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So You've Got A New Roadster

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by vfx, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Here are some things to expect at first:

    It's a very low car.
    That makes you more alert when you realize you are a silent mouse in a world of lumbering elephants. You will drive very carefully until you settle in. Give it a few weeks.

    The headlights don't reach very far. About half the reach of a taller SUV but it's ironic because on dark twisty roads you want to drive twice as fast.

    Yoga lessons are nearly required for ingress / egress with the top on. You will look as graceful as a wounded pelican getting in and out for awhile. You have to relearn all over again to be a passenger.

    It's quiet.

    If the radio worked you would hear it much better. The good news that without a radio, you can bathe in the world's coolest sound of a jet turbine. Enjoy it!

    On a quiet road every single rock that flys up to hit the car resonates loudly and sometimes when going though a dirt pile it sounds like the car is being pelted by a rock shooting machine gun. Very disconserting.

    It's unusual.

    People will invade your space. Don't think you can get away with going out without makeup or unkempt in any way. Other drivers will be looking at the car and by extension they will want to talk with you. Some will judge.

    You might have to plan a bit of extra time on trips to the mall or store. It's at 50 percent chance someone will approach you with questions. Once you say it's electric then prepare to stay another 15 minutes. Don't have anything incriminating in the trunk and carry some Tesla brochures to hand out.

    When giving rides you can actually "feel" moment by moment the realizations that your passengers have that this is a special car. It's when they expect the shifts. And that realization builds with the lack of each expected micro-slowing. Once you are used to it, it plays out in slow motion. A joy to "watch" as a Tesla grin is born.

    Misc.

    At first there is a "car key shuffle". When about to leave and stand at the back of the Roadster to close the trunk you will want to use your right hand to push and latch the right side and then your left hand for the other side. All the while you are holding your keys. You don't want to scratch the paint so where do they go? The mouth becomes a quick answer. Similar when getting into the car. Where do the keys go when you need both hands and feet to enter in spider-assist-mode so the keys are thrown in first. Getting out you may end up reaching around and putting them on the roof.

    The stick and center column are flimsy. Fisher Price would be proud of the shift feel. Get used to it or maybe you can upgrade.

    Drivers leg may get sore (black and blue) where it pushes against the tight fit center column especially if you are used to Italian style splay leg seating. After a while you will build up calluses or learn to float your leg away from center.

    You might be surprised to find that in mountain driving, the combination of lock to lock and a relatively wide 32' turn radius that your hands will be all over the steering wheel sometimes accidently honking the horn for no good reason.

    Takes a while to discern the various pump and fan sounds. When charging be sure that the slide switch is forward. Just because the car is making a lot of cooling (cooing?) noises it does not mean it is charging.

    More to come.
     
  2. Tim M

    Tim M Member

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    VFX,

    Priceless! Things you learn only once you've been there (for a while). Great post.
     
  3. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Great post, thanks! Two follow-up questions:

    1. What types of questions/comments do you get from people that "invade your space"? I'm curious if people are generally supportive, excited, curious, envious etc. When I got my hybrid 4+ years ago, I found myself answering the same questions over and over again, and I got the gamut of reactions to it (mostly positive, but some negative).

    2. If there are negative reactions, what is their beef -- i.e., what do they complain about? Do they think global warming is a crock, or that producing electricity is as wasteful as gas? Or do they complain about the price? It would be interesting to have this type of information to know where educational efforts should be directed with respect to EVs.
     
  4. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    I now live for on ramps and stop lights.

    I love driving by single pedal, I don't miss engine revving at all. Being able to max regen down to a stop light is fantastic.

    Acceleration that triggers that roller coaster sensor in your brain never gets old.
     
  5. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Great post VFX. Wish I could experience it... Hopefully the Model S is as smooth (and eliminates much from your list of annoyances)
     
  6. BBHighway

    BBHighway Member

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    I've had one curious effect from my fancy paint. Often people stop and want to ask about the car. A few times though, folks had a bunch of questions about the paint color, then walked away without saying anything at all about the car! I'm on the East coast, so it's not like Menlo park where they see Roadsters every day.
     
  7. ChargeIt!

    ChargeIt! Member

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    ROFL !! :biggrin:
     
  8. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Interesting -- I was wondering if the experience would be different in California where there are lots of people interested in innovation and green products. I think it's very instructive to have a built-in focus group of people coming up to you and talking to you about the car, which is why it's so interesting to hear what people are saying to you about it.
     
  9. jcogbil

    jcogbil Member

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    I wouldn't be suprised if the reason they don't ask is its just automatically lumped into the "expensive import" group, not realizing what it really is. I live in Michigan, so a lot of people are really into cars. However, I have yet to run into anyone who's heard of Tesla. Course....that doesn't mean it doesn't get stares every time I take it out. Heck, last week some guy followed me home to ask me about the car.
    -Jim
     
  10. Chris H.

    Chris H. Member

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    Great post vfx!

    Priceless!

    Ah, the price of progress! :smile:
     
  11. Chris H.

    Chris H. Member

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  12. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Wow, so many publications outright steal from this forum. Posted anonymously? He DOES have a username...
     
  13. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #13 vfx, Jun 20, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
    We in TMC are so familiar with the car and have all read many terrific reviews from top automotive journalists. So many wonderful words have covered every aspect of the Roadster that I just wanted to write something personal. Out of that context it seems like I'm bashing but I love this car every day.

    And flattered these thoughts have wings,
     

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