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Tesla Unveiled the Roadster 6 Years Ago Today, We Likely Won’t See Tesla’s Flying Sports Car On/Above the Roads Until 2026

Today is the 6th anniversary of the Roadster unveiling. With the SpaceX package, the Roadster will do 0 to 60mph in 1.1sec & can briefly hover off the ground. Exciting, however, we will not likely see the vehicle out on or above the roads until 2026.


Tesla first unveiled the second-generation Tesla Roadster back in 2017. The vehicle, simply called the second-generation Roadster or Tesla Roadster, appeared as a “One More Thing” during Tesla’s Semi unveiling event in Hawthorne California.

After Musk finished discussing the Tesla Semi, the CEO said goodbye to the audience, the lights went down, and then BAM, Tesla pulled off an Apple Steve Jobs-worthy one more thing moment.

Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen drove to the stage in a gorgeous open convertible red sports car. The vehicle’s design was a stunner from the get-go however, more than that, the 2nd generation Roadster had performance specs unimaginable in 2017.

Related News: Tesla’s 1st Ever YouTube Ad Shows a Model Y Getting Run Over by a Ford F-150 Pickup Truck

At the time, Tesla said the vehicle would do 0 to 60mph in 1.9 seconds, finish the quarter mile in under 8.8 seconds, have a 200KWh battery pack, and flat out be able to go over 250mph.

If these specs weren’t crazy enough, Elon Musk also revealed that the Roadster will have an optional SpaceX package. The SpaceX package will add two composite overwrapped pressure vessels in place of the back seats.

These will then let out highly compressed air through a high-pressure valve creating cold gas thrusters. Musk says the cold gas thrusters will drop the 0 to 60mph time of the 2nd generation Roadster to as little as 1.1 seconds.

It’s almost impossible to wrap your head around these numbers however, upping the ante, Musk also added that these cold gas thrusters can be fired downwards to lift the Roadster off the ground to enable the vehicle to do a short hop.

There are currently some weird hybrid car planes that can be driven on the road and taken to the air as planes. However, what Musk is proposing here is a pure sports car that also happens to be able to hover.

This is what I imagine when Musk says we should create a future we’re excited to live in. There is no doubt that plans for the next generation Roadster are wonderful beyond words.

Tesla first unveiled the Roadster back on November 16, 2017, which means, today is the 6th anniversary of the vehicle’s unveiling. So where is the flying sports car we were promised?

Over the past 6 years, Tesla has achieved several incredible feats. The EV maker has successfully ramped up Model 3 production, achieved profitability, built Giga Shanghai, Giga Texas, and Giga Berlin, introduced and ramped the Model Y to becoming the best-selling vehicle in the world, disrupted the energy storage market…

Lathrop Megapack factory, built more than 50,000 superchargers across the world, Giga Buffalo in New York, massively improved full self-driving technology, Dojo supercomputer, Cybertruck tooling, Optimus robot…

All this is to say that although we are disappointed that Tesla, even after 6 years still hasn’t gotten to building the next-generation Roadster, we can’t still fault the company for being lazy given all the incredible things that it has achieved in the meantime.

So when will we see the Roadster out on the roads? My guess is no earlier than 2026. Why so pessimistic? Tesla is currently working on delivering and ramping up Cybertruck production.

After Cybertruck, Tesla is already preparing to start production of a compact $25,000 vehicle. According to a Tesla insider, the EV maker is internally planning to begin production of that car as soon as late 2024 or early 2025.

With the Cybertruck, Tesla is targeting a production rate of around 250,000 vehicles a year and with the yet-to-be-announced $25,000 car, Tesla is planning a yearly production rate of 5 million vehicles.

The Roadster, on the other hand, Tesla will be lucky to sell 10,000 units a year. Given the difference in magnitude between the Roadster project and Cybertruck and the $25,000 vehicle, I don’t expect Tesla to start working in earnest on a flying sports car until production of the two vehicles is fully ramped.

This is certainly disappointing for anyone who put in a $50,000 deposit for a Roadster and especially disappointing for anyone who put in a $250,000 deposit for a Founders Series Roadster. However, we’ll be sure to keep you posted if we learn more about Tesla’s plans.

Until then, make sure to visit our site regularly for the latest updates.

So what do you think? Disappointed to learn that it has been 6 years since Tesla first unveiled the Roadster? When do you think Tesla will start production of the fly sports car? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image: Screenshot from Ryan Shaw YouTube channel

For more information check out: A Tesla Cybertruck Goes Face-to-Face Against a Rivian R1T in 1st Off-Road Comparison

Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.