By on June 2, 2008

mattdamontesla2.jpgSteve Levy, over at, has encountered the Tesla in person in Los Angeles. The lithium-ion -powered sports car was driven by none other than your sister's favorite actor, Matt Damon (who does a killer Matthew McConaughey impression). Levy spoke with Damon, who claimed the car was still a prototype. Damon said the off-the-line acceleration sucks, but the 30 – 60 acceleration is like light speed. Range? Unknown. Recharge time? Unknown? Is Damon going to buy one? Well, of course. But is it even on sale yet? That's hard to say. But if even Damon gets an unfinished prototype to tool around in, it's not sounding good for Tesla. So was the end of the Tesla Birthwatch premature? It seems like it might have been. Then again, this is a functional (mostly) prototype. You know what the take away lesson here is? Even Matt Damon, with all his money, has questionable taste in cars.

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19 Comments on “Tesla Death Watch 3: Matt Damon Test Drives a Tesla...”

  • avatar

    They should totally butch this thing up a bit.

  • avatar

    The acceleration was probably weak because the transmission was programed to only use second gear while they mull over how to get a workable low-end tranny in the car.

    “Matt Damon!”

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t say it’s bad taste in cars. More like it is poor judgement with money.

  • avatar

    Is Sarah Silverman jealous?

  • avatar

    Come on, you are just jealous you can’t get a drive in one. You would turn one down? He obviously didn’t buy it (yet).

    And he is my, and my wife’s, favorite actor. Have you even seen the Bourne movies? He gets a pass from me just based on those.

  • avatar

    that is strange that off the line acceleration is slow since I always hear that electric motors have all of their torque available at 0 rpms…you would think off the line acceleration would be great

  • avatar

    Give them some time. TTAC sometimes sounds like a typewriter company making fun of that silly upstart Microsoft.

  • avatar


    no flaming the site, its authors or fellow commentators. One more misstep and you’re out.

  • avatar

    I eagerly await the day when Teslas are so common that the term “Step on the electrons” will supplant “Step on the gas”.

  • avatar

    the bourne movies rock, and i know if i were him i would have easily accepted a drive in this thing.

  • avatar


    ..only if Microsoft hyped up a new operating system with zero bugs, was 500% faster than Vista, virus proof, then never delivered it to a single paying customer.

  • avatar

    Next up…. Pimp my Tesla

  • avatar

    “..only if Microsoft hyped up a new operating system with zero bugs, was 500% faster than Vista, virus proof, then never delivered it to a single paying customer.”

    Isn’t this business at usual in Redmond?

  • avatar

    It looks a lot like production car 3, which was supposedly delivered to a customer at long last after serving as a demo car in Europe.

    I recognize the pale blue color right away, which I don’t think was in any of the earlier prototypes.

    Remember, P3 was originally one of the prototype cars assembled right before P1, and then a customer decided he wanted to take P3 instead of his car that was scheduled for later assembly.

    So technically you could say it was a prototype car delivered to a customer, and Tesla did not actually lie when they told Damon this was a prototype.

    But it’s one of those non-lie lies that make the company operations look slimy and deceptive. I have to assume the intent of this is to show Martin that he still has the second “real” car even though this is obviously not the reality.

    Why can’t they just deliver a car to Martin?


  • avatar
    Scorched Earth

    “questionable taste in cars”??? Now that’s going a little too far. If I had his kind of money I’d be first on the waiting list for a Lotus Elise-derived electric sports car, too.

  • avatar

    Nice color – baby shit blue.

  • avatar

    David Dennis,
    You got that all mixed up. The car that Matt Damon was driving is VP16 (Validation Prototype #16). It is being used at the LA store for test drives.

    P4 (silver with black and red seats) was shown in Monaco sans battery pack. The car that’s been used for test drives in Europe is VP12 (black with brown seats).

    P2 aka VIN#3 (red with black and brown seats) was originally a VP (and was built after P1), but was re-designated a production car and delivered to a customer (rumored to be guy from eBay). This car was also used for test drives at the LA store open house.

    Martin’s car is VIN#2 aka P3, hence this controversy. The car has a custom paint job. Martin says he thinks it’s possible he’ll get his car “in the next week or so.”

    You can see pics of most of the Validation Prototypes here, and the Production models here.

  • avatar

    WorldPress seems to have eaten my last comment.
    Maybe it had too many links??

  • avatar

    I stand corrected, and thanks for setting the record straight.

    I’m definitely looking forward to hearing about Martin’s new car. It is, to say the least, way overdue.

    I’m afraid Martin will always be Tesla for me … I’d like to like his successor, if nothing else because he did put in the big bucks to get this dream going, but alas, I don’t :-(.


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