Feeds

Europe's Tesla will be first with full performance

British-built model gets full fat transmission

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Tesla Motors, darling of the electric vehicle industry, has confirmed that it will produce a European "special edition" of the famous Roadster sports car. European buyers will be the first to get Roadsters with full-performance transmissions - early US cars now being delivered have "intermediate" lower-performance machinery which will need to be replaced.

A Tesla Roadster at the British Motorshow '08

The car in front is also a Roadster. A European one.

Current Roadsters for the US market use a Lotus Elise body assembled in the UK, but have their motors and batteries installed in the US. Tesla has delivered 16 of these to date, and has an order book of over 1,000. The company also plans to build 250 European Roadsters, which will be fully completed at Lotus, and will set up sales and support operations in the UK and Germany.

In most respects the Roadster doesn't offer performance of the sort one would expect from a petrol supercar with a similar pricetag. Top speed is unremarkable, and its battery will run flat - requiring hours of stationary charging - after as little as 165 miles. But a full-spec Roadster does offer neck-snapping acceleration, 0-60 in four seconds - true supercar poke.

Drivers of the current US Roadster aren't getting this, however. The intermediate transmissions in their vehicles - which will be replaced at some future point by Tesla at no extra charge - can only do 0-60 in six seconds, more in the hot-hatchback league.

Esben Pedersen of Tesla Europe told the Reg yesterday: "Only the European version will be fully done at Lotus... The European version will have the new motor and transmission from the start. The first US versions will have it fitted later."

Elon Musk, the renowned PayPal kingpin, space-rocket entrepreneur and tech visionary, is the primary financial backer of Tesla Motors. He apparently owns Roadster Number 1. It appears, however, that certain wealthy Europeans may soon be driving a superior model. ®

Update

It seems that some of you lovely people, not having followed our previous Tesla Roadster coverage, want to know more about speeds, prices, charging up, comparisons to petrol cars etc. Be our guest.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.