Early on, Tesla was an unknown automotive startup with an unsure future. No new automotive startup had been profitable in breaking into the US market in many years. To not point out the myriad makes an attempt at failed electrical automobiles through the years. Even on the time of the launch of the Roadster in 2008, there was speak of the corporate sinking.

Right here was an organization making an attempt to revolutionize the business with mass-market electrical automobiles in addition to enter an business with excessive limitations to entry and low success charges. However when the Tesla Roadster launched in 2008, individuals actually Noticed the potential of electrical automobiles.

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RELATED: This Is What Made the Authentic Tesla Roadster So Particular

key options

  • detachable comfortable high
  • gentle development
  • carbon-fiber physique
  • clean experience in your class
  • zero emission
  • spectacular efficiency

  • sample: Automobile
  • Machine:: 53 kWh Electrical Motor
  • energy output: 248-288 hp
  • torque: 273-295 lb-ft
  • Driveline: Rear-wheel Drive
  • transmission: 1-speed automated
  • vary: 211 miles
  • MSRP: $98,950

  • 0-60 in 3.9 seconds
  • future traditional
  • solely 2,690 lbs

  • restricted vary
  • tight inside
  • unhealthy inside materials

Tesla Roadster Efficiency & Capability

Red Tesla Roadster Parked

3/4 shot of Tesla Roadster from behind

When Tesla’s founders fashioned the corporate, the Roadster was the primary automotive they deliberate to make. Why? Hailing from an unnamed electrical prototype out of California a decade in the past, the AC Propulsion Tezero is the brainchild of some engineers in Higher Los Angeles County. On the time, battery expertise was restricted, and the corporate was utilizing lead-acid batteries, which did not have the facility or vary of at this time’s EV drivetrains. That is why the corporate developed a small light-weight sports activities automotive with an area body and fiberglass physique panels. Some profitable prototypes had been constructed, however the automotive by no means went into manufacturing.

Tesla’s founder was impressed by the work of AC propulsion and got down to create his personal electrical automotive. As a result of limitations of battery expertise, they caught to a single method: Construct a light-weight electrical sports activities automotive. This may enable them to show the advantages of electrical propulsion and offset growth prices. with the long-term aim of funding the event of a mass-market sedan—which might later change into the Mannequin S.

The corporate selected the Lotus Elise chassis as the premise for its new sports activities automotive due to its light-weight development. All stated and completed, the Roadster tipped the scales at 2,690 kilos, roughly within the vary of the Mazda Miata. It additionally will get a detachable comfortable high similar to the Mazda Miata, however that’s the place the similarities finish because the roadster packs much more punch beneath the pores and skin.

With 248 horsepower at zero rpm, it is a totally different animal altogether. Whereas the horsepower determine alone is not spectacular as of late, for its day, the light-weight development enabled the automotive to launch from 0-60 mph in simply 3.9 seconds. When the Roadster 2.5 was launched in 2010, this was lowered by an extra 0.2 seconds.

Parked black 2008 Tesla Roadster
Oddly McKinless

A black 2008 Tesla Roadster manufacturing mannequin

As Tesla grew, so did its engineering experience, and the corporate up to date the automotive in 2010 with the Roadster 2.5. Lots of the preliminary complaints had been resolved at this level. The two.5 had a brand new entrance fascia design, improved inside supplies with an elective touchscreen show, redesigned seats with extra help, elevated high pace, and 40 extra horsepower. The upgrades had been incremental however all collectively helped the automotive really feel like a extra refined luxurious product.

Geared up with the brand new 53 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Roadster was rated for a variety of 211 miles on a single cost, although that determine was far much less in real-world use. In 2016 Tesla provided an improved 80 kWh battery pack improve for the primary technology Roadster. Dubbed the ‘Roadster 3.0’, a 40% improve in battery capability boosted the vary to roughly 340 miles per cost.

2008 Tesla Roadster Specs
trim Automobile Roadster 2.5
gadget electrical motor electrical motor
battery 53 kWh 53 kWh
horse energy 248 @ 4,500 rpm 288 @ 4,400 rpm
torque 273 @ 0 rpm 295 @ 0 rpm
switch 1-speed auto 1-speed auto
drive format Rear-wheel Drive Rear-wheel Drive
0-60 MPH 3.9 sec 3.7 sec

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exterior design

Tesla Roadster parked on the street

2010 Tesla Roadster parked on the road

Regardless of the lengths to which Tesla went to personalize the platform for its model, Lotus has written its personal round it — not actually — and that is not a nasty factor. The Elise is a superb trying sports activities automotive, but Tesla managed to enhance on its design. Standing subsequent to the Elise, the Roadster appears much less fussy. Tesla’s designers cleaned up the traces and eliminated a lot of the pointless air intakes. The result’s a automotive that appears timeless. Fourteen years have handed and it hasn’t gotten previous a day.

RELATED: Tesla Roadster 2.0: Gentle on the Finish of the Tunnel?

exterior colour
colour colour identify
customary arctic white
electrical blue
fusion pink
racing inexperienced
all black
thunder grey
very orange
metallic good yellow metallic
Glacier Blue Metallic
obsidian black metallic
vivid pink metallic
sterling silver metallic
Twilight Blue Metallic
size 155.4 inches
Width 73.7 inches
top 44.4 inch
wheelbase 92.6 inches
curb weight 2,690 lbs

inside design

2008 Tesla Roadster Interior

Inside shot of the cockpit within the 2008 Tesla Roadster

Describe the inside of the Roadster in a single phrase? Spartan. This was not the trillion-dollar market cap Tesla we all know at this time. Rewind the clock again to 2008 and Tesla was a cash-strapped startup when the Roadster launched. The corporate didn’t have the funds to create a bespoke inside, in order that they selected Elise’s inside as their very own.

Each the physique and inside had been constructed by Lotus within the UK after which shipped to California for meeting. So it should not come as a shock once you sit behind the wheel and see the identical black plastic dashboard and steering wheel. Acceptable stuff within the Elise’s worth vary, however almost six figures when new could be a tricky capsule to swallow. Fortunately, Tesla changed the Elise’s virtually clean door playing cards with ones that had, look forward to it, One armrest! In addition they added a seize deal with, which may be very helpful when your automotive comes with 100% torque obtainable at any RPM.

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Worth, Availability and Possession

Red 2008 Tesla Roadster
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Entrance 3/4 shot of 2008 Tesla Roadster

The Tesla Roadster price just a little beneath the six-figure mark at its launch in 2008 and might be purchased for about half that on the used market a couple of years in the past, however has since been appreciated by many. Early fashions in authentic situation are on the high of that appreciation curve, in accordance with Traditional.com’s market evaluation, these with low miles will run between $100,000-150,000, whereas roadsters with greater than 40,000 miles will fetch $80,000-100,000.

With solely 2,450 bought in the course of the four-year manufacturing run, provide is brief. Contemplating the important thing position it performed within the firm’s success because it was paired with the primary manufacturing Tesla, the Roadster is a future traditional. Present market pricing for first-generation Tesla Roadsters displays that state of affairs.

2008 tesla roadster worth
sample msrp
Tesla Roadster $98,950

The Tesla Roadster was an necessary automotive for each Tesla and the EV business, launching the previous into mainstream consciousness and proving the latter was a viable different to the interior combustion engine. In typical Tesla style, its first manufacturing automotive was thrilling and headline-grabbing, a sports activities automotive with efficiency that put established manufacturers to disgrace. Its cult standing as a future traditional has stored costs excessive, however with the brand new Roadster hanging within the stability for years in growth, the first-generation Roadster stays a beautiful different.

normal query

Q: How a lot does the primary technology Tesla Roadster price?

Relying on age and mileage, the value of first technology Tesla Roadsters within the used automotive market varies between $80,000 and $150,000.

Q: What was the primary Tesla Roadster?

To maintain growth prices low, the primary technology Tesla Roadster borrowed the Lotus Elise as its platform. Tesla swapped the gasoline engine for an electrical motor and battery pack to disclose its first absolutely electrical providing.

Q: How a lot does a primary technology Tesla price?

Costs for a used first-generation Tesla Roadster range between $80,000 for a high-mileage instance to $150,000 for a low-mile automotive. Earlier this yr, a first-gen instance bought for a document $250,000.

Q: What number of Tesla Roadsters are left?

Tesla solely bought 2,450 models, of which about 1,500 are nonetheless round CNBC.

Q: Why did they cease making Tesla Roadsters?

The unique Tesla Roadster was produced between 2008 – 2012 and as soon as the contract with Lotus expired, the EV automaker needed to cease manufacturing. This supplied Tesla with sufficient liquidity to fund the event of its first mass-produced automotive, the Mannequin S sedan.

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