click above image for a high-res gallery of the Tesla Roadster
Anyone familiar with English B-roads can understand why classic British sports cars evolved the way they did. These roads rarely seem to go in a straight line for more than a few yards at a time and are narrow with little or no runoff area. As a result, cars that came out of Morris Garages and Colin Chapman's shop were generally small, light and extremely nimble. They didn't have a lot of power, but when you follow Chapman's creed of "Add Lightness!", you don't really need a whole lot of power.
Some years after Chapman's death, the engineers at Lotus returned to the company's roots and created a small, lightweight minimalist descendant to the old Seven in the form of the Elise. Fast forward to this decade and a search for a small, quick sportster in the classic British mode, but with no emissions. Since none existed, Martin Eberhard and Elon Musk launched a company to create one, and Tesla Motors was born. AutoblogGreen experienced a short burst in the car on a runway when it debuted this past year, but that's like riding a horse at the petting zoo. You need to bareback that thoroughbred out on the plains to see what it's really like. We still haven't gotten behind the wheel, but are promised some wheel-time right after those old school print guys, which means we'll hopefully get to publish our review before they have a chance to print theirs. But we did get to experience the Roadster in perhaps the best American analog to an English B-road: storming up a California canyon road. For a full, drooling report on the experience, head over to AutoblogGreen and don't forget to check out the in-car video, as well.
Gallery: Riding in the Tesla Roadster
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