2011 Tesla Roadster Sport
For turning electrons into incredible velocities, the Tesla Roadster Sport has no equal—literally. No other production electric sportscar exists to truly compete with it. Tesla hasn’t let this fact go to its head, and so the Roadster has been continually improved. Laying into Sport version’s new hand-wound electric motor will put a smile on the face of even the most hardened electric vehicle skeptic. That’s because the Tesla’s secret weapon is torque, the specialty of all electric motors. Unlike internal combustion engines, an electric motor can put out all the twist available—in the Tesla’s case, a full 295 ft-lbs.—from a complete standstill (0 RPMs), providing acceleration characteristics more akin to a solid-fuel rocket than an earthbound car. Adding to the unusual experience, the Roadster is virtually silent while running and there’s only one gear—so there’s no shifting either—but you’ll become used to the Roadster’s unconventional ways quickly. To put it another way, if you like the G-forces of a rollercoaster, you’ll love the way the Tesla charges forward and flies through corners. Whether you consider the Roadster Sport alone or compare it to fossil-fuel-burning competitors, it’s an amazing technical achievement—and a ton of fun, too.