Tesla Roadster – Click above for high-res image gallery Most people are lucky to experience one life-affirming moment while they're on this earth; I experienced mine last week. AutoblogGreen's Sam Abuelsamid called to ask if I was interested in accompanying him on his exclusive First Drive of the Tesla Roadster. Aside from the company's own employees, only a few customers and the major automotive print publications have driven the Tesla Roadster so far. But you won't have to check your mailbox or drop $4.95 at Barnes and Noble to read about what it's like to drive this truly revolutionary vehicle. Follow the jump for our full road test (with video!) and check out the gallery of amazing images below. UPDATE: Due to popular demand, we've included a video of the Tesla making a few passes without any music or voice over so you can get a sense of how quiet the EV is at speed. %Gallery-14620% All photos Copyright ©2007 Damon Lavrinc/Brad Wood/Weblogs, Inc. A few days later we arrived at Tesla's R&D facility in San Carlos and were escorted to the back of the building where a half dozen Roadsters were parked and perched throughout the garage. Our silver tester for the day, Validation Prototype 10 (VP10), was near the corrugated rollup door, soft-top removed, lying in wait. After a series of impromptu photos and a few introductions, Sam got behind the wheel with a Tesla exec riding shotgun and we made our way back to the Audi R8 we were driving to follow the all-electric coupe through the crowded streets of the South Bay burb. Thankfully, the monsoon that had been plaguing Northern California let up for a few hours and allowed Sam to wring out the Tesla on his way up to the Peninsula's crown jewel of motoring bliss: Skyline Blvd. Sweeping corners and dramatic elevation changes make up the 26-mile route that Tesla's PR people deemed worthy of the Roadster's time. The only concern on our part – and probably Tesla's – was that the prototype's Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 summer tires (sized 175/55R16 up front and 225/45R17 out back) might be ill suited for the damp tarmac. Sam put this concern to rest within the first half mile, laying into the throttle on the straights and braking late into some of the tighter bends without drama. Chasing the Tesla in Audi's V8-powered super coupe turned into an exercise of anticipation. Knowing the limits of Quattro and the R8's traction control system, it was obvious that I was able to power out of the corners with a bit more ease, but as soon as Mr. A slammed down on the throttle in the EV, it took a few seconds for the R8 to catch up to the Tesla's silver bumper. Less than 3,000 pounds (2,690 unoccupied) and 200 lb.-ft. of torque at zero rpm can do that. We stopped at one of the few turnoffs on Skyline to take some photos and throw the cloth …
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