Next-Generation Tesla Roadster Coming In 4 Years



Tesla First Made EVs "Sexy" With The Roadster

Tesla First Made EVs “Sexy” With The Roadster

Buried in the press release announcing a slew of Tesla Model S changes, including a 90 kWh Battery and Ludicrous Mode, there was one mention of the next-generation Tesla Roadster:

“There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid.”

Tesla Roadster

Tesla Roadster

Four years would put the arrival of the next-gen Roadster at some time in 2019.

The next-gen Roadster has long been part of Tesla’s grand plan, but we figured it would arrive around 2020 or later.

We expect the next-gen Roadster to be a mid 2 second to 60 MPH car, boast range that beats today’s Model S, cost well over $100,000 and blow away everything with two doors.Β  We shouldn’t expect anything less from Tesla, right?

Category: Tesla

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56 responses to "Next-Generation Tesla Roadster Coming In 4 Years"
  1. Sublime says:

    4 Tesla years… how many earth years is that?

    1. PatrickB says:

      7-10 πŸ˜‰

      1. kdawg says:

        Since Elon is all about Mars, and Mars years are about 2:1 to Earth years, then you are probably correct.

    2. Scott says:

      +1. Despite the mockery though, Tesla can accomplish more in 4 [Tesla] years, than others can in decades.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        GM got their bolt ready in 0.3 Tesla years. They have a working model and are testing right now. Tesla meanwhile is yacking about their model 3. But what I don’t understand is why can’t Tesla use more Lotus car bodies or quickly build a new roadster in a year vs four to ten years.

        1. Joshua Burstyn says:

          Elon has suggested it is harder to reengineer a glider than build your own full car. Could be why Tesla does not appear to be taking that route.

        2. Nix says:

          Multiple reasons:

          1) Lotus quit building the chassis that the original Roadster was built on.

          2) The old Lotus didn’t meet US safety regs, and Tesla ran out of its waiver.

          3) The Lotus glider ended up needing so much re-engineering by the time they got into Roadster production, that it shared very few parts with the original. That made manufacturing way too expensive, because they lost the economy of scale for parts production.

          4) Many of the same changes would be need to be done if they started all over from scratch with a newer Lotus Chassis.

          5) The Lotus was a gas engine retrofit, and couldn’t fit the batteries underneath. This led to design compromises that hurt performance compared with the Model S design.

          6) No AWD.

          7) Lotus has been doing layoffs. Better to just build your own.

          8) Lotus isn’t built in America, and Tesla is trying to shift everything to production inside the US.

          1. Steven says:

            +8 (one for each)

        3. RS says:

          I hope for GM, that the Bolt gets out before the 3, they might need an earth year, to adjust the price…

        4. Speculawyer says:

          No more using someone else’s glider. The only way to make a great EV is to design it from an EV from the ground up. A Tesla EV needs its own chassis to handle the low-mounted removable battery.

        5. MDEV says:

          GM has billions to burn and more than 100 years building cars.

          1. Mike777 says:

            Then what’s taking them so long. Jag has lost 50% of sales since 2013. GM isn’t doing that. Tesla is.

        6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Just to add to what Nix said:

          The Roadster program overall earned no profit for Tesla. It was a wash as a profit-making venture. Moving forward, it would not be a good idea for Tesla to try to get Lotus or any other gasmobile maker to make gliders for them.

          I agree with Nix: Trying to shoe-horn an electric drive into a car designed to be a gasmobile is not a good plan. Arguably it was the correct decision for Tesla for its first car, because starting an entirely new automobile manufacturing company is very hard and requires literally billions of dollars in capital. But now that Tesla is building its own cars from the ground up, it should continue doing so.

          1. Mike777 says:

            Tesla made a profit, they just didn’t return that profit to shareholders, they plowed it fully into the Model S, and factory expansion.

            If you bring up profit, without also acknowledging capital expense from rapid growth, you’re intentionally or unintentionally painting a fraudulent picture.

            1. Ambulator says:

              Tesla hasn’t made a profit lately. Capital expenditures don’t affect profits, although they do hit cash flow.

      2. liberty says:

        tesla seems to be overly optimistic in schedule, but seem to be able to make the cars they are describing. I would expect maximum plaid in 2020 or 2021.

        Toyota’s gen IV prius slipped 1.5 years, so this is not unusual. Engineers need to get the X then 3 right, then probably some changes to the gigafactory for maximum plaid battery (maybe including a ultra capacitor).

    3. Anon says:

      You’re probably more right than you know.

      At Tesla’s current rate of EV drivetrain innovation and constant vehicle refinement, the benefits of which will likely end up in the new Roadster due in 4 years– will be so different compared to the original car, as to appear Alien in origin and design.

    4. Lustuccc says:

      All the gossip about Tesla delaying his models, is aroud the sole delays of Model X right?
      Model 3 has always been announced for 2017 , right?

      My little personal hypothesis on this subject is that back in 2012 the sales of Model S were uncertain, right?

      So as prudence would recommend for a young company trying to make his place in the most hazardous market of the automobile, they prepared two models.

      BUT! Model S was a big Hit! Money was flowing more than expected and therefore there was no need to introduce the Model X who would have cannibalised a part of the sales of the S, at that time…

      BUT! For any company, it would be a marketing suicide to make public the decision to delay the Model X which thousands had reserved and were eager to get, on the sole reason that there was enough money filling the chest.

      SO! Tesla decided to take their sweet time to perfect even more the Model X to make it another big Hit, maybe bigger than ModelS, We will see soon.

      SURE the falcon doors were tricky, but never like some make it appear in the comment sections, and they were the perfect scapegoat to justify the delays…


      1. Lustuccc says:

        And also the X needed to heavily invest in a second assembly line, move that they preferred to delay a little, acquiring financial power as well as experience meanwhile.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        July 20, 2015 at 8:23 pm

        “All the gossip about Tesla delaying his models, is aroud the sole delays of Model X right?”

        No. Every model from Tesla has had serious delays. The Roadster had the starting date of production pushed back two or three times, and the Model S was delayed for perhaps two years, more or less, depending on just when you start counting.

        But on the positive side, when Tesla does finally release a new model, it is well worth the wait!

        1. LusTuCCC says:

          You’re right, Model S was delayed twice, my apologies. But I don’t take into account the Roadster, it was a period of transition with an almost hand crafted first shot.

          1. LusTuCCC says:

            Oh! I misread your post. model S was delayed for only 8 months in all.

  2. kdawg says:

    “The next-gen Roadster has long been part of Tesla’s grand plan, but we figured it would arrive around 2020 or later.”
    You are probably still right.

    1. Anon says:

      It’s that whole “Moving Target” dilemma that Tesla appears to suffer from.

      Elon says Model S gets 20ish changes per week. WTF??? Many of those improvements likely need to be transferred to the Model X development project. Advances in X, may lead to changes in S, which could probably also lead to changes in X again. Some parts are shared, some are not. Or, parts that were, aren’t anymore, as testing reveals more data for a components utility in a new context, and new designs are used. Hardware changes and software updates need to be synced, and propagated to all the teams responsible for their areas of development, research and production. They’re also working on Model 3, which could be radically altered by what progress they’re making NOW, with S and X development. Even the ORIGINAL ROADSTER has had some R&D to update its range!!! Plus, the possibility of dev work from the Model 3 team, feeding back into all the other cars (light-weighting, cost control, etc.). This makes my head explode. No one else in the auto industry works quite like this.

      So, I don’t get how they can ever release anything, with a feedback system that could self generate constant changes in EVERY vehicle’s evolution, that they’ve ever produced. I can see why Elon says things like, “They’re working on it 7 days a week”. I can now begin to grasp why.

      The upside is, the consumer gets awesome cars that get increasingly more reliable, efficient, and become more capable in a relatively short period of time goes by.

      1. Anon says:

        As time goes by, sorry…

        Also forgot to mention the AeroSpace influence on materials choices and construction techniques, feeding into their development and production network. The “Smart Fuse” is a great example of this cross pollination of disciplines and technology going on at Tesla.

      2. Three Electrics says:

        Sounds like kaizen, which Japanese automakers like Toyota have been practicing for a long time.

        1. Anon says:

          They certainly don’t seem to be benefiting from their implementation of it. And certainly not in regards to advancing BEVs.

          Even today in Forbes, Craig Scott of Toyota is making all kinds of anti-BEV statements, trying to prop up their laughable hydrogen argument, despite the laws of physics against using hydrogen as an energy carrier. in cars.

          For Kaizen to truly work, one must not be self-deluded as to the better way forward. Frankly, Toyota has lost its way.

          1. Spider-Dan says:

            Toyota’s obstinacy on the subject of EVs has nothing to do with their project management and ability to meet a stated deadline for new products. Kaizen has nothing to do with the former and everything to do with the latter.

            1. Anon says:

              Disagree. For example: there is no apparent “continuous improvement” occurring on their first or second generation Rav4 EVs. Or much development on any new long range BEVs that aren’t three wheeled clown cars.

              Also, outright lying to convince people to buy into hydrogen for their vehicles, over improving earlier work that was done on far more efficient battery drivetrains, seems like it disqualifies Toyota from being compared to anything Tesla is attempting to do with regard to their BEVs.

          2. Mike777 says:

            Let’s be honest about Toyota. They are either being bribed or extorted into hydrogen, from the Fracking industry in Japan.

            Because hydrogen is dead in the real world. Only in the gangster Yakuza fracking industry would it make sense to “convince” Toyota to throw away money on attempting to build out “hydrogen” ( from fracked methane ).

            The question is will Toyota go bankrupt pursuing this?

            1. Anon says:

              Their execs, like Craig Scott, need to take some basic physics / math classes and stop lying to the public, just to sell their hydrogen crap.

              I don’t get all the how’s and why’s of what Toyota thinks it’s doing, but I’m getting pretty upset about it.

            2. Benjamin says:

              Sounds like what happened to GM, with bankruptcy following their Hummer vs. EV1 decision. Not that I think Toyota will go bankrupt. They’re still making a ton of awesome cars, including dominating the hybrid market.

          3. mr. M says:

            Kaizen has nothing to do with ICE vs. BEV

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Anon said:

        “Elon says Model S gets 20ish changes per week. WTF???”

        And that’s not the first time he’s made that rather surprising claim, either. I’m with you on that one; seems like a case of waaaaay too much fiddling. As they say: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

        If you’ve read the “Tesla’s Wild Ride” article from 2008, about Tesla’s early years (link below), then you should recall that Musk’s perfectionistic meddling has been causing delays in Tesla’s development of new cars since the beginning, and certainly contributed to the Roadster being delayed three times before finally going into production.

        However, I’m guessing most of those “20 changes per week” are software tweaks, not changes in hardware. If they really were making 20 hardware changes per week in a car that’s already been in production for years — the Model S — then you’re right, it seems they would never have time to work on developing a new model.

      4. Steven says:

        With everything they’re learning about real world going back into the continuous redevelopment of the S, and the upcoming X, think a out all the data that can be invested into the 3.

        How many times did GM not share lessons learned between the marques? How many times did we scratch our heads over decisions at FoMoCo where something was learned at Lincoln, but not shared with Mercury? And don’t even get me started with Mopar. All I’ll say about them is “Neon”.

  3. jon says:

    Hopefully this is more of a corvette competitor which is one of the most sporty cars for the money

  4. Kevin says:

    Perhaps they should actually come out with the Model X or Model III which they have been talking about for years rather than trying to create more empty hype.

  5. Mikael says:

    I’m looking forward to the Tesla Model R P90Q.

    Mostly re-inforced carbon fibre, and some aluminium/magnesium. Quad motors (at least).

    Combined power: 1.21 Gi…Megawatt.

    The normal Roadster model gets Maximum Plaid mode. This performance model gets FLUX mode.

    The super performance model with hydrogen rocket burners for extra boost gets Warp mode.

    1. Boris says:

      Would it matter if there was 2 or 4 motors? I’m guessing if it’s permanent AWD, it shouldn’t matter. How about Model R P120D, with 1,000+ hp.

      1. Mikael says:

        With 4 motors you can get an instant and perfect torque vectoring. Which can be used from anything from taking corners perfectly to increase safety and comfort for the driver.

        Here you have a three year EU project on the subject:

        Or just do a search on “4 motor torque vectoring”.

        One day the Tesla will be able to not only keep up with your average BMW on the tracks, but to kick to top models nuts there too. πŸ˜›

        1. Boris says:

          OK, so P120Q it is…

    2. RS says:

      If they would use 4 motor drive, they would most certainly be the next generation, of the 259hp motors they have now. So at least 1040hp. But they could also use 2 500+ motors and I would be happy, too. πŸ˜€

  6. Bill Howland says:

    Well let’s see: First mention of a 400 mile Roadster ‘upgrade’ over 12 months ago.

    Was also told by a Tesla tech the upgrade of the TSL-01 troublesome connector and defective ROadster UMC to model S style ‘Jesla’ charging cord. (except S connector not J1772).

    Been over a year and not an official word about the super-minor connector changeout, and now we find the 400 mile roadster is more like 340+afew miles. But it doesn’t matter since they’ve apparently changed their minds again here too since they never mention it, nor any serious statements like pricing or availability, when all they really have to do is somewhat modernize the Tesla’s 8 year old battery string, and put LRR tires all around, something I did myself on my Roadster to make it more Saleable.

    Now they’re speculating on a new Roadster? Which is much harder than just a tuner conversion of an Elise.

    Seems to me if Lotus could get their act together, they could offer a BEV version of their EVORA and then we’d have the proven Lotus platform in the BEV world again. The lotus platform is what made the Roadster successful.

    Meanwhile, Detroit Electric seems to be following Tesla’s vaporware. Doesn’t matter, since the car will be illegal in the US hence no sales in America for a ‘Detroit’ Brand.

    Looks like people are going to be driving plain old Roadsters for a long time to come, by default.

    1. Ambulator says:

      There were some media summaries that indicated that the upgraded Roadster would have a 400 mile range, but reading the details it always sounded more like a 350 mile range to me.

      The roadster upgrade was mentioned in Elon’s recent press conference as being due in late August. It is at the 6 minute mark here:

    2. RS says:

      On no! 340 miles, shame on them! I understand your connector problems, but 340 miles? Is that anything but awesome? And yes, a sports car is hard to build, a premium sedan is too. They managed it somehow. I don’t know if the 2019 timeframe will work, but when its there, it, again, will be the best they could do, probably the best anyone could…

  7. Nix says:

    Having delays for cars going into production is more the norm than most people know.

    The difference between Tesla and most other car companies, is that other companies never really talk about when they will release stuff. They just keep putting out “concept” cars until they are ready for production, and then never really commit to anything until they are towards the end of the development cycle.

    1. Anonymous says:


    2. Spider-Dan says:

      GM talked about when they would release the Volt; they are currently talking about when they will release the Bolt. Nissan talked about when they would release the Leaf. Mitsubishi talked about when they would release the Outlander PHEV, etc.

      1. Steven says:

        Please, is the Volt ANYTHING like the Volt concept car? Oh, there’s a battery.

      2. Nix says:

        Dan — I should have tossed in “ICE”, because I was referring to how the ICE car industry has worked for decades.

        As for the Volt, GM made an exception for the 1st GEN, and then went much more traditional with the 2nd GEN.

        The amount of sharing done through the 2nd GEN development cycle was miniscule compared to their nearly constant flow of info on the 1st gen.

        GM teased the 2016 Volt in Dec, and then launched it officially in Jan. Now 6 months later, the 2016 Volt is going into production.

        That is what I was talking about. This is how 90% of traditional car manufacturing is done, with official statements about upcoming production models being delayed until the vehicle is nearly complete and close to being ready for production.

        Otherwise, everything else a traditional ICE manufacturer says officially regarding future products, is done through releasing concept car after concept car after concept car. This hides any production delays.

        Oh, and yes, the original Volt was on-time. But only after completely dropping their original plans for a 3-cyl engine, and choosing an off-the-shelf 4-cyl instead. Keeping the Volt on-time was done via design compromises. Design compromises such as having to wait for months to get a special emissions version for California emissions that was not part of the initial release.

  8. ffbj says:

    To far away to say too much except that when it does come out it will be awesome. They need to drop the maximum though and just call it plaid. i.e. maximum plaid easily morphs into

  9. no comment says:

    this is a publicity stunt, and little more. tesla has much bigger fish to fry right now than to fool around with another low-volume automobile. at some point time, and certainly within the next 4 years, publicity is going to have to turn into profits.

  10. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “The difference between Tesla and most other car companies, is that other companies never really talk about when they will release stuff.”

    Indeed. It’s pretty silly to think that GM developed the Bolt in anything less than 1.5 years, and 2 years is usually the minimum for developing an entirely new model. It’s just that GM didn’t announce the new model years in advance, as Tesla always does.

    Tesla has a different advertising strategy. GM pays for TV ads and other mass advertising; Tesla puts out constant Tweets, press releases, and other means of using the Internet for free advertising. Speaking as a Tesla enthusiast, sometimes it does get a big aggravating that Tesla talks about things so far in advance of actual production, but I do understand why they do it. Far better for the company’s bottom line to do that than to spend millions or billions of dollars on TV ads!

  11. Trace says:

    Somebody needs to brush up on his Mel Brooks.

    Ludicrous speed will turn you plaid. There is no plaid speed. That would be the dark side of The Schwartz!

    Don’t tell me what’s nessa. I tell you what’s nessa!

  12. Someone out there says:

    I don’t see the point of releasing a new Roadster. The first one was necessary to build a name and confidence in the technology to secure funding for future expansion. A new Roadster would do none of that, it would just be compared to other supercars and probably end up as a ‘meh’.

  13. Bill Howland says:

    I would have liked it if they had supported the Roadster better, and then later on I found all the parts of the car I had trouble with were Items Tesla arbitrarily decided to change, or were there just because they were electric.

    1). The Elise has plain old lockable door handles and actuators. This makes sense since people don’t buy a lotus for push button access, which was added to the Roadster and it constantly had to be fixed on all 3 doors. The bonnet never had to because it was the only one left mechanically operated.

    2). THe inverter had to be removed and cleaned yearly. An all day job and priced accordingly. I bet several roadster owners have put a cotton sock in the air inlet to prevent it from having to be cleaned so often (which I never did, but knowing what I know now, I’d have done it immediately).

    3). Tsl-01 connector freezing.

    4). J1772 basic incompatibility since the vehicle puts a ground fault on the charging line during negotiation. This was a DESIGN DEFECT since it continued to do so even after a brand new PEM was installed under warranty for other reasons (the tesla service center damaged the first one themselves.

    5). Generally chinzy construction of the removable roll up rag-top, and other fit and finsh issues which I’m not sure whether to pin on Lotus or Tesla.

    Certainly, revisions here could have improved the car. If it was a better car, I would have kept it. It was a fun car in the same way a Triumph or Spitfire, or other MG’s were in their day, but you had to be a die-hard lover to put up with the troubles and the increasing expenses, which, after 4 years, I figured I should cut my losses.