The Lotus Elise and Exige are extremely popular among owners as track cars, thanks to their light weight and phenomenal handling. Given its chassis DNA from the Elise, the idea of using the Tesla Roadster in a similar manner has come up repeatedly over the last two years. We first raised the idea with then-Tesla sales honcho Darryl Siry in November 2007, who explained that the Roadster as it was then constituted wouldn't work very well because the motor would overheat causing a loss of performance. The upgraded 1.5 version of the powertrain certainly improved the cooling of the motor but it's still unclear how well it could manage under sustained hard running.

Apparently, some prospective Roadster owners in the Middle East are interested in starting up a single-make series. A report earlier this week indicates they are in talks with the manufacturer so we contacted communications manager Rachel Konrad find out what's happening. According to Konrad "I can confirm we've seen increased demand in the Middle East in recent months, and some customers there have said that they may race their Roadsters."

Konrad goes on to say "The Roadster's acceleration certainly makes it competitive against other premium sports cars, so it's not surprising that some customers are interested in competitions. However, Tesla itself has no plans to officially sponsor or endorse a racing series, and the company remains focused on ramping up production and delivering cars to about 1,000 customers who have not yet taken delivery." So, it may or may not happen and if it does, the car owners are apparently on their own.

  • No. 2 - Tesla Roadsters are in production, albeit in small numbers still, and the company is still with us (for now at least). We've driven it and it's a wonderful sports car - even disregarding the powertrain. Factor in that electric drive and it's amazing. Unfortunately, recent financial issues have threatened the company's future. The investors seem committed to making Tesla survival so far.

Photos copyright ©2008 Drew Phillips, Sam Abuelsamid, Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Lotus Enthusiast, Tesla]

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