New Tesla Roadster Compared To Old

4 weeks ago by Jeff Perez 33

New Tesla Roadster

If Tesla can deliver what it’s promising, the new Roadster obliterates all previous versions.

Old Tesla Roadster

Love it or hate it, the original Tesla Roadster paved the way for the Tesla vehicles we know and love today, like the Model S and the new Model 3. Though it was based on a Lotus chassis, and limited to just a few thousand examples worldwide, the Roadster was one of the first mainstream electric sports cars you could actually buy, following its introduction in 2006.

With a base 248-horsepower (184-kilowatt) electric motor, a range of 244 miles (392 kilometers) on a single charge, and a 0-60 mph (96 kmh) time of about 3.9 seconds, it was one of the quickest, too. A total of four variants were introduced in its four-year production run, ranging in power from the base 248-hp model, to the 288-hp (214 kW) 2.5 Sport. Production officially came to a close in 2012, with just 2,450 examples being sold in more than 30 countries.

Five years later, and Tesla has finally introduced a successor for the much-loved Roadster – at least a concept of which. Shown alongside the new Tesla semi-truck, the company touted some ridiculous performance figures on stage, and an equally daunting six-figure price tag to go along with it. But the one question on everyone’s mind remains: how does the new model compare to the original?

In its most powerful trim – the 2011 2.5 Sport – the original Tesla Roadster produced 288 hp (215 kW) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque courtesy of a 53 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. It came paired to a single-speed BorgWarner transmission, allowing for a 0-60 mph sprint of about 3.7 seconds, and returning a range of up to 244 miles.

With a price tag of around $128,500, the Roadster 2.5 Sport was never meant to be a cheap vehicle. Admittedly the 2.5 model did come with a number of unique features over the standard model, particularly a revised front fascia, directional forged wheels, new seats, an optional seven-inch touchscreen display with a back-up camera, and improved sound reduction.

Roadster 1.5 Roadster 2.0 Roadster 2.5 Roadster 2.5 Sport 2020 Roadster
Horsepower 248 248 288 288 N/A
Torque 200 lb-ft 280 lb-ft 280 lb-ft 295 lb-ft 7,376 lb-ft
Range 244 miles 244 miles 244 miles 244 miles 620 miles
0-60 4.6 seconds 4.6 seconds 3.7 seconds 3.7 seconds 1.9 seconds
Top Speed
125 mph 125 mph 125 mph 125 mph 250+ mph
Price $109,000 $109,000 $112,000 $128,500 $200,000

The new Tesla Roadster, though, is something different entirely. Of course, we’re taking all of the mentioned performance details with a grain of salt considering the new Roadster won’t be on the road until at least 2020. That said, Elon Musk touts a 0-60 mph time of just 1.9 seconds – which would make it the quickest car ever built, theoretically.

The electric motor is reportedly capable of producing 7,376 pound-feet of torque (!), thus allowing for the sub-two-second 0-60 time, a top speed of 250-plus miles per hour (402 kmh), all while returning an impressive 620 miles (997 kilometers) of range on the highway

Of course, for all that performance you’ll be paying a pretty hefty price. The new Tesla Roadster will start at $200,000, or $250,000 if you want the limited “Founder’s Edition.” Just 1,000 examples of the latter will be built. Buyers will need to put down a $50,000 deposit to reserve one, with production scheduled to kick off sometime in 2020.

Let’s hope the new Roadster lives up to the hype.

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33 responses to "New Tesla Roadster Compared To Old"

  1. CDAVIS says:

    Article OP said: ” Of course, we’re taking all of the [Tesla Roadster] mentioned performance details with a grain of salt considering the new Roadster won’t be on the road until at least 2020. That said, Elon Musk touts a 0-60 mph time of just 1.9 seconds…”
    ———-

    I believe InsideEVs recently published a video of a production internet Tesla Roadster doing 0-60 in 1.9sec … no grains of salt needed for that/

    https://insideevs.com/watch-new-tesla-roadster-accelerate-lightning-quick-video/

    1. bro1999 says:

      If you believe the guts of that reveal Roadster had even remotely close to production intent parts, I have some oceanfront property in South Dakota to sell you. Just give me a 50k deposit. I’ll have it available the 13th of Neverember. Lulz

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Only someone who regularly posts Big Lies about Tesla would claim the 0-60 time is not real. Tesla’s cars have always lived up to the promise of the claimed 0-60 times.

        What Bro1999’s comment really indicates is that he sees the 2020 Roadster’s 1.9 second 0-60 time as a threat to his short-selling stock position!

        Now, some of Tesla’s other projections/ goals for its more expensive cars, not so much. The projected price for its more expensive cars (not the Model 3!), not so much. The claimed range, not so much in the past, altho perhaps that has changed from the Model 3 going forward. Some have claimed Tesla’s listed range for the Tesla Model 3 is conservative, following the example set by GM for the Bolt EV. Well, we’ll see.

        But you can take the listed top speed and the 0-60 time to the bank.

        * * * * *

        Let’s all take a moment to point and laugh at the serial FUDster Bro1999 and his ridiculous lies!

        1. bro1999 says:

          You probably believe in that warped mind of yours that the steering wheel is production ready too, don’t you?

          1. Clive says:

            Look brosef maybe you can stop being a jerk and post elsewhere if you cannot contain those negativities.

            Concepts are always slightly out there compared to production models, so you’re steering-wheel comment is really not smart after all. Go figure.

          2. Nick says:

            Haha!

            You suspect it will slow down once you put a production steering wheel in?

            He was only saying Tesla’s given 0-60 times are reliable.

            1. Clive says:

              I read him correctly

              1. Nick says:

                Yep.

                My reply was for bro.

          3. mx says:

            bro1999 you’re not making the IQ of the shorts any higher. Google: New Adaptive Steering

            https://blog.caranddriver.com/adaptive-thinking-we-drive-fords-ingenious-new-adaptive-steering-system/

            I mean come on man, adopt your arguments to Facts.

            1. Recoil says:

              mx bro doesn’t need facts he lives in a made up fantasy world where he is the smartest person while making 100k a year and all 7.4 billion people are lining up to buy a chevy bolt. This is why dear leader who has no other life but to come on every tesla thread on multiple forums and chastises those who even dare read a positive story about Tesla.

              So, stop trying to show him facts it might hurt his fantasy.

  2. vvk says:

    In case you were wondering, 7376 lb-ft is 10,000 newton-meters, so its a nice round number.

    1. R.S says:

      But, this is wheel torque, not motor torque. So probably closer to 1000 Nm motor torque.

      1. Nick says:

        How do you know?

        Are the listed values for the first gen roadster at the wheel or motor?

  3. Max says:

    That torque number is similar to what a Top Fuel dragster produces. Insane.

  4. pjwood1 says:

    Yes, and pardon my Motor1 filter, but what are “we” skeptical about? The 7,376 torque number, or 1.9 second claim? Even if the first is BS theory (@0 mph), Tesla has eventually delivered on its fast acceleration times. “10.9” quarters took over a year for P100D, and plenty of people bought cars that couldn’t do it initially. But customer cars eventually did.

    At the end of the day, Mission E’s 3.5 to 60, is probably a 3.1-3.3, where Tesla’s 1.9 might show up in a lot of Roadsters as 2.0-2.2. One sandbags, one over-promises. What’s the difference, in the end? Why not tell it like it will probably be, instead of leaving a loaded “skeptical” behind? Two cars arriving, possibly within a year of each other, will be very different.

    1. Vexar says:

      So… go on your own and hunt down the Youtube video of the guy doing the test ride in the new Roadster from last night. It’s got 30 frames per second, so you can interpolate that time. Any test rides with Porsche’s prototype? Don’t forget that the 1.9 second was the standard version and there was mention of 1.6 seconds by Elon.

      This was an extinction level event for the ICE.

      1. Nix says:

        Yup, and 0-60 times are generally not done with passengers. The videos are probably conservative by the additional weight of a passenger.

      2. CDAVIS says:

        Vexar said: “This was an extinction level event for the ICE.”
        ——–

        Yes it was! Well said.

        Many are wondering why Musk did Tesla Semi along with Tesla Roadster… those two products are the extreme product range endpoints of EV implementations.

        I think Musk did it because if you can make a semi truck and the go-fast exotic be best in class and they happen to be EVs… well then game over for ICE because every type of wheeled transportation can be imagined to be better if EV.

        1. Doggydogworld says:

          They added the Roadster to the unveil because they realized the Semi launch by itself would hurt the stock. This is especially important since they need to do another stock offering in the next few weeks.

          When they kept delaying the Semi launch I said they were still lining up large fleet orders. It’s critically important to have those when launching big capex products (e.g. airplanes, factory machinery, etc.). Tesla tried, working with large fleets operators, but ended up with only a few token “trial” orders. That would have been VERY poorly received by the market.

          The new Roadster is the opposite – a smash hit. Attendees went crazy and Tesla is getting tons of reservations despite ridiculous terms (full prepay of $250k for Signatures Series, $50k deposit for a regular reservation). Despite this frenzy the stock only moved a couple bucks, showing how much the Semi launch is dragging it down.

      3. pjwood1 says:

        Really? I try and throw light on Tesla, and am evidently falling short? “extinction level event for the ICE”, please. What’s happening to this place?

        I didn’t hear anything about weight last night. What will 200KWh weigh, if <100KWh batteries are near 1,000 pounds? Musk dropped a number that begs whether they've hit a breakthrough, or are basically adding a ton. Will this car be light, as roadster should be, or will it be an inertial handful? I think that is fair to ask.

        Now, attack me again. Just don't read TMC, or draw from Porsche's history of advertised and observed performance. My point, if you read between the lines, was that it doesn't matter. The Roadster is much quicker.

  5. Bar says:

    This should shut the Hellcat up. Bad kitty.

  6. Mike says:

    How many lateral G’s are we talking about? The P100D does 1.3 off the line, so this must be nearly G-suit material.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Speaking of hype…

      Pilots don’t even get tunnel vision from G force until ~4 G in a fighter plane, and that’s likely when the G forces are at least partially vertical, which pulls blood down from the brain toward the feet. With straight-line acceleration, such as in a high performance car, the G force is horizontal, and the human body can tolerate that much better.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G-force#Human_tolerance

  7. Durkle says:

    The 7k ft-lbs torque number is wheel torque, not motor torque. They didn’t specify an FDR or motor torque, but you could convert the original Roadster numbers to wheel torque by including their FDR, which I think ended up being 8.27 for most if not all of them? FYI that would give 1654-2439 ft-lbs wheel torque for the original Roadster range to compare to the quoted new Roadster number.

    1. Nick says:

      Thanks! That’s helpful.

      Do you know if the listed motor torque on the new roadster is including all driven wheels separately? Having some motors connected directly to their own wheels makes things like torque values more complicated to convey.

  8. ModernMarvelFan says:

    I think the Roadster is relatively cheap for the performance it claims.

    That is huge discount to the Nio EP9.

    Nice. If I have the cash, I will order one for sure.

  9. Bill Howland says:

    I question the accuracy of this article. 3.9 seconds was the 0-60 time for a non-sport roadster, and I’m not sure the single speed reduction gears were ultimately made by Borg-Warner. The failed 2-apeed was, if memory serves. For other comparisons, I typed this earlier:

    “…Yeah I’d say the 200kwh is the more accurate figure compared to 250 – after all, the original Roadster had 53 kwh (rated) to go the wildly optimistic (at the time) 244 miles. I’d usually never get more than 200 miles, yet twice I did get 246, but that was really trying, with me putting on my own LRR tires and trying to eek out the last efficiency improvements by straightening the camber of the rear wheels to decrease heat causing squirming.

    (Tesla was so interested they called me to ask what tires I was using plus what I had set the camber to). But even taking the more conservative 200 miles realistic from the original Roadster, would be around 755 miles, so seeing as this has a lot more equipment to push around – 620 mile range seems reasonable if not pushed too hard.

    Seeing as a barebones Roadster used to be $120,000 with taxes and destination (and it WAS barebones – the Tesla Salesman didn’t know how to put a CD in the basically aftermarket radio since he said they had never sold a TESLA for so cheap) was at the absolute limit of my finances – I’d never dream of being able to afford the new Roadster. The new one looks like a cross between an “S” and a “3; of course, I prefer the gentle lines of the original LOTUS, but that is just me.

    Back in high school, when all the other guys lusted after multi-hundred horsepower muscle cars, I was perfectly satisfied with dreaming about a Karman-Ghia (VW) 40 hp convertible – Forrest Green with Beige interior. My Roadster basically duplicated my high school dream.

    So I’m in the minority of not being super impressed with gobs of horsepower in a car – to me there is beauty in small things. I’ve professionally worked on motors that had ratings of 4000 hp continuous and short-time 10,000 hp, so large motors don’t particularly impress me – and as one commenter said – the record to beat is 1.8 seconds not 1.9 – not that I could care about that anyway.

    But it will be something to see how many of these they actually sell. $200k or $250k is a lot of coin, as they say…”

    1. Tom says:

      Maybe we will see a Miata type EV soon. 150 HP would be great plenty. No auto pilot junk. Just great dynamics

      1. BIll Howland says:

        Interesting that you mention this Tom since I kicked back and forth should I buy a ROadster or save thousands and buy a Miata?

        Looks like its a Miata EV in my future since I’m disappointed TESLA decided to go way up (at least double in price) rather than down.

        1. Nick says:

          Way up in price for way more car.

          You’re right that it’s crazy expensive like all cars in it’s class.

  10. Don Zenga says:

    If a 300 mile range version of Roadster is sold for around $140K then it will give a run for money for BMW i8, Acura NSX and Karma Revero.

    In a similar news, Honda Clarity Plugin is priced at $34,290 (including dest $890) which is very affordable and the Acura RLX Hybrid’s price is reduced by $4,050 to $62,865 which is very significant.

    Still at $35,000 Model-3 is better than Clarity while at $44,000 the Model-3 long range is better than RLX-Hybrid.

  11. Priusmaniac says:

    What can we say!
    They have litterally Megaperformed!
    The roadstear is doubling everything or halving when 0 to 60 is concerned.
    The 1000 Km range is amazing because it makes it able to drive at sustainable high speed on the autobahn.
    There is just no ICE asset left.
    Even charging speed will now go bellow 10 minutes with the Megacharger.
    In 3 years high C cells will be a reality so everything comes into place.
    Great job, kudos, Mega great!

  12. Another Euro point of view (improved version) says:

    Wow !!

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