Jalopnik, Gamers Toss Tesla Roadster Sport Around Racetrack

By far the best piece of consumer electronics we tried at CES was the all-electric Tesla Roadster Sport brought to the show for winners of a Dark Void contest. Not quite as cool as a jetpack but certainly less dangerous.

View gallery »

In addition to myself, it was just two winners in their guests. One winner was an old dude with his wife. He had a NASCAR jacket on and I think he was nervous about making turns in two directions. The younger guy who won went for it, balls to the wall, and was as good around the track as the Tesla guys. He just hammered it around the track.


The first thing I thought when I got in was "when the hell am I going to hit the seat" It's low. There's no graceful way to enter or exit the car. Fortunately, it's so damn sexy that nobody is even going to notice the dork driving it. Even if they do, it's fast enough to outrun any ridicule.

Acceleration is mind-bending. Literally. I think I have a bruise on my brain from where it bounced off the back of my skull. Considering all the extra mass the car sticks to the road not unlike a physics defying video game.

The seats could be a little better at holding the driver and passenger in place and, if it wasn't such a showpiece car I could see it with a 5-point harness and a racing bucket at times.

The transmission is a fixed gear and all of the torque is available immediately. I thought I'd miss having shiftpoints, but didn't even notice once I was in it. The regeneration kicks in as soon as throttle is released and it makes for a feeling of good ol' engine braking.

I drove the car as hard as I felt capable of in five laps and I didn't get anywhere near taking it to the physical limits. This is also because the Tesla person in the passenger seat kept a hand on the emergency brake throughout the entire drive although I'm not sure what they expected to happen if they had to pull it. My guess is it would have gone spinning into a wall, us along with it, but we never found out.

Overall, any thought of this being a "green" car quickly disappears when you spend time behind the wheel.

Curtis Walker, our Jalopnik man-on-the-scene in Las Vegas, filed this report from the Las Vegas Motor Speedway: