Sports Cars

George Clooney And Tesla Roadster

In 2006, George Clooney put down a $100,000 deposit (along with 99 others) to own one of the "Signature One Hundred" series of the Tesla luxury electric high-performance roadster. Each customer was standing in line for a car that, at the time, the company said would run 250 miles on one charge and knock off zero to 60 in four seconds. (Oh, and they promised to throw in a commemorative, personalized plaque in the cockpit.) In June 2008, Clooney was still waiting, but consoling himself driving a one-seat electric Tango, which, coincidentally, also makes zero to 60 in four seconds.

Of his commitment to eco-driving, the Huffington-Post quoted Clooney as saying, "We are going to have to find a way to get away from oil. It has to start with someone, somewhere, changing policy. I try and be photographed in the Tango and hope someone thinks it's a good idea." But, he admitted to longing for the Tesla. After a delay of the original August 2008 delivery date, George Clooney finally got his keys in December. (He's in good company. Leonardo DiCaprio and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger were in the first 100 as well.)

The final price was $109,000 for which the celebrities have a vehicle with a range of 244 miles per charge and a refill cost of $2.50 to $5.50 depending on prevailing electrical rates. Tesla now says it's making 15 cars a week and hopes to double that by spring, however because of the low number of models available it will be next to impossible to find cheap auto insurance. They've also announced a four-door luxury sedan for 2011. Given the company's troubles, however, Clooney's roadster may be more collectible than the commemorative plaque on the dash might suggest.

In December, Tesla applied for a $400 million low-interest loan from the government under a $25 billion program targeted at the development of fuel-efficient technologies. On the day of application, they had delivered 80 of the original 100, all to people who qualify as millionaires at minimum. By February 2009, however, Tesla was admitting that they didn't have the cash on hand to build a proposed new headquarters and factory in San Jose.

Without question, George Clooney and his wealthy pals look much better behind the wheel of the sexy, ultra-modern, electric Tesla roaster. And really, it is everything sports car aficionados love and want. However, in terms of actually promoting an electrical vehicle more fit for the masses, Clooney may have been doing more good behind the wheel of his tiny Tango.

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