their next generation Roadster as well?

I don't really have a position on this issue but am genuinely curious about your outlook.
 

IslandRoadster

Red Roadster #609!
Nov 24, 2018
318
216
Bainbridge Island, WA
XLR8: Thanks for your valuable and insightful feedback. You certainly bring up many great points. Based on your experience with Tesla, if you were in my shoes as an outsider who has never worked with Tesla before and my first impression of Tesla was very bad with the discovery that they no longer support their original 2011 vehicle and the battery packs are widely unavailable, if you were in my shoes and you made decent money with the cash to easily pay for a Tesla Roadster 2020+, would you still consider buying it even knowing that Tesla turned their backs on their original vehicle? If they no longer support the 2011 model less than 10 years after it was built, what makes you think they won't do the same thing for their next generation Roadster as well?

I don't really have a position on this issue but am genuinely curious about your outlook.

I'll let @X.l.r.8 speak for himself, but for me, one buys a Roadster because they want to own a piece of history or think it looks awesome. They tend to have more problems than a modern Tesla and are harder to get fixed unless you're a do-it-yourself type, which many in these forums are. Given your concerns, it sounds like you wouldn't enjoy the car for what it is. Not trying to be harsh, just noting that Roadster owners need to have some patience with the vehicles. They were very much Tesla's first attempt at a car, and it shows. The modern Teslas are marvels and are far more reliable. I've owned two Model S vehicles and a Model X. My dad owns a Model 3 that I've driven. I've sold them all and kept the Roadster. Why, because it's an amazing, one-of-a-kind vehicle that will never again be repeated. Get one because you love the car. That's the reason to buy.
 
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X.l.r.8

Supporting Member
Feb 18, 2018
1,455
914
Toronto/Miami
The roadster is certainly coming to the end of its life cycle, the question is how far dedicated owners are going to go to keep these cars running. People restore old Honda’s and spend crazy amounts of money on them. I don’t question their dedication, I do question their sanity.
I would have a honest look around the forum and use the search function liberally. The orphan page will be a good reference because the cars previous sales have been documented and once you find a car you can usually track it further using the last 4 digits on this forum as a lot of people refer to their car by the vin.
 
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DeedWest

2008 VP & 2011 2.5 Sport
Feb 5, 2014
859
902
Dallas, TX
I couldn’t agree with @IslandRoadster more. I believe if you purchase a Roadster as a collector’s item or investment, you’ll only be disappointed. However, if you purchase as an enthusiast and plan to enjoy the vehicle, your life will be changed by what many of us feel is the most unique and engaging production vehicle out there to drive & own.

However, as with most exotic vehicles, they can be expensive to upkeep. Keep a Roadster savings account prepared.

It is also important to note that the original Roadster was a hand-built, limited production vehicle and most of the original technicians have left the company. The 2022 Roadster will likely be heavily supported and warrantied just like the other mass production vehicles Tesla currently offers.
 
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jason.tv

Member
Feb 13, 2020
410
379
Florida
I couldn’t agree with @IslandRoadster more. I believe if you purchase a Roadster as a collector’s item or investment, you’ll only be disappointed. However, if you purchase as an enthusiast and plan to enjoy the vehicle, your life will be changed by what many of us feel is the most unique and engaging production vehicle out there to drive & own.

However, as with most exotic vehicles, they can be expensive to upkeep. Keep a Roadster savings account prepared.

It is also important to note that the original Roadster was a hand-built, limited production vehicle and most of the original technicians have left the company. The 2022 Roadster will likely be heavily supported and warrantied just like the other mass production vehicles Tesla currently offers.

I think the original roadster looks better than the new one; Imagine spending $200k plus tax and having panel gap issues lol.
 

slcasner

Active Member
Feb 20, 2011
1,190
795
Sunnyvale, CA
First, I am taller than average. I stand at 6"4. I am not overweight, however. I was wondering if I would actually fit in this small of a car as such a taller than average person.
It depends not just on your overall height but also on the ratio of trunk to leg length. I think most of the people with long legs have been able to get in with their knees to the sides of the steering wheel. I have a friend who may be under 6' but his height is mostly above the hip. His head pushed up a bump in the softtop, but the hard top is a bit higher. He mostly drove with the top off. He said rain was not a problem if you drive fast enough.
Finally, I have a 220V power outlet in my garage that I'm not using. I've never plugged anything into it. The people who built my house had the 220V power outlet for the purpose of using a big construction table with a power saw, but they never ended up buying the house and the outlet has never been used. Would I be able to charge the Tesla Roadster from this outlet?
It might be only a 20A or 30A outlet, but that would still be usable. You'd need to get a matching plug to go on the charger.
It's a blast to drive, but I think I'd be pretty sore if I used it for road tripping...
I've driven mine on two 2400-mile road trips and several 300-400-mile trips. The seat is comfortable for me. I'm only 5'7", though.
 
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Peter.h

Electric Newbie
Dec 16, 2017
117
124
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
First, I am taller than average. I stand at 6"4. I am not overweight, however. I was wondering if I would actually fit in this small of a car as such a taller than average person. My concern is that I saw a video online that the steering wheel does not raise in the car.
I'm 6'5" and 250 lbs and drive my Roadster daily, around 50-100 miles per day (well, before the pandemic and working from home I did). Getting in and out takes some skill and flexibility, but once seated I'm fine.

A couple of observations from my 3 years of Roadster experience:
  • The 1.5 is better suited to tall people (the seat has less cushion and you sit a bit lower, and the lower dash design offers a bit more knee room). If you have a chance you should test drive both. I owned a 2.5 sport for a year, and then switched to a 1.5 which I much prefer
  • You can take the sun visor off (it just slides off the rod) to give better visibility
  • It's hard to see the instrument cluster - I can only see the speedometer up to 30, the rest is hidden when I sit up straight. I've experimented with different solutions, so far the best I've found are a speedometer function on the radio and or an app on the windshield mounted phone. Or I just go by the noise level :)
I've done a 1,000 mile road trip in 5 days with not much issue (some lower back soreness, but well worth it). Love this car!

My second question is relating to upgrading the Tesla Roadster battery. If I pay Tesla to upgrade the Roadster battery pack to a new version of the battery, how much range will I reasonably expect to get out of the new battery pack in this old Roadster?

My suggestion would be to buy one with a good battery (charges to 165 miles+ in standard mode, 210+ in range) and not worry about it. Companies like Gruber can keep the battery going if eventually a sheet goes bad. There are still low mileage / great battery condition roadsters out there.

Finally, I have a 220V power outlet in my garage that I'm not using. I've never plugged anything into it. The people who built my house had the 220V power outlet for the purpose of using a big construction table with a power saw, but they never ended up buying the house and the outlet has never been used. Would I be able to charge the Tesla Roadster from this outlet?

Yes. The Roadster should come with a 240V mobile charger. You may just need to get an adapter depending on the physical form of the plug, bit they are easily available from Amazon for $30-40. There are different styles for 20, 30, 40, 50A plugs and you'll need an adapter.

Do you think there would ever be an option for Tesla to upgrade the old Roadster to support Super Charging? If not, why not? Does Supercharging involve the installation of an entire computer system into the vehicle?

As others mentioned, super charging from Tesla will likely never be an option. There is an aftermarket solution to use ChaDeMo fast charging but it requires modifications too the car, so probably not useful for a collector car. The Roadster can get a full charge on a wall charger at 70A in 3.5 hrs, so that's not bad.
 
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hcsharp

Active Member
Jun 7, 2011
3,383
1,343
Vermont
First, I am taller than average. I stand at 6"4.
I don't think you'll have a problem but it depends on how you're built. @slcasner had the best answer to this question. There was a Tesla salesman in NY for a while who was 6'7". He fit just fine in my Roadster 2.5 without hitting his head. Most of his height was in his legs, not his torso.

Tesla is building new battery packs for Roadsters but they are not producing them very fast. There is a several month (year+?) waiting list to get one, but they are at least working on it. There are also a number of 3rd party shops providing excellent Roadster service including Gruber Motors, Medlock and Sons, Electrified Garage in NH, Executive Motorwerkz in So Cal, Conrad Buck in Germany, GS Technologies in Switzerland, and others. Some of these shops can perform advanced technical services such as internal PEM and battery repairs. Check out this thread Independent Roadster Service & Repair Shops

Your 240v outlet will probably work well charging your Roadster. You'll need a UMC (Universal Mobile Connector) to plug into it. If it's not a Roadster specific UMC then you'll need a charging adapter. Let me know if you need help with that. Depending on what type of outlet it is, you may need an adapter for the UMC plug as well.

It's not likely you will ever be able to supercharge a Roadster. Tesla has no plans to develop this functionality and in most cases will not service cars with aftermarket CHAdeMO charging kits installed.

My wife and I have taken my Roadster on several long trips (a few over 2000 miles). I still use it for trips of 300 - 400 miles without hesitation. The 2.5 seats are the most comfortable seats I've had in any car I've ever owned. My back gets tired quicker in our Model 3. As they say, your mileage may vary.
 

IslandRoadster

Red Roadster #609!
Nov 24, 2018
318
216
Bainbridge Island, WA
Your 240v outlet will probably work well charging your Roadster. You'll need a UMC (Universal Mobile Connector) to plug into it. If it's not a Roadster specific UMC then you'll need a charging adapter. Let me know if you need help with that. Depending on what type of outlet it is, you may need an adapter for the UMC plug as well.

@l33tb0y, the connectors that @hcsharp makes are fantastic and worth the money should you get the Roadster.

@hcsharp, have you ever considered building a 240v connector for a wall outlet? Would be great to be able to plug into RV outlets and dryer outlets.
 

hcsharp

Active Member
Jun 7, 2011
3,383
1,343
Vermont
@l33tb0y, the connectors that @hcsharp makes are fantastic and worth the money should you get the Roadster.

@hcsharp, have you ever considered building a 240v connector for a wall outlet? Would be great to be able to plug into RV outlets and dryer outlets.

I have built a few Roadster UMCs. I can't sell them though because I always include at least one really nice feature that is not compliant with the NEC. I made one for Markus Doessegger from Switzerland that he used when he drove his Roadster around the world.

IMG_1730.JPG
UMCBurke_0427.JPG
 

IslandRoadster

Red Roadster #609!
Nov 24, 2018
318
216
Bainbridge Island, WA
I have built a few Roadster UMCs. I can't sell them though because I always include at least one really nice feature that is not compliant with the NEC. I made one for Markus Doessegger from Switzerland that he used when he drove his Roadster around the world.

That looks really, ahem, sharp! Look like it even has interchangable outlet extensions too? Too bad you can't sell those. I'd buy one!
 
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ViperDoc

Roadster 1305
Jun 24, 2011
419
210
Vermont
That looks really, ahem, sharp! Look like it even has interchangable outlet extensions too? Too bad you can't sell those. I'd buy one!
If you weren't aware, Tesla made the Roadster UMC and a whole series of adapters, including NEMA 14-50 (I think that is the right one) for dryer outlets and other connectors too. You might be able to find those for sale occasionally. I have used that before, and I think that is the right one for RV parks.
 

IslandRoadster

Red Roadster #609!
Nov 24, 2018
318
216
Bainbridge Island, WA
If you weren't aware, Tesla made the Roadster UMC and a whole series of adapters, including NEMA 14-50 (I think that is the right one) for dryer outlets and other connectors too. You might be able to find those for sale occasionally. I have used that before, and I think that is the right one for RV parks.

yep. I know it was made. Unfortunately when I bought mine it didn’t come with it, and I haven’t seen one for sale. :(
 

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