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How do you think the Roadster will handle compared to the Lotus Elise?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by danny, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. danny

    danny Administrator

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    It wieghs I believe 400 pounds more but it does have those heavy batteries at the bottom for low center of gravity.
     
  2. feelthesweetbeat

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    Hard to say. Low center of gravity is not the only factor that determines handling. Factors that the engineers should be taking into account in addition to the height of the CG are the moments of inertia, chassis rigidity in torsional and bending, load paths from the suspension mounts, and suspension geometry. If they can design them to within the specs of the elise, the handling should compare well.
     
  3. feelthesweetbeat

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    Suspension geometry is exactly how lotus designed it!! great... modifed chassis, same suspension... have some of the lotus engineers reoptimize the geometry to take into account the heavier/longer/"stiffer" modified chassis.
     
  4. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I got into a little discussion about this subject over on the LotusTalk forums. . . There are a lot of mixed reactions to the Tesla over there. A few comments from just a couple of guys particularly annoyed me.

    "But why would anyone except the most dedicated green boy buy one?"

    "No shifting, no glorious engine noise, and the handling magic you'd get from an Elise if you had a super-fat 600 pound passenger all for just $50,000 more than an Elise."

    "Let's just not pretend this car is desirable apart from the (debatable) environmental benefits."

    And my response. . . The Tesla does have shifting, it just doesn't need nearly as much thanks to the monster torque. Monster torque is a good thing, right?

    As for weight, a 2500 pound car is not a pig that can never be made to handle decently. That's about the same weight as a new Mazda Miata. It's about 500 pounds less than my Esprit V8, 300 pounds less than a Honda S200, and 700 pounds less than a Ferrari F340. None of those are crappy handling cars. You can compare with the Elise, but understand that the Elise is freakishly lightweight -- which is exactly why it was chosen as the starting point for this project.

    Engine noise is tough to answer, because it's all tied into emotions and traditions. The engine noise has always been part of a performance sports car, and that's what they've learned to expect and love. It's not that there's anything inherently good about a roaring engine. It's sort of like their attitude toward shifting, it's all about what they've been conditioned to expect. As for myself. . . I've heard what the Tesla sounds like when accelerating, and I think it's a powerful sound. I like it. (I also liked being able to hear the "WOA!" of a startled passenger being thrown back in his seat.)

    In my case, I currently have a Lotus Esprit with the world's crummiest-sounding V8. It's been compared to two sewing machines bolted together. On this morning's Jalopnik Precast, Mr. Farago compared the Lotus V8 engine to a trash compactor and asked, "If you're going to have a terrible-sounding engine, why not have a V10 or something?"

    And then there's cost. . . Yeah, it costs $50,000 more than a Lotus Elise. It also costs $80,000 less than a Ferrari F340 while delivering about the same acceleration and weighing 700 pounds less. Which is a better comparison? There's no purely logical way to answer that. I guess the answer will be in the sales figures, eventually.
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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