Today, Tesla is one of the world’s leading automakers, second only to Toyota when it comes to market value. In fact, Elon Musk’s electric marque is so successful now that it’s hard to imagine a time when it wasn’t… But just 10 years ago, the manufacturer was still playing in the little league, with its electric Roadster selling just 2,450 units worldwide.
Video: Tesla Roadster attacks Goodwood in timed run
Then the reserve of the eccentric, electric cars were characterised by their heavy batteries, short range and ridiculous price tags. While the $112,000 Roadster certainly met the latter criteria, with a claimed 244-mile range it was revolutionary.
And just as impressive as its range was its acceleration, as we found out at the 2011 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, when a Race of Champions-liveried Roadster took to the hillclimb in a marvellous display of e-power.
Competing in the timed shootout, the sportscar, which is based on the Lotus Elise chassis, silently sped up the 1.16-mile run, reaching the finish line in just 61.09 seconds – not far off the fastest time of the day.