Tesla Roadster Sport: Spotted

When a new manufacturer came along in 2008 with what appeared to be a Lotus powered by electricity, weighing 1.3 tonnes and costing £86,950, people scoffed. It wasn't just a silhouette which this upstart had borrowed from Hethel, either. For better or worse its car shared its switchgear, dashboard, steering wheel, windscreen and roof with an Elise. This lead to many a (rather unfair) comparison to the lightweight British roadster. But it shouldn't be forgotten just how revolutionary the Tesla Roadster was. It showed that electric performance was ready for the road, that it needn't be the preserve of the G-Wizzes of the world, and that, like it or not, a genuine alternative to petrol power was on the horizon.

This is no ordinary Tesla Roadster though, it's a Roadster Sport. For £15,000 more than the standard car you got lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in performance-orientated Yokohama tyres, adjustable anti-roll bars, and 10-way adjustable Ohlins dampers, all contributing to a ride much more suited to British B-roads. The Sport could also draw an extra 200 amps from its lithium-ion battery than the regular Roadster - resulting in an extra 40hp and 20lb ft of torque, and a 0-60 time of just 3.7 seconds. Inside, meanwhile, you'd find more leather and extra carbon fibre trim.

Above and beyond that, this particular car has also received the 3.0 battery upgrade. This being one of the major advantages of electric performance vehicles; as battery tech improves, so older cars can be given renewed relevance. Swapping the supercharged V8 from an F-Type SVR into an E-Type would be blasphemous, not to mention incredibly tricky; replacing the batteries in something like the Tesla is just common sense.

As simple as it sounds, though, it isn't cheap. In exchange for a 35% (100 miles or so) increase in range, Tesla requires $30,000 (around £21,000) worth of your hard earned cash. And that's without any profit, the manufacturer claiming that it offers the upgrade to owners at cost, with the high price a result of the bespoke nature of the batteries required versus the units mass produced for the Model S.

Still, aside from being an indication of what a potential 4.0 upgrade might set you back, you needn't worry about that, it's already been done. Leaving you to enjoy 340 miles of charge-free driving. £80,000 isn't an inconsiderable amount of money, but should Tesla turn into the market conquering manufacturer of tomorrow that its supporters hope it will, a rare right-hand drive version of the company's first car - of which fewer than 2,500 examples were sold - will surely be worth its weight in gold. Or batteries. Whichever's heavier.


Engine: AC induction motor
Transmission: single-speed, fixed gear
Power (hp): 288
Torque (lb ft): 295
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2012
Recorded mileage: 3,000
Price new: £101,950
Yours for: £79,950

See the full ad here.

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (27) Join the discussion on the forum

  • myhandle 11 Apr 2018

    I drove one of these in about 2011. Not the S version. It was ... ok . The guy from Tesla kept on about how it was faster than a superbike , which it absolutely is not . It had approximately the same performance as a 997 Carrera S, I would say. As Howard Hughes would say, the way of the future; it would seem that electric cars are the way of the future, however the original Tesla Roadster was ... ok. It did not deserve to be sent into orbit around Mars however, there are far better candidates for that treatment.

    Edited by myhandle on Wednesday 11th April 01:45

  • howardhughes 11 Apr 2018

    myhandle said:
    As Howard Hughes would say, the way of the future.

    Edited by myhandle on Wednesday 11th April 01:45
    Nice to see that people still remember me wink

  • stuckmojo 11 Apr 2018

    I like it. I still want a Model 3, or the next Roadster smile

  • NorthernSky 11 Apr 2018

    howardhughes said:
    myhandle said:
    As Howard Hughes would say, the way of the future.

    Edited by myhandle on Wednesday 11th April 01:45
    Nice to see that people still remember me wink
    Hahahahahahaha! Very good!

  • scarble 11 Apr 2018

    alorotom said:
    You’re pleasant aren’t you ... blimey are the kids still off??!
    For another week. At least the roads are quiet, dreading the return of the park-where-I-like breeders rolleyes

    The article makes out that battery upgrades are simple, they're not.
    Unless the old car happens to support the temperature control system of the new battery, which seems unlikely.
    Then all the control modules have to talk to each other, and the mounting points have to be the same and so on and on.
    Tesla are good in that respect that they do make some effort to roll out upgrades to old cars, but then they don't make any profit.

    I'm not sure battery electric is the future, without a fundamental break through in battery tech, fuel cell may become the next industry darling as quickly as PHEV and BEV have become favored over diesel, or we may carry on with a mix of all of the above for a few decades yet, and what if alternative fuels suddenly got a boost?

View all comments in the forums Make a comment