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Car video reviews:

Body style: Convertible (spider/spyder, cabrio/cabriolet, drop/open/soft top)
Segment: Roadster & Convertible

This was the firestarter of the electric car revolution.

It wasn't the ignition plug since it had none of those: only an electric motor and 4000 cells formed into a battery.

In the dawn of the XIX-th century, the battle between the electric cars and gasoline-powered ones, the latter prevailed. Fast forward a century, the things looked way different, and the American car-company Tesla came with a new idea. That was the 2008 Tesla roadster.

It took the lightest chassis on the market from a Lotus Elise. The little Roadster seemed perfect for the job. The bodywork was adapted. It was still sleek and aerodynamic, with a Targa-style convertible system. In the front bumper, Tesla installed a wide grille needed to cool the battery packs and the engine. Unlike the Elise, it didn't feature side-intakes behind the doors since there was no internal combustion engine to cool it.

The Roadster's interior was very minimalist. A dashboard, a pair of seats, an air-conditioning unit, and a sound system were all the interior equipment. Some metallic parts were still exposed, like in a Lotus Elise. There were even less sound-deadening materials since the electric motor was very silent, and there was no gearbox. The instrument cluster featured two analog dials with a tachometer that showed up to 13.000 rpm. A gauge showed the battery charging status.

The Tesla Roadster faced a few problems when it was launched because the transmission failed. After the problems were fixed and the little open-top vehicle proved its worthiness, the orders started to pile-up, and the waiting line began to be longer. The 0 to 60 mph (0-97 kph) acceleration time was under 4 seconds, and that was faster than any supercar from that era.

TESLA Roadster 2008 - 2012 16 Photos
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press release
TESLA Roadster 2008 - 2012
  1 electric
  • AC induction 1AT (248 HP)

TESLA Roadster AC induction 1AT (248 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  AC induction 1AT (248 HP)
Cylinders
375 volt AC induction air-cooled electric motor with variable frequency drive
Power
185 KW @ 4500-8500 RPM
248 HP @ 4500-8500 RPM
248 BHP @ 4500-8500 RPM
Torque
276 lb-ft @ 0-4500 RPM
374 Nm @ 0-4500 RPM
Fuel System
AC induction
Fuel
Electric
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
130 mph (209 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph)
4 s
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
Single Speed
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Ventilated Discs
Rear
Ventilated Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
175/55 R16 (front) - 225/45 R17 (rear)
DIMENSIONS
Length
155.4 in (3947 mm)
Width
72.9 in (1852 mm)
Height
44.3 in (1125 mm)
Front/rear Track
57.7/59 in (1,466/1,499 mm)
Wheelbase
92.6 in (2352 mm)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
2723 lbs (1235 kg)
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