Why does Elon Musk call the Tesla Roadster a disaster?

Back in 2008, Jeremy Clarkson went on to test the Tesla Roadster “a barely running science experiment” that was not able to survive a full day at a Top Gear track. At the time, Tesla disliked the comments, of course.  However, in a rather interesting note, CEO Elon Musk admitted the then new Tesla Roadster to have been a disaster. 

According to Musk, the Roadster was a debacle that testifies about the rough origins of his young company (founded in 2003).  The idea for the car came after they thought that they could make a good profit by licensing drivetrain technology from a startup company called AC Propulsion and packing it into a chassis provided by Lotus. As Musk now says, this was one of those things that “turned out to be staggeringly dumb.”

Then an engineering nightmare arose as the technology from AC Propulsion had to be adapted and codes had to be rewritten in order for it to fit into the Lotus design. This platform had to be adapted to fit in the AC Propulsion batteries.  In the end, according to Musk, the roadster only had about six or seven percent of the technology provided by AC Propulsion and Lotus.

Because Lotus US crash testing could not be applied to the car due to modifications, expensive crash testing was needed.  Tesla’s co-founder JB Straubel revealed that all the suspension and braking system had to be redesigned for the Tesla.

Redesigning all the AC Propulsion and Lotus technology proved to be ineffective to a car doomed to disgrace.  At a party in 2006, some models were given to drivers to be tested. By the end of the night, these cars were destroyed, according to Straubel. Musk admitted that the car was completely unsafe, it broke down all the time, and it did not really work.

It was not until 2009 that Tesla, a company that their very co-founders gave a 10 percent chance of survival, stopped losing money to the Roadster, even after a complete overhauling. 


On Your Fingertips

Honda’s New 2018 Insight

Honda Insight was among the first hybrid cars to be introduced in the market, but it faces stiff competition from other models such as the Toyota Prius. In a bid to stay relevant, this globally recognized auto company has plans to release the Honda Insight 2018 that has more features and…

The Icona Vulcano Titanium Supercar

When it comes to strength, titanium can be as powerful as steel but the former is considerably lighter. Having this quality makes titanium the ideal material for a sports car. However, titanium is a metal that can be very hard to mold. It's quite difficult to hammer and form into shapes and…

Aston Martin's Vantage GT12 Roadster

This is a special edition of the Aston Martin Vantage, right before a second generation model is to be brought out in 2017. This refined version has taken, according to Aston Martin, 9 months in the making. This amazing model is all that a single driver needs. It has stunning performance and light…

Hyundai's new Iconiq Hybrid car

It’s hard to challenge Toyota’s dominance of the hybrid car market thanks to their iconic Prius. However, Hyundai is looking to do just that with their new car, appropriately enough called Iconiq. At first glance, the Iconiq separates itself from the Prius thanks to a sportier look and…