Tesla Roadster (2020)

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Tesla Roadster
NextGenTeslaRoadster (cropped).jpg
ManufacturerTesla, Inc.
Model years2020–2022 (to be commenced)
DesignerFranz von Holzhausen
Body and chassis
ClassSports car / Grand Tourer (S)
Body style2-door coupe
LayoutTriple motor, all-wheel drive
Electric motorThree electric motors (one front, two rear)
Battery200 kWh (720 MJ)
Electric range1,000 km (620 miles)
PredecessorTesla Roadster (2008)

The Tesla Roadster is an all-electric battery-powered four-seater sports car concept 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,[2][3] which is quicker than any street legal production car to date at its announcement in November 2017.[4] The Roadster is the successor to Tesla's first production car, which was the 2008 Roadster.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that Roadster sales will begin after the release of the revised Model S, which Elon Musk has tweeted[5] should enter production in late 2020.[6] Musk said in a tweet that higher-performance trim levels will be available beyond the base specifications, including a SpaceX package which would "include ~10 small rocket thrusters arranged seamlessly around car" which would supposedly allow the car dramatic improvements in "acceleration, top speed, braking & cornering", and even the ability to fly.[7]



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.[8] The new Roadster was first teased in 2014.[9] At the time, it was also referred to as the Tesla Model R.[10]

In 2015, Elon Musk suggested a new Roadster, capable of faster acceleration.[11][12][13] A tweet by Elon Musk in December 2016 reconfirmed a second Roadster was in the works, but still "some years away".[14][15] The second Roadster was designed by Franz von Holzhausen.[16]

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".[17] 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."[18] The car will retail for upward of $200,000;[19] 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.[18][20][21][22] Additional information followed after the teaser, such as the various world-record speeds Tesla said it will break.[23][24][25][26]

In June 2018, Elon Musk revealed a potential feature called "SpaceX option package" for the Roadster.[27] 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.[28][29][30] Working pressure would be 10,000 psi (700 bar).[31]

During the 2020 second quarter financial results conference call, Elon Musk stated that Tesla plans to tentatively build the Roadster in California and production would be in the next 12 to 18 months. The start of production would be mid to late 2021.[32]

Pre-order marketing[edit]

Pre-orders of the Roadster began in 2017, with a US$50,000 deposit required.[18] 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.[33][34]


The base model was expected to sell for US $200,000 but the first 1,000 to be produced, known as the Founder's Series, will be priced at $250,000.[18] Full payment would be required to pre-order the latter vehicle.


Second generation Tesla Roadster interior

The second-generation Tesla Roadster is a 2+2 coupé[35] 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.[18]

The Roadster has three electric motors, one in front and two at the rear,[18] 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 largest battery in an existing Tesla car (in the Tesla Model S or Model X Performance or Long Range Plus). Tesla has said that the Roadster will have a 1,000 km (620 miles) range on a single 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.[36]


Second generation Tesla Roadster (2019)

The following claims have been made by Musk for the prototype Roadster's acceleration:

  • 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 1.9 seconds (without specifying if this includes a 1-foot rollout or not, or whether thrusters are used or not)[37]
  • 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 2.1 seconds for the base model before adding rocket thruster option (without specifying if this includes a 1-foot rollout or not)[38]

Its claimed 0 to 400 m (0 to 14 mile) time will be under 9 seconds, with a top speed above 400 km/h (250 mph).[39][40] If the production Roadster achieves these performance numbers, it will outperform the supercars of 2019 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.[39][40] Referring to the performance, Musk stated, "this is what we are achieving in the prototype"; he also indicated the performance may improve in the production model and that the stated numbers refer to the anticipated "base model."[39][40]


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, Morsy 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."[41] Morsy's analysis directly contradicts Musk, who stated "this is what we are achieving in the prototype".[39][40]

Venkat Viswanathan, a mechanical engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University,[42] told Jalopnik that the 1.9 second figure for 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) seemed reasonable given the estimated battery weight of 833 kg (1,836 lb). He added that the feasibility of the acceleration claim assumed suitable tires would be available for the required traction.[43]

Series 4, episode 12 of Jay Leno's Garage broadcast on August 23, 2018 featured Jay Leno inside the Tesla Roadster prototype along with its designer Franz von Holzhausen.[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lambert, Fred (May 16, 2016). "Tesla official describes the next generation Roadster as different, faster and bigger". Electrek. Archived from the original on June 21, 2017.
  2. ^ Acceleration times:
    • 1.9s: standing start 0–62 miles per hour (0–100 km/h), without rollout allowance.
    • 1.9s: rolling start ~6–60 miles per hour (10–97 km/h), with 1-foot rollout allowance
  3. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (June 27, 2019). "2.1 sec 0-60 mph is base model before adding rocket thruster option" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  4. ^ Sage, Alexandria (November 16, 2017). "New $200,000 Tesla Roadster speeds in front of electric big-rig truck". Reuters. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017.
  5. ^ https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1173992505672519680
  6. ^ Holmes, Aaron. "Elon Musk says the Tesla 2020 Roadster 'maybe won't need a key at all'". Business Insider. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  7. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (June 9, 2018). "SpaceX option package for new Tesla Roadster will include ~10 small rocket thrusters arranged seamlessly around car. These rocket engines dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking & cornering. Maybe they will even allow a Tesla to fly …" (Tweet). Retrieved March 25, 2019 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ Keene, Jaime (October 31, 2011). "Tesla Roadster to return in 2014". The Verge. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017.
  9. ^ Lambert, Fred (June 13, 2017). "Tesla Roadster next-gen: Elon Musk considers target under 2-second for 'Maximum Plaid'". electrek. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017.
  10. ^ Eric Loveday (September 3, 2014). "By 2020, Tesla Could Be Selling 5 Electric Models Simultaneously". Inside EVs.
  11. ^ Musk, Elon (July 17, 2015). "Three Dog Day". Tesla, Inc. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  12. ^ Hill, Brandon (July 18, 2015). "Tesla Motors Will Launch All-New 'Maximum Plaid' Roadster Within Four Years". HotHardware. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  13. ^ Perkins, Chris (July 18, 2015). "Tesla will launch a new roadster in 4 years (with nod to 'Spaceballs')". Mashable. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  14. ^ Klein, Jonathon (December 28, 2016). "New Tesla Roadster Planned, Says Elon Musk". Motor Trend. US. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  15. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (December 23, 2016). "@jelleprins Some years away, but yes" (Tweet). Retrieved June 1, 2017 – via Twitter.
  16. ^ Vaughn, Mark (November 17, 2017). "Tesla Roadster Sounds Incredible But Will It Be That Good?". AutoWeek. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017.
  17. ^ Barlow, Jason (November 17, 2017). "The new Tesla Roadster is Formula One car fast". British GQ. Retrieved November 21, 2017. Beastie Boys classic "Sabotage" was playing as the Roadster was disgorged from the Semi's trailer in front of a whooping audience.
  18. ^ a b c d e f Gibbs, Samuel (November 17, 2017). "Tesla Roadster: nine things we know about the 'smackdown to gasoline cars'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017.
  19. ^ Shaban, Hamza (November 17, 2017). "For $200,000, Tesla will sell you the 'world's fastest' consumer car". The Washington Post.
  20. ^ Maclean, Andrew (November 17, 2017). "Tesla unveils new Roadster". Drive. Archived from the original on November 19, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  21. ^ "Surprise! Tesla Announces New Roadster Amid Electric Truck Reveal". NewsFactor. Archived from the original on November 19, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  22. ^ "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 November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  23. ^ Jivan, Jon (July 17, 2015). "Tesla's insanely fast Model S just got faster, ludicrously faster". electrek. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017.
  24. ^ Ziegler, Chris (July 17, 2015). "It's official: Tesla is launching a new Roadster in four years". The Verge. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017.
  25. ^ Brodie, James (June 16, 2017). "2019 Tesla Roadster: Elon Musk hints at two second 0-60 target". Auto Express. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017.
  26. ^ Glon, Ronan (December 28, 2016). "Tesla's next Roadster will be one of the quickest cars in the world". Digital Trends. Archived from the original on June 21, 2017.
  27. ^ Ramsey, Jonathon (June 9, 2018). "SpaceX option package for 2020 Tesla Roadster could add more performance". Auto Blog. US. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  28. ^ Lambert, Fred (June 10, 2018). "Elon Musk is serious about adding thrusters to the new Tesla Roadster, the option will replace the back seats". Electrek. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  29. ^ Morris, David Z. (June 10, 2018). "Elon Musk Says Tesla's Next Roadster Will Feature Actual SpaceX Rocket Thrusters". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  30. ^ Krok, Andrew (June 11, 2018). "Elon Musk is 100 percent serious about Roadster thrusters". Roadshow. CNET. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  31. ^ Musk, Elon (September 7, 2018). "Elon Musk" (offset: 1.14:46‒1.15:25). The Joe Rogan Experience (Interview) (1169). Interviewed by Joe Rogan. Retrieved September 8, 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
  32. ^ Lambert, Fred (July 22, 2020). "Elon Musk hints at Tesla Roadster production in California within 12-18 months". Electrek.
  33. ^ Westbrook, Justin T. (July 12, 2017). "Tesla Is Offering People A Free Next Generation Roadster (If You Sell 50 Cars For Them)". Jalopnik. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017.
  34. ^ Lambert, Fred (September 28, 2017). "Tesla updates its referral program to include solar panels, new prizes, removing $1,000 credit on cars". electrek. Archived from the original on November 17, 2017.
  35. ^ McParland, Tom (November 17, 2017). "The New Tesla Roadster Isn't Actually A Roadster". Jalopnik. US. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  36. ^ Dow, Jameson (November 20, 2017). "Tesla's Next-Gen Roadster: A (speculative) technical look at the car that will "smack down" gasoline powered cars". Electrek. Retrieved November 22, 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 (300kmph)." They are the same tires used on the Porsche 918 Spyder (which has a /340kmph top speed).
  37. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (November 16, 2017). "0 to 100 km/h in 1.9" (Tweet). Retrieved November 25, 2017 – via Twitter.
  38. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (June 27, 2019). "2.1 sec 0-60 mph is base model before adding rocket thruster option" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  39. ^ a b c d Tracy, David. "Here's What A Battery Researcher Told Us About The Tesla Roadster's Crazy Performance Claims". Jalopnik. Archived from the original on November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  40. ^ a b c d "Elon Musk Unveils Tesla Semi, Roadster in 'Smackdown to Gasoline Cars'". Nerdist. November 17, 2017. Archived from the original on November 19, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  41. ^ Randall, Tom; Lippert, John (November 24, 2017). "Tesla's Newest Promises Break the Laws of Batteries". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  42. ^ "Venkat Viswanathan". Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  43. ^ Tracy, David (November 17, 2017). "Here's What A Battery Researcher Told Us About The Tesla Roadster's Crazy Performance Claims". Jalopnik. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  44. ^ Hanley, Steve (October 23, 2019). "Tesla's next-gen Roadster unleashes Jay Leno's inner child in "Jay Leno's Garage" segment". CleanTechnica. Retrieved October 23, 2019.

External links[edit]