Tesla Roadster (2020)

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Tesla Roadster
Tesla roadster 2020 prototype.jpg
ManufacturerTesla, Inc.
Model years2020 (to commence)
DesignerFranz von Holzhausen
Body and chassis
ClassSports car (S)
Body style2-door 2+2 coupe (two-seater in SpaceX configuration)
LayoutTriple motor, all-wheel drive
Electric motor
Battery200 kWh (720 MJ)
Electric range1,000 kilometres (620 mi)
Plug-in charging
  • Offboard charger
  • Supercharger at 120 kW DC
PredecessorTesla Roadster (2008)

The Tesla Roadster is an upcoming all-electric battery-powered four-seater sports car made by Tesla, Inc.[1] Tesla has said it will be capable of 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in 1.9 seconds, quicker than any street legal production car to date at its announcement in November 2017.[2] The Roadster is the successor to Tesla's first production car, which was the 2008 Roadster.

Tesla indicates that Roadster sales will begin in 2020, although not before the Tesla Model Y goes on sale. Elon Musk has said that higher-performance trim levels will be available beyond the base specifications.



In 2011, at the end of the production run of the original Tesla Roadster, Elon Musk suggested that a new version of the Roadster, without the Lotus chassis, would return to production by 2014.[3] The new Roadster was first teased in 2014.[4]

In 2015, Musk suggested a new Roadster in 2019, capable of faster acceleration.[5][6][7] A tweet by Elon Musk in December 2016 reconfirmed a second Roadster was in the works, but still "some years away".[8][9] The second Roadster was designed by Franz von Holzhausen.[10]

The 2020 version of the Roadster was shown in a surprise moment at the end of the Tesla Semi event on November 16, 2017—during which a Roadster was driven out of the back of one of the semi-truck trailers to the song "Sabotage".[11] Musk explained the concept as: "The point of doing this is to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars. Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche."[12][13] The car will retail for upward of $200,000;[14] test rides were given at the event for those who immediately paid the first $5,000 of a $50,000 deposit to pre-order the vehicle.[12][15][16][17] Additional information followed after the teaser, such as the various world-record speeds Tesla said it will break.[1][18][19][20][21]

In June 2018, Elon Musk revealed a potential feature called "SpaceX option package" for the Roadster.[22] This would add around ten cold gas thrusters to the car to improve maneuverability; it would comprise an electric pump to recharge an air tank used to provide compressed air flowing through propelling nozzles to generate a cold jet thrust. The air tanks, based on "composite overwrapped pressure vessel" (COPV) also used in the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, would replace the back seats. The thrusters would be used to improve cornering, acceleration, top speed, and braking.[23][24][25] Working pressure would be 10,000 psi (700 bar).[26]

Pre-order marketing[edit]

Pre-orders of the Roadster began in 2017, with a US $50,000 deposit required.[12] Tesla owners taking part in the referral promotion program began accumulating discounts toward the purchase of a Roadster based on the number of referrals. Those reaching 55 confirmed referrals obtained a 100% rebate toward a future Roadster purchase.[27][28]


The base model was expected to sell for US $200,000 but the first 1,000 to be produced, the so-called Founder's Series, will be priced at $250,000.[12] Full payment would be required to pre-order the latter vehicle.


The second generation Tesla Roadster is a 2+2 roadster with a removable glass roof. It was designed by Franz von Holzhausen, who formerly worked at Mazda and Volkswagen. The Roadster has a 2+2 seating arrangements, with smaller rear seats for two passengers.[12]

The Roadster has three electric motors, one in front and two at the rear,[12] allowing for all-wheel drive, and torque vectoring during cornering. Tesla said that the vehicle had a 200 kWh (720 MJ) battery, twice the capacity of the Tesla Model S P100D, and giving a 621 miles (1,000 km) range on one charge at highway speeds. Tesla stated that the torque at wheels was 10,000 N⋅m (7,400 lb⋅ft). The rear wheels are larger than the front wheels.[29]

Performance estimates[edit]

At the November 17, 2017 unveiling, Tesla claimed the Roadster's acceleration will be:

  • 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) in 1.9 seconds[30]
  • 0–161 km/h (0–100 mph) in 4.2 seconds

Its claimed 0 to 14 mi (0 to 400 m) time will be 8.9 seconds, with a top speed above 400 km/h (250 mph).[31][32] If the production Roadster achieves these performance numbers, it will outperform the supercars of 2017 and would set new production car records, none of which had yet done better than 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 2.0 seconds or 9.0 seconds in the 1/4 mile.[31][32]

Independent analyses[edit]

Research completed by Bloomberg L.P. indicates that the estimate as to range per charge is optimistic, based on comments from Salim Morsy, electric vehicle analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In an article titled Tesla's Newest Promises Break the Laws of Batteries, Morsey indicated that the claimed battery capacity would require batteries that would be too large for the Roadster's small frame. "I really don't think the car you saw last week had the full 200 kilowatt hours in it. I don't think it's physically possible to do that right now."[33]

Venkat Viswanathan,[34] described as a "mechanical engineering assistant professor who works at the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and focuses on next-generation battery technology," told Jalopnik (a Gizmodo Media Group publication) that the 1.9 second figure for 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) seems reasonable in spite of the estimated battery weight of 833 kg (1,836 lb). He added that the feasibility of the acceleration claim assumed that suitable tires would be available for the maximum traction that will be required.[35]

Series 4, episode 12 of Jay Leno's Garage broadcast on 23 August 2018 featured Jay Leno inside the Tesla Roadster prototype along with its designer Franz von Holzhausen.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lambert, Fred (16 May 2016). "Tesla official describes the next generation Roadster as different, faster and bigger". electrek. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017.
  2. ^ Sage, Alexandria (16 November 2017). "New $200,000 Tesla Roadster speeds in front of electric big-rig truck". Reuters. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017.
  3. ^ Keene, Jaime (31 October 2011). "Tesla Roadster to return in 2014". The Verge. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017.
  4. ^ Lambert, Fred (13 June 2017). "Tesla Roadster next-gen: Elon Musk considers 0-60 mph target under 2-second for 'Maximum Plaid'". electrek. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017.
  5. ^ Musk, Elon (17 July 2015). "Three Dog Day". Tesla, Inc. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  6. ^ Hill, Brandon (18 July 2015). "Tesla Motors Will Launch All-New 'Maximum Plaid' Roadster Within Four Years". HotHardware. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  7. ^ Perkins, Chris (18 July 2015). "Tesla will launch a new roadster in 4 years (with nod to 'Spaceballs')". Mashable. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  8. ^ Klein, Jonathon (28 December 2016). "New Tesla Roadster Planned, Says Elon Musk". Motor Trend. US. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  9. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (23 December 2016). "@jelleprins Some years away, but yes" (Tweet). Retrieved 1 June 2017 – via Twitter.
  10. ^ Vaughn, Mark (17 November 2017). "Tesla Roadster Sounds Incredible But Will It Be That Good?". AutoWeek. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017.
  11. ^ Barlow, Jason (17 November 2017). "The new Tesla Roadster is Formula One car fast". British GQ. Retrieved 21 November 2017. Beastie Boys classic "Sabotage" was playing as the Roadster was disgorged from the Semi's trailer in front of a whooping audience.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Gibbs, Samuel (17 November 2017). "Tesla Roadster: nine things we know about the 'smackdown to gasoline cars'". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Gibbs, Samuel (17 November 2017). "Tesla Roadster: nine things we know about the 'smackdown to gasoline cars'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  14. ^ Shaban, Hamza (17 November 2017). "For $200,000, Tesla will sell you the 'world's fastest' consumer car". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Maclean, Andrew (17 November 2017). "Tesla unveils new Roadster". Drive. Archived from the original on 19 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Surprise! Tesla Announces New Roadster Amid Electric Truck Reveal". NewsFactor. Archived from the original on 19 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  17. ^ "All-new Tesla Roadster STEALS The SEMI's Show — Musk Plants A Flag In The Ground To END ICE Vehicles For Good". AutoSpies Auto News. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  18. ^ Jivan, Jon (17 July 2015). "Tesla's insanely fast Model S just got faster, ludicrously faster". electrek. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017.
  19. ^ Ziegler, Chris (17 July 2015). "It's official: Tesla is launching a new Roadster in four years". The Verge. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017.
  20. ^ Brodie, James (16 June 2017). "2019 Tesla Roadster: Elon Musk hints at two second 0-60 target". Auto Express. Archived from the original on 22 September 2017.
  21. ^ Glon, Ronan (28 December 2016). "Tesla's next Roadster will be one of the quickest cars in the world". Digital Trends. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017.
  22. ^ Ramsey, Jonathon (9 June 2018). "SpaceX option package for 2020 Tesla Roadster could add more performance". Auto Blog. US. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  23. ^ Lambert, Fred (10 June 2018). "Elon Musk is serious about adding thrusters to the new Tesla Roadster, the option will replace the back seats". Electrek. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  24. ^ Morris, David Z. (10 June 2018). "Elon Musk Says Tesla's Next Roadster Will Feature Actual SpaceX Rocket Thrusters". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  25. ^ Krok, Andrew (11 June 2018). "Elon Musk is 100 percent serious about Roadster thrusters". Roadshow. CNET. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  26. ^ Musk, Elon (7 September 2018). "Elon Musk" (offset: 1.14:46‒1.15:25). The Joe Rogan Experience (Interview) (1169). Interviewed by Joe Rogan. Retrieved 8 September 2018. The next generation Roadster, … where you put rocket thrusters on it … ultra high compressed air … cold gas thrusters … electric pump … pump it up to like 10,000 psi … could make it fly
  27. ^ Westbrook, Justin T. (12 July 2017). "Tesla Is Offering People A Free Next Generation Roadster (If You Sell 50 Cars For Them)". Jalopnik. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017.
  28. ^ Lambert, Fred (28 September 2017). "Tesla updates its referral program to include solar panels, new prizes, removing $1,000 credit on cars". electrek. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017.
  29. ^ Dow, Jameson (20 November 2017). "Tesla's Next-Gen Roadster: A (speculative) technical look at the car that will "smack down" gasoline powered cars". Electrek. Retrieved 22 November 2017. tires on the prototype are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 325/30ZR21 (104Y) rear and 295/35ZR20 front. These have a "Y" speed rating, which means they have a maximum speed of "over 186mph (300kmph)." They are the same tires used on the Porsche 918 Spyder (which has a 211mph/340kmph top speed).
  30. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (16 November 2017). "0 to 100 km/h in 1.9" (Tweet). Retrieved 25 November 2017 – via Twitter.
  31. ^ a b Tracy, David. "Here's What A Battery Researcher Told Us About The Tesla Roadster's Crazy Performance Claims". Jalopnik. Archived from the original on 18 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  32. ^ a b "Elon Musk Unveils Tesla Semi, Roadster in 'Smackdown to Gasoline Cars'". Nerdist. 17 November 2017. Archived from the original on 19 November 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  33. ^ Randall, Tom; Lippert, John (24 November 2017). "Tesla's Newest Promises Break the Laws of Batteries". Bloomberg. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  34. ^ "Venkat Viswanathan". Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  35. ^ Tracy, David (17 November 2017). "Here's What A Battery Researcher Told Us About The Tesla Roadster's Crazy Performance Claims". Jalopnik. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  36. ^ Alvarez, Simon (23 August 2018). "Tesla's next-gen Roadster unleashes Jay Leno's inner child in "Jay Leno's Garage" segment". Teslarati. Retrieved 24 August 2018.