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Tesla fans and critics eagerly anticipate the 2020 release of the all-electric Roadster. In 2014, the car manufacturer first began producing non-fossil-fuel Roadsters with a range in excess of 400 miles. At the time, car enthusiasts viewed those models as a significant step up for electric cars.

These days, electric cars are more common, but this doesn’t diminish the hype surrounding the Tesla 2020 Roadster. So, does this vehicle measure up?

Musk touts the Roadster

Tesla CEO Elon Musk praises the 2020 Roadster for maximizing the “potential of aerodynamic engineering with record-setting performance and efficiency.” The tech entrepreneur focuses on the car’s speed, claiming it will be “the quickest car in the world, with record-setting acceleration, range, and performance.”

The Roadster’s specs state the vehicle will travel from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds, with top speeds of over 250 miles per hour. However, it won’t outrank a handful of other specialty vehicles concerning pure top speed:

  • Koenigsegg Regera, 255 miles per hour
  • SSC Ultimate Aero, 257 miles per hour
  • Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, 268 miles per hour
  • Hennessey Venom GT, 270 miles per hour
  • Bugatti Chiron, 271 miles per hour
  • Koenigsegg Agera RS, 278 miles per hour 

The Roadster is expected to reach 100 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds and break the quarter-mile mark in 8.9 seconds. When it comes to reaching highway speeds of 60 miles per hour in just under two seconds, the Tesla Roadster is in a three-way tie with the Audi R18 e-Tron Quattro, Porsche 919 Hybrid MKII, and Rimac C2. This means Musk’s new model will only be one of “the quickest” vehicles available on the market

New design specifications

Looking purely at price point, Tesla fans can expect to pay $50,000 to reserve a Roadster and over $200,000 for the base model. With wheel torque rated at 10,000 Nm, all-wheel drive is available on standard models. Motor1 reported the figure “may be a bit overstated,” with other design features being called into question, too.

From a design standpoint, Tesla reevaluated the Roadster concept by creating space for up to four passengers via a backseat. By definition, a Roadster is “an automobile with an open body that seats two and has a folding fabric top and often a luggage compartment or rumble seat in the rear.” Obviously, the newer Tesla lacks a soft top and has increased passenger capacity, straying from the Roadster’s roots.

A glass top and redesigned doors

Instead of a folding fabric top, Tesla utilized a glass roof concept in this newer model. Drivers can store the lightweight, removable glass top in the trunk for the open-air convertible experience expected from a Roadster.

The Tesla 2020 Roadster’s doors open without a key or handle on the exterior of the vehicle; you merely unlock and unhitch it with the swipe of a finger on the glass. At this point, Tesla hasn’t released the tech behind this mode of entry. But it’s suggested that the action from a human must be accompanied by an electronic fob, smartphone, or another hand-held device. 

Style over substance?

Another quote from the manufacturer states it is “the first supercar to set every performance record and still fit seating for four.” Although Tesla has plenty to boast about with this new Roadster, terms like “quickest” and “record-breaking” are exaggerated in some cases.

These statements push the hype to new heights. While there’s no definitive answer to the age-old question of “style or substance,” it’s safe to say the Tesla 2020 Roadster will be plenty of both.