The original Tesla Roadster put the all-electric automaker on the map, even if most Model S and Model X buyers don’t remember it. Touted to make its return to the lineup in 2020, the new Roadster picks up where the old model left off, and then some.
Powertrain, Charging, and Performance
When this new version of the 2020 Tesla Roadster was unveiled as a concept in November 2017, Tesla founder Elon Musk touted some rather lofty pie-in-the-sky performance numbers, including a claimed zero-to-60-mph time of 1.9 seconds, a top speed of more than 250 mph, and a quarter-mile time of just 8.8 seconds. Musk also said that all-wheel drive will be standard; Tesla’s mainstream EV models utilize two electric motors—one at the front and one at the rear—to achieve all-wheel drive, so we expect the same setup will be found in the Roadster. The 200-kWh battery is said to provide up to 620 miles of range, but certainly that number will be achievable only under very light use; hitting the track for some flat-out hot laps will result in a shorter range-per-charge.
Interior and Technology
For now, the 2020 Roadster is merely a concept and in the past, Tesla concepts—and concepts from most every other auto manufacturer—have changed drastically during their development into production models. The Roadster concept’s interior can be opened to the elements by removing the glass-panel roof and stowing it in the trunk. There are four seats, but the rears look like they will be quite cramped given the Roadster’s dramatically angled roofline. Tesla’s signature interior design that is almost completely free of buttons is likely. In the concept’s design a large touchscreen appears to be built right into the panel that connects the dashboard and the center console, with the opportunity for storage behind it. We’ll believe all of this when—and if—we see it.