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Tesla/Lotus Differences

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Pantera Dude, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. Pantera Dude

    Pantera Dude Member

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    I'd like to know how the Lotus and the Tesla differ, what parts are common to both cars etc. Is there a list available?
     
  2. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    The Lotus has a gasoline engine, the Telsa has an electric motor:tongue:
     
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    93% different.

    Tesla says now they should have built from scratch.
     
  4. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    The rearview mirror and side mirrors are the same. :)
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Could they have afforded to do that or had the expertise to even attempt it at the time?
     
  6. Pantera Dude

    Pantera Dude Member

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    It looks like we have a bunch of comedians on this list! :biggrin:

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    Are any of the body panels interchangeable? Hardtop? Glass?
     
  7. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    I don't think Tesla would have succeeded if they didn't go with the Lotus Elise. I think Tesla lucked out having that form factor and also that Lotus was open in selling their engineering design. They didn't have to work out any of the crash tests and they knew how the structure held up for the most part to endurance and stress tests. Lots of engineering goes into suspension, crash tests, and working out all the little bugs as well as the tooling to design and build the structures. Also Timing was everything. The Roadster was very close to not making it and just think if they had to dump $$ into other engineering resources, no way they would have survived.

    Most of the Lotus parts on the Tesla Roadster are:
    -The Tub/Aluminum frame for the most part, there may be some little tweaks Tesla added.
    -The Steering system
    -Majority of the braking components, calipers, pads but not the disks since Lotus is 4 lug and Tesla's are 5.
    -Majority of the interior parts with the exception of the Tesla badging and minor mods. Except for the center console and door panels and rear speaker area. Dash is mostly the same parts.

    I belivee the windshields are the same, nothing changed in that dimension. The Lotus Elise top will fit on the Roadster, the earlier engineering prototype Roadster (one in Menlo park) has the Elise top on it.

    The shocks, springs and swaybars are not Lotus but rather Bilstein / Eibach built to Tesla's specs.

    Body panels definitely are not interchangeable.
     
  8. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Brakes, turn signal and wiper stalks, wiper (and I assume wiper motor)...
     
  9. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    Funny you should ask... I had a chip in my windshield that was replaced by the insurance company. I have a 2010 Roadster that has a 2009 windshield. Apparently they moved the location of the VIN by about two inches and had to redesign the windshield for 1010! I was told that the original plan was to just move the VIN location in the case of a replacement, but they found the NHTSB wasn't too happy about that (so they have put in the original windshields).
    So even if there are some interchangeable parts, they may not be all that interchangeable!
     
  10. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Agreed. I think Elon was correct, in that it wasn't an ideal platform. That said, I think he's looking at it from a 2012 standpoint. Tesla NOW knows how to build a superior electric car. Back then they didn't know how to build any car. They learned a lot from Lotus, and that was one of the key ingredients in their eventual success.
     
  11. JohnnyLounge21

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    wiztecy,

    Really appreciate such a nice comprehensive review of the differences. This was something I had been wondering about for a while. I've also noticed that the interior dash when you move into the 2.0-2.5 range is much more functional than on the early Roasters and on all Lotuses. So that's a shift there too.

    Good conversation when everyone isn't being a jokester out here! :rolleyes:
     
  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Some components are buried in regulation. Keeping the Lotus ABS brake system, airbags, and such probably saved them a bunch of regulatory hurdles, at least at first.

    I think the steering wheel is stock Lotus. Apparently you can fit some aftermarket Elise hard-tops onto the Roadster.

    I think they learned a lot from re-engineering another vehicle. Starting from scratch may not have been such a good idea given the size and experience of the original team. Now they are in the big leagues with Model S, but back in the early days they needed some help to get started.
     
  13. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

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    The dash is only a tray (with a cup holder) on the Elise.
     
  14. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    I'm told that the stuff that rattles and squeaks is Lotus, while the rest is Tesla (and only half joking).
     
  15. jaanton

    jaanton Roadster NA #1026

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    Tesla also got a lot from brain drain from other automotive makers IMO. Franz and I'm sure others who decided they want to work with a real innovative company. That's a lesson from the tech world. Hire the smart ones. Give them a better work environment and recognition. That brain drain might not have happened if not for the downturn and near (maybe) collapse of the established companies.
     
  16. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #16 wiztecy, Dec 19, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
    2008 Lotus Elise Dash:

    2008-Lotus-Elise-supercharged-interior-view-465x290.jpg

    2008 Lotus Elise supercharged interior view | Rides Hunter

    2008 Tesla Roadster Dash:

    2008-Tesla-Roadster-Interior-1280x960.jpg

    2008 Tesla Roadster - Interior - 1280x960 - Wallpaper


    By the way, what crappy selection for wallpaper for the 2008 Roadster. I think this was a very early model, no cutouts in the door for the tweeters also they left and right the hardtop hinge still stuck inside the dowel hole of the upper window column, and lastly whats all those pulled wires sitting on the passenger floor??? Never seen that style floormats ether with the Tesla Badging and it looks like the original 2 speed shifter with reverse. Must have been Xmas eve for someone working leaving a mess like that....



     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    You don't need the disclaimer...
     
  18. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    I actually prefer the simple design of the 1.5 interior, it also (to me) keeps that simple sports car look especially with the carbon fiber and real stick shifter. I'm not a big fan of push button shifting, especially in a sports car. I also don't like looking down at buttons when I'm putting the car in drive or reverse. I can just look back and shift into my desired gear. I guess with time you may get the feel for the buttons but its not the same. I also prefer having my air controls on the center console down the middle and that wide trinket tray really works for me. Its simple, easy, holds all my goodies. Also when they moved to the 2.x builds Tesla needed to cut costs and part of this was done with the PEM (removing the aircraft grade connectors) and also removing the carbon fiber center console to name a few.

    I'm of course biased since I have the 1.5, and people who have the 2.x interiors appear to be happy with theirs and that's what counts.


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    And don't forget about the cigarette smoke that came with the tubs and interior parts, I remember VFX talking about that one. Made me laugh and its a true story.

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    Forgot another thing that's the same on the Lotus Elise and Tesla Roadster, the paint! Although Tesla didn't use all of the Lotus Elise colors, the ones Tesla did use the paints match exactly to the Elise its just named differently.
     
  19. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #19 TEG, Dec 19, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
    Since you brought up the preference for some 1.5 things - another one sometimes mentioned is the placement of the VDS.
    Having it the middle looks more elegant, and gives passenger access, but some people prefer the 1.5 placement since you can get to it from outside the car when doing charging adjustments (checking pack fullness, adjusting charge rate, etc.) With the 2.x you have to get in the car to use the VDS.

    Some of the 2.x changes (like the central VDS) could have been done to make it easier to produce the right hand drive variants.
     
  20. strider

    strider Active Member

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    I am SO happy w/ my 2.5 interior. The push buttons are extremely simple to use and are more befitting a modern car like an EV than a stick shift. I also like the VDS placement - I have no problem reaching in to push buttons if necessary to configure charging. The old interior is much too spartan and old school for me. But as you said, to each their own.
     

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