Tesla Roadster Test Drive: Adrenaline, Videos, Photos


Taking the Tesla Roadster, the world’s most famous electric sports car, for a spin. (Photo credits: Monica Michelle)

The Tesla Roadster — at 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds — is faster off the blocks than both the Ferrari F430 and the Lamborghini Gallardo. Oh, and it burns no oil.

The 2009 model is close to sold out, and it takes a $60,000 deposit to attempt to get one a year from now.

I have wanted — for a long time — to get in the cockpit of this curious machine and test its limits. Last week, Brian Lam of Gizmodo and I had a chance to do exactly that…

I was eager to compare it to the Audi R8 supercar I took for a aggressive run a few months ago.

The electric experiment did not disappoint.

The chassis weighs just 180 lbs. and looks no bigger than a cowhide rug.

The Tesla Roadster sounds like a fighter jet and accelerates like a drag motorcycle on steroids. Here are the videos and a few select shots (all the pictures, including interior, are here):

The Tesla hugs the curves and is LOW. I could touch my elbow to the asphalt from the driver’s seat.

If you have the cash and are prone to spending it on cars, the Tesla Roadster might just be the fix you’re looking for.


Odds and Ends: DonorsChoose Winners, Cool Tools, and More…

Need to make a website quickly? I just used Weebly:

I’m often asked what I use to create websites. Last week, I experimented with Weebly for the first time and was very pleased with the new Timothy Ferriss homepage, which was created in about 30 minutes. The natural search-engine optimization (SEO) is also impressive.

DonorsChoose winners (plus important note for all respondents):

Sincerest apologies for taking so long! Two things:

1) The 10 winners of $150 gift certificates for helping DonorsChoose get $500,000 in funding for US public school teachers on this post are:

-Jimflip – post begins “I clicked, I contacted…”
-Ben – post begins “Hey Tim, Ok, so I posted the note and URL…”
-Rachel – post begins “I tweeted (and got friends to tweet)…”
-Cody – post begins “Tim, your blog is quickly becoming…”
-C A Campbell – post begins “Done. Tweeted, on Facebook…”
-Chuck Lasker – post begins “Great post, Tim. Thanks. MySpace…”
-Andrew Kessler – post begins “I have added the link to both my business and personal Twitter…”
-Doc Kane – post begins “Hi Tim, Done, done, and done…”
-Chris Morin – post begins “I Buzzed & Dugg & Pownced…”
-Tim – post begins “Vote is in and counted…”

2) All of you who put up eligible comments before the deadline will get a $25 gift certificate to DonorsChoose, where you can help a local public school teacher. Please give me some time, but you’ll each get an email on this in the next few weeks. Thank you for participating and stepping up to make a difference!

Other fun items on the Internets:

Timothy Ferriss vs. David Allen: Productivity Guru Smackdown
Timothy Ferriss on Using a Viral Idea to Create a Best-seller: Publishing 2.0
What trouble is Tim getting into in real-time? Follow Timothy Ferriss on Twitter.

Posted on: November 17, 2008.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

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73 comments on “Tesla Roadster Test Drive: Adrenaline, Videos, Photos

  1. Hi Guys,

    @Chris – I’m actually loving my VW Golf, oddly enough. In SF, with narrow streets, 45-degree hills, and little parking, I go for the mini cars. If I had a garage, perhaps I’d go for the fancier rides, but I keep it small and good for weekend trips, these days.

    I’d feel guilty throwing a damp wetsuit and dirty tent in the back of Tesla, but not so with the VW :)



  2. Looks good Tim. Pretty quick aswell.

    If you want proper fast, when you’re next in the UK drop me a line and I’ll let you take out my 300hp turbo’d Lotus Elise.


  3. Hi Tim,

    How big was the cockpit of the Tesla. I’m 6’6″ and find that many of those cars are really tight inside. Taken an F430 for a testdrive and barely got my legs under the steering wheel.




  4. Hey Tim,

    This was actually a timely post for me. I’m just about to complete my final 2008 dreamline “goal”. My last “do” is a tango lesson in Buenos Aires- which I’m leaving for on Sunday. I’m currently working on my 2009 dreamline and looking to put a car in my “do” category. The Tesla is a great option and one I haven’t thought of.

    Have fun!


  5. Another great service you can use to create fast websites is Squarespace. They have some advanced features and 100% what you see is what you get editing. I’ve been using their service for 5 months now and I’m really happy with it. It has all the features of WordPress and then some without the headaches.


  6. Great post Tim! What an impressive car both in term of performance and aesthetics; it gives us hope about the future of transportation. The big downside however, is the fact that you can’t travel with it since there aren’t proper rechargeabe hubs anywhere yet for electric cars. I’m curious to know how long it takes to recharge and whether it can be done anywhere?

    I loved the sound of the engine though, it seems to be very very responsive!
    Cheers from Canada


  7. Tim,

    I am in the middle of chapter one in your book. I have been doing what you write since last January. I was a house painter for 18 years averaging below 50K net.
    Since April, I have hit a quarter of a million dollars as a Behavior Coach in the corporate world… What the heck?!!! You are right!


  8. Just wanted to thank you for the movie tickets.
    It was very kind and generous of you.
    I realized how old I was when it was clear I was the oldest person there.
    Better than the alternative.


  9. Hi Tim! I always follow your adventures and I’m actually getting ready for my first one -thanks to your advice!-
    Anyway… Just read your twitter about syncing your goggle calendar and ical. What works great for me is anytime I add an event on ical I send myself and invitation to my google calendar; same thing the other way around, when i don’t have access to my computer (on my cell, for example) I just add an event to google calendar inviting myself.

    Keep sharing the fun and inspiring others!



  10. That looked fun. The ignition key does sound like Mario Bros. I was playing Mario with my 4 + 6 year-old boys this weekend. My wife dug out the Nintendo 64, so we were kickin’ it old school.

    When is Tesla Motors going to come out with a pick up. That’s more my speed…


  11. Hi All,

    Thanks for the comments and conversation!

    Here are some answers to questions:

    1) Yes, it’s a snug fit. 6′ 6″ would be quite uncomfortable, probably knees behind ears positioning.

    2) The car has a 220-mile or so range per full charge, and there is a travel charger, so a normal 220V outlet can be used. A full charge is about 3.5 hours, I believe.

    3) It accelerates much faster than the R8, and since the Tesla is shorter, it’s much more forgiving on inclines and normal road conditions in Nor-Cal. I wasn’t able to top out either, but I suspect the R8 would win in miler, for example.

    4) There is just one forward gear: drive. Drive, neutral, and reverse. I did see a prototype with two gears, but the current version has one.

    All the best,