The 2011 Tesla Roadster doesn't have enough ratings to earn a valid Total Car Score.
When looking at the industry reaction to this pure-electric vehicle most of the things reviewers don't like revolve around a small cabin that's awkward to access and not particularly comfortable once ensconced, especially for a car with a six-figure price.
The smallness, though, is part of the point. Less mass means less weight, hence the car being built on the bones of a Lotus Elise. Acceleration is astounding, with maximum torque available from standstill. Zero to 60 mph takes only 3.9 seconds in the slowest version. It doesn't have power steering (not even an electric system), so the driving feel at speed is purist paradise; in a parking lot and during other low-speed maneuvers it's shopper's purgatory. At the other end of the performance spectrum, driving rangeon a full charge is about as good as 2011 electric vehicles can get (give-or-take 200 miles, depending on driving conditions).
There's a revamped look for 2011, hence the "2.5" software-type name (the Tesla comes from Silicon Valley). The nose and tail have been re-shaped, the seats are more comfortable, acoustic insulation is improved, and there's the option of a reverse camera. Production is said to be coming to a close, so this may be the last chance to acquire what might become a collector's item.
The 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5 comes as a base or Sport model. The former's electric motor provides 288 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The latter has 295 lb-ft and sprints to 60 mph from standstill two-tenths of a second quicker. The transmission has just one gear and power goes to the rear wheels.
Range from the lithium-ion battery pack is a claimed 245 miles; a full recharge with a 240-volt charger (optional) takes 3.5 hours.
Safety equipment includes ABS, traction control and front airbags.
The base model has leather, air conditioning, heated seats, Bluetooth, iPod/USB connectivity and cast alloy wheels.
The Sport brings forged alloy wheels (lighter than cast but at least as strong) and an adjustable suspension. Both of which may be optioned on the base model, along with finer leather and an upgraded infotainment system.
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