TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Model S vs Roadster

Discussion in 'Blog Archive' started by ggr, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. ggr

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

    Mar 24, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Two Teslas.jpg

    So, for 10 days I've been driving both the Model S and the Roadster. I thought it was time to maybe talk about the relative merits. This blog appeared in its original form here.

    First, I have to say that either/both are just so far ahead of anything else that there's little competition. I had no hesitation trading in a Mercedes AMG for the model S, mostly because with the roadster around, the only time the Merc was driven was for road trips or when 4 seats were (desperately) needed. I've driven a friend's Ferrari, and it was as much fun as the Roadster, except it is off the road half the time for expensive maintenance, and having fun with it was actually hard work. Anyway, don't take anything I say as denigrating either Tesla.
    The Roadster is still just plain fun to drive. The S is big, feels like a banker's car. Add to this the seats: the Roadster hugs you, while you slide around in the S's seats. I am thinking seriously of having the S's seats reworked to have better side bolstering. Added later for the blog: it's mostly just that the seats are bigger, so my love handles just don't quite touch both sides at the same time.

    The performance feels about the same overall. Roadster is lighter, and easier to throw around, and the steering feels more sensitive and direct. I think the S actually handles better, and at freeway speeds is faster and more responsive. Admission: I almost had an accident in the S on the first day, I was checking over my shoulder to change lanes and when I looked back in front, the car in front had stopped. I jerked the steering wheel and missed him by maybe an inch. The steering in the S is very light! In the roadster I'm not sure I could have turned the wheel quickly enough.

    Mileage: the difference between "ideal" and "estimated" range is smaller on the Roadster. (Note: this was written before the software update that decreased the estimated miles from 300 to 265.) I think this is because it's much lighter. In my 12-mile commute, which has lots of fast starts at lights and some fast freeway legs, I often use about 400 Wh/mile, versus about 300 for a freeway run from San Diego to LA. But in the S, 450-500 for the commute compares to about 320 for the freeway. I think this is for two reasons. Accelerating all the weight of the S must take more energy, and I do have to hit the brakes more often because the regen isn't as powerful. Also, the S is the kind of car where you really do just run the climate control all the time, but I almost never do in the Roadster. On low-speed suburban roads with lots of traffic lights I think this makes a big difference.
    The Roadster feels like a toy, missing a lot of creature comforts, noisy, impractical, but fits like a glove. The S does feel like a luxury car, albeit a not-quite-finished one. I'm looking forward to some software updates, for things like timed charging. The speedometer display has developed little dots in places, where clearly there is a stray pointer in the software (probably the nav display, since that's when they appeared). But having said that, some things are brilliant. I love that when you put it in reverse, not only do you get the camera, but you can set the side mirrors to angle down to see lines and curbs. I had this feature in an older Merc, but it disappeared in the newer one.

    The Roadster was a game-changer in electric vehicles. The Model S is a game changer in vehicles, period, and will only get better.

    I used to hate creep. Now I'm not so sure. The formula isn't quite right in either car, though I still prefer no creep.

    The Roadster is impractical (and yet somehow I used to drive it 29 days out of 30). The S is supremely practical and luxurious, and yet the Roadster makes cow-eyes at me and I drive it anyway, at least on warm sunny days. We'll see what happens when the weather turns cold. I think the S will win over a Roadster with a roof on.

    I must say I/we feel privileged.
  2. earthling

    earthling Iam Notdesi

    Sep 26, 2012
    Shingle Springs, CA, USA, NA, 3rd Rock
    Wonderful write-up. And I don't care what anyone else says, I love that color! For me the Signature Red is just kinda, meh. What a beautiful car.

    Cheers! =)
  3. Zextraterrestrial

    Mar 11, 2010
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    I hope to see your pretty in person some day :wink:
  4. Lycanthrope

    Lycanthrope Ask Dr Stupid...

    Nov 15, 2013
    That is one very, very pretty car!

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.