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Carmack say's: Too much fun!

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by WarpedOne, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    #1 WarpedOne, Dec 19, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
    Carmack says: Too much fun!

    John Carmack on driving his Tesla Roadster (go to the bottom, nice write-up)

    tesla.jpg

    Who minds Top Gear when owners love them?
     
  2. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Thanks for the link.

    Quite
     
  3. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Rockets and a Tesla in one picture? Cool...

    I might try that on for Christmas.


    +

    Are you listening Clarkson?
     
  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    "As I am driving it..."

    Does that mean "floor it every time you come away from a stop"?
     
  5. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Apparently it does (I would expect nothing less from John Carmack!) :smile:

     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Another Tesla Blog posting there.

    First time with a sicko-gearhead owner and with the remark
    a true compliment to the car's abilities.
     
  7. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I thought it would be good to have this one in a second place.

    Tesla
    by John Carmack


    This is only tangentially related to Armadillo, but many of you will still be interested. My Tesla roadster, number 30 in the production run, arrived this month. I used to be known for my crazy turbocharged Ferraris, and I have a lot of great car stories to tell from those days, but Armadillo wound up getting me out of the supercar world by taking over all of my discretionary spending and eventually making me fairly frugal and money conscious.

    When I first heard about the Tesla, it piqued my interest because I had occasionally looked in on the high performance / homebrew electric car world, and I personally knew Elon Musk through SpaceX. Elon was daily driving a McLaren F1 when I first met him, and he has been one of the most open and honest people I have met in the aerospace world, so I asked him for a straight up opinion about the prototype vehicle. "It is blow-your-mind awesome." he replied.

    I talked about the car a fair amount, but I hadn't made any six-figure personal purchases since founding Armadillo, and Armadillo was still bleeding lots of money at the time, so it probably wasn't going to amount to anything. Out of the blue, Anna decided to get one for my birthday (my wife is awesome!). That was a few years ago. Being a software developer, I am sympathetic to schedule slips, so I didn't fret much about it. Every month or so, someone would ask me when the Tesla would be getting here, and I would just say "sometime soon". Finally, "soon" came.

    At the peak of its modifications, my twin-turbo Testarossa had pulled 1010 hp at the rear wheels on a dyno. This is a level of performance that has basically ruined the experience of most high performance cars for me. When I later bought a stock F50, my driving impression was basically "Meh. Pleasantly quick, I suppose." (I committed a sacrilege and put a mild turbo system on it to make it live up to its looks). The Tesla wasn't going to knock me out with neck snapping acceleration, but that wasn't what I was looking for.

    For years, my drive to the Id Software office afforded me an almost daily opportunity to run out fourth gear on the service road, which let the crazy cars earn their keep. After we moved to a new location, the route just wasn't there anymore, and I would find that weeks had passed without the throttle ever going to the floor. For just tooling around town, high winding, high boost engines just don't come into their own -- it takes a degree of planning before aiming for 9000 rpm and 25 pounds of boost. They were also, well, "loud" is understating it a bit. Everyone at the office always knew when I was arriving, and in a lot of situations, exercising the cars would just be anti-social.

    Responsiveness is what I wanted from the Tesla, and it delivers. There is only a single forward gear, so there is no shifting or being in the wrong gear. You have the full torque of the motor from a dead stop, with no power band and clutch to deal with. Your right foot really is an "accelerator" rather than a "throttle", and it honestly does transform the driving experience. Coupled with excellent traction control, there is very little reason not to floor it every time you come away from a stop, getting smoothly pulled forward like you are on an enormous rubber band. As Robert Duffy put it, "You are driving a railgun." The car is obviously very quiet, but the engine has a nice whine as you accelerate. It doesn't have the wide-eyed, slack-jawed, religious-experience type of performance that my Testarossa used to have, but there is a lot to be said for racking up a dozen happy-car-grins a day with your normal driving.

    Internal combustion drive trains, with all the gears, clutch, oil, and exhaust start seeming remarkably primitive in very short order. I have hopped back and forth between BMWs and the Tesla for a couple weeks now, and while there are plenty of creature comforts that are much better in the BMWs, every time I pull away, I wish I was in the Tesla. I am using it as my daily driver now, whenever I don't have to haul any big packages for Armadillo. As I am driving it, the range is only about 150 miles on a charge, but that is still plenty for what I need, and I just plug it in every night.

    I do also confess to enjoying the irony of my driving an electric car. I am fairly hostile to most of the environmental movement, finding it generally a modern tribal religion that justifies condemnation and control of others in the name of protecting the environment. I care nothing at all for the environment in isolation, only for how it positively impacts human life -- civilization is all about beating the environment into forms that suit us better. An "electric car" used to be a conspicuous sign of righteous sacrifice, but you won't get any self-flagellation points for driving a Tesla. Too much fun.

    tesla.jpg
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    When Musk gives up his McLaren F1 and Carmack gives up his Turbo F50 to drive a Tesla instead that says a lot.
     
  9. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I do expect a little bias on Elon's part :smile: But from John Carmack, it is quite a testimonial!
     
  10. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    Hey! That means there's at least one Tesla Roadster already in the DFW area. Maybe I will get to see one some day.

    By the way, if anyone gets advance news of date, time, and location when the Tesla Roadshow comes to Dallas, please post it!

    Feel the Heat: Tesla Roadshow hits Miami during Art Basel
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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