Now’s your chance to buy one of the Teslas that helped get things started.
A gorgeous example of the EV maker’s first car, the Roadster, is currently up for bid on Bring a Trailer. The car may not be as powerful or efficient as any of the brand’s current models, but it offers something they can’t—open-top fun.
The first-generation Roadster wasn’t the game changer that the Model S turned out to be, but it proved that Tesla could build a viable EV. Not from the ground up, though. The brand’s first vehicle was basically a Lotus Elise with a new body and, most importantly, an all-electric power train, according to Car and Driver. Tesla would build the sporty two-door between 2008 and 2012, producing and selling more than 2,400 examples during that time. Despite this, the car may be most famous for having been launched into space in 2018.
The Roadster up for bid, which is being sold by its original owner, is a 2.5 Sport variant from 2011. The car features a number of upgrades over the first Roadster, including a subtly restyled body, better climate control, and improved sound insulation. This particular example is finished in a striking coat of Radiant Red with exposed carbon-fiber accents over a tan interior. It’s definitely a head-turning car, more attractive than anything else currently in the marque’s lineup.
This Roadster 2.5 Sport was powered by a 375-volt AC induction motor connected to a 53 kWh battery pack, according to the sales listing. This setup can produce up to 288 hp and 295 ft lbs of torque, all of which is sent to the rear axle by a single-speed transmission. It has enough power to launch from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds and tops out at 125 mph. It may not be able to compete with the brand’s current EVs, but it has some pep. It also has 8,000 miles on its odometer, but that’s likely to be offset by the recent comprehensive servicing the car received from Phoenix-based Roadster specialists Gruber Motor Company.
You can bid on this Roadster Sport 2.5 until Monday, April 17. As of press time, bidding had reached $104,200. With three days left go to, we wouldn’t be surprised to see that number climb—especially since it’s still unclear if the second-generation Roadster will ever go into production.
Click here for more photos of the 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport.