All-new 2022 Tesla Roadster will get Plaid powertrain

New Tesla Roadster, said to manage 0-60mph in under two seconds, delayed until 2022

  • Elon Musk confirms delay on Twitter
  • Tesla focusing on other projects before Roadster
  • Claimed 0-60mph time of 1.9 seconds

The Tesla Roadster will get a version of the company’s new Plaid powertrain when it finally enters production. The new Tesla Model S Plaid has 1,006bhp and a two-second 0-60mph time, and it’s thought the Roadster will be faster still. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has reaffirmed that it’ll be 2022 before the Roadster launches.

You can expect a 200mph top speed from the Tesla Model S Plaid (“on the right tyres”), but the Roadster will push the envelope further. A 250mph top speed has been mooted and it’s said to be able to manage 0-100mph in just 4.2 seconds from three electric motors.

When it was revealed, the Tesla Roadster was effectively in a class of its own but a number of electric hypercars have since been unveiled, including the Lotus Evija and Pininfarina Battista. Based on hints from Musk when it was unveiled, the Roadster may come in much cheaper than either of those million-pound machines.

The new Roadster was a surprise announcement at the launch of Tesla’s new Semi Truck HGV in 2017. It’ll be the first Tesla sports car since the original Lotus Elise-based model of 2008, which went out of production in 2012. The Tesla Model Y, set to finally reach UK shores this year, is thought to be top priority for the moment.

The gulf between the original Tesla and the projected specifications of the new Roadster show how far electric cars have come in just a few years - the 2008 Tesla Roadster was the only EV capable of getting anywhere near 200 miles of range, but was often said to be unreliable.

New Tesla Roadster: performance

Tesla claims the new Roadster will do 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds and 0-100mph in 4.2 seconds, as well as completing a standing quarter mile in 8.8 seconds. If these figures are achievable in the real world, the model will set a number of production-car records. Tesla did not announce an official top speed, but Musk suggested it’ll be around 250mph.

The new car will be powered by a 200kWh battery pack and three electric motors. It'll be four-wheel drive, with two motors powering the rear wheels and one powering the fronts. A maximum range of 620 miles is claimed. The Roadster is likely to use a similar 'skateboard' chassis to other Tesla models, which keeps the heavy batteries low. This helps the car's centre of gravity, while the lack of an engine means it can be very aerodynamic.

Tesla also revealed that its new sports car will have 2+2 seating, meaning there'll be small seats in the rear, suitable for occasional use. There's to be plenty of luggage space too, most probably thanks to the car lacking a traditional engine and gearbox.

Although the car is called a Roadster, it'll feature a removable glass roof so you can switch between coupe and convertible body styles - like the Porsche 911 Targa. The roof is a lightweight unit that stores in the boot.

New Tesla Roadster: price and release date

Production of the new Tesla Roadster is now set to begin in 2022 and buyers can reserve their car now with a deposit of $38,000 (around £29,000). The standard car will start at $200,000 (around £150,000), while there'll also be 1,000 examples produced of a limited-run, $250,000 (around £190,000) 'Founders Series' model. To get your hands on one of these models, you'll need to hand over an eye-watering reservation fee of $189,000 (£144,000).

Read our Tesla reviews here.

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