If you read this paraphrased interview with Franz von Holzhausen, you’ll just know that Tesla is plotting a Roadster revival for sure. That’s important, for the one thing missing from the Tesla experience is sensory stimulation — with the exception of g-force.
It’s times like these, warm n’ sunny, when a no-tech throwback like our in-house Mr2 Spyder offers a full-range sensory experience that no Tesla approach.
Sight: With the top down, nothing comes between your head and the world. Tesla can put you in a glass bubble with a nice sky view, but it’s not open air, and the vista is interrupted by pillars n’ stuff. You want 180 degrees of big sky? Not even the Tesla Roadster offered it, thanks to those big ol’ Lotus buttresses.
Sound: Would you rather listen to HD surround sound or a sewing machine behind your head, clacking construction equipment to your right, moaning lawnmowers somewhere left, chuckling crows above, vrapping motorcycles in the background and a raspy delivery truck coming straight-on? Real-life cacophony for the win!
Taste: Even with plenty of A1 sauce on the Tesla and soy sauce on the Mr2, they both taste awful. Call it even.
Touch: You get physical with the Spyder. You dance with three pedals, manipulate a shifter, steer a hyper-reactive wheel and sometimes touch buttons. You also raise and lower the top, and turn the lights on and off. In some Teslas, you don’t even touch the door to get in. Then you flick a little lever and away you go. You might not touch the wheel for quite a while. When you do, there’s almost no feedback from the road. The controls live behind a glass screen. Tesla offers the last-tactile driving experience in automobiledom.
Smell: Tesla has a bioweapon defense system to make sure you don’t smell anything. The Mr2 has a bioweapon invitation system. If the Olds Aurora in front of you pukes blue smoke, you smell toasted oil, unfiltered. If the driver smokes, you smell that too. Dead skunk? You smell it. Live skunk? Maybe. Someone is cooking with curry? Probably. You’re passing by a swamp? Definitely. And at night you hear the spring peepers as a bonus. You REALLY hear them.
So the best EVs come up short in sensory stimulation. The gen II Tesla Roadster can’t arrive soon enough, for perhaps it will come close to matching the tangibility of a two-decade-old Toyota. Then again, for real transportation engagement, you’ll need to dial back to when mankind commandeered animals.
This girl totally gets it. Shame about the center of gravity, though. Welsh Corgi next time.