Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the new Roadster electric supercar will look better than the prototype currently on display at a museum in Los Angeles.
First released in 2008, the Roadster was Tesla’s first-ever vehicle, an electric sports car based on the chassis of a Lotus. The $100,000 vehicle helped demonstrate the performance potential of electric cars while also shifting perceptions about greener vehicles only being practical (and plain) like the Toyota Prius or Nissan Leaf.
A prototype of the new Roadster is on display at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, but in a tweet, Musk says the “production article will look different (better).” He didn’t go into detail regarding exactly what will change. Development of the car is supposed to be completed this year, with production beginning sometime in 2022.
Rocket thrusters — The new Roadster will use Tesla’s own in-house design. Its specs are supposed to be quite impressive. The company says the vehicle’s base model will be capable of going from 0-60mph in just 1.9 seconds, with a top speed of 250 miles. That would make it faster than Porsche’s electric Taycan, and one of the fastest production cars in the world. The range is slated at an impressive 620 miles.
That performance won’t come cheap — the base Roadster is expected to cost a staggering $200,000.
According to a plaque that sits in front of the Roadster at the Peterson Museum, a special “SpaceX package” will incorporate “cold air rocket thrusters” — basically a pressurized gas tank that generates thrust — allowing for 0-60 speeds of just 1.1 seconds. Based on the antics of some Tesla drivers, we fully expect someone to fly through a tree and blame it on Autopilot.
Low-fly zone — There are questions about whether or not such thruster technology would actually be street legal, however. But maybe Tesla has figured out a way to overcome legal challenges around releasing pressurized gas from a car. Though, Tesla has continued delaying production of the Roadster and it’s not unheard of for meme-king Musk to sell futuristic features that are nowhere near ready. You know, like saying fully autonomous driving would be ready by 2017... and then 2019... and then 2020... and then “soon.” Or that customer’s cars would soon be able to operate as robo-taxis.