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Test Driving the Tesla Roadster VP 11

Posted September 29, 2008 1:25 PM by CarDomain

I just got back from flogging Tesla VP 11—short for validation prototype number 11—in a roped-off K-Mart parking lot in Bellevue. The nice Tesla folks made sure to emphasize that this is not a production vehicle, and that it has suffered quite a bit of abuse during its short lifetime—all in the name of testing, of course. In fact, one of the engineers drove it up here from the SF Bay Area last night. This is definitely no trailer queen!

The car is fast. That little electric motor delivers pure and instant power. I floored it from a dead stop several times, taking it quickly up to about 60 or 70 mph before nailing the brakes. What a blast. The traction control keeps things from getting unruly. And of course, it's really quiet. So it all feels very civilized. Handling was quite good (as much as I could test it around the parking lot) though you definitely feel the weight of the car (about 2,700 pounds vs. the Elises's 1,950 pounds). The low speed steering was pretty heavy without power assist, and this particular car was probably in need of a front-end alignment.

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Re: Test Driving the Tesla Roadster VP 11

09/30/2008 3:14 PM

OK, so I'm jealous - but at $109K per copy, I think I'll wait a while, too. Blink, where's your offering?!? You were at about 10% of the ask on this buggy last I knew... (it's Hell to be poor...)

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