Tesla has unveiled a surprise new $200,000 electric Roadster model with a claimed 0-60mph time of 1.9 seconds.
Described by its makers as “the quickest car in the world, with record-setting acceleration, range and performance,” the new Roadster was revealed during an event at Tesla’s California base focusing on the brand’s new electric truck, which itself can complete the 0-60mph sprint in five seconds.
To the surprise of guests at the event the Roadster was driven out of the truck’s trailer and immediately demonstrated its almost instant acceleration.
Three electric motors are fitted in the 2+2 sports car, providing some 10,000 Nm of torque. According to Tesla founder Elon Musk it will also hit 100mph in only 4.9 seconds and complete a quarter mile in 8.9 seconds. Its top speed will be 250mph while it will also offer a range between charges of 620 miles. Like all other current Tesla models it will include full autonomous driving technology, using a combination of eight cameras, 12 sensors and a radar.
Tesla is already taking orders for the new Roadster, which effectively succeeds the first car offered by the electric manufacturer, launched in 2008 and last sold in 2012. The base version is priced at $200,000 while the company is also taking reservations for a 1,000-model ‘Founders Series’ at $250,000 each.
Remarkably following the car’s unveiling Musk indicated in Twitter postings that the new Roadster would be offered with an upgrade package “that takes it to the next level”, though he also hinted that faster speeds would add safety concerns. “Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities,” he wrote.
Tesla aims to deliver the first Roadsters to customers in 2020 but observers remain sceptical that the company can meet such deadlines after struggles to keep up with more than 400,000 orders for its latest Model 3. Issues blamed on parts supply have seen production slowed, though recently the company built its 250,000th car since launching in 2003.