The Lotus-based Roadster was a very good attempt for 2008, but looking back at it we see just how far electric cars have come since.
Tesla’s first official model was the Roadster, that debuted in 2008, which was met with mixed reactions from the automotive press of the time. Most really enjoyed the strong acceleration and the good handling, as well as the fact that it was a genuinely usable electric vehicle (still a novelty back then).
It was made famous by Top Gear, after Jeremy Clarkson’s review of the vehicle was deemed misleading and resulted in a lawsuit from Tesla. However, this review by Fifth Gear’s Tiff Needell is not at all like the Top Gear one; Tiff had a far more down to earth and realistic idea of how to test the car.
He decided to drive it from London south to the coast and then back on a single charge of the car’s 53 kWh pack, in order to test the 200-mile range claim. He even put a piece of tape over the display that showed the range just to keep his mind off the matter.
More on the classic Tesla Roadster
The result after the 150-mile round trip with no regard to hypermiling? He got the car back with exactly 8 miles to spare. This was a useful, realistic review that in which the car didn’t involve any pushing at the end, like in the one by Top Gear.