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First post - Roadster wannabe


New Member
Aug 9, 2020
Hi, I'm UK based and a big fan of the roadster. I've been lurking here for a couple of months and have gained a sense of the car and how much their owners love them, but also the potential issues with the expensive electrics that appear to crop up more often than we'd really like!
I'm a serial ICE classic car owner/driver, and am looking to replace a classic BMW with a roadster sport. I like my cars to be more than just a mode of transport, so they need to be interesting on their own terms, and provide a stimulating technical challenge or two along the way. And I think the roadster fits the bill very well, though it will be the newest car (by a long margin) that I have ever purchased!
As a classic owner I like to get involved and get my hands dirty, and get to understand the old technology involved. I think EVs have progressed so fast in 10 years, that the original tesla roadsters can now be thought of as interesting old tech! This is clearly going to be a steep learning curve for me, as a straight 6 ICE engine is much the same as a V8, but an EV is something completely different in most ways.

I do have some questions of course:
Best way to definitively identify a roadster sport. I've read that a 3 instead of a 1 in the vehicle VIN (digit 8?) is the best way, correct? And also colours of stitching on the seats, plus the badging at the back of course?
How many 2.0 vs 2.5 cars in the UK? And what's the most desirable model and why? I confess I do like the look of the 2.5 front end better, but am not fixed in my view either way.
And any options, or trim levels that I should be looking out for as particularly nice to have?

Thanks in advance, and I hope my thinking of the roadster as a classic has not caused anyone any upset
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Feb 13, 2020
Identifiable way of knowing if it's a sport or non sport from the vin is the the 7th letter is either a "A" for Sport or "B" for non sport. Not sure if it goes the same thing for UK roadster owners.

The stitching on the seats are executive leather package that was $7500 with the original purchase of the car; The "Red" S in the middle of the stitching also identifies that the car is a "Sport" model. Not sure if owners were allowed to shade this out or opt out of a "red S" with a sport; because I have seen sport models without the red S - Or maybe they didn't have the executive leather package.

As far as color schemes or trim the choices are obviously slim for what you get when a roadster is for sale. I was lucky enough to find exactly what I wanted for the color scheme. I have yet to see anyone have tried to black out the Emblem on black leather but I think it came out Aggressive and cool AF! I love it. Which is why I went for it at a tiny little extra price it was for sale prior to the pandemic and prior to the increase of Tesla stock price and popularity as well. So I pulled the trigger at the right exact time.

At this date last year there were over 12-14 roadsters for sale in the USA; now there is 0, maybe 1 at the moment.

My initial thought was to have the leather upgraded on any roadster I found; but I like it so much that I won't even get Carbon Fiber interior pieces as that would throw off the look of the interior.

There are roadsters that have the complete CF interior package inside and out; I think that was $8500 which includes most of the internal dash and interior pieces.

Photo Feb 04, 10 19 37 AM.jpg
Photo Feb 04, 10 18 57 AM.jpg
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Hi Drew,
Also in UK - there are about 27 + 15 sports in UK plus about 7 on Sorn (How Many Left? ).
TBH the difference in speed between sport and non-sport is v small - I find the main advantage of the sport is the option to play with suspension settings.You can see the difference with seats, badges on side, door kick plate and label on PEM (in the boot) . If speed is important to you, the 3.0 (badged R80) with new battery ~300mile (vs ~200) is probably slightly faster due to higher voltage, less voltage sag, but some find its capacity drops faster than the original battery. Carbon bits were optional but only cosmetic. Brake updates (better pads or even bigger calipers) are the main update most owners have done. Here (TMC) is a good place to read about Roadsters - I spent several evenings reading posts before I got mine 6 years ago.
UK owners are a friendly lot and have the benefit of an active ex-tesla tech/electronics guy who can service and even improve them (Neil Wise). We are scattered all over the country so there is probably one nearby, I'm probably most southerly on south coast - where are you based ? I'd be happy to introduce you to: Elise handling, Slingshot silent acceleration, without those annoying Brum-Brum noises - we are all recovering classic and petrol heads and so can empathise :D
Anything specific or for a chat - DM welcome.
Mark (with obligatory, all electric picture :) )
Roaster Elon .jpg
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New Member
Aug 9, 2020
Thanks for the info and the welcome guys :)

Jason, I honestly think you hit the jackpot with your car, looks great inside and out. I read your new owner 'blog' with interest a few weeks back, very good insight into the new owner experience. Big thanks for sharing.

Mark, does that mean your Elan has been EVed? If so it shows no sign of the extra weight, looks as perky as ever! I'm in Beaconsfield, south bucks. There was sometimes a roadster parked in my office car park, but I didn't get the chance to speak to the owner before we all got sent home (covid) in March, but that's the only one I've seen in the carbon fibre. Speed is not necessarily the big thing for me, but a character failing of mine is too much focus on bragging rights! I think with a base roadster I'd always be conscious of it not being a sport model. This is just me and my foible and is no way a slur on any roadster.
I've read about the 3.0 on its dedicated thread, not convinced either way on that, but with the numbers in the UK so low (I blame Clarkson) I think it's unlikely to be a choice for me, as they can't up for sale very often. From what I can tell, the 3.0 cars seem to command a premium though.

Re the VIN, on the linked post (thanks einhalv) I found this
So digit 7 relates to airbags, and digit 8 relates to the motor(s)



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