Like nearly every other automaker, Tesla is currently in a production bind. Its factories in both the U.S. and China are currently (as of Friday, May 8) shut down. That picture will change soon, but the coronavirus pandemic is affecting new launches in a big way, including for the Fremont, California-based manufacturer. We’ve been waiting for the new, mind-blowing Tesla Roadster to launch since it first emerged back in 2017, but years of shifting priorities and new production delays mean it will be awhile still before we see it on the road.
Reuters points out a recent comment CEO Elon Musk made on Joe Rogan’s podcast, calling for the Roadster to take a backseat to more pressing debuts. The Model Y has just launched and the company needs to ramp production back up, plus we expect an updated Model S sedan to join us sometime within the coming months. Then there’s the Cybertruck — an important launch for the company. Electric trucks are poised to arrive en masse in the next couple years, and Rivian could pose a serious threat if Tesla takes too long to bring the Cybertruck to market. Right now, the company plans to launch its first-ever pickup near the end of 2021.
“Roadster is kind of like dessert. We gotta get the meat and potatoes and greens and stuff.” At least in Musk’s mind, it seems that the Roadster will be a swan song for the lineup — something to sweeten the brand’s overall appeal when it gets its money-making models out for customers to actually buy. So, as a result, it’s not likely the Roadster will arrive before 2022.
Two doors, 250 mph, and a 1.9 second 0-60 to boot
Teslas are already pretty outlandish when it comes to their straight-line speed. They’ve made a name producing stupidly fast electric cars, and we’ve had a taste of that with the Model S, Model 3 and Model X. Now, the Roadster promised to be faster still than that bunch. Back in late 2017, Musk claimed the car would be faster than any current street-legal production model. It may hit 0-60 in a microscopic 1.9 seconds, and run a quarter-mile in 8.9 seconds on its way to a 250 mph top speed.
Since then, though, performance cars have continued to move the goal posts. That’s not to say the Tesla Roadster wouldn’t be competitive even if it did arrive in 2022 — far from it. No matter what, it seems we’ll have to wait a little while longer before we can find out first hand.