One of the smartest ways to launch a product is to tell the world as much as you can before the launch, while retaining a great deal of mystery about key features. In the case of the Tesla Roadster -- the first high-performance, long-range electric car -- the big mystery was, "OK, but what does it look like?" The Silicon Valley company took off the wraps last night, and here it is.
I had the pleasure of meeting CEO Martin Eberhard at a small dinner a short while ago, so I knew the basics -- 0-60 mph in about four seconds, 250 miles per charge, lithium-ion batteries (the kind that power laptops) -- but I was still pretty anxious to get a look at the car. Next step is to get behind the wheel. Wish me luck -- investors include the founders of Google and Paypal who I am sure have first dibs. Car goes on the market next summer. And unlike the late, great EV-1 -- the subject of the summer documentary hit "Who Killed the Electric Car?" -- you can actually buy this car (the EV-1 could only be leased). Prediction: a big back-order from Silicon Valley, where lots of locals are going to feel proud of this smart-looking, high-performing, eco-friendly product.