The first modern electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster stands as an icon despite sales of fewer than 2,500 units to date. Offering the speed fiend an alternative to gasoline, the Roadster is quick, stylish, and truly green. MotorAuthority gives it an 8.
Based on a chassis built by Lotus and delivered to Tesla's assembly plant, it's no wonder the Roadster handles well--very well. With silky-smooth power delivered by an electric motor rated at 288 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, it gets going in a hurry as well--3.7 seconds to 60 mph. Top speed isn't as high as a gasoline-powered equivalent due to gearing restraints, but when was the last time you explored territory north of 125 mph?
Unfortunately, like many forerunners in many fields, the Tesla Roadster is also flawed. Its tiny footprint means there's not much room for passengers or luggage, its range falls quickly from the 200-mile estimate in hard driving, and it doesn't offer much in the way of features or options. There is no crash test data on the 2011 Tesla Roadster.
Even considering its weaknesses, and its up-to-$128,500 price tag in Roadster Sport trim, the Roadster remains an inviting vehicle due to its proof-of-concept status and the fact that, as of December 2011, it will no longer be in production, making it a relative rarity with just 2,400 units built.
For the full take on the 2011 Tesla Roadster's strengths, weaknesses, and other qualities, check out the full review at TheCarConnection.