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Could I interest anyone in trading a ride in a Tesla for one in the Lotus Elise?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by OppositeLock, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. OppositeLock

    OppositeLock Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I've been a fan of Tesla since they announced the Roadster, and I almost bought one, but I decided that $110k+ a bit too much cash.

    I've never had the chance of riding in one or driving it, so I was wondering if anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area would like to trade a ride or drive in the Tesla for one in the Lotus Elise, which I own :biggrin:. Of course, the well being of both cars is most important, so no funny business. I've been in the Wrightspeed X1, which is a truly insane electric car, and I think the performance car of the future will have an electric power train. I'd like to know how the Tesla compares.

    So, who would be up for it? It should be an interesting comparison. The Elise is much lighter, and less powerful with little torque in the low RPM range, while the Roadster is basically the opposite of that.
     
  2. no96

    no96 Member

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    Well I was about to say yes until I saw the helmets in the avatar and wondered
    what i would be letting myself (or rather my car) in for ...
     
  3. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Heh, someone might take you up on your offer. You might also just visit the Menlo Park store and ask for a test drive.
     
  4. OppositeLock

    OppositeLock Member

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    I did stop by the Tesla store in Menlo Park and the dealer was willing to let me test drive the car if I was serious about buying it, but I couldn't lie to him to get a test drive knowing full well that I wouldn't buy one.

    In any case, I realize this sounds like a risky proposition, I'd be freaked out to let someone in my car given that it handles so much differently than most other cars on the street, so I'm not expecting anyone to be interested in this offer, but you never know.

    The helmets in my avatar are from the track. You learn a tremendous amount about car handling by tracking it, and the Elise scared the hell out of me until I got to push it on the track and learn its limits. I heard all these horror stories from owners that the cars are prone to oversteer and want to swap ends, but I learned that's all due to poor driving technique, Lotus built an amazingly balanced chassis. Naturally, there would not be any pushing of anything if anyone would choose to swap rides. Heck, I'd be happy to be a passenger in a Tesla, I don't need to be behind the wheel. I was mostly curious about the difference the extra weight in the tesla makes, and I expect the throttle response to be amazing. If the Tesla's handling is as amazing as that of the Elise, perhaps I'll try to find a way to obtain one. I'm guessing used Teslas will be available at some point, just as is the case with Elises. Both aren't very practical cars, and I expect that a number of people who bought the cars thinking they're cute little roadsters will be disappointed.
     
  5. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    There's actually been a number for sale on this forum alone.
     
  6. OppositeLock

    OppositeLock Member

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    #6 OppositeLock, Nov 10, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
    One of this forum's members was nice enough to swap cars for a drive through some twisty mountain roads this morning, so I figured I'd write a little comparison of the two cars. I drive the Elise a lot, so this is coming from the perspective of an Elise owner.

    The motor in the Roadster is phenomenal! I've never experienced that kind of instant-on torque, it's fantastic. The kick in the pants seems to get a bit weaker after about 60 or 70mph, but it's still tremendous. After I got back into my car to drive to work, it felt weak by comparison, and I have a supercharged Elise! Damn you for ruining my perception of power, Tesla :smile:

    The regenerative braking took me a little off guard, it's very strong. I can see it disturbing the balance of a car through a turn if you back off the throttle; it's like braking, so that if you're at the limit of traction and back off the throttle a bit, you'll spin.

    The Roadster's handling is noticeably worse than the Elise's, but that's to be expected from a ~800lb weight difference. Going through turns, there was more of a propensity to understeer, and braking was noticeably weaker. The car feels heavy and you can definitely tell that you're lugging around that battery pack.

    So, given a similar chassis, Lotus built a car for carving through twisties, while Tesla built a muscle car beast :biggrin: If I had the means, I'd have both in my garage.
     
  7. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Hey, thank you for this report :)
     
  8. Roger Reid

    Roger Reid Old but effective

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    I am sure that the dealer in Menlo Park will let you take a test drive if you bring your own helmet.:rolleyes:

    Seriously, I have installed Hawk H10 pads obtained from Sector111 dot com. The feel is better and more powerful.

    This weekend I will adjust the front swaybar to the softer position to dial out some understeer. After that if less understeer is needed I will firm up the rear swaybar. One thing at a time. I have the sport package which has the available adjustments.

    I'm not sure if the swaybar adjustments are available without the sport package. Can anyone answer this?

    Roger
     
  9. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    Only on the Sport. You'll like your new front sway bar setting. I'm really liking it myself. I'm holding off on firming up the rear. I've gotten in a couple instances of unexpected oversteer. And yet I've also experienced continued unwanted understeer. I think there's just too much weight up high in the Roadster for it to handle really well.
     
  10. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    I have to disagree with Tdave here. The adjustable suspension package *is* available as an option on the base (2010) Roadster. I think that it's about $4K. I considered getting it (to the point where I test drove one), but eventually decided that I'd rather spend the money on the premium wheels and interior.
     
  11. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    You're correct bolosky. I was only focusing on the fact that the base Roadster does not come with the suspension adjustments. That option is indeed available separately on its own, or included as part of the Sport package. Hope that clears it up accurately.
     
  12. dwegmull

    dwegmull 2013 Model S 85

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    I can confirm: I ordered mine with the optional adjustable suspension (I just double checked, it is $4000).
    My first ride in a roadster was in a 2008 with regular suspension. My test drive was in a sport model, obviously with the adjustable suspension. Both rides happen to include the same section of street with concrete pavement (El Camino Real in Palo Alto, CA). The sport felt much more controlled and better absorbed the concrete expansion joints bumps than the base suspension. I decided to not get the sport as I will never drive even the base one to its limit and I can do without the more expensive tires. Getting just the adjustable suspension was the perfect compromise.
     
  13. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Is there anything in the suspension option that one couldn't just get from the Elise aftermarket?
     

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