There we were in late 2017, watching Tesla reveal their upcoming Semi. All is well and good, the Semi is cool, but it’s not like I would ever go buy one. But then towards the end of the presentation, we got a surprise reveal, the next gen Tesla Roadster drives out of the dark and the crowd goes wild.
That was nearing on almost three years ago and while the hype for the next gen Tesla roadster might have quieted down a bit due to Tesla’s recent blitz in profitability and factory expansion, many are still looking forward to the electric car that is set to break many performance records upon release.
For those needing a refresher, the next gen Roadster should represent bleeding edge technology in regards to electric cars.
- 0-60 mph: 2.1 sec (1.9 sec with SpaceX Package)
- Range: 620 mph
- Top Speed: 250 mph+
- Base Price: $200,000
With the Tesla next gen roadster price starting at $200,000 it would be the most expensive Tesla produced. But these stats would pretty much put every single performance car in the world to shame, and as Musk stated:
“The point of doing this is to just 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”
Talk of the next gen Tesla Roadster has been pretty lacking and it has no doubt been put on the back burner for Tesla with its recent production records and factories being built in China, Germany, and now Texas.
There was essentially no mention of the Tesla Roadster in Tesla’s Q2 earnings report or earnings call, while its ‘reveal-mate’, the Semi, has been having whispers of starting volume production soon, although it has been being delayed in its own right as well.
Aside from talks of Musk’s radical SpaceX Package that would see cold gas thrusters being added to the car which would allow for increased performance, there has been little to no mention of the car.
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 …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2018
While Tesla has not delayed that next gen Roadster, Musk has made comments on the Ride the Lightning Podcast stating that the Roadster is definitely a “dessert”.
“The new Roadster is a kind of dessert. Do we really need the new Roadster to accelerate our progress toward autonomy or toward electrification? No.”
He later went on to say that he does not foresee producing more than 10,000 units a year, which makes sense given its price.
While the thought of the Roadster is cool, Musk is right to devote resources to actually producing cars that are attainable for as many people as possible. After all, the best play in sustainability is getting EVs on the road today, not in the distant future. It is nice for brands to have their “halo cars” that attract people to the brand, but Tesla’s array of ‘standard’ models are arguably already cool enough for most people. Tesla’s not really the type of company that needs to produce some sort of electric supercar to get the brand more recognition. Clearly, we are seeing where Tesla’s priorities lie. The brand has been putting maximum effort into getting the Model Y out early and is building their Cybertruck factory as quickly as possible. On top of that, we have already been hearing speculation about new Tesla models such as a smaller pickup truck or even a compact car, it does not look like we will see any more luxury cars from Tesla for a while.
With there being a possibility that we might not see the next gen Roadster in Tesla’s plan for this year, it doesn’t mean that its effects will not be felt this year.
During Tesla’s fight with Porsche at the Nurburgring, we learned that Tesla would put forth a “plaid” powertrain to the Model S and later Model X and Roadster starting sometime this year. The powertrain would include three motors instead of two along with a bigger battery and different aerodynamic enhancements. We have no doubt in our minds that the development of the Roadster contributed to the upgraded powertrain that will let Tesla widen the gap it has over its competitors even more.
So while I’ll still pine over the Roadster, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Next Gen Telsa Roadster release date will get pushed even further towards 2021, or possibly even later.
But perhaps we might hear something about it during battery day, after all, promising over 600 miles of range probably requires a significant improvement in battery technology. Perhaps a Next Gen Tesla Roadster presentation of it own is in the future?
What do you guys think? How important is the Roadster to you? Do you think it will be delayed?