Next-Gen Tesla Roadster To Be Called Tesla R – Will Arrive In 2017?

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 66

Tesla R

Tesla R

According to German auto magazine AutoBild, Tesla Motors is working on a successor to the original Tesla Roadster.

It’s been widely believed and even hinted at from Tesla that a second-generation Roadster would be made, but it was often speculated that it wouldn’t launch until 2020 or later.

However, AutoBild sees if differently.  AutoBild says the Tesla Model R (the name AutoBild gives to the 2nd-gen Roadster) will arrive as early as 2017.

Furthermore, AutoBild speculates that the Tesla Model S will share platforms with the 2016 Model 3.  From a financial standpoint, this would be the perfect approach for Tesla Motors to take.

Our take is mostly in line with AutoBild.  We speculate that the next-gen Roadster will ride on a modified Model 3 platform and that it will arrive before 2020, but maybe not 2017.  Its performance will likely wow the world, but it won’t come cheap.  Let’s just say that the second-gen Roadster will make the original look downright cheap.  That’s our speculative guess as to what you should expect of the next-gen Roadster (aka Tesla Model R).

Source: AutoBild via Ecomento

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66 responses to "Next-Gen Tesla Roadster To Be Called Tesla R – Will Arrive In 2017?"

  1. Anthony says:

    What could make the Model R so expensive? Carbon fiber body? In wheel motors? By 2020 it likely won’t be batteries.

    1. Spec9 says:

      The desire to make a nice profit from the people that want a fast sports car.

      They could probably sell it cheaper but I can’t fault them for segmenting the market and trying to make as much as they can from their premium vehicle.

      1. James says:

        HA! This renderer forgot that a Tesla doesn’t need a real grille! LOL! ( sigh )

        From Elon’s own words, I doubt a v.2 roadster would come before a mass market pickup truck.

        Also, Model R should be a 2+2 like the 911. The genius of the 911 was that it can be insured as a coupe, avoiding the expense of insuring a 2 seat sports car.

        1. James says:

          In other words, Tesla doesn’t need a halo car. GM and Ford didn’t become giants building sports cars. GM and Ford didn’t even
          begin to start looking at nich-market sporty cars until their truck market was long-established. Toyota became the largest car manufacturer making “pedestrian” cars. Musk always says he is all about forwarding EVs to the mainstream. This isn’t done making Roadsters. Eventually, sure – it would be
          amazing to build a better, an ELECTRIC 911, but building vehicles that will sell in very large numbers takes higher priority.

          1. Mint says:

            How can you compare Tesla to Ford or Toyota when its only model is in the same market (in terms of size, performance, price, and image) as full size German luxury cars?

            Tesla is positioning the Model 3 against the 3-series, not the Camry. They absolutely need to maintain a performance image. It’s much easier to make a $35k performance EV with 200-miles range than it is to make a $25k Camry-esque 200-mile EV.

            Tesla’s biggest asset is their high-end image, and they know it. After the buzz dies down from the Model 3 launch, they will definitely find use in a halo car.

        2. Thomas says:

          I agree, the grill is a major flaw. It would only result in extra drag.

      2. Anthony says:

        If Tesla’s goal were fat profits they’d have inflated their Chinese prices the same way all the other automakers do. But they don’t because they want EVs to succeed. So I figure it must be all the engineering they can put into it. Which makes me question the 2017 time frame. 2020 or later.

    2. Alonso Perez says:

      Four wheel drive, composites, and above all, low volume. That’s the killer. Low volume = high unit cost. The volume of the R will be far less than the S, not to mention the III.

    3. Andrew K says:

      Because it would likely be targeting the Porsche 911, F-Type, & AMG GT. Not the BMW Z4/Porsche Boxter price points.

  2. Taser54 says:

    Not that it cannot happen, but Tesla is struggling to produce 1 model. Suddlenly it will be able to produce 3 additional models in 3 years? Unlikely.

    1. Mikael says:

      Almost all of the struggles are battery related, which for some reason is supposed to be allieviated by 2017 for some reason, I wonder what that reason can be…. It must be a big reason, maybe even Giga sized reason…

      1. Anthony says:

        I disagree. The model X is having its own design and production hang ups.

        If the issue was battery constraints and Tesla were pacing themselves so that they could satisfy a sufficient amount of each model as battery production grows then yeah. But I think the model X could have been delivered by fall 2014 as once planned. The 1,000 unit per week run rate would have been enough for now to satisfy demand. (750 S, 250 X).

        1. Lustuccc says:

          Why hurry, model S sales exceed constantly growing production since it began in 2012.

          1. arne-nl says:

            Exactly, Model X sales would eat into the already strained supply of batteries for the Model S. The extra time gives Tesla the opportunity to make it better.

            1. Mike I says:

              I wish Tesla would just come out and say that. Something like: We’re sorry. Model X will not be delivered according to the original forecast we made when the concept was introduced. Model S demand is soaking up all the batteries we can get our hands on so we don’t need another model in order to meet our production goals. In the meantime, we are refining the design and engineering so that when we can get enough batteries to release the Model X it will be the best vehicle we can possibly make.

              I don’t think many people would be mad at Tesla if they came out and said that.

              1. TomArt says:

                Good point.

  3. Lustuccc says:

    “Chopped liver” again? With the widespreaded Morgan Stanleýs analogy, this looks like a financial attack to sink the present sales of Model s and the Tesla brand.
    The picture is cheap rendering, unrealistic, and certainly is not issued by Tesla. No sport car here.

    1. Anon says:

      Disagree. LOVE the render, but it needs more “nosecone”. 😉

      1. MDEV says:

        +1 Tesla need to do a re-design of the ugly nosecone. I hope they do some changes with the model X.

      2. Spec9 says:

        I like the real Tesla nose cones but this one is a grille . . . why? There’s no hot ICE in there.

  4. Surya says:

    I hope they keep it a nice compact model and don’t make it into a big bloated sports car.

  5. No matter the “Model Rs” price, performance, specs, or arrival date, two things remain:
    – I love the Tesla story.
    – Nothing generates more fear and loathing among Auto manufacturers today, than Tesla Motors.
    This, like my all electric drive car, is a fun ride.

  6. FerrariMan TeslaFan says:

    Why do people doubt Tesla?

    It has only created the best sedan in the world. Why can’t it turn that into a two door hard top convertible?

    It’s coming and when it does say goodbye to Porche, BMW and Mercedes performance convertibles. Tesla will give you that much fun plus more trunk space than any convertible ever conceived.

    I have my order in for the Model X and look forward to getting rid of my 550 GL.

    Wake up people and drive electric and experience the safest built car ever.

    1. Spec9 says:

      Because they do have a long history of delivering products late and over the initial cost estimate. No doubt, they have built the best EVs on the market but it is hard work and takes time. So some healthy skepticism is warranted. But that doesn’t mean one is against Tesla or not a fan.

  7. Mikael says:

    I highly doubt we will see a new Tesla roadster by 2017.
    The Model III platform is too big to make a roadster on. So we will most likely have to wait until their third platform which could hold a city sized car a Golf class car and a roadster.
    That will probably be at least a year or two behind the Model III.

    1. Boris says:

      I remember that Elon mentioned that Model R would actually be built on the Model S platform (would like to provide link, but can’t find it). This would probably have to be highly modified Model S platform. My natural guess would be that it would be positioned against Porsche 911 (with Model 3 sedan/coupe positioned against BMW 335i/435i or M3/M4). I really wonder about how powerful it would be as they are now preparing an upgrade for the Roadster that will give it a 400 mile range plus perhaps more horse power. Model R would have to beat the Roadster so perhaps they could add a supercapacitor along with a battery, but that’s only my speculation, but looking forward to it whatever they come out with…

      1. Mikael says:

        The platform would still most likely have to be smaller than the Model III to make a 911 size car, which is a longer car than most of the popular roadsters.
        Most roadsters are 400-440 cm long. The 3-series is over 460 and the Model III I expect to be about the same lenght or slightly longer.

      2. Alonso Perez says:

        My understanding is that the S platform could be the basis for a supercar, not a roadster.

        A roadster would be fine on a Model III platform. Remember, the wheelbase of a roadster would be larger in proportion to length, so with a Model III platform, it would still be quite a bit shorter than a Model III.

  8. IDK says:

    IF the Model R comes out in 2017 that would most likely mean the Model 3 would be out in 2016.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      Indeed. Model III is still scheduled for late 2016 and high volume production in early 2017 with fast ramp-up of production rate. As that point Tesla is no longer short in cash, the can achieve much higher production ramp-up than what was the case with Model S.

  9. GeorgeS says:

    Oh boy.
    Another expensive Tesla I can’t afford.

    1. Anon says:

      The good news is that other people can, and will fall over themselves trying to get one. 🙂

    2. Rob Stark says:

      The more BEVs Tesla sells that you can’t afford the more likely Tesla will be able to afford making a model you can afford.

      1. Anon says:

        Yup. Model R will pay for the city car…

    3. Jouni Valkonen says:

      You can buy second hand Tesla. Electric cars are made very durable as there is only few moving parts and light-weight materials (carbon fiber and aluminium) do not rust. Just after replacing battery, 10 year old Tesla is still very good car that has more than 300 000 km total range left.

  10. Sublime says:

    I assume the model 3 would need a new assembly line, one it could probably share with this. Build these, high margin sports cars first, while you work the kinks out on the line.

  11. Koz says:

    It will probably be 2018 or 2019 and will start around $60-70k. Tesla’s main goal is to proliferate EV tech profitably. They can do that at this price point with next gen battery and building at their factory. Maybe fully optioned gets to $100K.

    1. Koz says:

      Ohh…and there will be at least a 350 EPA mile battery option.

  12. Jouni Valkonen says:

    R could be a good test case for Tesla to develop carbon fiber technology. I think that Tesla needs around 2020 a solar powered carbon fiber gigafactory or two.

  13. Josh says:

    I got some tidbits about a next gen Roadster a couple years ago, so this info is a little dated.

    What I heard was it would be a 2+2, 911 fighter, built off the Gen 3 platform. The target price point was firmly under $100k, Corvette price range. Most likely it would be AWD and have a 0-60 time that started with a 2. There was a roadster mule running around with a Model S drivetrain proving out the capabilities.

    1. Boris says:

      So under $100K or Corvette price range, as 911 starts at $84K, in case you find anything about Model R, please provide the link, I would be super-interested in this, I recall it is supposed to be built on Model S platform, but I might be wrong…

    2. TomArt says:

      That was my understanding, as well, and it fits perfectly with Musk’s vision.

  14. James says:

    The genius of the 911 was that it could be insured as a coupe, thus avoiding a more expensive 2 seater sports car insurance rate.
    So Josh,you might be onto something there…

    As for Model R – I believe Elon will build a pickup truck before another roadster. It just makes more sense and would catapult Tesla into a true major player in the auto industry. Build a truck first – and since it’s unlikely Musk would build anything with a range extender, the truck better have 300-500 mile range + battery swap. Just sayin’…

    If the truck doesn’t cost the price of a ranch house in Louisiana, it would literally be the death-knell for ICE passenger vehicles moving forward.

    1. EvDeath says:

      About the truck, exactly what would one do with it? Pull a trailer? A boat?

      Sorry city boys, out in the west and Midwest and south, trucks are made to work not pose. I suspect the range of a real electric work truck, pulling a trailer up Loveland pass would be measured in 10’s of miles not 100’s.

      1. Anon says:

        I you actually grasped how much more effecient EVs are over a comparable ICE vehicle, you’d not make such a simple, misinformeed assumption concerning electric range…

        Then again, you’d know more about posing, over doing any actual work / research, regarding your anti-EV comments here.

        1. EvDeath says:

          We’re talking torque buddy boy and lots of it. As in 6L diesel. You obviously have a better grasp on daydreams than auto engineering.

          If you think the Nordschleife was a problem. A ton and a half load up Baker Grade would melt a EV.

          Now is sir Elon wants to make a 1/2 ton poser mobile like Honda or even a El Camino now that’s another story.

          1. Spec9 says:

            Does your mother know you are an internet troll? Please tell her.

            Torque? EVs have more torque than anything else. Every hear of Diesel-Electric trains?
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_locomotive#Diesel-electric
            You know, those huge locomotives that pull a hundred railcars? Well they use the diesel engine to drive a generator to make electricity and then they use the electricity to power an electric motor which moves the train because EVs are BETTER than ICE at torque. Sheesh.

            Go find somewhere else to troll where you don’t look like such a fool.

            1. EvDeath says:

              Well anyone should know electric motors produce maximum torque at zero rpms, dropping off from there with higher revolutions.

              Unfortunately, your locomotive analogy falls apart with the Diesel engine/generator bit. The only battery driven trains are the ones under Christmas trees.

              The torque necessary to pull a load like I described would quickly deplete any conceivable battery pack.

              Spec9 you’re really not very bright.

              1. Spec9 says:

                Of course they don’t make battery trains. The make diesel electric and grid-powered electric trains. Batteries are not going to have the energy density needed.

                But they do have the power density needed thus rendering your post completely wrong. The torque curve is very flat and only tapering off at much higher RPMs . . . if that is an issue, you can use a transmission. You know, a transmission, something no ICE vehicle can be without since their torque curves are pathetic. So basically, you’ve been proven wrong and are now back-pedaling and switching topics.

                1. Anon says:

                  Dunno about you Spec, but I’m getting “Troll Fatigue” from blatantly stupid comments made by posters like EVDeath. Maybe he needs to move out of his parent’s basement. Oh, that’s right… Mobile homes don’t have basements.

                  EVDeath: Are you getting paid to post FUD here, or do you just like devoting your free time to being a retard?

                  1. Steven says:

                    +1!

                2. EvDeath says:

                  Energy is power over time. It’s going to take a lot of energy to get up Baker Grade and a lot of power to get the load moving. There’s a pot full of energy in the diesel tank of a real pickup and in your magical train. My post isn’t about the motors it’s about the batteries and the power electronics. With the batteries you’re fighting a losing battle, more energy, more mass, less efficiency.

              2. Scramjett says:

                Diesel locomotives are not geared directly to their wheels for a good reason. They operate at pretty low RPMs, usually in the neighborhood of 200 – 900 RPMs. At those RPMs, they would need 20 – 30 gears in order to get up to speed. No one wants to shift that many gears, so they took a lesson from the old WWII submarines and used a diesel engine to generate an electric current (no batteries) for the electric motor. This lets the diesel engine operate in steady state (at constant speed) at it’s most efficient speed and power band like many other engine driven generators.

                The locomotive referenced in the article below uses a 560 kW electric motor to drive it’s wheels.

                http://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/engines-equipment/diesel-locomotive.htm

      2. Steven says:

        Just think about the regen on the downside. With a trailer pushing… Regen set to “Heavy”, that would help quite a bit.

  15. mike w says:

    So this is why the “Engineering talent” at Tesla sooo busy that it takes forever to get anything done. working on 3 projects 4 if you count the GF.

    1. EvDeath says:

      I’m not sure that the GF, if it ever gets built will chew up any product engineering time. TSLA will acquire the land, construct and maintain the property. That souns like a job for Real Estate and Facilities. Panasonic constructs the batteries so there’s production engineering. I guess there may be some TSLA engineering to set up the battery case line, but that should just transfer from Fremont.

      There’s not an excuse with GF for production delays, nor, considering how ubiquitous the 18650A is, should there be any problem with battery supply. Two years ago Panasonic agreed to produce enough batteries for about 300,000 vehicles. I’ve never know Panasonic not to live up to their production commitments.

  16. Bill Howland says:

    Boy, this is kind of a mixed bag for me…I’d like to see new Tesla models, but only if they can get reliability much higher..

    Sorry to say, my Roadster has had more service than all the other cars I’ve had in my life combined… Old MG , Triumph, Fiat, and Lotus owners I’m sure can sympathize.

    Its possible that due to being in Buffalo, New York, the only place I can actually see hands on servicing is in Toronto, where actually I (and another friend who tells me to use it more often) have experienced the most positive experiences, if pricey.

    I’m reluctant to say this, I would rather that Tesla would have a different management mindset.

    They are simply making too many unforgiveable mistakes.

    1). The parasitic drain problem of the “S” should have been fixed prior to the first sale. The initial Roadster parasitic drain is excusable and they eventually fixed it, but then they should have used that learned experience from the Roadster when transferring to the model “S”.

    2).An incompetantly designed nema 14-50p adapter should have been immediately noticed, as I did when first seeing one up close at the Toronto Salon opening. You’d think that after having a Roadster Mobile Adapter that was discontinued in 2010 (30 amps) for not working at all, and the more modern ‘Universal Mobile Adapter’ (for $1500) repeatedly burning out, that they’d check to make sure the designs were, if not up to the old UL standards, at least were a bit conservatively designed. And then the Mennekes modified designs for Europe with tended to fail in cold weather, as also some of our Canadian Friends have noticed with the original single phase designs, in cold weather not experienced in California.

    3). Gearbox problems showed up in a lightweight 2 speed Roadster design that was replaced with a more rugged gear reduction unit, (so far no problem with the new one here), so it is disconcerting that the model S’s are tearing their gearboxes up at a very high drive failure rate (the so-called ‘Milling Sound’ prior to failure).

    4). Door handles that universally didn’t work on the first go round.

    5). Battery packs that seem far more delicate, and far less insulated than the ones in my Roadster. This is going backwards, and the major fixes seem to only be happening after embarrassing fires. My volt on the other hand, has proven to be a good design from the start, and made better by steel guard rails added later at no cost.

    To their credit they at least seem to support older Tesla’s such as mine, but we shall see since my Tesla is currently in the process of awaiting repair.

    1. ggpa says:

      Bill … could you please elaborate on your Volt and how it was “better by steel guard rails added later at no cost”?

      Thanks

      1. Bill Howland says:

        All new volts and elrs have this protection. Mine is an early 2011, and a ‘recall’ provided a new charging docking station as well as steel bar reinforcement of the battery.

        There were no, and still to my knowledge, still are no in-service volt or elr fires. But they robustified the battery anyway.

    2. Bill Howland says:

      Actually, after talking to the Tesla tech I’ve found I’ve possibly been somewhat harsh regarding the ‘milling’ sound.

      Apparently its a sympathetic vibration in the gear box and it not really so troublesome, and the gear box continues to have many hours of operation ahead of it.

  17. ffbj says:

    Tough question who are we to believe? A poster with non credentials except that he hates EV’s which have been proven far superior to ice’s or the former head of a major car manufacturer?

    http://www.hybridcars.com/bob-lutz-says-instead-of-the-volt-gm-should-built-an-e-rev-truck/

    It’s a head scratcher. A lot of trucks now days go to urban cowboys, it is true though to say that many red-necked residents in rural states would never be caught dead, in an ev.

    I think perhaps a Model R and Model III might be conceivably built on the same line, as the Model S and Model X will be. So that a wag at a brainstorming session suggested: Hey we could build the new Roadster on the same line as the Model III, on a on demand basis. Of course everything is on demand, but demand varies so varied capability to meet that demand.

  18. Priusmaniac says:

    By 2020 I guess it should be possible to make a flying roadster by integrating four wheel fans into it, a bit like for the Delorean of Back to the Future. A lifting body shape would provide inflight lift and the megawatt level power required for takeoff could be provided for short duration by ultracapicitors.
    The wheels would probably need to be larger and accessory wheels would be needed to support the car when the wheels deploy horizontally at takeoff. That would be fun and worth way more then 120000 $, for sure.

    Some people have already made a flying scale model of such a car, here is a nice video of it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA4U-6GmkUw&feature=player_embedded

  19. TomArt says:

    *click*

    That German mag is a rag – another article of BS covering their advertisers…

    The Roadster will come, as promised – but 2020 at the earliest, and on the GenIII platform – GenII is way too big for a coupe, and particularly too big to replace the original Roadster.

  20. TomArt says:

    That rendering is pretty sweet, IMO!