At at Tesla launch event last night, a surprise popped out of its upcoming electric semi-truck as Elon Musk announced the resurrection of the car that started it all – the Tesla Roadster. Based on prototype performance, the next generation Roadster is on track to zoom from 0-60 mph in under 2 seconds, have a top speed of 250+ mph and a single charge range of 620 miles.
Tesla's Roadster first broke cover in July 2006, and was rolled out two years later. The electric sportscar was rated by the EPA as being good for 244 miles (393 km) per charge, it could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (0-97 km/h) in under 4 seconds and had a top speed of 125 mph (200 km/h).
During the reveal, Musk said that the new "base model" Roadster will go from 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds and rock the quarter mile in 8.9 seconds (the official specs state 8.8 seconds). He was a little cagey about the top speed, but reckoned it to be above 250 mph.
The new model will have a 200 kWh battery pack for 620 miles of range, which he said would get drivers from LA to San Francisco and back – at highway speeds – on a single charge. "The point of doing this is just to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars," Musk quipped.
There will be three motors, two at the rear and one at the front, and the new all-wheel drive Roadster will be capable of a ludicrous 10,000 Nm of torque. It'll be a four seater too, but Musk admitted that "giant people" simply wouldn't fit in the rear. The removable glass roof can be stored in the trunk during open air driving.
The second generation Roadster is due for release in 2020, and the base model price is going to be US$200,000. Details of non-standard configurations will follow at some point before the first production model hits the highway.
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