On Thursday night, Elon Musk revealed the Telsa Semitruck, but the real star of the show was a surprise rollout of the second-generation Tesla Roadster — the anticipated followup to Tesla’s first car. It’s an attractive, four-seat coupe (with a removable targa top) that will cost at least $200,000 and achieve an alleged 620 miles on a full charge. If the specs are to be believed, it should blow the vast majority of internal combustion supercars on the market today out of the water in terms of performance. In fact, Musk is touting this as “the fastest production car ever made, period.”
That isn’t really true, though. The claimed 250+ mph top speed is dwarfed by the current record of 277.9 mph, set earlier this month by the Koenigsegg Agera R, so that “plus” would have to go a pretty long way. Perhaps what Musk really means is fastest accelerating, with a claimed 0 to 60 mph time of 1.9 seconds — the next quickest thing would be, well, the Tesla Model S P100D at 2.3 seconds.
There’s also the production caveat. It isn’t actually a production car yet, and it isn’t set to debut as a production model until 2020. Further, if Tesla’s history with deadlines is any indicator there’s a strong chance it will be subject to delays. Take the Model 3 for example, which is currently experiencing a production bottleneck — the company was supposed to be making the car at a rate 20,000 a month, but so far the company has only made 260 Model 3 as of an October 20th report.
But will the limited-nature of a supercar perhaps mean a smoother and faster production turnaround than the mass-production Model 3? Time will only tell. At least Tesla has been pretty good at producing cars that live up to their claimed performance figures. Considering that, at the very least, the new Roadster does what the first Roadster was built to do back in 2008: it shows that electricity can produce a fast, captivating car.