The Roadster Sport is a $19,500 upgrade package to the basic $110,950 Tesla Roadster. The differences: new drivetrain software and a hand-wound stator in the Sport’s 375-volt AC induction motor with higher winding density and lower resistance, bumping the motor’s torque from 273 pound-feet to 295. Horsepower is now 288 for both base and Sport models. In the suspension, remote-reservoir shocks offer 10 stiffness settings and three positions for the anti-roll bars. Black, forged alloy wheels wear stickier Yokohama Advan A048s.
Is the Sport Worth It?
The Sport picks off the 60-mph mark 0.1 second quicker than the base Roadster, or in four seconds flat. This may be the most expensive 0.1 second of your life, though the Sport also demonstrates a reduced tendency for its air-cooled motor to overheat while jet-whining to high speed. It’s firmly, er, grounded and changes direction with the merest palm impulses. But at the limit, the steering turns slack under acceleration as the front axle goes light and loses bite. It won’t lay a patch owing to the control software, and in the middle setting, the shocks are tolerably soft. The Sport looks extreme, but it still works best as an errand-running pussycat. All Roadsters now have a fancier center console.
What’s the Cost?
The base Sport runs $130,450, though this example was a staggering $155,850 due to optional equipment. If you’ve stopped breathing, at least you’re not emitting CO2.
POWERTRAIN: AC permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor; 288 hp, 295 lb-ft; 1-speed direct drive
EPA CITY/HIGHWAY: 29/32 kWh per 100 miles
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 4.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 12.9 sec @ 102 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 178 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.90 g
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