• (4.0) 5 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $59,270–$61,062
  • Body Style: Convertible
  • Engine: 288-hp, (electric)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 1-speed automatic
  • Seats: 2
2011 Tesla Roadster

Our Take on the Latest Model 2011 Tesla Roadster

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Not available everywhere
  • Battery is costly to replace ($12,000)
  • Unknown reliability
  • No side airbags or electronic stability system

Notable Features

  • All-electric sports car
  • 288-hp electric motor
  • Lithium-ion battery pack
  • Removable soft-top
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Modified front and rear styling
  • Optional Infotainment Group

2011 Tesla Roadster Reviews

Vehicle Overview

The Tesla Roadster combines the performance of a high-end sports car — it can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, according to the automaker — with the environmental friendliness of an all-electric drivetrain that emits zero emissions.

Built in limited numbers, the Roadster can travel nearly 250 miles on a charge, and its lithium-ion battery pack can recharge in 3.5 hours. A Sport version features quicker acceleration and an adjustable suspension. Competitors to the Roadster include the Porsche 911 and Audi R8.

New for 2011
Tesla does not use model years and instead dubs the latest version the Roadster 2.5. Changes include a new front design with diffusing vents and a rear diffuser. An Infotainment Group with a 7-inch touch-screen navigation system, Bluetooth, 400-watt stereo, HD and Sirius radio and a backup camera is a new option. New seats have more supportive bolsters and a new lumbar support.

The Roadster is about the size of a Lotus Elise, and Lotus builds the Roadster's chassis for Tesla. The Roadster has unique styling, but because the proportions of the cars are similar, it still brings to mind the Elise. The Roadster's body is made of carbon fiber. Exterior features include:

  • Finned hood, LED taillights
  • Drivetrain mounted in the rear
  • Removable soft-top
  • Optional carbon fiber hardtop
  • 16-inch front wheels, 17-inch rear wheels
  • Sport model has dark-finished wheels, unique badging

The Roadster's cabin has a minimalist design, though revisions for 2010 made it more conventional. The air-conditioning controls were moved to a more conventional location below the stereo system. Instead of a gearshift lever, the transmission has Park, Neutral, Drive and Reverse buttons in the center console. Interior features include:

  • Standard heated leather seats
  • Optional microfiber cloth seats
  • Optional full leather interior
  • Optional navigation system
  • Optional Infotainment Group with backup camera
  • Standard iPod-compatible CD stereo
  • Optional navigation system

Under the Hood
The rear-wheel-drive Roadster is powered by an air-cooled electric motor that makes 288 horsepower and 273 pounds-feet of torque in base Roadster versions and 295 pounds-feet of torque in Sport versions. Peak torque is available from zero rpm, which is a boon for acceleration. The electric motor drives the wheels through a fixed gear, and the motor can function as a generator when decelerating to help recharge the battery pack. The electric motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack made up of 6,831 cells. The battery pack weighs nearly 1,000 pounds, and Tesla says it should last for five years or 100,000 miles. Mechanical features include:

  • Roadster Sport makes 288 hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque
  • Zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds (Roadster) or 3.7 seconds (Roadster Sport)
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Home charging station can charge battery in 3.5 hours
  • Optional plug for recharging Roadster from regular 120-volt outlet
  • Up to 245-mile range on a full charge

Side airbags and stability control are not available. Standard safety features include:

  • All-disc antilock brakes
  • Traction control
  • Dual front airbags


Consumer Reviews


Average based on 5 reviews

Write a Review


by frequencydip from Los Angeles, CA on February 6, 2013

I've had my Roadster for over a year and still love how fast it accelerates. Tesla has provided the best service of any car company I've owned. The range is great, I have a full charge when I leave th... Read Full Review

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2 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2011 Tesla Roadster trim comparison will help you decide.

Tesla Roadster Articles

2011 Tesla Roadster Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $3,900 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





Roadside Assistance Coverage


What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years