Tesla boss Elon Musk has confirmed that the long-awaited Roadster is now set for arrival in 2022, a year behind the schedule initially laid out thanks largely to development of the “tri-motor drive system and advanced battery work”. Responding to questions on Twitter, Musk re-affirmed that the Roadster is set to be the fastest sprinting production car, with a 1.9-second 0-60 time, and plus-200mph top speed. That’ll come thanks to a 1,341hp output, which looks impressive until you consider the claimed torque figure of 7,376lb ft of torque from a three-motor setup.
Of course, nobody will be able to put those monumental claims to the test until production begins – but Tesla is due to launch the previously announced Plaid versions of the Model S and Model X using the same trio of motors and batteries. The pairing – and their already controversial half steering wheels – were unveiled yesterday with ‘just’ 1,021hp from the triple motor layout, with the slipperier Model S (which costs £110,980 in Britain) hitting 60mph in 1.99sec, 155mph in a quarter mile sprint and top speed of 200mph "with the right tyres", according to Musk. Until the Roadster arrives, those stats mean it’s the quickest sprinting production car on sale.
As Tesla’s flagship – and a successor to the original, Lotus Elise-based model from 2008 – the new Roadster is set to reign supreme, with a 0-100mph time of 4.2 secs and a quarter-mile sprint of 8.9 secs. Musk has flirted with the idea of producing an even quicker version in the near future, but has cited safety concerns as a limitation for performance. Given how ridiculously fast the ‘boggo’ Roadster is set to be, that concern almost seems justified.
Of course Tesla has always been keen on numbers, and that’ll continue with the Roadster. It’s due with a 200kWh battery pack that ought to provide it with a 620-mile range according to US tests, creating another record for production cars – albeit pure electric ones. The incoming, £130,980 Model S Plaid+ is said to be capable of 520 miles of range, presumably losing out to the Roadster due its larger size. Given that both models are due with lithium-ion batteries, those are some seriously impressive numbers. Don’t expect industry-wide progress to slow from 2022, either; NIO’s first solid-state products are due in a year with at least 621 miles of range.
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