My car of the weak, this week, is the Tesla Roadster. Pourquoi? Because it won’t, no matter what Tesla may claim or how many law suits it might threaten the BBC with now or in years to come, run for 200 odd miles if driven in a normal fashion.
I’ve no doubt that the Roadster would run for over 200 miles if you treated the accelerator as if your grandmother’s ear were mounted on top of it. But when we tested this car a little over a year ago, it started to feel decidedly weak at the knees after little more than 10 minutes of hard driving – and as far as I’m aware it was the exact same car that Top Gear tried.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the car itself is great, and I said as much at the time when we tested it. But to claim that it can run for over 200 miles when being driven in a normal fashion, and to then try to sue a broadcaster who says it can’t, is entirely ridiculous. Unless, of course, you count driving at 26mph everywhere, never using more than a tenth of full throttle is a normal way in which to drive a two-seater sports car.
Actually, what with the increasing levels of congestion everywhere, and the speed cameras, and the price of petrol (sorry electricity) being what it is, plus the growing anti-social stigma attached to the average sports car in 2011, maybe grandad-driving IS the way to drive nowadays, in which case Tesla could have a point.