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PHOTO CAPTION: Tesla Roadster in front of London store.

Tesla Roadster Sport Redeems the Electric Car

Guardian test drives the Roadster through London and documents it with video, concluding the car both quick and practical.

Published: 04-Feb-2010

How often do police take your picture just because they like your car? Not very often, presumably. In which case, try driving the latest electric sportscar from Tesla Motors, the Roadster Sport.

Being the first British newspaper journalist behind the wheel of this £87,000 superstar new model – one that has been Anglicised with a right-hand drive – is a strange experience. Driving it around London, people literally stop, stare, gawp and nudge their friends and children. The jaws of two men drop simultaneously; I'm not sure if they are more impressed by the car or horrified to see a woman driving it. And Dave, a community support police officer in central London, can't resist taking a photograph. "My brother would kill me if I didn't," he says, peering inside afterwards . A few minutes later when I ask a police officer for directions, his eyes light up. "Is that that new electric car?" he asks, as his partner rolls his eyes. I've never experienced anything like it.

But what about the driving? First of all, you're incredibly low down on the road (let's skip quickly over the business of clambering in and out – not graceful, to say the least) and at moments on the London roads I feel like a weeny unprotected child, in between all the double decker buses and coaches.

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