Iconic talk show host Jay Leno loves cars, particularly those that are unique and are capable of going incredibly fast. After retiring from late-night TV, Leno now hosts Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC, a program where he goes hands-on with some of the world’s most compelling vehicles. This week, Jay Leno’s Garage featured a segment about a rather impressive and unique car — the next-generation Tesla Roadster.
Just like his segment with the Tesla Model S back in 2012, Jay Leno was joined by Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen, who provided some insights and background on the upcoming all-electric supercar. Leno met up with the Chief Designer in Tesla’s design studio driving his first-generation Roadster, which he dubbed as a revolutionary automobile.
“I’m driving the past so I can look at the future,” Leno said.
Leno’s Tesla visit began with a brief test drive of the Model 3. Leno was largely impressed with the electric sedan, stating that the smaller car “feels exactly like a Model S.” That said, what really got the veteran host excited was the Model 3’s faster, more insane brother — the next-generation Tesla Roadster. Leno’s response to the upcoming Roadster was one of wonder, comparing the vehicle’s top speed to that of a fighter jet and the car’s quarter-mile time to that of a purpose-built drag racer. The veteran host’s inner child was in full force during the segment, particularly during a sprint when he alternately screamed “I’ll buy it! I’ll take it!” while Franz was flooring the vehicle.
The next-generation Tesla Roadster is designed to be a supercar to end all supercars. Equipped with three electric motors, the base variant of the vehicle is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, allowing it to do quarter-mile runs in 8.8 seconds. The next-gen Roadster’s top speed of over 250 mph, as well as its 200 kWh battery that gives it a range of 620 miles on a single charge, are all designed, according to Elon Musk, to “give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline-powered cars.”
What is particularly notable about the Roadster is that Tesla has only revealed the specs of the vehicle’s base variant. Elon Musk has since stated that there will be higher-trim models available, among them being the nothing-short-of-insane-but-cool-just-the-same SpaceX option, which uses rocket tech to help the supercar go faster. That said, Tesla’s ambitious performance claims for the Roadster were recently confirmed by test driver Emile Bouret, who gave test drives in Maximum Plaid Mode during the vehicle’s unveiling last November. According to the professional driver, the Roadster’s specs are not theoretical at all, as Tesla has actually “done those numbers.”
The production of the next-generation Tesla Roadster is expected to begin in 2020. Test drives for the all-electric supercar are expected to begin sometime next year as well.
Watch the Tesla Model 3 and next-gen Tesla Roadster’s segment in Jay Leno’s Garage in the video below.