Futuristic electric sports car bolts through Breckenridge
September 4, 2010
BRECKENRIDGE – Rocketing down Ski Hill Road in a 100 percent battery-powered, non-gear-shifting, $147,000 sports car is a fine way to kick-start a Saturday.
Every time there was an opening, I stomped the pedal on the shiny new Tesla Roadster Sport. I could feel my brain stuck firmly against the headrest. My smile stretched back – just about ear-to-ear.
“People say it never gets old,” Tesla sales advisor Ben Kanner said of the little car’s incredible acceleration.
All the reservations for test drives at the Grand Lodge on Peak 7 were filled Saturday.
Capable of 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, the glacier-blue colored Tesla hugs the road like it’s “on rails,” he said.
And when it wasn’t blasting through the winding roads in and around Breckenridge, a release of the accelerator actually caused the battery to recharge through “regenerative braking.” The RPM needle went negative and you could feel a pull as it descended.
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Stomp the gas again and the feeling is likened more to a high-powered motorcycle than a sports car.
But before I’d go to the bank demanding a loan, I’d want to make sure this little car could handle a Colorado winter. Tesla store coordinator Erin Callan said the car handles “surprisingly well” on snow with “phenomenal traction control.”
What about warming up on those sub-freezing mornings?
Kanner said the heat works “like a toaster,” instantly warming coils to kill the chill.
Oil changes? No way. A technician can travel to your house once a year to inspect that it’s in good running order and possibly update its software.
The battery charges in about 3.5 hours, and it can be plugged in to your garage wall. The car runs on lithium-ion cells similar to a laptop computer’s battery. It can go about 245 miles on a full charge.
The 2,700 pound beast has a top speed of roughly 125 mph. Kanner said a governor limits the top speed to preserve the life of the vehicle.
The state and federal tax benefits this year on a Tesla Roadster total about $13,500. If you’re interested, the Boulder dealership is at Ninth and Pearl streets.
It’s also an American car manufactured in California. The futuristic Tesla Motors company was founded by Silicon Valley engineers.
The tantalizing Roadster began appearing on streets in 2008, and now there are about 1,200 on the road. The Roadster’s base price is $109,000 before tax credits.
SDN reporter Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.