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The Tesla Roadster is like the gorgeous girlfriend that loves football, tunes a hotrod in her spare time, and doesn't believe in celebrating anniversaries and birthdays. The Roadster is a beautiful car, it runs on exhaust-free plug power, and it's already primed for more power. A Norwegian specialty car importer is quoting the Euro Tesla's power at or over 300 hp, with a 13,000 rpm redline and a single speed transmission.

Our man Sam tells us that the above is likely to come courtesy of drivetrain 1.5, which will be available later in the Tesla's production run. The revised gearbox drops a gear, adds an upgraded power electronics module, and provides better cooling. It seems the hype machine that is the Tesla Roadster is beginning to heat up, and more power will only make us want the green little drop-top more.


[Source: Autoblog Green]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      OK, so I had a quick glance at the articles posted above. All of them mention that they got to drive prototype models which were fitted with 2spd transmissions. The best 0-60 time was 4.4sec from C&D in which they specifically mentioned shifting at 62mph so that was obviously done in 1st gear. The article from Motor Trend mentions the 2 gears are need to allow 0-60 in 4sec as well as the 2nd gear for a top speed of 125mph.

      Looking at the 4th page of the Automobile magazine link, they list the ratio for 1st gear at 4.20:1 and 2nd at 2.17:1 with a final drive of 3.41:1.

      So, surely they would go with the 2nd gear in the production models to keep the top speed around 125mph. But, that will directly affect the 0-60 time since the 4sec figures were derived from using 1st gear which is nearly twice as short as 2nd gear. Otherwise, we'd be looking at a car that would do 0-60 in 4sec. but would have a top speed of about 70mph. Unless they decide opt for a compromise between the two. But then they'd be looking at a lower top speed. I can see the dilemma they are in. I think they just need to devote the cash needed to develop a 2spd gearbox. For $100K apiece the buyers shouldn't be buying a car that has such compromises.

      Besides 13K RPM may be high, but there are cars out there which rev to 8K RPM plus currently that still utilize 6spd(or more) transmissions. Just because the Tesla revs to 13K doesn't mean it's usable power. The HP peak is at 8500RPM and the torque begins to drop off at 6K RPM acording to the Automobile magazine link. So, it's not like a Honda S2000 or BMW M3 or M5 engine where to peak power and torque are found at the top end of the revs, in fact it seems to be jsut the opposite.

      The Tesla looks like it really needs more than 1 gear just based on the power specs alone. The 125mph top speed is drag limited so that means that it's a matter of the motors inability to push the car any faster since its power drops off as the revs rise. Really, it's odd to me that the 13K redline is even really mentioned considering that the peak HP and peak torque are long gone by then. I'd be interested in seeing a dyno sheet from a Tesla motor to see what the power curves actually look like over the whole rev range.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That spec sheet looks pretty much exactly how I expected it to.

        So, basically, anything beyond 8K RPM is kind of a waste since both the torque and HP drop off significantly beyond that point.

        So, I'd have to assume that the top speed of the car would have to occur when the engine is spinning around 8K RPM. As such, that's going to make for a serious hit to the acceleration of the car for the reasons I mentioned previously.

        I really don't think that a bump in power to 300HP is going to overcome the fact that the engine loses significant power above 8K RPM when it touts a 14K RPM redline that is really pretty useless. It will accelerate more quickly, but I seriously doubt anything close to 4sec without a lower 1st gear.

        At least high-revving cars(Ferarris, Honda VTECs etc.) make their peak power at the top of the rev range to take advantage of it. Not the Tesla.

        Based on the tests I've read so far and the changes made by Tesla, I think they are going to have a tough time meeeting the performance goals they've made for themselves. The fastest 0-60 time I read was 4.4sec. Granted, that was with the less powerful motor, but also with 1st gear as well. Taking away the lower first gear and replacing it with a more powerful motor might get it back to 4.4sec, but even that's a stretch IMO. If they could get it to do 0-60 in 4sec in 2nd gear only, they would have never gone for a 2 speed transmission in the first palce.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Check out the old motors performance chart - I know it's Tesla's own claims, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's for real: http://www.teslamotors.com/performance/acceleration_and_torque.php
        I also like the way they're compensating for losing the 2nd gear - instead of the originally 189 kW motor they're retrofitting a 225 kW motor to get the 0-60 in 4s - check it out: Go to Tesla's website, use the "reserve" tab, then compare the specsheets for both the american AND european model
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not exhaust free, just exhaust where you can't see it.

      That said, I have a short commute (4 miles each way), so this would be one heck of a fast way to get there on wall power. On the other hand, my parking lot is a good 100 yards from my apartment, so I'd have to buy a pretty long extension cord to recharge it at night...
        • 7 Years Ago
        They could be a lot cleaner if the same green freaks that promote electric cars would also promote nuclear power. :(
        • 7 Years Ago
        Get a gas generator and use that to charge it. ;-)

        But seriously, how clean are the power plants that will generate the juice to charge the typical customer's Tesla?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Some of them (such as myself) do. It's a fallacy to think that everyone who supports one thing think alike on all things.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is one dream car,

      if only price were to go down i could say dreams can and do come true :(

      mark@widerspace.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      I was just wondering...

      As the RPM and speed now directly correlates, why don't combine those two meters into one?
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Fetish is delayed, first deliveries are now expected June 2009. The price of €297,000, about $465,000 US, makes the Tesla look like a real bargain.

      By then, Tesla should have hundreds of cars on the road. and have a waiting list for the Whitestar sedan.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So let's hear the important bits:

      How many miles per charge?
      How long is the powertrain (including the battery, etc) slated to last without overhaul/replacement?
      What's the MSRP?

      Because if these can be had for around $40k, it would actually be interesting.
        • 7 Years Ago
        hmm, well the cost is at least twice what it needs to cost to get many buyers and i don't want a boring, slower sedan. give me that sporty roadster for $40k and we're talking. Oh well, maybe in a few years when they get the production into swing and have lower costs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If Tesla can deliver what they're promising with this car (particularly on range), it's the most compelling car of any variety I've seen in years. Watching that Popular Science video that was posted a few weeks ago, it became clear to me that electric cars are probably the way to go in the future. The engine in the Tesla is about the size of a five gallon gas can, weighs nothing (at least compared to a gasoline egine), is completely sealed and maintenance free (very few moving parts), offers basically unlimited revs and brings maxiumum torque at zero revs. Because of this, I think in about ten years an internal combustion car is going to look like a bit of a dinosaur. It's really only a question of getting economies of scale involved in building the batteries, improving charging times and sorting the infrastructure issues out. These are hardly minor issues. However, even without completely solving those issues, as a weekend car fun car for a millionaire the Roadster makes a hell of a lot of sense. Likewaise a $35K plug-in . commuter with a similar range would be perfect for me.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Batteries need to double in capacity and drop to about 1/4 the cost. Then electric cars will really start to take over. There is nothing in the physics or economics of batteries that prevents that from happening, just a matter of R&D and economies of scale.

        There are also new generation batteries that can be recharged in 10 minutes. If those progress to the point where they can go mainstream, the dino burners are history. Might take about 20 years, maybe less if the price of oil keeps climbing.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What about the Venturi Fetish, the first production electric sports car in the world, beating the Tesla by several years?

        Surely that deserves some mention.
      • 7 Years Ago
      At under 4s to 60 is fantastic and at $110k, that's a pretty decent deal. Still though, for 100+k, I'd want a car that looks the part too. And this car just looks boring.

      If I had more Monopoly money, I'd spend it on the Venturi Fetish, the first production electric sports car, that beat out the the Tesla by several years. Plus it looks fantastic.

      Here's a google image search:

      http://images.google.com/images?q=venturi%20fetish&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice. Glad to see more positive news on this one. As far as I'm concerned, Tesla can't do well enough off this car. About time someone independently created a solution like this.

      Glad to see Iron Man has one too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So when did Autoblog go on the Tesla payroll?

      They still aren't delivering cars. When they do deliver cars, it will be in tiny quantities. So why does Tesla deserve 4 articles a day?
        • 7 Years Ago
        A fully electric car that looks cool and does 0-60 in under 4 seconds deserves every amount of press it gets.

        Keep 'em coming, Autoblog.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Weren't the 0-60mph in 4sec numbers derived from using the lower 1st gear of the original 2spd gearbox? One gear was for acceleration and the other was for higher speed. When they switched it back to a single-speed gearbox, didn't they opt go go with the ratio from the 2nd gear? At least that's what I thought I recalled reading.

      I'd like some more info on what the final drive ratio is and what RPM the motor is spinning at 60mph. It may be in one of the magazine links above, but I haven't looked at them yet.
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