Tesla boss Elon Musk says the much-delayed, next-generation Roadster supercar could finally arrive in 2024, four years after deliveries were supposed to begin.
Announced all the way back in 2017, the Tesla Roadster is a successor to the company’s first car, with 2+2 seating, a removable targa roof and an enormous 200 kWh battery pack. The car is claimed to accelerate to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, cover a quarter-mile in 8.8 seconds and have a top speed of over 250 mph.
It is also said to have a range of 620 miles, far beyond that of any of the best electric cars currently available. The car had a price of $200,000 when it was revealed, with buyers asked to pay a $50,000 deposit upfront.
Now, after years of delays and very few public appearances, Musk says the car might actually arrive in 2024. Answering a question from the audience at a Tesla shareholder meeting this week, Musk began by asking: “Where is that thing?”, before adding: “We expect to complete the engineering and design of the next-gen Tesla Roadster this year and hopefully start production – this is not a commitment – but hopefully start production next year.”
It would be fair to say the Roadster hasn’t been a priority for Tesla, which since the car was announced has brought the Model Y and Model S Plaid to market. It has also been working on the Semi, an electric articulated truck, and the Cybertruck. Recognising this, Musk described the Roadster as “not even the icing on the cake, it’s the cherry on the icing on the cake.”
Musk went on to say how the next-gen Roadster will have a SpaceX-branded options package that will “make it truly next-level”. The Tesla boss has spoken before about this package, which is named after his spacecraft manufacturer and is said to fit the car with cold air thrusters, facing backwards in a bid to improve acceleration.
Will this really happen? Is it road legal? Will even the regular Roadster meet the lofty performance claims set out back in 2017? There are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the car, but if engineering and design really is due to finish this year, we might start to see some answers soon.