I never thought...

I never thought...

I never thought I'd want a sports car. A sedan is so much more practical.

I never thought I'd want a powerful car. Sure, the very low power of the Zap Xebra was frustrating, the time it takes to get up to 35 mph, and the way is slows down going up hills. But it was not frustrating enough for me to stop driving it. And as for power, the acceleration of my Prius was plenty for me. (I only drove it when the Xebra could not make the trip, or if there was snow or ice on the roads, which is not all that many days of the year in Spokane.)

I never thought I'd like a car that is low to the ground. Normal cars are more comfortable and easier to get in and out of.

I never thought I'd want a two-seater. Even though I live alone and it's almost always just me in the car, I like to be able to take more than one passenger on the rare occasions when I'm with friends.

I never thought I'd like a car with regen on the go pedal. I really liked the way the Xebra is completely freewheeling when my foot is off the pedals.

But I did want an EV that would go on the freeway and would have 100 miles or so of range. And so after I got tired of waiting for Nissan, who messed up my Leaf order and seemed unwilling to put it right, even assigning me a car and then taking it away, after two previous allocations mysteriously disappeared, I ended up buying "very orange" Roadster #1117, an orphan car...

And boy o boy, suddenly a sports car is a lot of fun. The power pulling away from a stop is exhilarating. Low to the ground gives me a feeling of security as the car hugs the road. Having just two seats doesn't seem so bad after all. And regen on the electron pedal actually works very nicely.

I'm not a speed demon or a racer. But after the Prius, which at 70 mph is a wee bit squirrely, I love the way the Roadster is rock solid at even 80 mph. And I love the way I can accelerate to pass at freeway speeds. My old '89 Civic would get to 80 mph (or faster), but it took it a long time to accelerate from 60 to 70 for passing. The Prius does much better, but still lags a bit. Little Orange Orphan Annie jumps from 60 to 80 in an eyeblink!

And it does it all without that horrid disgusting filthy noise that other fast cars make!

I never thought I'd like a car this much. Tesla Motors, you did good.

Mycroft | July 6, 2011

... did good, except for the crappy stereo and nav system eh? :)

Good writeup Daniel. Wish I could afford one myself. I'll just have to settle for a Model S. :( Hope its pickup is at least close.

daniel1948 | July 6, 2011

My understanding is that the Model S is to be a "sporty sedan." I don't know if they've announced what the zero-to-sixty will be, but my guess is it will compare favorably with other high-priced sedans. It will very probably be less than the Roadster, but remember that it will still have the torque characteristics of the electric motor.

And of course will not suffer from the ridiculous lack of storage space of the Roadster.

Mycroft | July 6, 2011

My wife told me that it was ok to buy a used Roadster, so we'll see. :)

daniel1948 | July 6, 2011

Might not be easy to find one. Kelly Blue Book does not even list Tesla as a make. I think a person would have to be pretty desperate to let one go. But I wish you the best of luck. It's a fun car.

SteveU | July 7, 2011

There is one Roadster for sale on EBay right now. No bids. Almost 5 days left for the auction.

Vawlkus | July 7, 2011

0 to 60 mph is known. Works out to 5.5 secs. Not as fast as the Roadster, but damn fast.

Mycroft | July 7, 2011

I found 5 or 6 used. Most are around 90-99k but there are a couple in the 70's and 80's. But after lengthy discussion, we've decided to stick with the original S plan for now.

rsdio | July 9, 2011

After the Model S ships there should be a lot more used Roadsters on the market.

DHrivnak | July 9, 2011

daniel1948, I am in a very similar boat. I was drawn to the Tesla for it's electric drive. I too have never had a sports car, the closest thing I ever had was a 4 cyl Camry. But I did find a deal on a used Tesla Roadster and it has been a BLAST to drive. I have been to the dragstrip, road rallys, parades, Clean Air Run, Earth Day and Electric Vehicle Club meetings and I have only had the car 3 months.

As I have said the Roadster is the most fun I have ever had sitting up.

btown | July 12, 2011


I have a similar but slightly different story. I was very interested in hearing more about the Model S. I'm an engineer myself and I just love the Tesla technology. So when an upcoming business trip was going to take me to Seattle, I figured I'd look up the Tesla folks and possibly take a test drive. Well, the test drive of course was in a Roadster and all I can say is WOW!!! I NEVER would have believed I would be willing to drop so much cash for a car, yet I found myself seriously considering buying one of these. I couldn't stop thinking about how it felt to drive it and what a fantastic car it was. Unfortunately, I was just barely able to justify/rationalize a base model and the cheapest one left was the very orange one which I am quite confident is the one you purchased. Back to the drawing board, I started considering used. Long story short, I am now the VERY HAPPY owner of the radiant red #316. My advice to everyone out there is to NOT test drive one of these unless you are willing to buy one. Otherwise your life will be ruined until you do! BTW daniel1948, are you in Spokane? That's where I am and I heard rumor that the last very orange one landed somewhere around here! I've seen a powder blue one here and I believe there is one somewhere just across the boarder in Idaho.

David70 | July 12, 2011


Daniel is in the Spokane area, but may not be back to this site as he is fed up with the spam we've been getting lately.

He does have and orange roadster, but although it was ordered via the Seattle store it was shipped from elsewhere. I still haven't seen his new Roadster, but hope to do so tomorrow. I'll take your advice and not drive it, as there's no possible way I could afford one. Also a sports car isn't practical for me.

Brian H | July 14, 2011

Daniel said he can be found on the site now, as "daniel" .

David70 | July 14, 2011

Daniel gave me a ride in his Roadster this afternoon. It's been a long time since I've flown in a turboprop, but my recollection indicates the Roadster's acceleration is at least that great. I know it's definitely greater than any of the normal commercial jet planes I've flown in recently.

I was watching the gauges and during acceleration it actually drew 200 kW and during deceleration charged up to 40 kW. Only for a second or less in each instance though.

David70 | July 14, 2011

P.S. It was incredibly difficult for me to get in or out of the Roadster, but once seated it had more leg room than the Prius, or nearly any other car in which I've ridden.

Brian H | July 18, 2011

I gather the trick for Long Johns is one foot, butt, other foot. ;)

David70 | July 18, 2011

Actually, Daniel told be how.

It's butt first, left foot and then right foot. I had to pull on each of my knees in turn to manage though.

Getting out was swing both legs out, sit on the edge, pull your head way down and then out. It probably is easier if the top is removed. He had the top on, and it's a good thing as it started to rain heavily just after I got out.