Tesla Announces Fastest Production Car Ever

Details are still limited, but Tesla announced quite an achievement late last night: in addition to an all-electric Semi truck, the disruptive electric car company will build the fastest production car in the world, called the Tesla Roadster.

What do we know? Not much, but the few details released paint a promising picture. First, the price: At $200,000, it’s no Miata competitor, but it’s a bargain compared to anything else this fast. The Roadster will do 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 0-100 in 4.2 seconds, and run the 1/4 mile in 8.8 seconds. Yes, that’s a lot faster than even the bonkers Dodge Demon. Top speed? Over 250 mph. Our bet is this won’t be a half-bad road trip vehicle, either, as range is estimated at 620 miles thanks to a 200 kWh battery. And yes, Dad, it has a back seat.

Tesla is accepting pre-orders now at the low, low price of $50,000. We won’t be joining that line, but we can still appreciate a world where somebody wanting to run a sub-10-second quarter mile with a warranty has to choose between a few different production cars before they drive off the lot.

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pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
11/17/17 10:55 a.m.

If that thing does 620 miles at 200 mph I will eat my hat.  (and I really like this hat)

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
11/17/17 10:58 a.m.

In reply to pinchvalve :

I don't think that's what was said.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg MegaDork
11/17/17 11:46 a.m.

In reply to Nick Comstock :

Neither will a demon, at 50 mph

BlueInGreen44
BlueInGreen44 SuperDork
11/17/17 11:49 a.m.

It's a good looking thing, that's for sure.  Tesla has nailed the "futuristic but still traditionally beautiful" look.

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
11/17/17 11:51 a.m.

I plan to win the lottery in the not too distant future so I'll let you know how it drives. Actually, I'll bring it to all of your towns so you can have a go and see for yourselves.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg MegaDork
11/17/17 11:57 a.m.

In reply to Nick Comstock :

Man, you rock

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
11/17/17 12:50 p.m.

Curb weight is 2,723 pounds?  Is that with the battery?

Clay
Clay HalfDork
11/17/17 1:49 p.m.

It reminds me of the Traxxas XO-1 which is pretty much a scaled down version of the same idea:

 

Traxxas XO-1

plain92
plain92 New Reader
11/17/17 3:13 p.m.

Anyone else have one of these?

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
11/17/17 3:33 p.m.

In reply to Nick Comstock :

I believe Tesla said it will do 620 miles at normal highway speeds. The Truck is no slouch either. 500 miles with another 400 miles after half an hour of "hypercharging". Zero to 60 in 20 seconds fully loaded and a cd of .35

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
11/17/17 3:56 p.m.

years ago, when Tesla was in its relative infancy my company made some bits for them. My take was that their guys were young, very bright and not particularly grounded in reality. Their money burn rate was a wonder to behold. I told my friends that I had little hope for them.

Boy was I wrong. At this point I'd be very hesitant to bet against them - even if they have more formidable foes than ever.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/17/17 4:30 p.m.
plain92 said:

Anyone else have one of these?

Quick, someone show that to Elon Musk.

HapDL
HapDL New Reader
11/17/17 4:38 p.m.

Wonder if they'll actually be able to get any built?  They can't even get the last great wonder they announced built.  This seems to be a company that lives on press releases and not so much on rolling cars out the door. 

Disclaimer: I hate electric cars, totally and completely, there is zero interest in them on my part.  Yes, I'm an enviro-terrorist.  But these things aren't all lily white environmentally as the electric fans want  us to believe, particularly WRT the evironmental costs in battery production.

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
11/17/17 4:50 p.m.

HapDL:

Have you driven in a modern electric car? If you strip all the politics and range-issues from the equation, you are left with a really wonderful, amazingly quiet motor and a low cg. Since this is a car enthusiast publication and not the National Review, you should really try one.

 

STM317
STM317 Dork
11/17/17 5:07 p.m.

Impressive specs. It would be nice if they could actually deliver their last 'next big thing' before moving on to these newer 'next big things'. At this point, I don't know why they even bother announcing dates for anything. Also, it seems more and more like a pyramid scheme to me. They've been burning through massive amounts of cash for years, so they took a bunch of deposits for the Model 3. The Model 3 is way behind schedule, and the company still isn't profitable, but here's a flashy press conference where we'll ask for $50k deposits for our 'next big thing'.

 

I actually want Tesla to do well. It's great to see an American company innovate and lead a market segment, but if you look at the state of the company, and don't have serious misgivings about their long term feasibility I'm not sure what you're looking at.

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
11/17/17 5:34 p.m.

My understanding is that Tesla would be a profitable company if it wasn't spending so much on things like the gigafactory. Given the behemoths  that they're up against, my sense is that if they don't invest in innovation and growth, they'll soon be overtaken and done away with. 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
11/17/17 5:52 p.m.

This is by far THE only effort from Elon that get's my juices flowing.....oh and the lbft's aren't too shabby...7386 can you say  chiropractor here I come????

Erich
Erich UltraDork
11/17/17 5:58 p.m.

In reply to Kreb :

That's my understanding as well. 

I worry less about their ability to produce these aspirational cars and more about their ability to scale up the Model 3. 

If they can scale up production on Model 3 while keeping defects and reliability decent, then they're a winner. If they can't, I'm just not interested. 

Also, a 200 KWh battery in the roadster?!?! The mk1 Leaf was 24. If the density can scale up tenfold and result in a similar weight car, that's amazing. 

sevenracer
sevenracer Reader
11/17/17 6:10 p.m.

The P90 battery pack weighs 1200 lb. The whole car weighs like 4500 lb. So even given some fairly aggressive assumptions for battery tech improvement, it seems like your carting around 2000lb's of batteries in the new roadster.

I dig the looks, and the performance is, well...plaid, but it sounds like it is going to be a heavy mofo.  A 300 mile range and 1000lbs less curb weight seems like a good tradeoff to me.

 

PS- whatever it weighs, I want one.

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
11/17/17 6:12 p.m.

In reply to Erich:

I know nothing about scaleability  battery wise but if EM can reach/supply these numbers (range...over 300 mi) then I might be receptive to this format. 

STM317
STM317 Dork
11/17/17 7:32 p.m.
Kreb said:

My understanding is that Tesla would be a profitable company if it wasn't spending so much on things like the gigafactory. Given the behemoths  that they're up against, my sense is that if they don't invest in innovation and growth, they'll soon be overtaken and done away with. 

The issue is, the Model 3 was supposed to be their cash flow savior and it's far behind schedule. The gigafactories might be behind. The production facilities are having their own issues and delays. Every day that goes by, the competition gets closer. GM is already selling Bolts with specs and cost similar to the Model 3. And a larger dealer network to get them in front of people. That tells me that Tesla is already being pushed out of the market they helped legitimize because they can't get their money making product out on time. Announcements like this seem like a desperate cash grab and way to distract from their other glaring issues.

Major  car companies  entering the EV market only makes it harder for Tesla. In addition to the consumer marketplace, more manufacturers means more competition for raw materials used for battery production. That increases costs. Now GM, or VW, or Toyota should be able to sell EVs at a lower price than Tesla because they have other non-EV products that can offset the profits they need to keep the lights on.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/17/17 7:33 p.m.

With all due respect Tom, it's not the fastest production car ever.   It is the QUICKEST.

The Hennessey Venom F5, Koenikgsegg Agera RS, Hennessey VenomGT,  Bugatti Chiron, Bugatti Veyron Super Sport,  and the SSC Ultimate Aero are all faster.  

A case could also be made for the Saleen S7, Koenikgsegg CCR, and the McLaren F1 (all of which are actually within a couple mph of the Tesla's theoretical top end).

I'd still rather the Tesla.  wink

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/17/17 7:36 p.m.
Kreb said:

My understanding is that Tesla would be a profitable company if it wasn't spending so much on things like the gigafactory. Given the behemoths  that they're up against, my sense is that if they don't invest in innovation and growth, they'll soon be overtaken and done away with. 

...and when the Gigafactory is the world leader in battery production and technology, GM and the other big boys will be buying batteries from Tesla, and no one will care if Tesla ever builds a car again.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/17/17 7:43 p.m.
STM317 said:

The issue is, the Model 3 was supposed to be their cash flow savior and it's far behind schedule. The gigafactories might be behind. The production facilities are having their own issues and delays. Every day that goes by, the competition gets closer. GM is already selling Bolts with specs and cost similar to the Model 3. And a larger dealer network to get them in front of people. Tesla is already being pushed out of the market they helped legitimize because they can't get their money making product out on time. Announcements like this seem like a desperate cash grab and way to distract from their other glaring issues.

So what if the REAL business plan was to push GM (and others) into high gear in electric vehicle production while cornering the market on battery technology and production?

I think it is presumptive to say the Model 3 was "supposed to be their cash flow savior".    I think the Model 3 simply continues the process of opening the floodgates to Elon Musk's brave new world run on electricity, AI technology, and remote continuously upgradeable operating systems and technologies. 

My $.02

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/17/17 7:45 p.m.

...Oh wait... Brave new WORLDS.

Once he begins colonization of Mars!  winkwink

GCrites80s
GCrites80s New Reader
11/17/17 8:09 p.m.

I care much more about what this company DOES rather than what it MIGHT do. And that goes for all of Musk's side quests as well.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/17/17 8:17 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

You are assuming they are side quests.

I am suggesting they are all integrated.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/17/17 8:28 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

...and let's be honest.  You probably don't give a rat's behind what this company does.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
11/17/17 8:35 p.m.

Indeed, if Musk can push the other "bigger' car companies into producing electric cars the masses want, he did his job. I wonder if Porsche would have been interested in their E if not for Tesla paving the way?

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
11/17/17 8:55 p.m.

I periodically look up price and availability on used Model S Teslas - I think they're a hot looking car but they haven't depreciated very much (yet).  Maybe sometime in the future I'll be able to afford one.  This new sports model is seriously cool as well but I imagine it will be even longer before they fall into my price range.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s New Reader
11/17/17 9:01 p.m.

In reply to SVreX :

I kind of do, but I just become sarcastic over so much futurism and too many people buying in without results. Much like how they talked for 5+ years how the Probe was going to replace the Mustang, how the Loads were such a letdown as compared to Metallica's previous work or that most old futuristic movies never predicted the cell phone, "The Future" has not turned out like I, or most others predicted. This company's mouth is too large, it lacks modesty and has poor self-awareness.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
11/17/17 10:23 p.m.

People Judge the future on what they know. Most futurists predict a linear  approach to tech, when in reality things like computers, cell phones, solar power, and even miniaturization are best taken exponentially. As for cell phones themselves, they had them long before most people realize, just not in the small compact computer form you and I are used to.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s New Reader
11/17/17 10:54 p.m.

Digital is exponential until it runs out of steam and often becomes logarithmic. The physical realm runs on its own set of rules that it decides itself -- completely disregarding human concepts such as exponents, logarithms, algorithms and linearity as in the cases of tire and horsepower development.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/18/17 12:24 a.m.
GCrites80s said:

In reply to SVreX :

I kind of do, but I just become sarcastic over so much futurism and too many people buying in without results. Much like how they talked for 5+ years how the Probe was going to replace the Mustang, how the Loads were such a letdown as compared to Metallica's previous work or that most old futuristic movies never predicted the cell phone, "The Future" has not turned out like I, or most others predicted. This company's mouth is too large, it lacks modesty and has poor self-awareness.

You have the freedom to your opinion, but honestly I can't figure out wha thte heck you are talking about.

So, Tesla (and Eloni Musk, by association) is not a success because the future will not turn out like they predict?

If Elon Musk represents failure, sign me up for as much failure as I can get.

 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s New Reader
11/18/17 7:58 a.m.

Not a failure, but over-valued as a publicly-traded company.

Kreb
Kreb UltraDork
11/18/17 9:14 a.m.

In reply to GCrites80s : Because people see Tesla as a Tech company, not a traditional manufacturing one, and Tech companies are valued by different standards. There are a number of flaws in that way of thinking, but that's just the way that it is.  

 

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
11/18/17 9:43 a.m.

 

Is It 1984 YET !!! even Dick Tracey Had a Wrist Radio, And as I read this a Program was On about A I . They were Talking about Facial Recognition and that they may Already be able to Predict our Next Move Or Thought's So at what Point Do they( A I Robot's) Decide it's Best to Just eliminate Humans  "For Their Own Good" and how do they Program that out of the Robots 'Thought' I know this is a stretch on Electric cars Or is it.

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
11/18/17 10:49 a.m.

It's easy to point out all the issues or reasons something "won't" work.

It's not easy to make something that changes the world.

Elon musk is doing the second, and doesn't particularly care about all the critics who are doing the first.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
11/18/17 1:21 p.m.

In reply to GTXVette :

You do remember that Dick Tracy was fiction right? ;)

plain92
plain92 New Reader
11/18/17 2:15 p.m.

If I had $1mil I would not invest in Chilean lithium, or something. Fingers crossed they have an envorinmental way to do that.

However much or little is publicized, there has to be a fight or resistance from the oil industry on this one. I mean the US economy and bail out has been based on auto mfg. But it seems more people want this than ever. It might take years but if they make enough eventually they should come down in price. For a Silicon Valley dreamer harnessing the sun for a larger % of our energy requirement is an absolute no brainer.

For those paranoid about Skynet just imagine an electric car as a big DC motor with a rheostat pedal switch with a fuse and several batteries; I think it can do that too. Electric Porsches and other converted cars have been roasting the drag strip for decades. I wouldn't say it's just the batteries. But someone that beat NASA to reusable (reuseable?) rockets plus the batteries.

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
11/18/17 3:22 p.m.

In reply to dculberson :

But, But ,Wrist Radio's(Tele's) Are Not. Lol and although Driver less cars are coming soon, How can we Stop the robot Uprising if they Know were Coming after them? At the Moment I am All for the Amazing Cars ,Aircraft, Plasma Drive systems  Nuke Power and Much More You Gotta wonder Where all the Past Civilizations went.

travellering
travellering Reader
11/19/17 10:04 a.m.

I think they are definitely all related quests for ol Musky.  He corners the high energy density battery market so GM et al has to pay him to go to Mars so they can undercut him here with cheapo electric production cars, and he has the market locked down on luxury cars that can run with little to no atmosphere.  First car dealerships on Mars?

simplecat
simplecat New Reader
11/19/17 2:33 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

Logarithmic is still exponential, just shown a different way. Also, I believe the new roadster battery pack is supposed to be solid state lithium, so comparing current batter tech power density and weight isn't the same. I don't think they're planning on selling a 3000lb car with a 2000lb battery back.

Blaise
Blaise Reader
11/20/17 7:40 a.m.

I think a better headline would be "Tesla announces PLANS to TRY to build the fastest production car ever."

It's a concept. And the whole thing is a ruse to draw attention away from the fact that the 3 is still not being delivered (280 total sold so far, not 20,000/mo like they said).

I hope they do great, but it's driving me NUTS that the internet is QUOTING SPECS FOR A CONCEPT CAR. It doesn't exist! You can't buy one, you can't drive one, it's not being produced and the only 'proof' they have is a video of some 0-60 runs, which is in no way indicative of anything.

Blaise
Blaise Reader
11/20/17 7:45 a.m.
simplecat said:

In reply to GCrites80s :

Logarithmic is still exponential, just shown a different way. Also, I believe the new roadster battery pack is supposed to be solid state lithium, so comparing current batter tech power density and weight isn't the same. I don't think they're planning on selling a 3000lb car with a 2000lb battery back.

Is there a difference  in specific energy between solid-state LI batteries vs liquid?

I'm not a battery engineer but from what I've read it does offer some performance improvements but your basic kWh/kg doesn't move much.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
11/20/17 8:04 a.m.

A number of you sound like you did when the Model S was announced. "Oh, he'll never do that, they only make little electric Lotuses!" Now it's not only in production, there's a CUV next to it AND a complete charging infrastructure nationwide (that ate up a lot of profits, itself). As Kreb said earlier, don't bet against them. They may be a little late on delivering what they promise, but they do deliver, from long range luxury performance electric cars to rockets that take off AND land properly. Yeah, they've done some stupid stuff that they didn't need to do (falcon doors, for example), but at the core, they are making cars and disrupting the game plan of every other manufacturer.

As for the closed minded bullE36 M3 that is "I hate EVS" think about what you're saying. It's just another method of providing propulsion to a vehicle. If you can accept everything from single cyl 2 stroke motorcycles to W16s, with a myriad of sounds and ways of providing power, then you can accept the instant thrust of an electric motor. For me, I don't care what provides motive power, so long as the car is responsive, fairly agile in stock form, and provides G forces in acceleration, braking and cornering. I'm not paid by the oil companies, so I'm not invested in exploding dinosaurs as the ONLY MOTIVE POWER I'LL ACCEPT! Sheesh!

And I don't really give a E36 M3 about being green, either, if a car is fun, it's fun, and I've had a bunch of fun driving some of these modern EVs, from the Spark EV with 400 lb ft of torque to my buddy's Model S. But, they ARE actually pretty green in that they are power generation agnostic, meaning you can get power from coal plants, hydro plants, wind farms, solar arrays on your home, and more. And as new power sources are found, they automatically can take advantage of that unlike ICE cars. And a single centralized power source, like a NG fired plant, is orders of magnitude cleaner than a million individual point sources of pollution, each of which are getting dirtier every year that they are used. And they allow urban areas to remain cleaner as they aren't directly emitting pollution in a confined space. So in that regards, they are in fact cleaner. Lithium is "mined" in evaporative brine ponds that are cleaner that oil drilling, too. The ONLY thing that is suspect, but it affects regular cars, too, is the cobalt used in the electrical system. We've got to get a solution to that problem.

FlightService
FlightService MegaDork
11/20/17 8:49 a.m.

Let's argue for a minute it doesn't do 250 or 600 miles per charge.

 

Let's say it does 200 mph and 400 miles per charge.  

That still puts it in the 911 Turbo S, McLaren 720S, Audi R8 V10Plus, etc. price range and it will outrun all of them and cruise further.  I would argue it is probably cheaper to own across the board too.

I want to know about the motor controller on those things.

FlightService
FlightService MegaDork
11/20/17 8:55 a.m.
SVreX said:
 

If Elon Musk represents failure, sign me up for as much failure as I can get.

 

I want to fail like Musk too!  #FailLikeElon

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
11/20/17 9:08 a.m.
plain92 said:

 

For those paranoid about Skynet

If anyone is paranoid about that aspect, they should probably not use the Internet or have a cell phone.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
11/20/17 9:13 a.m.

So, is it true that they essentially want folks to pay now for a promise of a car in three years?

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy New Reader
11/20/17 10:05 a.m.

They saw people were willing to plunk some money down before the Model 3 was ever released, why not have rich people who want a fast car plunk down more money?

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
11/20/17 10:53 a.m.
T.J. said:

So, is it true that they essentially want folks to pay now for a promise of a car in three years?

No no no, Tesla is allowing folks to pay now for a promise of a car in three years.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
11/20/17 11:31 a.m.

yeah, 'cause no other company ever took deposits on cars that hadn't been built yet, for spots in line.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
11/20/17 12:01 p.m.
Chris_V said:

yeah, 'cause no other company ever took deposits on cars that hadn't been built yet, for spots in line.

Also, all of McLaren's BP23s (a new car in development, probably not the final name) were pre-sold before there were any concrete specs or even a picture/drawing of the car.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
11/20/17 1:13 p.m.

I would be wary of loaning my money to a company that only seems to lose money. That can't continue for ever. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
11/20/17 1:28 p.m.

In reply to T.J. :

Tesla's lenders apparently disagree with you.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
11/20/17 1:58 p.m.
T.J. said:

I would be wary of loaning my money to a company that only seems to lose money. That can't continue for ever. 

Well, they make money on every car they sell, they just happen to be investing their profits back into R&D and things like the supercharger infrastructure and gigafactory, which investors seem to love.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s New Reader
11/20/17 8:23 p.m.

Oh Tesla can build supercars just fine. That's not an issue. Scaling faster than any other car company has since Ford nearly 100 years ago is the issue.

How this stock grows is that they get all the futurists salivating. Then fund managers and other sophisticated investors who are agnostic or even bearish on the stock throw up their hands and say "Well, the futurists are going to go so nuts for this that we have to buy in too... but we'll also short it at the same time" Of course everybody's shorts have different time horizons so they don't all kick in at once. Then once average investors see the growth they want in too. Tesla does have much better brand recognition than most tech startups since its much easier to explain what they do since they aren't actually tech but rather "boring" manufacturing.

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