Tesla does not want its models to fall into oblivion: after reaping a year of success with more than 1.3 million vehicles delivered worldwide, the next coming years would apparently be somewhat empty in terms of innovations. The long-awaited Tesla Cybertruck should make its appearance this year, but what will come next? Rumors always point to the also long-awaited affordable compact Tesla (Model 2 or Model C), but the arrival of the Tesla Roadster cannot be ruled out either. Once again, the electric super-car returns to the scene, this time mentioned by the company's chief designer himself.
Franz Von Holzhausen is one of the most authoritative voices within the Austin. Texas brand. The head of Design has been working on the Roadster project for years, as a matter of fact: back in 2017, Tesla presented two completely groundbreaking models in one sitting: the Tesla Semi and the second-generation Tesla Roadster. Although the Semi truck materialized at the end of last year (2022), the EV sports car still does not even have a presentation date yet. However, Von Holzhausen has openly commented that the wait will be worth it by all means, and that the data will prove it.
Von Holzhausen has recently held an event in which he commented on the launch of the new Roadster, stating that the car is still under development, but it has improved in each of its aspects. He also referred to the driving experience as “spectacular”, working with a very low center of gravity and an immensely powerful powertrain. Moreover, he pointed out that the aerodynamics will be “revolutionary”, as Tesla has developed an all-new concept to optimize airflow in the car.
When the second generation of the Roadster was introduced, the prototype that advanced the lines offered some superlative performance figures. For a long time, the Tesla website presented an acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, a top speed of more than 250 mph and an approved range close to 620 miles. Now Mr. Von Holzhausen ensures that the final Roadster will improve each and every one of these figures, although he has not specified any other numbers either.
Nobody actually doubts that Tesla is capable of improving those preliminary numbers; the doubts are rather related as to when the new Roadster will finally arrive as part of the final product portfolio. Even at the company itself they don't know exactly the probable dates, as Von Holzhausen told the “Ride the Lightning” podcast: "We're developing the car. I think they know that we have priorities as a company and the priorities are mass electrification. The Roadster is not a mass product”.
Tesla will continue to focus on the current successful EV gamut, in addition to the launch of the Cybertruck and very likely some expected improvement in current models, as has already happened with the Plaid versions of the Model S and Model X.
With neither a specific date, nor hope that there will actually be one soon, the Roadster project is still in the pipeline. Meanwhile, on the Tesla website it is possible to reserve a unit upon payment of $50,000. At the time, it was speculated that the electric sports car could overcome the barrier of a quarter of a million dollars, a figure that is not very excessive considering that the 1,020-horsepower Model S and Model X Plaid exceed $140,000. For the moment, it is all theory, but if Tesla can keep their promises, the most powerful EV ever produced could be soon a reality.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.