After the 1st generation (2006) of the electric smart was based on technology that was 10 years old, smart urgently needed external help. The choice fell on the then still very young Tesla startup. Today it is common knowledge that Tesla developed the 2nd generation (2009-2012) of the smart electric drive for Mercedes. What is less known, however, is that it was heavily based on the original Tesla Roadster. The first prototype of the smart ED2 's electronics even thought it's a Tesla roadster and had all its components. Including the roadster-specific on-board computer, display and 248 hp rear-wheel drive motor.
Reason enough to take a closer look at the original Tesla Roadster and its interesting history. Because not only smart as we know it today is based on his shoulders, but also the entire Tesla company. In this article I would like to bring you closer to the Roadster and therefore I spoke to David Lyons. He was Tesla employee number 12 and worked at Tesla from 2004 to 2008 as Director of Engineering for everything to do with the roadster's powertrain.