• Image Credit: Tesla

Exciting, but not flawless

It's safe to say that the automotive industry was pretty shocked that Tesla announced not only a Semi truck, but a follow-up to its first car, the Roadster. Now that we've had some time to come down from the collective shock, we've been considering and analyzing the new sports car. After some discussion, we've come to consensus on some of the car's highlights, as well as a few lowlights. Click onward to see what we think of this ambitious two-door.
  • Image Credit: Tesla

Love: Design

There are a number of things that Tesla nailed with the new Roadster's design. First, it hits all the right sporty notes. It has big voluptuous fenders, a low nose, and a rakish fastback. Second, it finally makes Tesla's grille-less nose attractive. Not that the Model 3 is especially ugly, but it still looks like it's supposed to have a grille with the tall, upturned crease at the front. Without some kind of grille, it looks like a Hognose Snake. Finally, it manages to pull off a sporty look while retaining Tesla family cues, such as the aforementioned grille-less fascia, simple curves, and large greenhouse.
  • Image Credit: Tesla

Hate: Steering Wheel

Automakers really need to let the idea of a rectangular steering wheel or yoke die, and the reason is because it would be terrible anytime you have to make a turn with much more than 90 degrees of input. And that's something that happens a lot in cities and parking lots. Sure you could make the steering ratio really fast, but then you'd have a horrifyingly twitchy, nervous driving experience on the interstate. Just give it a round wheel, Tesla. You can make the bottom flat, but that's as far as you should go.
  • Image Credit: Tesla

Love: Performance*

There's no denying it, Tesla's claims about the Roadsters performance are astonishing. A 0-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds, a top speed of over 250 mph, and a range of over 600 miles make it sound like an electric car miracle; one that's fun to drive. There's a caveat, though. Even though these are obviously prototypes that were at the reveal, we've only seen the cars go short distances. We also haven't seen a top speed run. We'll have to wait till we see for ourselves if the Roadster manages to back up these claims. But Tesla at least has our attention.
  • Image Credit: YouTube / TREND PLUG TV

Love: Plaid Mode

Tesla generated loads of buzz as it introduced Insane, and later Ludicrous speed modes for its high-performance sedans and crossovers. It wasn't just for the performance, but also for the latter's nerdy reference to classic comedy, Spaceballs. In the film, it's a speed exceeded by only one level: plaid. Naturally, this Roadster, being the fastest car yet from Tesla, has a Plaid Mode. Not only that, the center display shows a plaid overlay when accelerating. It's a great nod to the movie, and a nice bit of continuity between Teslas.
  • Image Credit: Tesla

Hate: Terrible Distraction

This is our biggest beef with the Tesla Roadster. It's coming at a really bad time. Tesla already has enough on its plate in trying to fulfill the thousands of orders for its Model 3. Besides the fact that it's important to actually deliver a product to paying customers, the Model 3 is a more important car for Tesla. It's the company's first step into a mainstream market that has high standards for automobile functionality, and into the world of high volumes. Tesla has to get the Model 3 right, or it could alienate a massive customer base. As such, the company can't afford to be distracted with a supercar, not to mention a semi-truck. We love the idea of the Roadster, we just want to make sure Tesla keeps its priorities in order.
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