What is your definition of a muscle car? What is your definition of a sports car? Are all sports cars and muscle cars petroleum fired? If you ask me, I would say they are vehicles that evoke emotion, senses and youth.
My vision of a muscle car is usually a 2-door sedan, with an 8-track quadraphonic stereo sound system, tuck and roll leather interior, 4-speed transmission with Hurst™ shifter, Elbrock™ high rise manifold, 4-barrel dual pump Holley™ carburetor, racing cam, high dome piston, headman headers, cherry bomb glass pack exhaust - and the list goes on.
Let’s not forget the colors – typically orange, canary yellow, plum purple or lime green.
In my opinion, what really defines a muscle car, though, is the sound of the horsepower. You can usually hear the vehicle coming before you see visibly see it. Thinking back on my youth, I was more attracted by the sound of the engine than the colors and body style. Every muscle car must have “that sound.”
Will hybrid and electric cars eventually evolve into something similar to muscle cars? Where exactly is this market headed? Currently hybrid and electric cars are in a class of their own and it’s boring…very boring.
When I think of energy efficient cars, I think of Toyota Prius, Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus, just to name a few, and these cars leave much to be desired. If someone told me the current hybrid automobile is sexy, then I’m a rock star (I dream in color).
Recently, however, I discovered a possible cross breed vehicle that can sweep the sports, muscle and energy-efficient category – the Tesla Roadster, a.k.a. the electric supercar. The Tesla Roadster had created a lot of buzz in the last couple of years. It’s fast yet quiet…and runs on batteries.
The Tesla Roadster is manufactured by Tesla Motors, headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. Founded in 2003 by a group of Silicon Valley engineers, they set out to prove that electric vehicles could be awesome. According to Tesla Motors’ official website, the Tesla Roadster was first introduced in 2008.
Today, over 2,300 Roadsters drive emissions-free in more than 37 countries. It claims to reach 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and averages 245 miles per charge. It is however, currently sold out in North America.
Tesla Motors’ Model S and Model X are their next initiatives to transition the world to electric mobility. The Model S, which arrived in 2012, is currently in production and features an aluminum-intensive design for significant weight saving. According to Tesla Motors, the Model S is offered with two battery options – 60 kWh and 85 kWh, which claim to provide ranges of 208 and 265 miles.
The Model S Performance Series is equipped with an 85 kWh battery option that is said to reach 60 mpg in 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph. The three models’ starting prices (with $7,500 federal tax credit) are $62,400, $72,400 and $87,000, respectively.
Tesla’s upcoming Model X is an electric SUV that is scheduled to enter production in 2015 and will feature similar battery options as its Model S, and an entry-level, third gen Tesla sedan is also in the works.
While there's no word on when the second generation Tesla Roadster will arrive, it will no doubt push the envelope of what electric sports cars have to offer. But will its battery-run engine return with the classic sound of our beloved muscle car to truly become the next generation sports-muscle hybrid? Only time will tell.