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 or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

The Quarter Mile

Discussion in 'Roadster: Performance' started by tonybelding, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,078
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    There's been some quibbling over the exact 0-60 MPH time of the Roadster -- it's under four seconds, but exactly how much under? 3.86? 3.8?

    It doesn't worry me. I'm sure it's PDQ.

    What I want to know is, how fast can it do the quarter mile? We've heard nothing at all about this. Why not? Is it because the numbers are really bad and pathetic?

    We've all heard about how the electric motor produces maximum torque from a standing start, and I'm sure Tesla chose to focus on the 0-60 time for that very reason. Still, they've got to know as soon as any of the car magazines put the Roadster through track testing, all the other pertinent performance numbers are going to come out. Wouldn't it be a good idea to get this out in the open already?
     
  2. Kardax

    Kardax Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    On the 0-60 thing... it's probably still a little fuzzy due to ongoing tweaks to the prototypes. If they announced it today, they might have to revise it for production.

    On the quarter mile thing... I'm not expecting anything amazing here. The high torque at zero gets a Tesla off the line faster than just about anything, but once a high-end ICE car gets up to the meat of its power curve and can start working up the gears, the Tesla will quickly fall behind. (At least, that's what always happens to me in PGR4 on long straights.)

    -Ryan
     
  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,163
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    See here where Don Auker said he heard approx "12.5-12.9sec" range.

    A bit disappointing compared to some other cars that can do 0-60 under 4 secs, but still not too shabby otherwise.

    For instance, all of these cars do 1/4 mile in about 11.7s:
    • McLaren F1
    • Lamborghini Murcielago
    • Porsche 911 GT2
    • Corvette Z06
    • Viper SRT
    • Mercedes SLR
    And these can do 1/4 mile in less than 11.5s:
    • Ferrari Enzo
    • Ford GT
    • Porsche Carerra GT
     
  4. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,046
    So is this a call for a third gear?
     
  5. Kardax

    Kardax Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Depends on how you plan to use the car. The two gears, with their ratios, make them well suited for use on roads and highways, but for tracks that enable speeds above 100 MPH, the Tesla Roadster has problems.

    At such high speeds, even in second gear, you're well past the peak HP point of the motor and see a steady loss in power until you hit the redline.

    I think the two-speed transmission can be made to work by making both first and second gear significantly longer... your 0-60 time will suffer but your high-speed performance will improve.

    The other choice is, obviously, to add more gears. I wouldn't stop at 3 gears, though; I'd go for 4 to have a good set of choices for various track and road conditions. 1st gear for 0-60 demos, 2nd and 3rd for racing, 4th for top speed demos and very long straights in races.

    The other thing I'd like to see is more horsepower. Most of the cars that have comparable 0-60 times as a Tesla Roadster will easily defeat the car on a track. I think getting more horsepower is mainly limited by battery technology, at the moment...

    In any case, I expect Tesla to do all of the above if they survive long enough. (Maybe for a $200,000 track-optimized edition of the Roadster or something).

    -Ryan
     
  6. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,078
    Location:
    Hamilton, Texas
    My estimation is that the Roadster will perform fantastically well in the realm where most people actually drive, on real streets and highways. The characteristics of the electric motor appear to be a good match for the way people drive.

    However. . . Some gearheads are bound to gripe about the quarter mile times, or the top speed, or the lack of engine roar, or that you can't run it all day at the track without stopping for a recharge, or that it's just an electric, overweight Lotus Elise at twice the price, etc.

    In other words, they'll whine that it's not just like the cars they already have. Which, to me, would be the whole point of the thing.

    In my weaker moments, however, I remember the thrill of winding up the Esprit to 140+ MPH. . . and how effortlessly it got me there, and how even at those insane speeds it always felt like it was eager to pump out some more.
     
  7. Kardax

    Kardax Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Right. Obviously, the way the car is set up today, you can't market it to gear-heads.

    On the other hand, the Tesla Roadster is the ultimate rich people car. It's "green", it's quick, it looks good, it's expensive (a plus to rich people), has enough trunk space for a golf bag, theoretically low-maintenance, unique engine non-sound, etc. It's the kind of thing they could use as a daily driver. I expect sales will pick up considerably once rich people start giving all their rich friends rides. (Naturally, Tesla has to get the first batch out the door for this to happen :) )

    -Ryan
     
  8. Tim M

    Tim M Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Carlsbad, CA
    Not being that much of a gear head, what is a good 1/4 mile time for a car in this price range?
     
  9. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6,829
    #11 stopcrazypp, Aug 15, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
    I remember reading somewhere that it was Lotus that suggested Tesla keep the open diff, but I don't remember the reason.

    I know there was a previous discussion on quarter miles but there wasn't really a comparison between the price points. So I'll try to answer Tim M's question.
    I'm going to list the quarter mile times of all the coupes/convertibles I can find in the $90k-120k range avaliable in the US. (I realized there are "bargain" cars like the Z06, SRT-10, and more recent GTR & ZR1, but I'm not including those b/c they do MUCH better than par for their prices. Some times are from 2007 since I couldn't find the 2008 times, but I made sure the car was pretty much unchanged) The list is sorted by price:

    13.3 @106mph (Edmunds 2007) 2008 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe $113,400

    13.5 @104mph (Motor Trend) 2008 Maserati GranTurismo Coupe $110,000

    12.8 @110.2mph (Edmunds) 2008 Audi R8 Coupe quattro $109,000

    12.9 (Manufacturer) 2009 Tesla Roadster Convertible $109,000
    2008 Tesla Roadster Convertible $98,000

    12.2 @ 116.1mph (Edmunds 2007) 2008 Porsche GT3 Coupe $107,500

    13.9 @101.5 (Edmunds 2007)2008 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class CL550 Coupe $103,600

    13.4 @107.3 (Manufacturer 2007) 2008 Panoz Esperante GT Coupe $103,040

    12.8 (Edmunds) 2008 BMW M6 Convertible $106,100
    2008 BMW M6 Coupe $100,300

    12.9 @ 112.3 mph (Road & Track 2007) 2008 Cadillac XLR-V Convertible $99,160

    13.5 @ 104.4mph (Motor Trend 2007) 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class SL550 Roadster $95,300

    13.0 @ 109mph (Edmunds 2007) 2008 Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet $94,100

    12.9 @ 110.9 mph (Motor Trend) 2009 Jaguar XK-Series XKR Convertible $93,400

    I don't think I missed any significant ones (again keep in mind I left out Z06, SRT-10, ZR1, GTR, etc on purpose). 12.9 of the Tesla isn't that bad, 12.8-12.9 is pretty much the "mode" here in this price range. The standout is the GT3, but the Porsche is pretty much almost a "bargain" sports car itself.

    For fun you can see the closest gasoline car to the Tesla in terms of performance, handling, looks, chassis, etc:

    2008 Lotus Exige S 240
    List Price: $64,890 Touring Package: $1600 (pretty much need this if you want leather, sound proofing, carpet, & other standard stuff since it doesn't come on the base model) so $66,490.
    240hp, 170lb-ft, 2077lbs
    0-60: 4 seconds (manufacturer)
    quarter mile: 13.0 sec @ 104.5 mph (Road & Track)
     
  10. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6,829
    #12 stopcrazypp, Aug 15, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
    Would have saved some time if I read that first. What context is the list for? Since it is sorted by the 1/4 mile it is probably showing all the best quarter miles. My list is more looking at typical quarter miles for cars in the $90-120k range.
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,163
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Don't forget that Tesla makes it very easy to achieve their optimal numbers each and every time (if needed), whereas most of those other cars have manual transmissions and require "perfect" shifts to achieve the published results. In practice, "real world" for many of those other cars falls far short of the "best case" numbers you find published.
     
  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,163
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
  13. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6,829
    #15 stopcrazypp, Aug 15, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2008
    This is the reason why I didn't want to include what I call "bargain" cars or in other words, "most bang for your buck" cars. Those type of cars can already beat other gasoline cars that are twice its price, so the Tesla will have a hard time matching that given its low volume and expensive batteries (you can tell this already given how much cheaper the Exige S 240 is compared to the Tesla even though they are so similar). I think the Tesla is pretty much typical in its 1/4 mile time compared to other cars in its price range.
     
  14. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    6,829
    #16 stopcrazypp, Aug 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2008
    I think this is directed at me? I was just comparing base price (all the prices for the cars I listed were base price) so I looked in the $90k-$120k range to correspond with the $109,000/$98,000 base price of the Tesla Roadster. The "as tested" price of those can also be higher by the $1000s to more than $10k higher than the base price. At $130k that is $20k higher than the base price, so that is a little more than typical.

    You raise some good points. I think pretty much all of us are aware the Tesla is not faster than all the exotic supercars, esp in the 1/4 mile (we are in the middle of a new age horsepower war so this is to be expected), and that the interior amenities are definitely not anywhere as luxurious or feature laden as many of the cars listed. But still we are excited about this car because it is electrically powered, and for me it's fairly amazing how it can still get this performance with just 1 gear. I think Tesla can get even more performance from it just making a working multi-speed gear box, though it might impact range (such a move will also make a higher top speed possible).
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    Don't forget many of those cars come with DMV gas hog penalties and very high priced tune ups. The Tesla has (at least in CA) tax incentives over $5K and a few less moving parts to adjust.
     
  16. Kardax

    Kardax Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    I just want to mention that the early 12.9 quarter mile times are with the old two-speed transmission. I haven't heard any authoritative comment on the quarter mile time with the imminent "drivetrain 1.5", which has more horsepower and a single gear.

    As for the servicing prices, a car with all the new technology as the Tesla Roadster is destined to have problems, especially as it ages--there are no 5 year old Teslas on the road that we can study and learn from.

    -Ryan
     
  17. Kardax

    Kardax Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    You're right... I just realized that myself and came back to this thread to say "oops" :)

    -Ryan
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    17,163
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    By the by, I think ~13s 1/4 mile will be more than quick enough for nearly all customers. The only ones who might wish for a bit better would be someone who plans to drag race at a track.

    Just don't "race for pinks" with something that has a Z06 or SRT10 badge and you should be OK!
     

Share This Page