Tesla Roadster launch pushed back two years to 2022

Tesla Roadster revealed as quickest-accelerating road car yet

Model S Plaid saloon will now give us the first taste of Tesla’s 1000bhp-plus tri-motor powertrain

Following the unveiling of the 1000bhp-plus Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid yesterday, Tesla boss Elon Musk has confirmed the long-awaited Roadster supercar has been delayed until 2022. 

Responding to a user on Twitter who enquired about progress on the Porsche Taycan rival, Musk said Tesla will be “finishing engineering this year” ahead of a planned production start date next year. Completion of a driveable prototype is hoped to take place at the end of summer.

The delay is attributed to the development of Tesla’s new tri-motor powertrain and advanced battery technology, which will make their market debut in the new saloon and SUV variants.  

The second-generation Roadster was first shown in late 2017 and was expected to enter production this year. 

It won’t be the first Tesla to miss its intended production date: the launch of the Model 3 saloon was plagued by production setbacks, the Semi lorry – originally planned to launch in 2019 – didn’t appear on the market as planned last year and Musk has already warned that Tesla will be “lucky” to begin production of the radical Cybertruck pick-up before 2022.  

Tesla says the launch version of the Roadster will pack 7376lb ft from three electric motors and be able to do 0-60mph in 1.9sec – a similar feat to that claimed for the Model S Plaid. 

At its unveiling, Musk said the successor to Tesla’s first production car, which went off sale nine years ago, can accelerate from 0-100mph in 4.2sec and complete a quarter-mile sprint in 8.9sec. He did suggest that producing a faster version of the car could cause some safety concerns.

“[An upgrade is] just a question of safety,” he said. “Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities.”


It’s also claimed that the Roadster – which features a removable glass lid and wraparound rear section to give it a look similar to the Mazda MX-5 RF – will have a top speed of more than 250mph.

Musk revealed that the car’s 200kWh battery pack enables it to have a 620-mile range, which would break the record for a production electric vehicle. The top-rung Model S Plaid+ is claimed to offer 520 miles of range on the American EPA cycle.

“The point of doing this is to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” said Musk. “Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”

The Roadster was originally pegged to arrive on roads in 2020, initially priced from $250,000 (about £189,000) for the first 1000 cars, which will be sold as Founders Edition models.

Reservations for these required a payment of £189,000. Subsequent units will be priced from $200,000 (£151,020), with reservations available for £38,000.

Like Tesla’s other models, the Roadster will be equipped with the company’s latest autonomous driving technology.

Since 2016, all Tesla cars have been equipped with eight surround cameras to provide 360deg visibility around the car up to 250 metres away. There are also 12 ultrasonic sensors, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects, as well as a forward-facing radar that can see through heavy rain, fog, dust and even underneath the car ahead.

The Roadster will support over-the-air software updates, meaning performance, autonomous features and safety systems can be boosted even after a car has been purchased. Recent examples of Tesla updates have enabled quicker 0-60mph times and enhanced Autopilot functionality.

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Source: Autocar

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