Tesla Roadster preview
Tesla, responding to the established car manufacturers who have got ever closer to the American company’s all-electric products over the years. When Elon Musk’s automotive company was in its infancy, it built a Lotus Elise-based two-seat sports car with electric power called the Tesla Roadster, which first appeared in 2008 and ended production in 2011; it was Musk’s personal example that was launched into space in 2018, with the mannequin ‘Starman’ at the wheel. Well, now it is back, but this time – despite being called Roadster – it’s actually a 2+2 sports coupe.
What will its rivals be?
If Porsche gets around to making an electric sports car, one of those – but, at the moment, the Tesla Roadster will have no direct rivals. Its closest competitor is the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, although that car is more of an alternative to Tesla’s own Model S. Audi is talking about making the next generation R8 supercar into an electric vehicle, so that could also be a potential rival for the Roadster.
Any tech info?
There are a few scant details on the 2020 Tesla Roadster at the moment, but it is said to have three electric motors and a huge 200kWh lithium-ion battery pack – this is twice the size of the largest unit currently fitted to a Model S. Torque is said to be in the region of 10,000Nm at the wheels; yes, that’s right – ten-thousand Newton metres. As a result, Tesla is claiming some astonishing performance figures for the Roadster, such as 0-100km/h in around two seconds (it will be four-wheel drive, as the motors will be spread across the axles) and a top speed in excess of 250km/h. An option called the ‘SpaceX Package’ will add ten cold-gas thrusters to the car, to improve its manoeuvrability, although at this stage the intimation is that this option would necessitate the replacement of the rear seats with fuel tanks for the thrusters.
What will the range be like?
Tesla says the huge battery pack allows the Roadster to go up to 1,000km on a single charge, making it a car that will go further than most turbodiesels for range alone. Musk’s company is also saying it will develop Supercharger V3 technology for the Roadster, which will allow it to charge at a greater rate than 350kW – meaning it shouldn’t take hours and hours and hours to replenish the battery pack.
As ever with this disruptor of a company, they’re practically out of this world. The brand has picked up a devout and diehard following called the Teslerati, who are quick to diminish anyone who dares to voice negative thoughts about Tesla and its products on social media channels, and what would surely be the world’s fastest production car in the form of the Roadster is bound to be generating almost ridiculous levels of hype amongst these fans.