When Elon Musk took to the stage and announced the Tesla Semi truck everyone thought the night was over as the lights dimmed. Not so fast though!
Out of the back of one of the trucks came the new, second generation Tesla Roadster. In classic sports red and looking stunning almost no one saw it coming. Everyone knew Tesla had plans for a 2.0 version of their original Roadster, but no one expected to see and drive in it so soon.
In typical Tesla fashion, they once again kicked things up a notch as they announced some of the most amazing specs and details the car world has ever seen. It’s not a cheap car… but my word can it go like a bat out of hell!
Drive Zero Car Guides are written for people trying to get a feel of the electric car landscape in Australia. We only wrote guides for battery (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) electric vehicles that are confirmed to be on sale in the market in Australia now, or are coming soon.
Our goal is to summarise as much as you might want to know about the different considerations for each of these electric cars and who they may be useful for. That said, we’re not qualified car reviewers, so full reviews of these models, we’ve included the best links and video for reviews that we could find.
What makes the Tesla Roadster 2 so special?
Besides looking like a super hot, flame red, tear up the pavement sports car the Roadster 2 has the numbers and raw power to put essentially every production car to shame and then some.
It’s headlining spec is that it will do 0-100 km/h in a neck snapping 2.1 seconds. As a quick comparison, here are some other super and hyper cars that are currently out there so you can see how much of a leap forward this is (0-60 miles per hour according to Wiki)
- Tesla Roadster 2 – 1.9 seconds (US$200,000)
- Porsche 918 Spyder – 2.2 seconds (US$847,000, only 918 ever made)
- Tesla Model S P100D – 2.28 seconds (US$135,000)
- Bugatti Chiron – 2.3 seconds (US$2,700,000)
- LaFerrari – 2.4 seconds (US$7-10 million, only 210 ever made)
- Lamborghini Aventador SV – 2.4 seconds (US$393,695)
As you can see, the closest thing out there – that you can actually buy – is the Tesla Model S. If you want to spend twice as much money you can be half a second slower in the Aventador SV. Then prices just jump into the stratosphere. If Tesla can deliver on those numbers and at that price, the Roadster will be in a league of its own.
Tesla Roadster 2 key details
But it’s 0-100 km/h time isn’t the only thing the Roadster 2 has going for it. With a range of over 1,000 km’s and a top speed of over 400 km/h its spec sheet almost reads like complete fiction.
|Table last updated February 2018|
|Release Date & Availability||Scheduled 2020 USA release date|
Likely 2021 Australian release date
|Price||Founders Series Roadster Reservation: $326,000 (1,000 available)|
Base Roadster Reservation: $66,000
|1,000 km (EPA Range)|
|0-100 km/h||2.1 Seconds|
|1/4 Mile||8.8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||400+ km/h|
|Battery||200 kWh Lithium Ion Battery|
|Drivetrain||10,000 Nm torque or 7,400 pounds/foot all-wheel drive|
3 Motors (1 in front, 2 in back)
|Seats||2-door sports car with 4 seats|
|Vehicle & Battery Warranty||Unknown|
It has 3 separate motors giving it 10,000 Nm of torque, all in a car that still has 4 seats! Elon did point out that the back two seats aren’t particularly big, but small seats are better than no seats. Doing a quarter mile in 8.8 seconds isn’t anything to skip either.
Tesla hasn’t announced colours, wheel options, model tiers or any of that more specific details but looking at their official pictures we can get some ideas of what’s on offer. They had a grey/blue type colour on show during the unveil so we at least know it comes in two different colours.
They also specified that there is a Founders Series (only 1,000 are available and will be delivered first) or the base model. Who knows if they’ll have multiple different models or just one. Either way they did specify their planned release date which is expected to be 2020. Judging by how long it has taken them to adapt their previous cars to right hand drive, I would estimate it will take up to a year extra for us to see them begin deliveries here in Australia after the USA release.
Tesla Roadster 2 Pricing
You can already go to the official Tesla website right now and reserve a Roadster 2 if you like – it’s certainly tempting! – so we already partially know Australian prices.
In Australia reserving is mentioned on Tesla Website for the Founders Series as:
Founders Series Roadster reservations require an initial $7,000 credit card payment, plus a $319,000 wire transfer payment due in 10 days. Reservations are not final until the wire transfer payment is received.
And for the normal Roadster:
Roadster reservations require an initial $7,000 credit card payment, plus a $59,000 wire transfer payment due in 10 days. Reservations are not final until the wire transfer payment is received.
For the Founders Series it looks like this is the entire price although it’s not quite clear if that $326,000 includes taxes, duties and on road costs etc. I would wager it doesn’t.
For the base model, it seems pretty clear that Tesla will expect an additional payment later on once you configure the Roadster when it’s released.
$326,000 might sound like a ridiculous amount of money and… it is. I’d say “you could buy a house for that much” but this is Australia and we all know $300,000 won’t get you much of anything these days! But this isn’t a Mazda 3 competitor, this is meant to be the worlds quickest production car. We need to compare apples to apples and as mentioned above, the Roadster 2 is in a class of it’s own.
To get this type of acceleration, this type of top speed you would usually need to slap down a few million dollars. So $326,000 could be downright cheap.
What’s the Tesla Roadster 2 like to drive?
As the Roadster 2 hasn’t been released yet or even started to be manufactured there’s no official reviews or test drive videos out there. However during the official Tesla Full Roadster Unveil Event (November 16th, 2017) they allowed people who put down a deposit to take a quick test drive.
Now for a little back story, the Tesla Model S/X originally introduced “Ludicrous Mode” for enabling the car to reach those super fast 0-100 km/h times. Now the Roadster 2 ups the ante to “Plaid Mode”. A homage to the old Spaceballs film where instead of travelling at light speed, they go even faster to Ridiculous speed, Ludicrous speed and then finally Plaid.
So here are some real life experiences from various people who have put down a deposit for the Founders Series Roadster 2 taking a test drive in the demo Roadster 2 at the launch event:
DragTimes test drive whilst being in the Roadster 2
What’s Insides test drive whilst being in the Roadster 2
And finally Johannes H’s quick video of what it looks like from the outside when the Roadster 2 launches. Quite bonkers indeed.
Tesla Roadster 2 – Battery, Charging and Power
As a pure electric vehicle it’s important that potential owners understand the options for charging the Tesla Roadster 2. However as it’s only just been unveiled, there’s really not much known about it.
The one definite piece of information that was released is that it will have a 200 kWh battery pack. This is a huge doubling over even their current biggest battery on offer, the Model S/X 100D. The other interesting part about the 200 kWh figure is that the Roadster looks to be smaller than the Model S too. Some are speculating that Tesla have a new, higher energy density battery technology that will soon be released.
Regardless of the overall size and weight, that 200 kWh battery pack will still need to be charged. Tesla continues to expand their excellent Super Charger network and it’s likely the Roadster will take full use of it when it’s launched.
Currently you can charge to around 80% of a Model S/X in just 30 minutes but that’s with their 75 or 100 kWh batteries. Will it take twice the time to charge a Roadster 2? Or will Tesla have an even more powerful Supercharger by that point?
When unveiling their Tesla Semi they also announced new Megachargers, however these are intended – at least for now – for semi trailer trucks. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see Tesla upgrade their current Superchargers to something even better though. Given all the recent announcements about new, higher power charging stations coming soon from the more established car manufacturers it would help maintain their lead.
What does the interior of the Tesla Roadster 2 looks like?
Currently the few details and pictures that Tesla have released seem to create more questions than answers. The interior is naturally very modern and spartan but goes even further with a very futuristic looking steering wheel.
There’s also a very different hollowed out section behind the main centre screen area. The screen itself also seems to have a completely new user interface on it even though Tesla just released a new design for their Model 3.
There’s also no controls on the steering wheel, no drivers front dashboard or even stalks on the sides. Whether this is the final form of the Roadster 2 is also a hard thing to pin down. While the Model 3 final production cars looked almost identical to the prototypes that were shown at its original unveiling, the Model S changed dramatically between unveil and release.
Being in super or hyper car territory the Roadster doesn’t have to play by the same rules other cars like the Model X and Model 3 might. It’s not meant to be a family SUV or even really practical at all. It’s meant to rocket you around a track or hit ridiculous speeds on the autobahn and exhilarate.
Many other hyper cars interiors look hideous by comparison. Sure, it might not have a 5-way volume dial for music adjusting on the steering wheel but convenience isn’t what this car was designed around.
The fact that the Roadster 2 can still fit seating for four passengers, has a huge gorgeous screen in the front and more shows that although it might not be built for convenience and luxury, there’s still plenty of it. Sure, you won’t be cramming seven foot NBA stars in the back but it’s a great spot for bags, pets, children or even extra adults during short rides.
What other features does the Tesla Roadster have?
Beyond the 4 seats and great infotainment the Roadster also sports a lightweight, removable glass roof. At any time you can whip it off, store it in the trunk and get that awesome convertible driving experience.
The fact that it fits in the trunk – or that it has a trunk at all – is another great convenience feature. You could easily take this shopping or to pick up the kids or on vacation with luggage in the back. Furthermore you can even store luggage in the Frunk as it has one of them too!
Going on vacation or those long, summer drives won’t be a problem either with it’s mammoth 1,000 km’s of range. The 200 kWh battery not only delivers immense power to the 3 motors, but keeps it driving along for what is unheard of range in an all electric car.
Granted the Roadster isn’t available until 2020 and so battery tech will have advanced by then, but even major auto companies – who all seem to be releasing their cars in 2020 – barely reach half that range.
Summing Up – the hyper car you can drive daily
The Tesla Roadster 2 is a hideously expensive car. At $326,000 or anything even close to that it’s obviously not for most people. It’s a hypercar. A car built from the ground up without any regard for cost simply to make it go fast. Really fast.
And yet, even though it achieves this and a number of other amazing points – acceleration, top speed, range – it still manages to be quite convenient and “normal car” like. It has a trunk (and frunk), it has an infotainment system, it seats four, you can store the roof in the boot for convertible drives.
I think that a lot of the appeal the Roadster 2 will have is not that it can go from 0-100 km/h way faster than any other production car, but that you can do so while driving it around just like any other cool looking sports car.
A lot of specialised tech can get so specialised as to be almost unusable in ordinary life. The Roadster 2 looks fantastic simply because it will enable those that buy it to drive and use it far more than any other hypercar out there.
On top of that the price is far lower, the specs are far higher and there’s also the added benefit of driving a car that doesn’t contribute to destroying the environment.
Finally, if you’d like to hear a bit more of a discussion regarding the Roadster 2 by MKBHD you can watch his piece below. As someone who currently owns a fully decked out Model S P100D he’s in a good position to reflect on some of the features the Roadster has.