Next-Gen Tesla Roadster To Be Hard Top Convertible – Not Targa From Reveal?


So says Tesla CEO Elon Musk, but why then did it appear to be a targa when revealed?

This is very close to what Musk stated back in April 2017, but now following the reveal of the next-gen Roadster, it’s of importance again.

Why? Well, that depends on how you define convertible.

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In our eyes, a modern-day hardtop convertible converts with the push of a button to expose all of the cabin to the open air environment. The vehicle shown by Tesla at the reveal seemed to have a removeable hardtop, what we’d consider a targa or targa top. Furthermore, it only removes to expose the front two seats to the elements.

See for yourself –

Perhaps we’re digging too deep here or maybe Musk misspoke, but are we now to believe the next-gen Roadster will forego this targa setup and instead become a convertible when it shows up in production form?

Here’s the latest Musk Tweet on the next-generation Tesla Roadster confirming it as a hardtop convertible, though it’s not clear if this setup will be optional or standard, or targa as we’ve already seen.

Elon Musk with the new Tesla Roadster at the electric semi reveal event.
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New Tesla Roadster Tesla Roadster Tesla Roadster Tesla Roadster Tesla Roadster and Tesla Semi at the recent reveal event New Tesla Roadster

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30 Comments on "Next-Gen Tesla Roadster To Be Hard Top Convertible – Not Targa From Reveal?"

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Convertible Model 3 with 4 seats please.

Just what you see. Two full seats, two ‘kinda’ seats and targa top. That way they maintain the structural rigidity needed for crash, rollover and track flinging.

That’s the Roadster. What I want, is a convertible based on the Model 3. What’s hard to understand about that?

The Porsche 911 has a Targa, Coupe and a Convertible version. But it starts way lower, than the Roadster 2 and with high volume you can have more models.

So maybe the convertible was too hard to do for a show car, so they made it a targa?

“…are we now to believe the next-gen Roadster will forego this targa setup and instead become a convertible when it shows up in production form?”

First “shooting brake” and now “targa”? I’m being exposed to obscure terms for types of automobiles which I’ve never before heard or seen in print, here at InsideEVs.

Perhaps Elon doesn’t consider the difference between convertible and targa to be worth mentioning in a tweet. Note he’s not the one who called it a convertible; that was the person he was responding to.

there have been lots of cars with targa tops.

Thank you! 🙂

Because you have only recently been interested in cars because of EVs. Anyone that has been following cars knows what a targa top is.

It’s certainly true that I’m not a “car guy”. But I still think it’s an obscure term. Just my opinion, of course.

It’s not. I’ve known about it since age 7 or 8, when I first saw a 911 targa in person. I don’t know anyone who is mildly familiar with cars who doesn’t know the term well.

Looks like Elon doesn’t know what it means either.

Exactly, Elon is not a car guy… Convertible hardtops are heavy, expensive, and require a lot of the structure removed for clearance to fold.

Elon’s an EV enthusiast, not a car enthusiast.

The guy owned a McLaren F1. At a time when others bought the EV1, or the Toyota RAV4 EV, he bought a car with 5mpg

how is this news?

It will be a piece of glass that slides forward from the back glass in order to close the top. Simple

Wouldn’t that be the same thing as a sunroof?

It will not be a convertible hardtop as all that structure and mechanicals add too much weight and also take away from rear chassis rigidity, Elon just mis-spoke more then likely.

Very probably correct, thanks.

He uses the term “convertible” right on the Roadster website:

“Glass Roof
A lightweight, removable Glass Roof stores in the trunk for an open-air, convertible driving experience.”

This sounds like the targa top shown in the demo car. Not a true convertible that also lowers the glass behind the passengers.

I’ve been following the “story” of Tesla since 2008, when the original Tesla Roadster was the only Tesla car. I certainly do recall seeing descriptions of the “removable hard top”, but I don’t recall the car being called a “convertible”. The Wikipedia article calls it a “roadster”.

I may have seen the term “targa top” a time or two in articles about or discussions of the 2008 Roadster back then, but certainly not often enough to stick in my mind. The usual description was, as I said, “removable hard top”.

I think it’d be a lot better if the rear glass was removable, too. They could leave the bar over the front seats from structural reasons, but I think it’d be a lot better for people in the rear seats.

A good but not affordable EV sport car, 200,000 dollars is not exactly “cheap”. The other startups designing luxury whales (SUVs or big sedans) like Nio or Byton.
My favourite sport car is e-Tron Evolution GT but it’ll be very expensive too.
The new starups have enough technology to make this kind of cars, these would be much cheaper with the same technology as Tesla.

Good luck making a car that’s comfortable around town and also delivers hyper-car performance like the new Roadster while undercutting it’s price. No startup is going to deliver that package.

GM would be my best bet for being able to do it: an all electric high performance version of the Corvette might be able to compete on performance and be more affordable.

Why not? Nio has the EP9 with carbon fiber chassis and push rod suspensions, and the ES8 has aluminum chassis and advanced suspensions. Another thing is the internal organization,,14.htm
The question in Nio is: Is William Li trained for this company? Or is he a great member of the comunist party?

I find it amazing how some people have convinced themselves that auto makers (and/or battery cell makers) could actually price their cars (or batteries) much lower and still make a profit on them. Wishful thinking run rampant!

“…these would be much cheaper with the same technology as Tesla.”

Nope. If they are “much cheaper” then the EV powertrain, including the battery pack, will likewise be much cheaper, and definitely not “the same technology as Tesla”.

Is it possible that the forward portion of the top has retracted into the rear, so that the top is partially retracted. Perhaps you can drive it like this or more fully retract the top to expose the rear passenger area as well…

Targa is a trademark by Porsche and is defined as a type of convertible. So you think that if Elon doesn’t use Porsche’s trademark name he must be describing something different than the revealed car. Not very sound reasoning.