2010 Tesla Roadster Photo
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Quick Take
The 2010 Tesla Roadster provides spectacular performance and handling in a classic open two-seater with a green tinge, but the speedy driving it elicits can cut range to well under 200 miles. Read more »
7.4 out of 10
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TheCarConnection.com's editors prepared this review from hands-on experience with the new 2010 Tesla Roadster. There are few competitors to the Tesla Roadster, but editors have pointed out some other sportscars that might be considered by green-minded enthusiasts along with the electric convertible. TheCarConnection.com's editors also researched reviews from other sources to give you a comprehensive range of opinions from around the Web-and to help you decide which ones to trust.


  • Acceleration as good as any supercar
  • Clean, green image and awareness
  • Smooth rush of power at any speed
  • Improved interior amenities


  • Range below 200 miles when driven hard
  • Little storage space in cockpit
  • Fees up to $3,000 for recharging cord

The 2010 Tesla Roadster delivers on its promise: It's the first green alternative to a century of gasoline sportscars. Its classic, primitive two-seat soft-top shape offers kick-ass electric performance: minimal eco impact for maximum driving pleasure. Just getting the car into production guarantees the Tesla Roadster its place in history.

The 2010 Tesla Roadster is the second model year for the two-seat sportscar powered only by electricity. Based on some components of the Lotus Elise, the all-electric Tesla Roadster was unveiled in 2006 and began volume deliveries early last year at a price of $109,000. For 2010, Tesla has modified the interior to address some criticisms of its first-year model.

Compared to the Lotus Elise, the 2010 Tesla Roadster is longer, has a sleeker snout, and sports smoother, more contoured sides-minus the prominent side air intakes found on the Elise-for a low-slung, racy, and revealing style. The look is part futurism, part work in progress-it's handsome, but there's not much brand character yet, and few details are as memorable as its battery-powered drivetrain. Inside, the instrument cluster of the 2010 Tesla lights up when the car is powered up, with a "bong" tone indicating the car is ready to roll. The driver now faces a combined 150-mph speedometer and rev counter for the electric motor (since the two move in sync) plus a slew of warning lights. A road speed of 70 mph corresponds to 8,000 rpm, and the motor turns slightly over 11,000 at 100 mph. The Roadster's electric motor is redlined at 13,000 to 15,000 rpm, for a quoted top speed of 125 mph. The center of the dash holds a small navigation screen and JVC stereo.

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