Tesla announced it was building a new second-generation Roadster — and began taking $50,000 deposits on it — way back in 2017. The new one will be far more than a Lotus Elise stuffed with batteries. Tesla has claimed its new sports car will be the world's fastest production car.
We're still waiting for the new Roadster, which has now been pushed back to 2022 (at the earliest). But Tesla has a prototype of the new Roadster on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum. And its plaque makes, perhaps, Tesla's boldest claim about the new car yet — and that's saying something. Remember that Elon Musk recently suggested the Roadster will be able to hover off the ground.
The plaque for the Roadster says it will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds. That would make it the fastest road car to 60 mph ever, besting the Porsche 918 Spyder, which has been clocked at 2.1 seconds. But Tesla goes on to note that the Roadster will have a SpaceX package with — as the name would suggest — rocket thrusters that would propel the car from 0-60 mph in just 1.1 seconds.
It will be interesting to see whether Tesla will be able to pull that off. There's the technical feasibility of launching a car to 60 mph in 1.1 seconds. But Tesla would also need to do it safely and road legally, which could get problematic. Tesla, again, wants to achieve this feat with rockets on a road car, and Elon Musk himself described the experience during the acceleration as "very intense" and "probably not wise for those with a medical condition."
Tesla has come this far — being the world's most valuable automaker by market cap — by making bold promises and worrying about the deliverables later (where are the 1 million Tesla robotaxis?). But even if it never hits 0-60 mph in 1.1 seconds, we can't wait to see what the Roadster looks like when it does arrive and how it compares with similar projects from more established competitors like BMW.