Tesla Reveals 250-MPH, 2nd-Gen Roadster With 650 Miles Of Range
"The hell with barriers! Come on, jump over!"
This is what Elon Musk is yelling after the surprise reveal of the second-generation Tesla Roadster, and several hundred people are taking his advice. Even sitting at my desk, watching the livestream on Tesla's website, it looks like a scene out of World War Z. Phones are whipped from pockets, jaws are hitting the floor, and it looks a bit like Elon's making a run for it.
The horde in question is crowding around a four-seater electric convertible capable of over 250 mph and 0-60 in 1.9 seconds, in a mode called Plaid (referencing the movie "Spaceballs," if you're not up on your Mel Brooks chronology). That's right: 1.9 seconds. This is the first production car ever to crack the two-second barrier, making it (when it hits the road) the quickest production car ever in the history of all time. By a considerable margin.
It's also got quite a funky interior. The steering wheel is a beautifully racecar-like two-spoke job, and the touchscreen is small and vertical, integrated into the center console à la Porsche 918 or any newer McLaren.
Other highlights? The quarter mile is over and done with in 8.9 seconds, it's only got three electric motors instead of the usual four, and it fits very neatly into the back of a Tesla Semi. We should probably talk about that for a minute. I nearly forgot.
The Semi was the other part of this event; the first two-thirds, to be precise. Since's it's been very thoroughly reported thus far, I'll give you a short rundown: it's got a battery pack capable of 500 miles of range which can also be charged to 400 miles in half an hour. It's got a nearly-full suite of Tesla's autonomous features. The driver sits in the center, flanked by two Model 3-esque landscape touchscreens. It'll do 0-60 in a whopping 5 seconds flat, or 20 seconds fully laden with its maximum GVW of 80,000 pounds. You never need to service the brake pads, and when it does need work, it'll let you know ahead of time. Multiple Semis can even be linked together in a convoy.
Of course, the Roadster won't be available until at least 2020, and judging by the Founder's Series reservation price of $250,000, it's going to be hideously expensive. The Semi doesn't even have an official reservation price beyond the initial $5,000, and it won't hit the road until 2019.
But, as Musk signed off and the lights went down, lights flashed and the back of the Semi opened up. Mist poured forth. The Roadster rolled out, a vision in vermilion, and the show was instantly stolen. I think it'll be well worth waiting for.
The truck's cool too, I suppose.