Electric car manufacturer Tesla first revealed images of its second-generation Roadster in late 2017, alongside its long-proposed semi-truck commercial vehicle.
A new Roadster had been expected for quite some time, with Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk having suggested that once the brand had begun to produce more conventional cars in volume, the firm would replace the sports model that first built Tesla's reputation.
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But while the original Roadster was heavily based on the Lotus Elise platform, the new model looks rather more ambitious – and as we've come to expect from Tesla, boasts some spectacular on-paper performance figures.
No power figure is quoted, and you can ignore Tesla's torque figure of over 7300lb ft, as it's a "wheel torque", multiplied by gearing and therefore not directly comparable to the crank torque (or motor torque) quoted by other manufacturers.
More significant is that the Tesla delivers its power and torque figures through all four wheels, and would do so effectively from rest. Tesla hasn't mentioned a weight figure either, but it's safe to assume the Roadster is lighter than models S, X and 3, given a claimed 0-60mph figure of 1.9sec, and 0-100mph in 4.2sec. The quarter-mile would be shrugged off in 8.8sec.
Unlike many electric cars, acceleration doesn't come at the expense of a range-limiting top speed either, with Tesla suggesting 'over 250mph' at the top end. It's fair to assume that top speed would somewhat limit range, though driven at a more sedate pace, Tesla also claims a 620-mile range on its 200kWh battery pack.
Styling is more distinctive than the firm's other models, though still slightly generic, in the manner of a car designed for an insurance advert or a videogame with no official manufacturer licences. If the coupe styling is confusing you given Tesla's choice of the Roadster moniker, then things become a little clearer when the central targa-style panel is removed.
The interior is said to seat four, and is typically Tesla-minimalist. Though the dashboard layout is more conventional than other Teslas, an aircraft yoke-like wheel reintroduces an element of sci-fi. In 2018, Musk revealed more information on the model, claiming that the car revealed in 2017 was entry-level, and that more capable variants would be launched in due course. Musk, also CEO of aerospace company SpaceX, even claimed a ‘SpaceX option package’ would be on offer, adding 10 cold gas thrusters similar to those found on his rockets, for added performance...
Tesla began taking deposits of $50,000 on the $200,000 Roadster from the moment it was unveiled – or full-price deposits of $250,000 on what it's calling a Founder Series model. Production was originally scheduled for 2020, but with the mid-sized Model Y SUV a higher priority, and minimal Roadster activity seen since its reveal, you should probably take this with a pinch of salt.