Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has unveiled to the world in a surprise their second generation Roadster, together with their launch of the Tesla Semi electric freight truck, which is scheduled for mass production in 2020.
When the first ever Tesla Roadster was released in 2004, it revolutionized how electric cars should be, with its impressive range per charge, and its performance, at a time when electric cars were no better than electric milk floats and electric golf carts. At the time, the Tesla Roadster was based on the Lotus Elise, but this new one is completely made by Tesla from the ground up.
Now, the world’s largest electric car manufacturer has unveiled its second generation of the Tesla Roadster, and its design is a complete departure from any Tesla we’ve seen.
The front end is dominated, or rather, minimally discerned by its slim LED headlights, and the typical curvaceous Tesla shape we’ve seen in all its electric luxury cars. The rear looks rather radical, with its insanely wafer thin LED tail lights and diffuser.
Inside, like every other Tesla, it is devoid of any buttons, and the center console is dominated by an extremely large touch screen infotainment system. The Roadster has a radical looking steering wheel, which we believe will not make it into production. While the first generation Tesla Roadster was a strict two seater, this new one is now a 2 + 2, meaning there are two tiny rear seats designed for people whose legs were amputated. The roof panel is removable, and can be stored inside the car.
The specs of the Tesla Roadster are very impressive. In a single charge, the Tesla Roadster can travel up to 992 km, accelerate from 0-100 kph in 1.9 seconds, 0-160 kph in 4.2 seconds, and finish a quarter mile drag race (1/4 mile) in 8.9 seconds, making it the fastest accelerating car in the world. It also has a top speed of 400 kph, which while not the fastest on record, are nevertheless very impressive numbers that never had been achieved by any electric car ever.
This stats are Elon Musk’s final nail to the coffin of its plan to make electric cars mainstream. With an electric car having all its peak torque available at just zero (0) rpm, and having a single speed gearbox, the Tesla Roadster doesn’t suffer from the lag caused by a car needing to downshift or upshift, or wait for the turbos to spool if the car has a turbocharged combustion engine.
The performance is mainly due to a 200 kwh battery pack, and three electric motors that produce an insane amount of torque, it’s basically the torquiest car once it is put into production, with an unimaginable 10,000 Nm of it from just 0 rpm.
Elon Musk announced that the car will be available by 2020, and reservations for the limited edition Founders Series is now open, which is limited to 1,000 customers. Each car costs US$250,000.