Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Best Street Car Of 2007

This year's Cypress Tree award for the best street car goes to,

Until now, electric cars have been for conspiracy theorists, people who really don't like to drive, and the past. Tesla is changing all that. Working with the same Lithium-Ion battery technology found in your cameras and laptops, not the exploding Dell or Sony batteries, the roadster has got speed. With an open company policy, a quick, personable response is assured by a higher up in the company to any question asked on their blog, over email, et cetera. This public form - and forum of information - has lead to incredible fanaticism and enthusiasm for this car. With styling and handling derived from Lotus engineers now on staff at Tesla, and the car made in England, a lot of people have called this the "electric Lotus." From a technical standpoint that couldn't be more wrong: the car is not only longer, wider, and quicker, but with the small battery block weighing 900 pounds and placed in the trunk, the cars suspension and body dynamics are significantly different even if the styling is similar. The 2008 models are starting at $92,000, but if you want one you'll have to pay an extra $30,000 for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2008, or $50,000 to be next in line. The 2007 1/2 model sold out in four months.

Their Super Secret Business Strategy: Make an electric super car that makes the company tons of money, then make an electric sedan that sells thousands of units and outperforms its gasoline counterparts.

I can get behind this company. There aren't many Silicon Valley based car companies, but this one is innovative, environmentally responsible, and makes a damn good looking car that'll do 0-60 mph in four seconds. My only complaint would be a top speed of only 140 mph. With super cars dipping into the 200 range for about twenty years now, and even one besting 270, 140 is a bit slow. But with the top down, and the electric whine of that engine, I don't think I'd care too much.

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