Tesla’s new second-generation Roadster would be the fastest production car ever made

Tesla surprised everyone and unveiled a new Roadster on Thursday evening.

“The new Tesla Roadster will be the fastest production car ever made, period,” CEO Elon Musk said.

The base model of the Roadster will do 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds.

“It will be the first time any car has broken two seconds at 0-60,” Musk said. “It will be the fastest to 100 mph, 4.2 seconds to 100 mph,” Musk said.

It will do a quarter-mile in 8.9 seconds, Musk said.

“This will be the first time any production car has broken nine seconds in a quarter-mile. These are all world records, This is what we are achieving in the prototype.

Musk said the car will have a top speed of about 250 mph and a 250 kWh battery pack, which gives it a 620-mile range.

Elon Musk promised a surprise during the Tesla semi unveiling event, and boy did he deliver: the return of the Roadster. But it’s no repeat performance. The stunning four-seater roadster boasts jaw-dropping numbers, that if they measure up to Musk’s claims, will make it the world’s fastest production car. In his remarks, Musk described it as a

“smackdown” to the fossil fuel-addicted auto industry.
“will likely cause Porsche and Ferrari to break a sweat”


The finale to his semi-truck reveal was all about driving home that point. As the opening guitar licks of the Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage” blasted over the loud speaker, a beam of red zipped across the parking lot. The second-generation Tesla Roadster came to an abrupt halt, and a grinning Elon Musk came back on the mic to introduce his latest baby, which will likely cause Porsche and Ferrari to break a sweat.

Musk claimed the base model will do zero to 60 in 1.9 seconds, which if true would make it the first time a production vehicle cracked the 2-second threshold. He also said the new Roadster would climb from 0 to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and will clear the quarter mile in 8.9 seconds (in case the Fast & Furious drag race franchise comes calling.)

“It’ll be faster than that jet over there,” Musk quipped, as an airplane soared over the exultant crowd crammed into Tesla’s Hawthorne, California facility.
““It’ll be faster than that jet over there””

Musk said he wouldn’t confirm the top speed, but hinted that it was “above 250 mph.” By comparison, the Agera RS by Sweden’s Koenigsegg currently holds the world record at 277.9 mph.

As fans gasped, Musk said the Roadster had a 200kwh battery pack and a 620-mile range per charge, or over 1,000 kilometers. Again, another record shattered. Or so Musk claims. Imagine driving to Los Angeles to San Francisco, and back, without recharging, Musk teased.

The vehicle has three motors, one in the front and two in the rear, all-wheel drive and torque steering.

The design is clear strike against the sports car industry. There are possible cues from all the majors players, including a McLaren P1 cockpit, an Acura NSX exterior, Bugatti Chiron headlights, a Targa-like roof, and a rear reminiscent of an Aston Martin DB10.

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

While Model 3 customers wait, Tesla has dug in its heels and reminded its fans where the brand-love all began — the 2008 Roadster. Musk has been teasing the return Tesla’s first production car since 2011, when the vehicle ended its run. But the promised date of 2014 came and went, and instead the electric automakers fans got the Model S, followed by the X and the 3. This evening’s semi truck unveiling was meant to signal the next stage in Musk’s Master Plan. As Musk has shown time and again he has learned the art of flipping the script by delivering heavy on delight.

At 200k, Tesla is firmly in McLaren, Ferrari, Aston Martin, territory. As of today Tesla still faces rampant quality control issues that would not be tolerated at this price point. Now, if Musk is actually able to keep his 2020 launch date (which is by no means what you should expect given that it is Musk) then they have ~3 years to fix QC which is a lengthy process but definitely doable as it’s a function of growing pains and learning your way. Making cars at scale is hard.

My bigger thing is that it is no secret that these big name supercar brands are researching electric. So if Tesla’s big sell is just electric, then I don’t know how much of an advantage they will have after a few years. While no one can with complete certainty say Tesla are leading the pack when it comes to electric car technology, it is undeniable they are leading the market in sales and actual production EV’s (in USA).

I could never afford one of these cars, but I would imagine at that price point you’re facing the decision of taking the Tesla, a base tier McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc and I imagine many supercar buyers will opt for an established brand that has been making supercars for years. Now you may say this may be a bad assumption if you look at the hype around the Model 3. But this is a different market. Supercar buyers are car lovers, they’re buying a complete story here, and Tesla has to tell a compelling story to get a person to chose them over a Ferrari 488 GT or DB11 (or whatever equivalent these brands produce in 2020).

Is being electric with an insane claimed 600+ miles of range and 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds enough? Maybe…but supercar makers will not simply ignore the electric car market.

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