The second edition of the Tesla Roadster was initially scheduled for production and delivery in 2020, but two years later the car has still not been produced and details are still scarce. Here’s what we know about the next-generation Tesla Roadster.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the next generation Tesla Roadster in 2017 at the Tesla Semi unveiling event. It wasn’t expected, and Musk surprised everyone in the room when the new design was released to viewers. Various details have since been released but it’s not yet clear when the vehicle will actually go into production.
The Roadster may be able to hover
Musk unveiled a potential SpaceX package for the Roadster in 2018, which would use SpaceX cold-gas thrusters to enable short-term hover capabilities. Tesla has reiterated this potential on several occasions, describing a potential 0-60 MPH acceleration time of 1.1 seconds. It’s not yet clear whether the FAA will have anything to say about the vehicle’s potential hover capability, but the 0-60 time of 1.1 seconds would be Tesla’s fastest by a considerable margin and one of the fastest on Earth.
The new Roadster will actually do something like this https://t.co/fIsTAYa4x8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 9, 2019
You can still reserve a Tesla Roadster
Tesla Roadster pre-orders are still available on Tesla.com. “Roadster reservations require an initial credit card payment of $5,000, plus a wire transfer payment of $45,000 due in 10 days. Reservations are not final until payment by bank transfer is received,” describes Tesla. Reservations for the Founders Series Roadster are closed.
Production of the Tesla Roadster was scheduled to start in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and now in 2023
Production dates for the Tesla Roadster have changed several times in the vehicle’s history. After production was expected to begin in 2019 with deliveries in 2020, Tesla pushed production to the “next 12-18 months” during its Q2 2020 Earnings Call. This pushed production into mid-2021 as the pandemic raged and limited production across the industry.
In January 2021, Musk again delayed production to 2022, saying engineering of the vehicle was due to be completed late last year.
Finishing engineering this year, production will begin next year. With the goal of having a drivable release candidate design later this summer. The three-motor drive system and advanced battery work were important precursors.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2021
In late 2021, Musk again delayed production to 2023 on the condition that Tesla could avoid “mega drama” with the supply chain in 2022. It is relatively unknown whether the 2022 supply chain was “mega drama”. since the description is objective. However, there are many indications that Tesla may be ready to introduce some new products to its lineup next year.
The Cybertruck is set to begin production early next year, and a low-volume vehicle like the Roadster could be a great test of Tesla’s resilience and supply chain health if it can start producing the supercar in 2023.
The Tesla Roadster will likely be built in California
Tesla will likely build the vehicle in California.
“We think probably the Tesla Roadster, a future program, would also make sense in California as well,” Musk said during the company’s Q2 2020 Earnings Call.
Fremont is the only plant that currently builds all four Tesla models and continues to produce low-volume vehicles such as the Model S and Model X, which account for only a small percentage of the company’s overall shipments each quarter. Fremont is confined to space, but documents and other plans have indicated that Tesla is expanding the plant to make room for more projects.
Unexpectedly, the automaker will produce the Cybertruck battery packs at its Fremont plant, and the 4680 battery will be built down the road at Tesla’s Kato Road plant.
Gigafactory Texas will be reserved for mass production of Model Ys, Cybertrucks, and potentially Semis in the future.
If you want to see the Roadster today, it’s currently on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles as part of the “Inside Tesla: Supercharging the Electric Revolution” exhibit.
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