The second-generation Roadster has taken a back seat in recent years when it comes to Tesla product launches, with the EV maker prioritizing the rollout of the Semi and Cybertruck instead.
While that's understandable seeing as the trucks have the potential to bring in more money for the company, the fact remains that almost six years have passed since the Tesla Roadster 2.0 was first shown.
At the time of its unveiling in December 2017, Tesla said it would launch it in 2020, which means it's three years overdue at this point. In 2020, the Roadster was delayed to 2021, and then pushed back by a year every year, including in 2022.
Well, the good news is the wait is about to end, with Tesla planning to complete the Roadster's design and engineering by the end of this year, according to CEO Elon Musk. He said at Tesla's shareholder meeting yesterday (check out the above video) that the automaker will "hopefully" put the vehicle into production next year.
During the Q&A session, an investor asked Musk when the Roadster might finally launch, and the executive replied by pushing back the car another year, "hopefully" to 2024.
Gallery: Tesla Roadster
"Totally reasonable question. Where is that thing?" Musk jokingly replied. "We expect to complete the engineering and design of the next-gen Tesla Roadster this year and hopefully – this is not a commitment – start production next year."
While the world is now used to Musk's unreliable product timelines, this time he might be on to something, as he seemed confident that engineering and design would be completed this year. Furthermore, Tesla should achieve volume production of the Tesla Cybertruck and Semi by 2024, allowing the automaker to focus on the Roadster next year.
Musk also referred to car's importance for Tesla's bottom line, which he expects to be "modest."
"It's not even the icing on the cake, it's the cherry on the icing on the cake, so it's definitely not going to be a huge contributor to revenue and it will be a modest contributor to profitability, but it will be sick," Musk said about the Roadster.
He definitely has a point as limited-run halo cars like the Tesla Roadster tend to have higher unit margins, but the number of buyers willing to spend more than $200,000 on one is not that high.
Building on the "sick" part, Musk said the Roadster will offer the SpaceX option package that will make it "truly next level."