New 2nd Gen Tesla Roadster Coming In 4 Years


1st Gen Tesla Roadster [Image source: Tesla Motors]

Elon Musk has a way of slipping little tidbits of information into his press conferences. Last week, while announcing the new Ludicrous mode for the Model S P85D and Model X, the addition of a 90 kWh battery upgrade, and a lower priced 70kWh Model S with a single rear motor, he casually offered this morsel:

“There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid.”

Responding to questions afterward, Musk told former Jalopnik correspondent Chris Perkins that the second generation Tesla Roadster would not be based on a production Lotus the way the original was. The first edition was essentially a Lotus Elise crammed full of batteries with an electric motor driving the rear wheels.

Musk and Tesla like to keep the world focused on what’s coming next. Right now, the autosphere is thinking about the start of Model X production in a few months and the roll-out of the Model 3 in 2017. Now there’s something else to look forward to – an all new 2nd gen Tesla Roadster in 2019 that’s expected to be the fastest Tesla yet with driving mode codenamed ‘Maximum Plaid’.

The terms “Ludicrous” and “Maximum Plaid” are both references to Space Balls, the 1987 Mel Brooks spoof of Star Wars. Using them in his business shows that Elon Musk has a keen sense of humor and is rather enjoying his role as Head of Disruption for the automotive industry.

Elon Musk has already said the acceleration of the Model S in Ludicrous mode is faster than free falling from an airplane. How much faster can Maximum Plaid be? We will have to wait until 2019 to find out, but rest assured the second generation Tesla Roadster will be quite special, whatever it turns out to be.

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Author: Steve Hanley

I write about technology, the environment and anything on wheels from my home in Rhode Island. My Miata and I team up for occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

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  • arbeeex

    What would happen to Tesla achieving unit economies if it had a jeep utility (say Model PO) with one body design, one paint scheme (white?), one battery size and no options. A volume of 55,000 units per year for five years.

    The USPS is taking bids for a new fleet of small postal delivery vehicles. Is Tesla listening?

  • Just guessing based on comments I remember Elon saying – something like ‘2.5 Seconds 0-60 Mph should be doable’ – or similar, so I would not doubt he would try to have a target in real testing to even beat that figure!

    However – if the coming roadster has dual motors, and weights less than the current one – I can imagine times near 2.2 Seconds might be achievable – since the ‘Killacyce’ EV Motorbike Racer delivers something like 0-60 in under a second (I see from 0.8 Seconds to 0.97 Seconds listed out there!)