Few people would have walked away from the Tesla Roadster thinking it needed more power and to get from 0-60mph that bit faster; such is its brutal accelerating ability.
But Tesla has gone and done just that with the Roadster Sport. I was lucky enough to take the car for a quick blast around Millbrook Proving Ground yesterday and it was an experience I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
An all-new electric motor boosts power over the standard Lotus Elise-based electric sports car from 248bhp to 288bhp, while its claimed 0-60mph time is cut from 3.9secs to 3.7secs.
Power and performance upgrades aside, the Sport also gets a manually adjustable suspension set-up with nine different settings and some minor cosmetic tweaks, including black forged alloy wheels and some shiny new Sport badges.
The first thing that hits you about the Sport is its shear accelerating force. The Sport is less about outright speed and more about how you end up there. The flat torque curve means the acceleration is instant and it propels the Sport to eye-watering speeds with no fuss – its overtaking ability is sure to be brutal.
When we road tested the standard model earlier this year, we could only manage a 0-60mph time of 5.0secs, but the Sport feels significantly quicker and should be able to get a lot closer to Tesla’s claimed time.
The ride feels more sophisticated than the standard car’s and nudges it closer to what you’d expect from something sharing its chassis with the Elise. I’d be interested to see how it fares when put through its paces on the UK’s notoriously bad roads, rather than a smooth track.
Although a £100k sports car based on an Elise is hardly the future of motoring, the Sport does take another stride in the right direction in making electric cars a not so unrealistic option. It also strengthens the case the original made – that electric cars can be fun.
But with its sky-high price, the Tesla is still only a choice reserved for wealthy people who want to be early adopters of the electric technology. I still want one though…