Last night’s TopGear (which will air in the U.S. by 2015 or on your computer now) featured Jeremy “The Gentle Giant” Clarkson driving the Tesla Roadster. His observations?
The good: Same time around the track as a Porsche GT3. No gas. Very fast in straight lines. Looks good. Very fast in straight lines. Cheap to fill up compared to a gas/diesel car.
The bad: Handling only so-so, because of the low-resistance tires and the 1000 lbs added by 6831 batteries in the middle of the car. Ample road noise. Green-ambiguity of electric cars & power production.
The ugly: After caning it, Clarkson got 55 miles of range. In a 13 amp UK socket, he estimated a 16 hour recharge time. Tesla had to bring two cars. One overheated while driving (on the track), the other’s brakes “broke” while it was recharging.
Clarkson calls the car a stunning “technical achievement” but finishes by saying it is “completely irrelevant” as he previews a later segment on Honda’s fuel cell car, the Clarity FCX.