Typical, you wait ages for a Lotus-based car with outrageous torque and then two come along at once. The Hennessey Venom GT wasn’t the only sort-of Lotus running up the Goodwood Hill in 2011, the original Tesla Roadster silently sped away from the line.
Video: Original Tesla Roaster tackles the Hill
We have no idea when the Roadster’s successor – with its claimed 1.9 second 0-60mph time, 250mph top speed and 600 mile range – will go on sale. Especially as Elon Musk has claimed it will have a rocket assist. Plus the maverick carmaker seems to have been distracted by the sharp-edged Cybertruck and of course his oddly-named new son.
The first production car to be powered by lithium-ion batteries and to be capable of more than 200 miles on a charge, the Tesla Roadster was, as its appearance clearly suggests, was developed in collaboration with Lotus although the California car maker claims just six per cent of components in common with the Elise. The cars were built as ‘gliders’ – complete cars without powertrains – by Lotus in Norfolk before being shipped to Tesla to complete. A couple of inches longer than an Elise, the Roadster was updated in 2010, in which guise it was capable of 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds.
Now the rarest Tesla, the original Roadster was on sale between 2008 and 2012 with around 2500 sold. Elon Musk famously fired his, the first one produced, into space in his Falcon Heavy rocket in February 2018.