Tesla Roadster Concept – Review
Elon Musk has done it, he has broken the internet, for car enthusiasts that is. He revealed an all-electric Semi truck that will have a range of 500 miles with a full load behind it. Without a payload, it will do 0-60mph in 5 seconds, which means no more needing to find space to overtake a Semi when the light turns green. Due to some wind tunnel configuring, the Tesla semi will have a less drag coefficient than a Bugatti Chiron, and it will only take 15 minutes or so to charge. Impressive. The big rig will also come with Teslas enhanced autopilot to help avoid collisions. They are also claiming a 2-year payback period, which only adds to the list of pros.
But, the Semi wasn’t what broke the internet. It was what the Semi was hauling in its trailer at the reveal. The Tesla Roadster, a 2-door hyper-car. A car with a removable glass roof, boasting numbers that some can’t wrap their head around. Producing over 10,000 NM of torque to the wheels from a 200kwh battery, the Roadster will do 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds, and 0-100mph in 4.2 seconds, thanks to its AWD system. If your neck hasn’t snapped from the acceleration, you may be able to see the car reach a top speed of +250mph. Numbers unheard of from an all-electric car, with four seats. All these claims, are available on the base model of the Roadster, which will start at $200,000. A Special Founders edition will be available with a $250,000 price tag.
These times and torque figures and prices are all impressive. They become even more impressive when compared to some of the most popular cars that are available today. Let’s look at the McLaren P1, a personal favorite. With an invoice of $1,150,000, you get a monster twin-turbo 3.8L V8 shouting out 727hp and 531 ft-lbs of torque, and a lithium-ion battery with a more modest 177hp and 96 ft-lbs of torque. Combining to create a 903hp stunner. 0-60mph is 2.7 seconds. 0-100 is 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 217mph. Not sounding as impressive anymore following the Roadster.
The Acura NSX has a receipt that is closer to the Roadster. $156,000 will let you play with the twin-turbo 3.5L V6 hybrids 573hp, 476 ft-lbs of torque, and a 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds. Again, for a bit more money, you can have something that is quite literally from the future. Unless you’re looking at only torque numbers, in that case, the SRT Dodge Demon has the upper-hand over the Roadster, sending 10,000 ft-lbs to the wheels at launch. Other than that, the Roadster isn’t matched by any production car available today. Unfortunately, street races don’t happen as often as they do in the Fast and Furious movies. From a practical point of view, The Roadster offers the buyer four seats and a range of 620 miles, compared to the NSXs 328, and the P1s 300 miles. The NSX and P1 will only give you one passenger too.
All rainbows and unicorns, until we dig into some of the details of this vehicle. Like how the horsepower figure is nowhere to be seen. Without that number, everything else doesn’t seem to have much meaning. Some have come out and said a 0-60 time under 2.05 seconds isn’t possible with the tire technology available today. Unless Elon Musk has gone to Michelin (which from pictures seems to be the tire on the Roadster) and partnered to make a super grippy tire. Another concern we are having is the weight of the car. Teslas P100D weighs an insane 5000lbs and holds a 100kw/h battery, whereas the Roadster is going to lug a 200kw/h battery. Tesla also sells separate 210 kW/h battery packs, and they’re weighing 3,600lbs. So, without the weight of the car provided, people have been taking some guesses, and it seems that people are content with the 2,500lbs number, for just the battery alone that is. This will be a very heavy car if this holds true. A lot of energy is required to move and stop that much mass which can result in overheating. As some of us may already know, Tesla has been having trouble giving consistent lap times with previous cars due to the cooling rejection system failing, calling it the “limp mode.” Hopefully, by 2020, they’ll be able to find a solution to this problem. The last thing to remember about the Roadster, is that all the times and numbers are only claims, nothing has been tested or proven.
Shortly after the reveal, Elon Musk tweeted out that a “special edition” of the Roadster may or may not be able to “fly short hops.” Saying it’s a question of safety, but “Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities.” Meaning the Roadster Elon mentioned that already has impressive numbers, will be available in an outrageously more impressive model that will be faster, and could potentially give it the ability to “fly short hops.” The future is near, Elon Musk wants it here now, and I’m not complaining.
Although, A few things went thru my mind when I heard the news about the Roadster. Like, why the timing? Why does it seem like Tesla has been working on this [roadster] when they’ve had an enormous bottleneck issue with the Model 3? Are they trying to hide something about the Semi? It’s odd (to me) to reveal such an innovative and progressive Semi, then take all the shine away from that and throw the Roadster in everyones face. Understandably, Elon Musk isn’t one to color within the lines.