“Designing a more sustainable and secure world will make us all safer and healthier.” – Mikhail Gorbachev, Former President of the Soviet Union and Founder of Green Cross International.
When looking at the new Roadster from Tesla Motors, you wonder if the founders of the company discussed their innovative new motor with the former Russian president. After all, the views of both parties could hardly be more identical – something that is inherently clear when you go underneath all that the Tesla Roadster has to offer.
Far from being the carbon-emitting beast that is the norm for any high-end performance car, the Tesla Roadster manages to combine a luxury sports car with eco-friendly features and benefits.
“Sustainability and resource depletion are among our deepest concerns,” says Martin Eberhard, CEO and co-founder of Tesla Motors. “We set out to design a car that combines style, acceleration and handling with advanced technologies in order to make the Tesla Roadster a viable alternative to fossil-fuel cars.” It’s an ambition that has been met perfectly with the Roadster.
Beauty isn’t just in the eye of the beholder. The world’s first all-electric, Lithium-ion battery powered sports car, the Tesla Roadster could be the poster child for the word “beautiful” – it looks beautiful, performs beautifully, and most important of all, leaves the environment around it beautifully untouched.
The true beauty of the Tesla Roadster, however, lies in the fact that it could be the catalyst for a long-overdue change in the way people look at sports cars. No longer can luxury manufacturers tell the public: “Luxury, performance and the environment just don’t mix.” The Roadster proves conclusively that all three of the above do mix, and how.
Performance, Prestige and Planet Friendliness If you thought that an all-electric sports car couldn’t keep up with the more established sports car manufacturers, think again. For starters, how about the acceleration of the Roadster – does a Lamborghini-beating 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds sound like a stripped-down sports car? Admittedly the 125mph top speed may not scare the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, but for an all-electric car it’s still an impressive figure.
Adding to the luxury feel of the Tesla Roadster are the little things that make all the difference. For example, entry to the car is by a discrete touchpad located in the shoulder intake duct, and this is only after the Roadster’s onboard computer – the Vehicle Management System, or VMS – has recognized you.
Just looking at the Roadster imbues a sense of luxury as well, the kind that only owners of sports cars can appreciate. The extruded aluminum chassis exudes a classy finish, yet one that offers front and rear crumple zones for safety. Coupled with a Vehicle Display System that monitors the high-performance Yokohama tires and the Roadster has not only your comfort in mind but also your well-being.
With the innovative battery Energy Storage System offering approximately 220 miles without charge, and the zero emission benefits that only an all-electric car can offer, it’s easy to see why the Tesla Roadster won the Gold International Design Excellence Award (IDEA).
The luxury and performance of a sports car and the eco-friendliness of all-electric power – Tesla Motors have laid down the benchmark for other sports car manufacturers to follow. The only question that remains is how much of the market will be left to fill after the $109,000 Roadster makes its official debut later this year. With all 2008 models sold out and demand growing for the 2009 model, perhaps that question has already been answered.
By Danny Brown