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Fanatic’s Fantasy Fantastically Fulfilled

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by TEG, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Martin lets TEG drive his Tesla!

    Why did Martin offer to let me drive his car? I am not sure exactly but it probably has to do with my level of passion for what he and his associates have created.
    Why am I so passionate about it? Because it represents the joined epitome of two interests I have had for a long time: mid engined sports cars and electric vehicles.

    [​IMG]

    I first heard about Martin & Tesla when the Roadster was introduced to the press in 2006. Ever since then a large group of fellow enthusiasts has been forming and Martin picked me out of that group to see firsthand what his dream is all about.

    [​IMG]

    There has certainly been a lot written about the Tesla Roadster already. From magazine reviews to customer test drives done by those with enough foresight and resources to have put down substantial deposits to get on the waiting list.
    So why would you want to read another review? Perhaps because I have never worked for Tesla, I am not on the waiting list, and I don't have direct involvement in the auto industry. If you were waiting for a somewhat objective review then read on. I test things for a living so I have developed a bit of a 'critical eye' when it comes to looking for product defects. I don't know if Martin was expecting this but I arrived planning to put his car under the figurative microscope and not just go for a joy ride.

    My impressions:
    • It looks spectacular. There really isn't a bad angle on the car, and I find the custom paint job very appealing. It ads more excitement to an already exciting car.
    • It still isn't perfect (yet). I found a number of little detail problems, but they were all minor things that can still be worked out.
      At one point I did something that apparently exposed a possible "firmware bug" that Martin intends to report back to Tesla for further investigation.
      (The founder series cars are perhaps still in final beta, and not quite FCS in SV lingo).
    • The car drives like a dream. I don't think there is another car on the planet that you can drive so quickly and feel so relaxed doing it. The electric motor just goes NOW when you want it and the acceleration is so linear and quiet that you can squirt through traffic with little drama. The Lotus engineered handling is just without compromise.
    • As many of you know, Tesla is still working to integrate "drivetrain 1.5" into upcoming production to correct some transmission issues that have plagued the program so far. Martin's car, unfortunately, has the interim transmission locked in 2nd gear, so the "off the line" performance isn't yet up to the supercar standards that will come with the drive-train retrofit coming some months down the road. Hopefully Martin invites me for another drive when that day comes!
    • Should I say that it is easy to drive again? This car opens up a whole new world of performance opportunities to those who don't have the coordination or training to eek out everything a traditional sports car offers. It just felt "right" to drive it. No learning curve. Just jump in and go-go-go. Well, speaking of "jumping in" that is a bit literal. Even with all that Tesla has done to make "ingress/egress" better on this car (compared to the Elise) it is still one of the biggest shortcomings of the Roadster. Those with leg problems or with limited upper body strength may find the "climbing in and out" a bit much. Sorry folks, this isn't the perfect car for everyone, but I am sure Tesla's next model will widen the audience substantially.
    Thanks Martin for being so magnanimous with what I assume is your most prized possession. What a thrill. What a treat!

    [​IMG]

    Please join me in celebrating this phenomenal accomplishment that Tesla (past and present) have done. Not only customers, but fans are all counting on the Tesla of tomorrow to keep the dream alive and the roadster in production indefinitely.

    If you want to learn more about the Tesla roadster you can find lots of information at Tesla Motors, wikipedia or even a Google search.
     
  2. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    Mmm. Mid engined sports cars. Been more than 20 years since my daily driver had the engine/weight in the "wrong place". The Roadster is similar in size to the MR2 I had for so many years, only it's not as underpowered (you use your definition of underpowered, I'll use mine). The 911 has near-perfect drivey bits, but is a bit of a porker. And the non-drivey parts in the 911 are, well, off.

    I'm glad you got to drive one. I think your review reflects my sentiments exactly. This weekend got me two steps (Martin's delivery and the store opening) closer to reality.
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I started out with a Bertone X 1/9 (talk about underpowered) that eventually went to an EV conversion project.

    Then I got a Supercharged MR2 (still have it).

    Then I just about bought a BoxsterS, but twins diverted me into a 4 door sports sedan for a while.
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #4 TEG, Jul 24, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    A short video:
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Well the X 1/9 is just fine with a Turbo charger or big valve head.

    PBS Engineering on the X1/9 Fiat 128 SOHC Racing Engines

    FIAT X-19

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]"The Fiat X1/9-128 series engines will respond nicely to forced induction via turbocharging if it is done correctly. They will also self-destruct in short order if it is not done correctly. Over the past 10 years, PBS has conducted a number of dyno test programs on turbocharged 1300cc, 1100cc and 1600cc versions of this engine. We have also done custom turbo installations in a few X1/9s.[/SIZE][/FONT] "

    I also commented to DV way back that his MR2 comes from Lotus. I know a few Lotus buyers who had MR2s

    I almost went the Boxster route then was closing in on a classic Lancia Stratos. Now I'm all about the Tesla Roadster.

    Yeah I know. Nobody asked.
     

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