You'll often hear automakers brag of a sports car's zero-to-96kph performance but less often for a full size truck. Last night, Tesla boasted of both.
Tesla revealed an all-new version of its Roadster sports car that can go from a standstill to 96kph in 1.9 seconds, and reach 160kph in a mere 4.2 seconds - figures that would make it the fastest-accelerating production car ever.
That was after Tesla unveiled its new semi-truck, which CEO Elon Musk said can go zero-to-96 in five seconds with an empty trailer. That's a figure usually associated with luxury sedans, not big trucks. With a full load, the truck can still reach that speed in 20 seconds, according to Musk, much faster than any diesel-powered truck. Only after talking about the truck's speed did Musk mention its range. It can go up to 800kms with a full load at highway speeds, he said.
That's more than twice the distance of most trucking routes, Musk claimed, allowing a driver to make a round trip before recharging. A 480km version will also be available. But truck drivers may still have some reservations. Regardless of whether Musk is right about the typical length of trucking routes, 800km is still far less than diesel trucks can travel. And diesel fuel tanks can be refilled much more quickly than batteries can be recharged .
The Roadster will have a range of 1000km and a top speed of over 400kph. That would put it, at least, near the 420kph top speed of the US$3 million (ZAR 43 million) Bugatti Chiron. The Roadster will also be able to run a quarter mile in just 8.8 seconds, Tesla said. For comparison, the 625kw Dodge Challenger Demon manages it in just under 10 seconds. Unlike the previous version of the Roadster, Tesla's first model which went out of production in 2012, this car will have four seats.
The Roadster will cost US$200,000 (ZAR 2.8 million) and a US$50,000 (ZAR 700,000) deposit will be required to reserve one. For true die-hard Tesla enthusiasts, a Roadster Founders Series will be available, starting at US$250,000 (ZAR 3.55 million). It is not clear yet what the final price of the truck will be.
The semi's drive systems are guaranteed to last for 1 million miles (1.6 million kms), Tesla said. Thanks to the low cost of running it, buyers should make back the additional cost in just two years, Tesla claimed.
Inside the Tesla semi's cab, the driver is seated in the center - rather than on the left or right -- with a large touch screen on each side. Without a large diesel engine, the driver will have a roomier cab than in other trucks, Tesla said. The truck will also have an enhanced version of Tesla's semi-autonomous driving system, AutoPilot.