19
Mar
09

A little Spark

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Clam chowder is something I’m not particularly keen on, but when you’re the company of the Madison Avenue Sports Car Driving and Chowder Society, you tend to keep this to yourself. Or blog about it later. The Internet can keep a secret, right? Well, in writing this, I am sharply reminded that the internet remembers everything.

I spent St. Patty’s day canoodling with my fellow “chowderheads,” all gawking at our guest of honor, the Tesla Roadster.

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With all the noise and vitriol going back and forth between D.C. and Detroit, the concept of a fully electric car is a much more relevant issue than it was a year ago.  Hybrids are part of the norm and the argument between tradition and change in luxury toys takes to the bench as the entire nation discusses the very real future of electric sedans, wagons, and SUVs.

It’s with a more open and experienced mind that I approach the Tesla to view it not as the harbinger of doom for petrol power, nor the chariot of the green elitist, but simply as a sports car.

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The Tesla Roadster is indeed a sharp enough looking car to gather a crowd, and the combination of media attention and green-laden parade goers (i.e. drunks) made for interesting observations. It’s as low to the ground as you can expect with it’s Lotus heritage with an interior that’s just as spartan, if not more when you consider the lack of clutch and about 5 gears. Crawling into the passenger seat was as graceful as descending into a bathtub while a group of strangers eagerly watched.

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Irish.Car.Bombed.

With a turn of the key, the car…um, turned on. that’s it. I knew getting in that it would be silent, I was unprepared as to just how quiet it really is. The surreal experience of sitting in a car and then having it roll away at some speed can be equated to releasing the handbrake to a car parked on a steep hill. The Roaster will only treat you with an interesting “wooooop” that rises in pitch as the motor spins faster.

The ride was little more than a trip around the block, but I managed to talk the ear off of the extremely patient Tesla rep about transmissions, charge time, and the mysterious “model S” for the duration.

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The Roadster can also consume pigeons for extra fuel.

I had to say that this more formal introduction to the Roadster piqued my curiosity: How does it really drive? is it as fast as they say? does it make a decent sports car? I really can’t say until I get behind the wheel. until then….

-Alex K-

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