The second edition of the Tesla Roadster was initially slated for production and delivery in 2020, but two years later, the car still has not been produced, and details are still slim. Here’s what we know about the next-gen Tesla Roadster.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the next-gen Tesla Roadster in 2017 during the reveal event of the Tesla Semi. It was not expected, and Musk surprised everyone in the room when the new design was released to spectators. Since then, various details have been released but it still remains unclear when the vehicle will actually enter production.
The Roadster might be able to hover
Musk unveiled a potential SpaceX package for the Roadster in 2018, which would utilize SpaceX cold-gas thrusters to enable short-term hovering abilities. Tesla has reiterated this potential on several occasions, describing a potential 1.1-second 0-60 MPH acceleration time. It is still unclear whether the FAA will have anything to say about the vehicle’s potential hovering capability, but the 1.1-second 0-60 time would be Tesla’s fastest by a considerable margin, and one of the fastest on Earth.
The new Roadster will actually do something like this https://t.co/fIsTAYa4x8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 9, 2019
You can still reserve a Tesla Roadster
Tesla Roadster reservations are still available on Tesla.com. “Roadster reservations require an initial $5,000 credit card payment, plus a $45,000 wire transfer payment due in 10 days. Reservations are not final until the wire transfer payment is received,” Tesla describes. Founders Series Roadster reservations are closed.
Production of the Tesla Roadster was expected to start in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and now 2023
Production dates of the Tesla Roadster have shifted several times in the vehicle’s history. After production was expected to begin in 2019 with deliveries in 2020, Tesla shifted production to “the next 12 to 18 months” during the Q2 2020 Earnings Call. This pushed production to mid-2021 as the pandemic raged on and limited production output across the industry.
In January 2021, Musk once again delayed production to 2022, stating engineering on the vehicle was set to be completed late last year.
Finishing engineering this year, production starts next year. Aiming to have release candidate design drivable late summer. Tri-motor drive system & advanced battery work were important precursors.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2021
In late 2021, Musk once again delayed production to 2023 as long as Tesla could avoid “mega drama” with the supply chain in 2022. It is relatively unknown if 2022’s supply chain was “mega drama,” as the description is objective. However, there are a lot of indications Tesla could be ready to introduce some new products to its lineup next year.
The Cybertruck is ready to begin production early next year, and a low-volume vehicle like the Roadster could be a great test of Tesla’s resilience and supply chain health if it can begin manufacturing the supercar in 2023.
The Tesla Roadster will likely be built in California
Tesla will likely build the vehicle in California.
“We think, probably, also the Tesla Roadster, a future program, would also make sense in California,” Musk said during the company’s Q2 2020 Earnings Call.
Fremont is the only plant that currently builds all four Tesla models, and it continues to manufacture low-volume vehicles like the Model S and Model X, which only make up a small percentage of the company’s overall deliveries each quarter. Fremont is space-confined, but filings and other plans have indicated Tesla is expanding the plant to make room for more projects.
Unexpectedly, the automaker will produce Cybertruck battery packs at the Fremont factory, and the 4680 battery is built down the street at Tesla’s Kato Road facility.
Gigafactory Texas will be reserved for mass Model Y, Cybertruck, and potentially Semi production in the future.
If you want to see the Roadster today, it is currently on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles as part of the “Inside Tesla: Supercharging the Electric Revolution” exhibit.
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