All-electric or not, the 2011 Tesla Roadster competes with some heady high-performance sportscars.
For a bit more cash, the Audi R8 Spyder comes with a standard V-8 that’s a second slower to 60 mph.
Tesla says its closest competitor is the Porsche 911 Turbo, which costs $25,000 more but is two-tenths of a second faster to 60 mph.
Oddly, the Tesla Roadster Sport is just under $20,000 pricier, and matches the 911 Turbo’s acceleration exactly.
Both the Audi and the Porsche offer a far higher level of amenities, more dealers and service locations, plus more interior space for people and their stuff.
On the high end, the Ferrari F 430 Spyder provides about Tesla-level performance for $75,000 more.
The closest in spirit to the Tesla may be the Lotus Elise, which is cheaper, even more cramped, and gasoline powered—but has the lightest, most precise handling and may be the best of the lot on a race track.
All four competitors offer 250 miles of range on a tank of gasoline, and can do it again after a 10-minute refuel.
The Roadster’s range, quoted at 244 miles on the EPA test cycle, but can fall far below that when driven hard.
And its buyers know that by now, and probably don’t care.
They also know that Audi, Ferrari, and Porsche are sure to exist 10 years from now, whereas Tesla’s ultimate fate is still very much to be written.
|2011 Tesla Roadster||2011 Audi R8||2011 Porsche 911|
|N/ABrowse Used Listings||$114,200Browse Used Listings||$77,800Browse Used Listings|
|11 MPG City / 21 MPG Hwy||14 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy|
|N/A||Gas V8||Gas Flat 6-cyl|
|N/A||2-Door Coupe Manual quattro 4.2L||2-Door Coupe Carrera|
|N/A||All-Wheel Drive||Rear Wheel Drive|
|N/A||2 Door Coupe||Coupe|