Tesla Roadster

The cash in question is a cool $5000. That would be the deposit, in case (God forbid) something were to happen while you test drive the all-new Tesla Roadster, the ultimate electric-powered sports car. Tesla Motors, based in San Carlos, Ca, opened its second showroom this morning just down the road on 101, on 300 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. (The first showroom opened in Santa Monica in May.)

The showroom, which replaces an old Chevrolet dealership on a busy block of shuttered car lots saw curious on-lookers and some serious potential buyers today. Except that you can’t really walk in, buy it, and then drive it out the door, like in most other places. If you do manage to fall head over heels in love, Tesla is happy to take a similar deposit and apply it to their current $109,000 MSRP.

And if you just want to take it out on 280 (take Santa Cruz Avenue west, then slight left on Alameda de las Pulgas, then right on Sand Hill) or join the slow traffic on El Camino, you’ll have to pay up just for the pleasure of taking this beauty out for a spin —and making sure you don’t wreck one of the few available, fully-built cars.

The 40,000 square-foot showroom, one of the largest in the area, allows visitors to see how the cars are assembled, and I suppose potential buyers will have a lot of fun actually seeing all the pristine pieces come together. According to the Mercury News, Tesla has already taken 1,100 deposits already. Since we all don’t have this kind of disposable cash lying around, it’s likely that the several Roadsters –red, silver, black and light blue– on display, will be all look and no touch, please. In fact, there is even a design mock-up of a Roadster that was used in the film “Iron Man” earlier this summer. (And here I thought that “Iron Man” was a paean to Audis, especially the R8.)

In any case, I guess just looking at the car can’t be all bad. But if you can spare the cash, you could also drive it down Highway 101 like this. (Note: the video was made in 2007, when both the price of the car and the gas at the Arco Station on Veterans Blvd. in Redwood City was in the $3 range!)

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