Tesla’s all-new Roadster electric sports car is on its way with Elon Musk making some astounding claims for its capabilities and performance which could trump rival EV supercars like the Pininfarina Battista and Lotus Evija.
The Tesla Roadster was shown off at the Grand Basel car exhibit in Switzerland last year, the first time it had been seen in public following its surprise unveiling at Tesla’s factory in California in November 2018.
The model that’s been shown is still a prototype but is representative of the Roadster that is scheduled to go into production in 2020. Rather than using an electrically retractable hardtop, buyers will have to remove the middle section of the roof by hand and stow it in a dedicated compartment within the car. Tesla is planning to officially reveal the cabin of the open-top supercar at a later date.
The electric carmaker is making bold claims about the new model; Elon Musk wants the Roadster to become the world’s fastest accelerating car. The Tesla CEO says the model has been built to “give a hardcore smack down to gasoline cars.” The ‘base’ version of the Roadster covers 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds and 0-100mph in 4.2 seconds – that’s quicker than a BMW M4 gets from 0-62mph. An all-electric accelaration battle could be on the horizon as Pininfarina also claims its upcoming Battista will do 0-62mph in less than two seconds.
Power comes from a 200kWh battery pack and three electric motors. Two motors power each of the rear wheels, while a single motor powers the front wheels, making it four-wheel-drive. Tesla says the new Roadster produces 10,000Nm of ‘wheel torque’ and has a range of 1,000km (620 miles). Musk didn’t announce the official top speed but said it’s around the 250mph mark.
A standing quarter mile is claimed to be possible in 8.9 seconds, which makes it the first production car to do the quarter mile in less than nine seconds. Musk also hinted at a version “beyond the base model,” which could deliver even more performance. The Tesla chief has, however, confirmed a “Space X option package” will be offered with the Roadster, to celebrate its Musk’s other company successfully launching a rocket into space.
The Roadster features a 2+2 seating layout, although Musk conceded that “giant people” couldn’t fit in the back; he did however boast about the Roadster’s plentiful storage areas despite its focus on performance.
Tesla’s Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen has also taken to Twitter to showcase the new Roadster in action. It’s garnered considerable social media attention, with plenty of pictures of the Roadster out and about on America’s west coast hitting the web.
The second-generation Roadster will begin production in 2020, with reservations being taken now. Prices for the base Roadster in the US start at $200,000 (£151,000), with customers being asked to place a $50,000 (£34,000) deposit. A Founders Series model – limited to just 1,000 examples – cost from $250,000 (£189,000).
Are you impressed by the new Tesla Roadster’s claimed figures? Or are you sceptical about Elon Musk’s claims? Let us know in the comments…