The Tesla Roadster is a battery-electric supercar. Its chassis is based on the rear-wheel-drive, mid-engine Lotus Elise from British manufacturer Lotus Cars. But one of the big differences between the Tesla Roadster and the Lotus Elise is that the former is a four-seater, while the latter seats only two. Typical roadsters are two-seaters, but Tesla’s version wouldn’t be Tesla if it didn’t go against norms.
The Roadster was the first street-legal serial-production EV to use lithium-ion battery packs. It was also the first production all-electric vehicle capable of traveling over 200 miles on a single charge. In other words, the Roadster is the precursor to every other Tesla vehicle. And the second-generation Roadster is poised to break records yet again if Elon Musk can stay on task and on schedule.
What we know about the new Tesla Roadster thus far
Musk recently confirmed the second-generation Roadster’s production would be postponed until 2022, Forbes reported. Tesla revealed the supercar alongside the all-electric Semi truck in 2017. The new Roadster was scheduled to drop last year but saw an initial delay until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Given its high price and status as the halo vehicle of the range, it would be fair to say the Roadster supercar is not a priority for Tesla,” Forbes stated, “and the company’s focus will surely be on the production of its Model 3, the upcoming international rollout of the Model Y, and its newly-updated Model S and Model X, all of which will sell in far greater numbers than the Roadster.”
What we do know is that the new Tesla Roadster should be able to outrun a Bugatti Chiron. According to Tesla, it’ll have a range of 620 miles on a single charge. It will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds and 0 to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds. And it will be able to crush the quarter-mile in 8.8 seconds and boast a top speed of over 250 mph with 7,376 lb-ft of torque (10,000 Newton-meters).
The second-generation Tesla Roadster is supposed to have a 200 kWh battery pack, twice the all-wheel-drive Model S Plaid’s capacity. That explains the insane top speed and the absurd torque.
The Roadster will also have a removable hardtop. But with those crazy numbers, keeping the hardtop on might be a wise choice.
The base model will start at $200,000 with a base reservation of $50,000. The Founders Series price tag is $250,000 with a Founders Series reservation of the same amount. According to Tesla’s website, only 1,000 reservations are available.
Tesla’s long-awaited Roadster could hypothetically hover
Musk recently told podcast host Joe Rogan that he wants the second-generation Roadster to hover “without, you know, killing people.”
“Maybe it can hover like a meter above the ground or something like that. If you plummet, it’ll blow out the suspension, but you’re not gonna die,” Musk said. Nevertheless, blowing out the suspension on a $250,000 vehicle could give owners a heart attack.
In actuality, Musk revealed in 2017 that the Founders Series might include upgrades such as the “SpaceX Options Package.” This package would include “10 small rocket thrusters arranged around the car to improve acceleration, top speed, braking, and cornering,” Inverse reported. Two composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV) used on the SpaceX spacecraft would fuel the rockets. However, they would take up the rear seating area, turning the four-seater into a two-seater.
Will the second-generation supercar be worth the price?
A roadster is defined as “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 Tesla Roadster defies most of what defines a roadster, but it delivers in performance what few other roadsters can.
With an alleged top speed of over 250 mph and a range of 620 miles on a single charge, the Roadster’s only similarity with other EVs is that it uses batteries. Of course, nothing published about the second-generation Tesla Roadster is written in stone. From u-shaped yokes to rocket-powered hovercars, it’s difficult to ascertain the worth of a future Tesla vehicle.
Nevertheless, if the specs remain mostly intact, it’s safe to say that $200,000 for the second-gen Tesla Roadster seems reasonable. For the Founders Series, which supposedly features the “SpaceX Options Package,” $250,000 also seems reasonable. Only time will tell if Musk can make good on his claims.