It's unclear when the new Tesla Roadster will actually hit showrooms, so why not buy an old one? Tesla's first car might not have the most advanced battery tech out there, but it's still based on a modified Lotus Elise chassis, which means fun behind the wheel. This is for sale, and you should buy it.
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Though it might use an Elise-based chassis, there are a lot of obvious differences between the two cars. The front and rear fascias are bespoke Tesla items, as is the interior design (the steering wheel is pure Lotus, though). Because the Roadster is electric, there's no gearbox, and no engine behind the driver. That space is occupied by 7000 lithium-ion batteries, giving this 2011 model a maximum range of of 245 miles per charge, and an electric motor offering up 288 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It can get from 0-60 mph 3.7 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 125 mph.
Compared to a Lotus Elise of the same year, that's three seconds faster to 60 mph, and one mph faster flat-out. When it comes to straight-line stuff, the Tesla has it beat.
Of course, there are a lot of trade-offs if you want to go electric. Though prices for 2011 Roadsters and Elises are comparable, the Tesla is heavier, and in all likelihood, won't perform as well on a road course. Plus, the Elise has a manual gearbox and engine noise—two things many car enthusiasts can't live without.
But if you're willing to sacrifice those things to experience the joys of an electrified sports car, you can with a Buy It Now price of $67,888.