The Tesla Roadster is the debut car of Tesla Motors. Interestingly, the car is considered to be one of the group of electric sports cars. It was first presented to the general public in California in 2006. The purpose of those who worked on this car was to produce a beautiful electric car, which could overcome a lot of way from just one charge. In 2008-2012, the company began to produce new versions of Rodster.
A little later all efforts were directed on creation and promotion of another model – Tesla Model C, and now it is planned to release a crossover Model X. At the end of 2014, the company announced the third version of the Rodster. The whole model range is Tesla.
You can drive an electric vehicle daily and all year round. You can drive in a countryside without being afraid of losing energy away from home. Moreover, the car can be towed with luxury sports cars. If a model with internal combustion engines requires a large investment of money, the electric car will significantly save money.
Tesla Roadster sport is an example of a surprisingly well thought-out approach to small parts, an example of an electric machine, which differs from other models with a battery, which are already running on the roads of many countries.
In just a few years, influential investors have managed to help implement projects that could be considered only dreams for decades. One of the debut projects of this kind was not Tesla Model S, but Rodster – a machine that has a unique technical component. Automotive company Tesla Motors exists not so long ago, but for three years it managed to sell about 3000 models of Rodster.
Despite the small sales, it became clear that the company managed to show the most important provisions of the models’ production and the core of the brand’s policy. As the years go by, the company continues to develop and introduce new technologies, apply modern materials in the production of new cars, which allows to lower their prices.
The Tesla Roadster looks very sporty and attractive. In the restyled version of the Rodster 2.5, which was introduced in the summer of 2012 in Goodwood, he received a modified radiator grille, front and rear bumper. Moreover, the rear bumper received a built-in diffuser. The body was shining with new rims of wheels, which were painted black or silver.
The next model, the Tesla Roadster 3.0, was released at the end of 2014. The company decided to release a package of updates for the already known sports car. Its main trump card was the opportunity to increase the range from the previous 390 to 640 kilometers. The new batteries with updated cells, which can store 31% more energy than the previous ones, should be credited.
It is also interesting that the battery size has not changed and the capacity has increased. In order to save energy on the new Tesla Rodster 3.0, the company used special tyres with low rolling resistance.
In addition, a special bodywork aerodynamic dodger was installed to reduce the level of aerodynamic drag from 0.36 to 0.31. Tesla Roadster Sport is perceived as a real supercar, where there is a fried and rapid shape of the “two-door”.
Also, relief bumpers, modern optics, large arches of wheels and various aerodynamic elements have found their place. The curb model of the American in the basic version weighs about 1,238 kilograms.
Rodster has a soft tent, and as a separate option you can buy a hard removable roof, which will be painted in body color. The front, side and rear of the electric vehicle are literally similar to sports racing cars on an internal combustion engine.
There are many similarities – even the same “neck” where the charger (such as a socket) is inserted to recharge the batteries. The “family” resemblances with Lotus are not lost and on which platform the given copy is constructed actually.
The front hood has stylish modern “gills”, as if allowing an electric car to “breathe”. In its appearance, the Tesla Roadster is no different from other sports cars on the internal combustion engine. Therefore the uninformed person easily will think that before it not the electric car in any way.
This is the merit of the whole company Ilona Mask. The side part got a comfortable door, wide wheel arches, where solid “rollers” are mounted. The machine itself is very low – all this was done in order to press the model to the ground and reduce the air resistance coefficient, which is only 0.31.
The rear part of the Sport version does not have the usual and often striking exhaust system nozzles. In the central part of the rear bumper, which turned out to be quite a lot, a special notch for the number plate is made.
Under it there is a dark plastic, which protects the aft part of the car from external influence and breakages. On the sides, the rear part got three “eyes” of the light-amplifying system. The name of the electric car is painted in the center.
Inside, the Tesla Roadster looks pretty decent. As it is inherent in a sports car, the interior looks spartan, however, it is not poor.
Here you can find airbags, full electric package, heated seats and mirrors, climate control, navigation system and even satellite radio.
The salon does not shine with plenty of free space, but you feel yourself in it very cozy. The control panel is completely electric. Those who lack luxury can pay attention to the tuning studio Brabus, which has already prepared its own “tuning” version.
Like the vast majority of sports cars, Tesla’s seats are lying almost on the asphalt, very low, so you can experience some discomfort while getting into the car. However, the doors open very wide, and in good weather you can even lower the roof and enjoy the ride and the beautiful scenery to the full. The salon received new seats, improved noise insulation, because other materials were used in the upholstery of the salon.
When you get into the car itself, everything looks not only modern and attractive, but also functional. The driver is immediately presented with a relief three-spoke steering wheel, behind which there is a compact dashboard displaying all the necessary information.
A true sporting centre console is complemented by a 7-inch colour display of the multimedia system as well as the climate control settings panel. The salon of an unusual vehicle, decided to perform, using high-class materials, among which is the presence of high-quality plastic, leather and aluminum and carbon fiber inserts.
The California roadster salon has comfortable seats that have integrated headrests, well-defined lateral support and a sufficient range of settings to include a lumbar roller. But there is no free space for luggage compartment or things in the car – the front part has only a small 110-liter “glove compartment”.
Under the hood of the Tesla Roadster you will not find an internal combustion engine, because as mentioned above, there is a trunk. This sports car is powered by an electric motor, the size of which is only 25 x 35 centimeters and weighs about 30 kg. However, it develops about 185 kW or 251 horsepower. It can spin up to 13,000 rpm.
To move the car, and do it quickly enough, the design staff installed a four-pole three-phase synchronous AC power unit, where there is air cooling. Despite the absence of an internal combustion engine, the model reaches the first hundred in just 3.9 seconds. The maximum speed is 201.1 km/h.
In addition to the standard version, there is a Sport version, which already has an electric motor that produces 291 horsepower. As a result, it will take 0.2 seconds less time to conquer the first hundred kilometers per hour, but the speed limit has not changed.
Depending on what the variation of the car will be installed, the journey on one charge of a sports car will be from 400 to 644 kilometers. To fully refuel, it will take only 3.5 hours. Behind the seats, there is a large battery, which consists of 6,831 lithium-ion batteries.
According to the company’s assurances, the use of this kind of batteries gave it the opportunity to use the best that was gathered by engineers and chemists for the capricious environment of automotive electronics. In addition, it is not so expensive serial production and is already proven. If one or a couple of batteries should fail, the machine will “not notice” it.
The company says that they have applied an intelligent electronic system, which controls the charging of batteries, their functioning, current and voltage during charging and discharging, is able to manage all these activities in such a way as to maximize the life of the battery and, of course, to ensure its safe operation.
It is very interesting that among the electronic systems, there is a system that monitors the temperature of the battery. The battery department has a built-in cooling system (because during operation, the batteries are inherently heated), which during the downtime of the car, acts as a heater, not allowing them to overcool. This guarantees the normal operation of lithium cells, despite the fact that the car is parked outdoors in winter.
There is no clutch, but there is a two-speed gearbox, which is also much easier than in conventional cars. Against the background of power units, the battery itself looks a little cumbersome, weighing 454 kg.
Electric motor drives the rear wheels with the help of two-speed gearbox. The speed is shifted by the driver himself, but the gear lever is not directly connected to the gearbox, he only closes the contacts (gears are changed by electric actuators).
But somebody might ask why the gearbox is there, is there an electric motor installed here? It is needed there simply because it is a sports vehicle. The 1st speed provides fast acceleration dynamics, and the 2nd speed provides “just high” speed, as well as maximum speed.
Generally speaking, the driver may not worry about shifting gears, as the electric motor pulls perfectly at any speed. Possibility to move backwards, the car is given only by change of a direction of torsion of the electric motor.
As a basis of the American, we decided to take the platform of the sports car Lotus Elise, where there is a light monocoque glued aluminum profiles and a power plant located in the rear.
The design and engineering staff of the company decided to equip the car with an independent suspension on all axles. Ahead is the independent architecture of the spring-lever model, where there is a stabilizer of transverse stability. The rear axle has a two-lever design.
All the wheels received ventilated disc brakes. The front wheels received 300-millimeter rims, and the rear wheels received 310-millimeter rims. ABS is supported. The brake system is controlled by hydraulics with electric-vacuum booster.
Steering wheel control
The steering unit has a gear-rail mechanism, where there is an electric steering booster. And in the California car, a lot of attention was paid to it.
Take, for example, the question of charging batteries – they will be charged only when the electronic system is convinced that the roadster is on the brake, and all services are functioning properly. Such a system can check the electrical connection.
Only when the cable connector is inserted into the charging socket (as it is called by the filling neck) will it start to supply current through it. After all, the very device of the charging socket in the car, will completely exclude the introduction of the fingers of the child of interest with high voltage. In addition, the charging socket has received the presence of water and smoke sensors, which instantly turn off the current if something caught fire, or water got inside.
The California model was the first production electric machine to be certified to the United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. This certificate is issued by the NHTSA. No evaluation information can be found, however, it can be expected that the Tesla Model S is a long way from a two-door door.
Also, there is room even for a scandal with the famous TV program Top Gear. In one of the programs, a TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson, played a prank on Rodster’s car, which caused damage to the reputation of Tesla in England.
The program itself was shown on the Air Force channel in the winter of 2008. Then the electric car entered the fight on the track with its “predecessor” Lotus Elise. During the next acceleration, the California model began to lose speed, after which it stopped completely.
Explaining this situation, Clarkson said it was due to a low battery. Later, Tesla representatives asked Top Gear’s editorial office to “correct the mistake. Based on the automotive manufacturer’s opinion, they decided to set up such a case on purpose.
Before the electric vehicle was given to the Top Gear film crew for testing, the UK sales director for cars received two scenarios. One of them has already provided in the story that the Tesla Roadster will stop on the track, after which the anchor will say a well-known phrase: “It’s a pity that in real life the car will not work”.
After the broadcast, Tesla’s management began to demand that the BBC “corrected the error”. But despite the requests, Top Gear did not issue a rebuttal, and in the future, even released the story itself on DVD.
Based on the story of Tesla’s spokesperson, Mir Pasek, the carmaker had no choice but to go to court because of ignorance of the demands of the BBC TV company. The plot itself, which you can see for yourself, will be presented below.
Complete sets and prices
The Tesla Roadster is available in two versions – basic equipment and sports car. They are distinguished by motor and price. The sports version reaches 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds. However, as for the maximum speed – it is the same for both versions.
Otherwise, the cars are similar in modification to each other. As for the price, here this difference can be seen as best as possible. Basic – 110628,08 against the sports version – 121803,92 $. It is included in the basic equipment:
- Anti-slip and anti-locking systems;
- Cruise control;
- Air conditioner;
- Seat heating;
- Electric window lifters;
- Central lock;
- On-board computer;
- A pair of airbags;
- Leather interior elements;
- Light-alloy wheels with tire pressure control system.
- Satellite navigation system and satellite radio can be installed as a separate option.
The pros and cons
- Pleasant and stylish appearance of the electric car, which often, such vehicles, simply can not boast;
- Powerful electric motors;
- Well thought-out center of gravity, which allows the machine to be more stable on the road and reliable in handling;
- Sports front seats;
- Ergonomics and modern interior;
- Electric power steering;
- Good dynamic characteristics;
- Not bad suspension;
- Acceptable level of safety;
- The strong and reliable body skeleton from aluminium;
- Low drag coefficient;
- Small dimensions of an electric motor;
- Very few knots and parts that can break down;
- Quiet operation;
- It is possible to charge the model even at home in domestic conditions;
- Energy recovery system;
- Few consumables;
- Folding roof;
- Low height of road clearance.
Cons of a car
- High value;
- Small number of specialized “filling stations”;
- Battery replacement procedure is an expensive procedure;
- When driving fast, the battery charge is consumed even faster;
- There are no specialized centers and official dealer companies;
- Seats for only two people;
- The level of safety is still largely lost to Tesla Model S.
The mask was able to surprise the world with its electric cars. After all, before that, they could drive without recharging some insignificant 60 km. He was able to raise this number by 10 times. The appearance is very attractive, and the car looks sporty and aggressive, but at the same time elegant.
Despite the “scanty” interior, it is still convenient to be in it. Moreover, it is more of a sports car, not a luxury sedan. Well, the main advantages are a large range, no emission of substances that pollute the atmosphere, the minimum reason for breakage and a small, fast and tractive electric motor.
Of course, today the price policy for electric vehicles is very high. It is hoped that in the near future such models will not cost more than their gasoline rivals.
Tesla company presents the versions of the sedan and even the crossover, so every consumer will be able to find a car to his taste in accordance with his own preferences. To have a rest with an open top, in total absence of noise from work of the electric motor is what Ilona Mask company could achieve!
We advise you to read the article: Tesla Motors’ History