All-new Tesla Roadster delayed until 2022

Tesla returns to its roots with new Roadster, which could be the fastest electric production car

  • Elon Musk announces delay in a podcast
  • Tesla focusing on other projects before Roadster
  • Claimed 0-60mph time of 1.9 seconds

The launch of the new Tesla Roadster has been delayed. Tesla boss Elon Musk revealed the Roadster will now be launched in 2022 on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. The delay is not thought to be a result of the coronavirus but because the company is focusing on other models before the flagship sports car. Production of the Roadster was originally scheduled for this year.

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 reach UK shores next year, is thought to be top priority for the time being.

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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. 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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