So, then we were off to drive on the winding roads, and boy, did we have a good time. The Tesla is designed for pure driving fun. The HVAC system is an afterthought–just a few manual knobs circa 1985–but we assume that’s to save weight. Stereo: just fine. Navigation system? Well, a little slow and an unsophisticated interface by today’s standards, but all of these little weaknesses can easily be polished up by a baby company that is maturing by leaps and bounds.
The steering wheel is small, and has a real manual feel of being connected to the road. Fortunately it’s not too tough to operate. The chassis clearly isn’t designed for too much rough stuff. It was thrown around a bit by some bumpy roads. And underneath the lovely body, the chassis of the Tesla Roadster looks just like a go-kart with a huge battery pack filling the trunk. There’s room under the huge floppy trunk lid for the tiny fabric roof, a charging cable, and a purse. In contrast, the Model S sedan will carry its battery pack underneath the car in a 4-inch deep carrying case that runs the whole width and length of the car’s wheelbase. It also has a more traditional car chassis, so we will expect a very different ride from the sedan. Maybe a little less hilarity, too, though.