The Tesla Roadster will always occupy a prominent place in history, as the first modern electric car in mass production. Sure, it's expensive, and sure, there will only ever be 2,500 made. But it was the first credible alternative to a century of fast gasoline powered cars, and it made electric cars sexy.
The 2011 Tesla Roadster is the latest and most refined model of the open-top two-seat sports car that debuted as a 2009 model. The Roadster's third model year--deemed "Version 2.5"--includes new front-end styling, better and more comfortable seats, more noise insulation, and even an optional backup camera.
Those tweaks aside, it's the same hard-charging electric supercar that humbles gasoline cars costing twice its $109,000 base price. Its Achilles Heel is its alluring, addictive performance: Drive it fast and often, and range falls well below the 200-plus miles the company quotes.
If the base Roadster's 0-to-60-mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds isn't quick enough, there's also the...