Giving humanity an electric semi truck sure is exciting, but not nearly as exciting as announcing the world's quickest road car. Elon Musk knows this well, so while launching Tesla's long-awaited Semi, he also decided to show off the brand new Roadster. And while there may be a few question marks hanging above Tesla's production lines at the moment, the sports car's numbers are truly staggering. No wonder, since Musk wants the Roadster to serve as the final nail in the coffin for internal combustion vehicles.
Make no mistake, this will be a $200,000+ vehicle. For that, customers are promised to get a 2+2 with extremely small rear seats, as well as a 200 kWh battery pack granting it a whopping 620 mile range.
Of course that range will drop significantly once you put Musk's claimed performance figures to the test, which include a 0-60 mph sprint in 1.9 seconds, a 100 mph photo opportunity after 4.2 seconds, and a quarter mile time of 8.9 seconds. Tesla's sports car is also supposed to hit a top speed of "over 250 miles per hour," propelled by almost 7400 lb-ft of torque.
To keep it under control at those speeds, the Roadster will have an active rear wing, as well as an aggressive diffuser made of carbon fiber. The show car also features LED lights, a transparent removable roof panel, and a futuristic steering wheel straight out of Knight Rider 2021.
If you strongly believe that Tesla can sort out its production issues by then, get ready for a base price starting at $200,000, with a $50,000 reservation required. Of course you can go even further, as Tesla will offer a "Roadster Founders Series," which will be a $250,000 affair.
Needless to say, Tesla is not the only one trying to spearhead the electric sports car moment. McLaren is certainly cooking up something rapid, the entire VW Group is hard at work through Porsche and Lamborghini, not to mention Jaguar and Aston Martin with the backing of Williams Advanced Engineering. Meanwhile, companies like Rimac push the envelope even further, selling their tech to whoever is interested around the globe.
Such a rate of progress was never seen before, which means Tesla will have a much harder time wowing us in the next decade. But we sure like to see them trying.
Tesla gave rides in the Roadster to select VIPs at the unveil event, including Brooks from , who shot a video that includes launch and acceleration demos. If you watch closely, you'll see the center screen displays a "plaid" warp speed animation, first hinted during the Model S's Ludicrous mode announcement.