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How does a roadster drive

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Nototrader, Aug 29, 2016.

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  1. ChadS

    ChadS Last tank of gas: March 2009. EV miles: 244,000

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    #21 ChadS, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
    Since you have an S, I will try to compare it to that.

    We have had an S for 4 years. We wish it was smaller and cheaper, but other than that we love it. Smooth, quiet, safe, roomy, comfortable, quick, high-tech, good-looking...what is not to love? In fact it's so great I'm ordering a second one for myself.

    BUT...to get it, I have to give up the Roadster I have driven for 7 years. I am giving it up for practicality, not because I don't want it anymore - I most definitely still want it. Yes, the Model S is more practical. The P*D versions are quicker. But the Roadster is SO MUCH MORE FUN to drive. Why?
    • It is a full TON lighter than the Model S. The Model S does well for its size, especially with the weight down so low, but you still really feel it in corners. A ton is a lot.
    • It has direct steering, rather than electronic. While the Model S steering is accurate, with the Roadster you can feel the road surface.
    • It is WAY smaller than the Model S. Easier to park, feels less intrusive and dangerous in high-traffic lane changes, passing, etc.
    • The top comes off! Opening the pano roof is just not the same.
    • You don't just sit in the Roadster; you pretty much put it on. While cruising in the Model S, the car can fade in to the background. But while driving the Roadster, I always know I am driving it, and I am looking for opportunities to use its abilities.
    • I just freaking love that remote pod-racer sound it makes
    Plus there is always the fact that the Roadster is far more efficient. It is the most efficient vehicle available on the highway (though the BMW i3 edges it out in the city).

    Mind you, the Roadster is not for everyone. Downsides include:
    • Taut ride
    • Little storage space in the cabin or trunk
    • Noisy (wind noise, road noise, rattles and squeaks)
    • Poor rear visibility
    • Difficult ingress/egress
    • Very low driving position means pretty much any car blocks your view, and not all cars can see you
    If you can put up with that list, you will not regret getting one.

    ---------------------------

    My favorite Roadster story was from the day I took a driving course put on by an Audi group. Part of it included navigating a little autocross section. Because we were beginners, an instructor had to ride along with us. I pulled up to the start of the autocross course, and there was a group of people talking. Distracted by the others (and thinking my car was a Lotus, as I soon found out), an instructor climbed in to my car. I made a joke about the tough part being over, now that he was in the car. He buckled his seat belt and said "no big deal, I have been in a lot of cars like this."

    Just then, the flag dropped. I took off. The instructor's body slammed back in the seat, his arms flailed forwards, his eyes bugged out, and he yelled, "NOT LIKE THIS!"
     
    • Like x 13
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  2. Nototrader

    Nototrader Member

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    I think I'm pulling the trigger on a 2.5. However, I'd like to test drive one first just in case. I cannot find any cars available in the NY metro area. Any ideas?
     
  3. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    I think it important to test drive the one your planning to buy. There was a deposit placed on the 2011 sport listed on shift.com (Washington d.c) site. I believe they have three days to complete sale which is up soon. Not a small trip but definitely a day trip from NJ. Consider test drive there
     
  4. PtG62901

    PtG62901 Member

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    There is a second question, can you get it fixed where you live? I don't know about your area, but I'm guessing that there is no mechanic experienced with a Roadster near me. More complex then a question about how it drives, but worth pursuing for your peace of mind. If you were in California, and wanted one, it is a no brainer. I'm sure the board can answer this question.
     
  5. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    There's a Tesla Service Center less than 20 miles from @Nototrader : 530 Route 17 N, Paramus, NJ 07652
     
  6. PtG62901

    PtG62901 Member

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    That isn't the question, the question is - is there a mechanic experienced with Roadsters near him? It is now an exotic car, and worthy of consideration if you can get it fixed.
     
  7. ion_1

    ion_1 Member

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    I know Springfield NJ Tesla and also Brooklyn NYC Tesla service have fantastic roadster techs.
     
  8. Stefan T

    Stefan T Member

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    As my sister sons says about my roadster
    Don't try it nothing else is fun drive after driving the roadster
     
    • Like x 1
  9. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29, M3P 80k

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    @ChadS said what I said, but better and with more words :)
     
  10. Tex EV

    Tex EV Member

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    #30 Tex EV, Sep 1, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
    Other comments are spot on. Just want to add to how tiny and low it is, relative to the S. Here's me backing into the garage, next to my S. From the Roadster, its charge port is at eye level. I'm reaching UP to it.

    IMG_20160901_224057.jpg

    Due to the ride height and window angles/shapes, visibility in general is poor. If you're the first in line at an intersection, the traffic light is hidden behind the thick windshield frame. It doesn't matter if the top is off. You're going to be craning your head around to see the light turn green. If the guy next to you at the red light wants to strike up a conversation, you're going to be putting your head on the steering wheel to make eye contact. In the drive-thru line for lunch? The attendant may not see you pull up :D. Just more to add to the list of unique Roadster quirks.
     
    • Informative x 1
  11. glight2000

    glight2000 Member

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    The roadster is bumpy, creaky, has lousy visibility, and a ton of other quirks. It's a pain to get things repaired, the stock audio system is HORRIBLE. But, it's an awesome car! There some magical balance among the speed of thought, the acceleration, the steering, and general responsively that makes the car feel wired into both your brain and the road.
     
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  12. Nototrader

    Nototrader Member

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    How hard is the steering since it's not power or power assist? Also, how bad of a feeling is it over poor roads?
     
  13. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    If you get the adjustable suspension you can adjust the ride and improve the steering a little. The adj suspension is std on the Sport model and an option on the base model. Even with the std suspension it's a less-jarring ride on poor roads than the Lotus Elise and several other sports cars. Frankly if you want a car that handles as well as a Roadster, you're gonna have to feel it on bad roads.
     
  14. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    You'll notice the lack of power steering at low speeds & tight spaces (like parking lots). And you'll be thrilled with the steering all other times.
     
  15. Habious

    Habious Member

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    As long as you're moving at more than a couple MPH (literally like 2-3 MPH or more), it's fine.

    At driving speeds, it's nirvana. So much control, feedback, "feel".

    But parallel parking it sucks.
     
  16. Nototrader

    Nototrader Member

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    Thx for all the quality feedback. Still trying to decide if I want to pull the trigger. So torn right now. I know if I don't like it and want to sell, I will get killed on it.
     
  17. spiderguy

    spiderguy Member

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    I disagree that you would get killed on it should you decide to sell it, unless you're referring to the sales tax and registration costs. If so, that would be the case with any purchase.

    IMHO, the Roadster will be a very collectible car in the not too distant future. I think that it will be viewed as the car that pioneered the electric era. This fact, in addition to the car being beloved by the vast majority of its owners, make it very desirable. Also, it's important to note that only 2,500 or so roadsters were ever produced,with only 1,464 of them in the US.
     
  18. Chickenlittle

    Chickenlittle Active Member

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    Test drive it
     
  19. mmccord

    mmccord Member

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    I don't own a roadster, so I can't speak for the quality of the work at paramus, but they always have a roadster or three there.

    Last time I had my S in for service they told me they didn't have any model S loaners and I quickly joked that I'd take one of the roadsters for a day. ;). I got enterprise instead. :(
     
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  20. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #40 wiztecy, Sep 4, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
    If you want a car where you're part of the car, connected directly to the road by electric acceleration, get the Roadster. If you're contemplating on steering wheel feel and comfort get the S or something else.

    The Roadster is a limited edition carbon fiber body aluminum frame electric vehicle. When you have aluminum as a frame, you feel it (road)which is what you what you want to be more connected to when pushing the limits. A carbon fiber frame would have been epic. Tie the EV drive-train into this with one pedal driving and you've got multiplication of feel for the road and amazing access to magic for acceleration and cornering attacks. When you tune the Roadster it becomes beyond insane....

    The only issue I've found is with the braking of the Roadster when you push it. I addressed this in a custom group buy of a rotor set and also a high performance pad selection. Any fast acceleration needs very dependable and fast deceleration. A stock Roadster does not have that at all in the braking area. Its a fail. If you don't think so you're just kidding yourself. The steering is not something you should even bring up if you're buying a high performance vehicle. But even so, If you keep the car rolling first, then make your turn with your wheel (its your friend), you won't have a problem. I have no issues parallel parking at all, even in San Francisco. The car has no weight in the front anyways so resistance is not all too much.

    Its one heck of a car. A head turner. If you never had attention in your life you'll get it in this thing. Even Bums / Pan Handlers love the thing and praise you for it, at least in Santa Cruz. The ones I've come across at the street corner know the car and are stoked its electric.

    Its the most fun and best car I've ever owned that's for sure. One I'm not going to part with under the rising and setting sun that's for sure.

    I love my hand-built 1.5
     
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