Tesla Roadster 2.5

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With a price range of 109,000–$128,500, the Tesla Roadster 2.5 might seem out of reach for the average lover of fast cars. Consider though, that this all-electric beauty can accelerate from zero to 60mph in under four seconds, and combines the performance of a Porsche 911 with the environmental consciousness of the Nissan Leaf. Then remember it’s built in limited numbers, for only the most demanding customers.

 

Tesla doesn’t designate their cars with model years, so the 2011 version of their all-electric performance roadster, which was designed to compete with the Audi R8 among others, is merely referred to as the Tesla Roadster 2.5. But who needs a model year to distinguish a car that an travel almost 250 miles on a single charge of it’s all-electric, zero emissions drivetrain and takes only 3.5 hours to recharge its lithium-ion batteries for the next leg of a trip?

The car itself is comparable in size to the Lotus Elise, which makes sense since Lotus actually builds the Tesla chassis. Size aside, however, the carbon-fiber body sports LED taillights, and a finned hood, a soft top that is removable but can be replaced with a carbon-fiber hardtop, and a combination of 16-inch front wheels and 17-inch wheels in the back. In the sport model, those wheels are finished in a darker color.

Inside the Roadster 2.5 you’ll find a slight change from the former minimalism of the first version. Last year the a/c controls were moved to a more expected position below the sterio system, though you’ll still find that instead of a conventional gear shift there are buttons for Park, Neutral, Drive, and Reverse mounted in the center console. New for this year is an Infotainment seven-inch touch-screen navigation system, a 400 watt stereo with HD and Sirius radio, Bluetooth compatibility and the option for a backup camera.

The new seats are still leather and still heated, but now there’s better lumbar support and the bolsters are more supportive. An iPod jack is standard, and for a price you can wrap the entire interior leather, instead of just the seats. Conversely, if you’re anti-cowhide, you can opt for microfiber seats instead.

The Roadster 2.5 is powered by an air-cooled all-electric power system that offers the equivalent of 288 horsepower and 273 pounds-feet of torque in the base version and 295 pounds-feet of torque if you opt for the Sport trim. Acceleration is boosted by peak torque being available from zero rpm. The wheels are driven via a fixed gear, and, when decelerating, the motor can help recharge the battery pack, which, in turn, has a 6,831-cell lithium-ion battery that weighs almost a thousand pounds. Tesla says the battery will last for five years or 100,000 miles.

While the Tesla’s optimal charge comes from a home charging station, there is an optional plug that will allow it to charge from a regular 120-volt outlet, though it may take longer than the advertised 3.5 hours.

If there’s one area where the Roadster is a bit under-served, it’s in safety features. It has all-disc antilock brakes and traction control, as well as dual front airbags, but no side airbags at all, and no stability control, either.

2009 BMW M6

At a price from $75,500 – $109,000, the 2009 BMW M6 is one hot roadster. Available as a coupe and convertible, this powerful two door high performance fast car can accelerate from 0 – 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and can reach a top speed of 155 mph. The fuel economy range of the 2009 BMW M6 is 12 mpg city and 19 mpg highway.

The BMW M6 delivers 500 horsepower and holds a powerful 5.0L DOHC 40-valve V10 front engine. The M6 also features tuned suspension, a six-speed transmission w/OD, double-plate clutch-manual transmission, a carbon fiber roof, as well as all of the exterior modifications that are characteristic of an “M” car.

A few noteworthy mechanical features of the 2009 BMW M6 include engine start/stop button w/galvanic pearl-gloss trim, electronic throttle control w/M dynamic driving control, distributorless electronic ignition system, digital motor electronics with on-board diagnostics, traction control with dynamic stability control/M variable differential lock rear wheel drive, gas-pressurized front struts and rear shock absorbers, wider track aluminum trailing-link rear suspension assembly, hydraulic rack and pinion power steering w/Servotronic, high-performance tuned anti-lock braking system w/dynamic brake control, four polished stainless-steel exhaust tips, and much more.

Whether you’re the CEO of Aviva or the manager at a local cafe, it’s hard not to feel like a million dollars in an M-Class BMW. Exterior features include carbon fiber roof, rear lip spoiler, front/rear body-colored bumper w/hydraulic energy absorbers and front compressible elements, aluminum hood w/pwr dome, front side air intake gills, flared front/rear fenders, flared wheel arches, front fender vent “gills”, shadowline trim, chrome grille w/vertical slats, M rear spoiler w/diffuser, front 18? x 8.5? and rear 18? x 9.5? forged aluminum wheels, and much more.

Interior features include power cloth and leather front bucket seats with adjustable seat width and thigh support, seat memory, easy-entry feature, and adjustable lumbar support. There are also fold down rear seats, front center console with climate-controlled storage, M 3-spoke leather-wrapped tilt/telescopic steering wheel w/audio controls, AM/FM stereo system that includes CD player, (10) speakers, radio data system (RDS), and auto-store. The M6 also has MP3 capability, CD changer, satellite radio and cellular phone 3-channel FM diversity antenna, accessory phone controls, and electric analog instrumentation that include a speedometer, tachometer, galvanic pearl-gloss trim, and trip odometer. The on-board computer includes check control vehicle monitoring system with pictogram display.

The 2009 BMW M6 is a stunning high performance fast car that never fails to please.

“Sitting in and driving the M6 is more akin to wearing the car. Like a fine suit, it just fits well, and lends confidence to the maneuvers you’ll attempt while behind the wheel.” – Mark Elias, Left Lane News.

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