The Tesla Roadster is an upcoming all-electric battery-powered four-seater sports car concept made by Tesla, Inc. Tesla has said it will be capable of 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) in 1.9 seconds, which is quicker than any street legal production car to date at its announcement in November 2017. 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 ‘Plaid’, which should enter production in late 2021. 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.
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. The new Roadster was first teased in 2014. At the time, it was also referred to as the Tesla Model R.
In 2015, Elon Musk suggested a new Roadster, capable of faster acceleration. A tweet by Elon Musk in December 2016 reconfirmed a second Roadster was in the works, but still “some years away”. The second Roadster was designed by Franz von Holzhausen.
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”. 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.” The car will retail for upward of $200,000; 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. Additional information followed after the teaser, such as the various world-record speeds Tesla said it will break.
In June 2018, Elon Musk revealed a potential feature called “SpaceX option package” for the Roadster. 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. Working pressure would be 10,000 psi (700 bar).
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.
The second-generation Tesla Roadster is a 2+2 coupé 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.
The Roadster has three electric motors, one in front and two at the rear, 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.
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).
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).
Its claimed 0 to 400 m (0 to 1⁄4 mile) time will be under 9 seconds, with a top speed above 400 km/h (250 mph). 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. 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.
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Photo:Editor928111, NextGenTeslaRoadster (cropped), CC BY-SA 4.0
Photo:English: Steve JurvetsonDeutsch: Steve Jurvetson, Inside the new Tesla Roadster, CC BY 2.0