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German tuner turns its hand to Tesla

Sound investment: Buyers can select a simulated performance engine sound instead of the electric Tesla's normal silence.

Brabus enhances electric roadster experience with a ‘space sound generator’

18 Nov 2008

GERMAN tuning house Brabus has formed an alliance with US electric sportscar manufacturer Tesla Motors and last week unveiled a customised version of the Lotus Elise-based Tesla Roadster ahead of the forthcoming Essen motor show in Germany.

Although it has formed a new ‘Zero Emission’ division in the process, Brabus has not tinkered with the two-seater sportscar’s electric motor – a three-phase four-pole AC unit able to generate a maximum 185kW and 271Nm – or its two-speed electric-actuated manual-shift transmission.

Instead, its electronics engineers have moved to bring the driving experience back to a more traditional one with a “space sound generator” that allows the driver and/or passenger to choose between several simulated engine sounds, including a conventional V8 combustion engine, a racecar engine and futuristic sound-scapes called ‘Beam’ and ‘Warp’. The volume alters in accordance with the power output of the electric motor.

Elsewhere, Brabus enhancements include weight-optimised light-alloy wheels (7x18-inch front/8.5x19 rear) and corresponding Pirelli P Zero Nero high-performance low-rolling resistance tyres (215/35 ZR18 front/255/30 ZR19 rear).

Other visual highlights are the “matte-white” paintwork, matte-white front and rear light surrounds, a carbon-fibre front lip, daytime running lights integrated into the front grille and a carbon-fibre Brabus rear wing and air diffuser.

The cabin features handcrafted lightweight leather and Alcantara trim with white seams to reflect the exterior colour.

“The goal of the customisation concept for the Tesla Roadster is to define a potential limited edition as well as an individual tuning program for the Tesla driver,” said Brabus in a statement.

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