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My impressions of the Roadster

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Cobos, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    This turned out to be a very good sunday :)

    Thanks to the friendly people at Ferdinand Motors and the event hosted by Bellona, the Tesla Roadster was visiting Oslo again this weekend. Saturday was an event for the press, I'll make sure to post links when I see anything. Sunday was a day for people that have put down deposits, Bellonas people and a fan of the Roadster. I belong to the last category :)

    I did get a trip in the drivers seat now so I've got some more impressions. We didn't do a big trip maybe 2-3 miles and then back again, so this is no review. The first thing that really strikes you is how utter tiny the steering wheel is, it's got a nice feel to it, but it's strangely small. The second thing I noticed as we were leaving the parking lot was that at low speeds it does handle bumps and curbs pretty well. I also went over a speed bump just as I was exiting the parking lot and in 10-15mph no nasty scraping sound as I would have feared with a car this low.

    The next mile or so we were going in stop and go traffic through 3 roundabouts and 2 traffic lights, and the car even without power steering works nicely at slow speeds. I've never driven a automatic before and I do admit it's really really simple and comfortable to do that in slow traffic. You don't get much chance to test the accelleration and with this being central Oslo the pedestrians will all have death wishes (at least compared to US city streets :) Eventually we got to the "highway" and I could step a bit more aggressively on the accelerator. The regenerative breaking is also very usefull in stop and go traffic as it brakes you down gently and it's easy to get a very laidback driving style. Considering there's another stoplight just down the block speeding 80 yards and then braking for the last 20 yards always seemed a bit silly to me. The fact that you can do this kind of "lazy" driving is going to IMHO make it a lot more usefull as a daily commuter than I would have guessed.

    The accelleration is insane, and as I was at least trying not to loose my licence I didn't go that fast. This major road only goes up to 70km/h max speed, but inside the big tunnel mostly everyone is speeding. The feeling that really sticks with me is that everything was so easy and effortless. No increase in sounds or anything, just the feeling every other car seems to be backing up, ON the highway.... or I might have been going a bit faster than I'm used to :) I did try to check the speedometer every now and then, but since it's listed in mph I had to convert to km/h on the fly. That wasn't too easy, not to mention the silence of the whole thing means you think you are driving a lot slower than you are. In the speeds I was doing as well as with the relatively moderately curved highway the car felt like it was glued to the road. The handling in my very inexperienced view felt perfect.

    That is another thing I got to test this time, last time I drove with the Roadster I was a passenger and with the windows down you get a lot of wind noise in the car. This time since the weather was cloudy with possibility of rain the windows were up, and it was a lot quieter inside the cabin now. We also experienced a bit of a rain shower coming out of the tunnel on our way out and had to put on the soft roof. That's a pretty easy process with two brackets you squeeze into matching holes and then draping the cover them, locking the roof on each side with some springmounted clips. As someone at our base commented, it looked a bit like using a can-opener on a box of tuna when they did take it off later :)

    The visibility is actually pretty decent with the top off, at least for someone like me that looks over my shoulder before a lane shift. With the top on, on the other hand it feels a lot more cramped. The visibility upwards (obviously) is also pretty much gone, which meant at a stop light when first in line I had to bend forward to see when the light changed.

    Unfortunately I didn't get someone to take a picture of me as I was leaving the car with the traditional "Tesla grin" but I was very happy for getting this testdrive of the car.

    Cobos
     
  2. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Cool :biggrin:
     
  3. bill

    bill Member

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    Thanks....
    Outstanding Review..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    bill
     
  4. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Thank you Cobos, for this report. Nice new tidbits from normal driving experience.
     
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Score one for team TMC.
     
  6. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    Excellent! Thanks for the report, Cobos. I'm happy to hear that you had a chance to drive it.

    You say that you've not driven an automatic (transmission) before, but isn't it more accurate to say that the Roadster has a single-speed transmission? Maybe I'm being too picky, but automatic to me suggests a torque converter and multiple gear ratios.
     
  7. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    It is true that the Roadster doesn't have an automatic per se, but I'm 99% sure the one I drove still has v 1.0 drivetrain so I don't know what you'd actually call that.
    Regardless the point I was trying to make was that I've only driven about 6 different stick shift cars in my short driving experience. I've always had to deal with a clutch and stick shift. So part of the feeling of ease might not be something specific to the Roadster but rather generic to every car without a clutch pedal.

    Cobos
     
  8. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Cobos - do you know which car / colour / registration plate it was?
     
  9. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    It was the same black car that was here the last time. At least this one was also black, and also had GB plates. I'm pretty sure it was the exact same car. The interior was also the same so I'd go out on a limp and say it's the same Black car with brown leather trim they've used all over Europe.

    Cobos
     
  10. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Sounds like VP12, the same one I drove. That is using drive train 1.5 now.
     
  11. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    #11 Cobos, Sep 4, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
    Yeah looking at the our biggest newspapers article from the saturday, VG. It seems this was using drivetrain 1,5 now, not 1.0 as earlier.

    Cobos
     
  12. pgreis

    pgreis Member

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    Tesla was in Zürich.....

    Hi All

    Just some quick feedback - I met Simon Rochefort at the Senator hotel on the edge of the industrial quarter in Zürich last Friday. Silently rolling out of the underground garage was VP12.

    Putting our coats in the trunk (yes, it's true - there is no room inside) I was handed the key. Cool. Executing the controlled fall, I had to take a look to see that I wasn't actually sitting on the pavement. It's really, really low.

    Pulling out I was told to head for the airport. A few km of city traffic and we were on the highway. Being 9:15am we were just on the tail end of rush hour. Open runway was a bit hard to find, but I finally had two chances to push the pedal down. At this point it would be unfair to put into words the resulting visceral experience... the car just flies! It's unbelievable. The last two-seater we had was an '81 Fiat Spider (which is now about a 2 on the 1-10 scale).

    After 40 short minutes we were finished, and the questioning started (and, as I am telling all of you, it's officially hearsay...):

    Which car is this?
    A: VP12
    Where will the nearest dealership be (as Munich was the last thing I heard) ?
    A: Zürich

    How many European launch models have been sold/reserved ?
    A: About 200

    How about a passenger side airbag cut off switch ?
    A: I'll ask (let's be fair, with 5 and 4 year old boys there is no way they would wait until 12 to take a ride)

    Which drivetrain is in this ?
    A: The final one.

    How many test drives in Zürich ?
    A: Wednesday to Friday - 37

    The seam between the body panels looked a bit off on the passenger side (upper door to frame), but Simon did explain that this car has seen a lot of action.

    The expected price for the 2010 model will be a bit more, so there is something to be said for reserving now.

    Thanks to Simon for his time and patience. Now onward to scrape up 99k....

    cheers

    P
     
  13. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #13 doug, Sep 14, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
    Thanks, lots of useful info in that post. :smile:
    Got any photos?

    There are 3rd party, after market airbag switches that you can get for the Elise which should work for the Roadster since the systems are identical.
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/tesla-roadster/1033-passenger-airbag-kid-safe-post6891.html#post6891

    In the US this can be a little tricky since there are rules about disabling safety equipment. Often the dealer can't or won't do it for you. Would be nice if the Roadster came with a factory airbag switch. Perhaps this is something they can have worked out by the time the 2009 Euro cars hit the production line.
     
  14. Laurent

    Laurent Member

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    I asked about this at the Menlo Park store. According to Jeremy, the Roadster doesn't have an airbag switch, which is too bad because I'd like to be able to drop off my kids at school on my way to work. If I can't do that, then the Roadster may not work for me after all.
     
  15. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Er..... kids, plural?

    How would that work even with an airbag switch?
     
  16. Laurent

    Laurent Member

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    One in front, the other one in the trunk ?? :wink:

    I meant to say "I'd like to be able to drop off one of my kids at school".
     
  17. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    They take turns.:biggrin:
     
  18. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

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    They don't have to take turns - put them both in the trunk. That should work until one is old enough to use the seat with air bags :rolleyes:
     
  19. pgreis

    pgreis Member

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    The photo

    By request, here's the photo at the Senator hotel (taken with an iPhone)

    2864242527_973b606544.jpg

    ..and about the trunk space - it looks like a paraglider would fit in there, so it's good for my needs.

    regards

    P
     
  20. pgreis

    pgreis Member

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    VP12 in Zürich, second photo

    One again, taken with an iPhone

    2865132032_ddff36c6cd.jpg

    cheers

    P
     

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