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2010 Tesla Roadster S First Impressions

2010 Tesla Roadster S First Impressions

A literal blast from the present By ,

My first encounter with Tesla came about four years ago when I landed on a video of a Roadster racing a Ferrari on YouTube. If you recall the video (I'm unable to find it at this very moment), the EV seriously spanks the prancing horse from Maranello in a drag race. At the time, EVs were very novel and most were no more than concepts or crude prototypes. I had never imagined that the company would thrive, let alone that I would ever get the opportunity to drive one.

The Tesla Roadster is as fast as everyone says. (photo: Mathieu St-Pierre/

Well, that has now all changed, and for the better; I got to spend three hours with a Fusion Red Roadster S. I'll be honest and say that I've never had the opportunity to take a Lamborghini or a Ferrari for a test drive but I now know how it will feel when and if I ever have a set of keys handed to me.

The hype
As Mr Hans Ulsrud (Toronto Regional Sales Manager) and myself made our way into the underground garage of some swank digs in Yorkville, I could not help but feel a tinge of child-like excitement when I laid eyes on the supercar silhouette of the Roadster. Although it bares a striking (naturally) resemblance to the latest from Hethel, Norfolk, England, there is something forbidden about this car, as though it was still a secret.

I'm not too sure about “the rest of Canada”, but here in Québec, when a press car is picked up, no one from the make ever gives us a tour of the vehicle and we like it that way. However, I was hoping that Mr. Ulsrud would throw in a how-to with the keys to this car. Following a very brief explanation, I was on my way. Turns-out that the Roadster is no more complex than your average Porsche or any other high-end automobile.

Part of the presentation included a description of the different modes in which the Tesla can be operated; one them being “Performance”. Although I frankly told Mr Ulsrud that “Normal” would suffice as I would not test out the car's famous acceleration, he noted that I would and for that reason, I drove off in “Performance”. Oh, and about the hype? Gadzooks!!! This is thing is “artardedly” fast! By the second corner, I had explored 40% of the go-pedal's travel and the goose bumps were already surfacing. But, the best was yet to come.

This car is in fact a dedicated sports/high-performance car that happens to lay a massive carbon footprint that is equivalent to a big fat ZERO. (photo: Mathieu St-Pierre/