New Tesla Roadster: Everything we know in March 2024

  • Next-gen Roadster likely to be the most radical Tesla since the Model S
  • Could get aerospace-derived tech with an optional SpaceX package
  • Prices may start at USD 200,000
  • Deliveries to begin in 2025

Update: ‘Will outperform the Model S Plaid,’ ‘Working feverishly on it, says Tesla design boss,’ and ‘New Tesla Roadster release date’ sections updated.

Tesla fans and reservation holders of the Roadster must be hoping that the long wait would be worth it. The current Model S already seems like the ultimate performance car from the EV maker, and the Tesla Roadster would need to surpass its sibling first to be the brand’s flagship. Wondering how fast the Roadster might be? Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk has an answer.

Will outperform the Model S Plaid

In a conversation with Ride the Lightning podcast’s host Ryan McCaffrey on January 15, 2023, Tesla’s Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen said the Roadster will perform better on every metric than when it was first conceived. Franz cited the unhinged performance of the Model S Plaid which, despite its mass, fulfills every metric the company had set for it. Then, it stands to reason that the smaller and lighter Roadster will outperform the sedan. While there have been delays, the time afforded has been invaluable in improving the Roadster, the Chief Designer stated.

On February 28, 2024, Musk shocked the world with a post on X with a new targeted specification of the next-gen Roadster. He said that the upcoming electric roadster will hit 0-60 in less than one second. This revelation had all types of enthusiasts and experts engaged in discussions about how Tesla will manage to deliver such crazy-fast acceleration and if the human body will even be able to withstand the resulting extreme G-force. The announcement got the attention of Bugatti Rimac CEO Mate Rimac (via Facebook) as well.

Tesla Roadster front three quarter
The Tesla Roadster would come with the ‘SpaceX package’ consisting of cold air thrusters around the car to improve top speed, braking, and cornering. Image: Tesla

Before November 16, 2017, and ahead of the new Tesla Roadster debut, ‘Ludicrous’ denoted Tesla’s highest possible performance spec or mode. During the unveiling of the new generation Roadster, Musk said, “There’s only one thing beyond Ludicrous, and that’s Plaid.” “The new Tesla Roadster will be the fastest car (production car) ever made, period,” Musk said, displaying a 0-60 mph acceleration time of just 1.9 seconds for the new Roadster. The world assumed that was the performance Tesla aimed for with the all-new Roadster in Plaid mode.

From June 2021 onwards, Tesla began selling the Model S in a ‘Plaid’ variant with a 0-60 mph acceleration time of just 1.99 seconds and subtracted rollout time. The rollout is the distance any car takes to get off the line. Including the rollout, the 0-60 mph time would be just over 2 seconds, which is still mind-bogglingly fast.

The Model S Plaid uses three electric motors to produce 1,020 hp and 1,050 lb-ft for reference. Musk has promised that the two-door model will outperform the Model S Plaid. “We have a few ideas for increasing torque & max rpm even further for the new Roadster,” Musk said in a post on X on June 13, 2021. “Definitely fun and exciting engineering ahead!” he added.

SpaceX package

Musk has stated that Tesla will offer the new Roadster with the optional ‘SpaceX package,’ which includes cold air thrusters around the car to improve top speed, braking, and cornering. When the CEO announced in January 2021, he stated that the SpaceX package would allow the Roadster to accelerate even faster, from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.1 seconds. At this point, the acceleration figures appear just unbelievable. We’ll have to wait for the production version to make it to the drag strips to witness the performance with our own eyes.

While rocket technology raises safety concerns, Musk has assured that the next-gen Roadster would be a safe car. If used as advised, it would provide an experience unlike any other factory-built street-legal car. Science geeks who aren’t necessarily performance enthusiasts may also appreciate the incredible piece of aerospace engineering in their car.

2022-Tesla-Roadster-unveil-Tesla-Semi-Elon-Musk
Tesla was expected to put the second-generation Roadster on the market in 2020 initially, but the product has been repeatedly delayed. Image Source: youtube.com/Tesla

A patent application has revealed Ferrari is exploring a similar technology in its cars. The Prancing Horse is exploring “gas pushers,” which are “pulse jets” powered by compressed air or liquid fuel (like gasoline), delivered through thrusters located at the front, sides, and rear of the car. The company thinks this technology could be useful in giving a car a temporary boost and also aiding in handling and deceleration. The new system assisting the car’s powertrain may add 40-45 kg (88-99 lbs.) to its weight. The Drive has published the pictures and given a detailed explanation of this patent application, in case you’d like to know more.

Working feverishly on it, says Tesla design boss

On February 9, 2022, von Holzhausen, stated in Spike’s Car Radio podcast that the Roadster will be “an exciting flying machine” and that “defying gravity is an interesting idea.” Tesla is working feverishly on the new Roadster, the design boss added. He said the company’s engineers have learned a lot from the Model S Plaid. He stated that the Plaid’s lessons would result in an even better Roadster than the brand had imagined.

Tesla has since significantly increased the design goals for the next-gen Roadster, and this model will be a car like no other, Musk revealed in a post on X on February 28, 2024. In a follow-up on X a few minutes later, he said that Tesla will complete the production design of the redesigned model by the end of 2024.

Tesla Roadster Interior

The next-gen Roadster has a minimalistic interior, which is typical of a Tesla. It features a sleek dashboard with carbon-fiber trim, a spaceship-themed steering yoke, and a curved, super-slim bridge-type center console that houses a large portrait touchscreen. A hollowed section below the center console provides extra storage for slightly large items like a grocery bag or a handbag. The central armrest houses a cupholder.

Tesla, much like Apple, has a certain way of doing things, which is not customer-friendly in some cases. Unlike other car companies that have embraced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Tesla has avoided offering integration for these platforms. Current Teslas are devoid of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant as well. However, things are changing. In December 2022, the company introduced Apple Music support for its vehicles via a software update.

At least one of the Roadster configurations will have four seats, and while the rear seats might not be comfortable for adults, it’s a rare feature in supercars. The car has a removable glass roof storable in the trunk.

Autonomous driving

Tesla will likely offer Autopilot as standard and Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self Driving (FSD) as options in the next-gen Roadster. Basic Autopilot enables the car to steer, accelerate, and brake automatically for other vehicles and pedestrians within its lane.

Enhanced Autopilot, which costs USD 6,000 across the current range, brings several additional hands-free driving capabilities. It allows autonomous driving on highways along with automatic lane change and enables automatic parallel and perpendicular parking and Smart Summon functions. FSD, the name of which could change by the time of the next-gen Roadster’s arrival, gives the car the capability to identify stop signs and traffic lights and automatically slow down where required. In the future, it will enable automatic steering on city streets.

New Tesla Roadster release date

The next-gen Tesla Roadster will debut at the end of 2024, Musk said in one of his X posts on February 28, 2024. He also revealed that Tesla aims to start next-gen Roadster deliveries in 2025.

It’s been almost 16 years since the original Tesla Roadster went on sale. Musk was the car’s first customer, having taken the first-gen model’s delivery on March 17, 2008. On the last weekend of May 2009, Tesla delivered the 500th unit, and then later the same year, it started selling the car in Europe. Just back on October 20, 2023, announcing its 1 million sales milestone in Europe on X, the company shared that it has been 14 years since it delivered the first Roadster in the region.

A 7-year road to production

The gap between the product announcement and market launch of the new Roadster is significant, spanning a lengthy 7-year period. This duration is comparable to the entire lifecycle of a conventional sports car’s single generation! To put it into perspective, popular models like the Porsche 911 undergo a complete overhaul approximately every seven years. Perhaps Tesla could’ve engineered and released a simpler and less-expensive new Roadster while continuing to develop the product.

Tesla Roadster rear three quarter
The Tesla Roadster prototype has a 200 kWh battery that supports supercharging at 350 kW DC and offers a range of 620 miles (997 km) at highway speeds. Final specs are awaited. Image: Tesla

Many reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the semiconductor shortage, have repeatedly pushed back the launch of the next-generation Roadster. Moreover, on the Ride the Lighting podcast on January 15, 2023, von Holzhausen said that mass electrification is the company’s priority and the Roadster is not a mass product.

Limited-run model

On April 5, 2023, Tesla unveiled its Master Plan Part 3, a document that outlines its current and future models, not including the Roadster. This is likely due to the fact that Tesla doesn’t tag the Roadster as a main player in sales figures. There have been several hints that point towards the new Roadster being produced in limited quantity and being marketed to hardcore performance fans and collectors.

Tesla future line-up
The next-gen Tesla Roadster will be a low-volume exercise unlike the Model 3, Model Y, Cybertruck, and other Teslas. Image Source: YouTube/Tesla

During the 2023 Investor Day on March 1, 2023, Tesla indicated in its presentation that the redesigned Roadster won’t be a big sales contributor as it was not pictured on its Global Electric Fleet slide. The halo car would rather serve as a brand-shaping product and an innovation platform. It will likely push the boundaries for performance, efficiency, and design, with things that wouldn’t be normally possible on mainstream models like the Model 3 or Model Y.

On display

While the all-new Roadster continues to be delayed year after year, the design is a crowd-puller. Tesla is taking every opportunity to remind fans and customers what it is working on. On April 7, 2022, the company showcased the model at the Giga Texas factory during the Cyber Rodeo event. X user StargazerPlaid shared live pictures (above) of the future Tesla model enthralling fans five years after its premiere.

Specifications & Features

With its last three launches, Tesla has learned valuable lessons about introducing new technology to the market. If the company delivers on what was promised at the prototype’s unveiling in 2017, there is no doubt that the new Tesla Roadster has the potential to be the new benchmark in electric vehicles, offering hypercar-level performance with everyday usability.

Top speed

The all-new Roadster sits on a dedicated EV platform and will maximize high-performance and efficiency with spectacular figures: wheel torque of 7,475 lb-ft (10,000 Nm) and a top speed of over 250 mph (402 km/h). In addition, it will feature an all-wheel-drive layout with torque vectoring (one electric motor at the front, two at the rear). At least in terms of acceleration (0-60 mph in <1 second), it should outperform combustion-engined supercars.

Battery, Charging & Range

The Tesla Roadster prototype features a 200 kWh battery that supports charging at 350 kW DC and offers a range of 620 miles (997 km) at highway speeds, the longest driving range on a production EV. We wonder how Tesla has managed to fit such a large battery pack onto a compact sports car. The Hummer EV also has a massive 200+ kWh battery, and we know how gigantic its frame is.

Wireless charging

The next-gen Tesla Roadster could be one of the brand’s first models to feature wireless charging. In an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage (via YouTube), von Holzhausen revealed that Tesla is developing wireless EV charging technology. Customers will need to just park their Tesla over a wireless EV charging pad installed in their garage and the car will automatically start charging, the design boss said.

Wireless EV charging technology would be quite expensive initially, so it’s safe to assume that Tesla would want to deploy it in its expensive models like the next-gen Roadster first. We think clients of high-end electric sports cars like Tesla’s next-gen Roadster and exotic EVs like the Rolls-Royce Spectre would happily pay a premium to do away with the fuss of charging cables.

Tesla 4680 Battery Cell

Tesla will deploy its new 4680 battery cell format in the new Roadster. The company has named the new format after its dimensions: 80 mm in length and around 46 mm in diameter. Andrew Baglino, Senior Vice President, Powertrain and Energy Engineering, Tesla, has said that the 4680 cells can offer far more power and increased range. The new tabless cell technology’s advantages include reduced battery pack size and cost/kWh as well.

We get five times the energy with six times the power, and enable 16% range increase just (from the change in) form factor alone.

Andrew Baglino, Senior Vice President, Powertrain and Energy Engineering, Tesla (Tesla Battery Day 2020)
Tesla Roadster side profile
A small footprint, an incredibly aerodynamic design, and powerful electric motors would make the Tesla Roadster a rocketship on wheels. Image: Tesla

During its Q2 2023 earnings conference call on July 19, 2023, Tesla revealed that 4680 cell production at Gigafactory Texas during the quarter was up 80% over Q1 2023 and cumulative 4680 cell production there had surpassed 10 million units. It should significantly ramp up 4680 cell production by the time it launches the next-gen Roadster.

Tesla plans to manufacture the 4680 cells at the Gigafactory Nevada as well. The company is expanding Gigafactory Nevada to add a 100 GWh 4680 cell factory and its first high-volume Semi factory.

New Tesla Roadster price

Tesla initially priced the new Roadster at USD 200,000 in the base trim and USD 250,000 in the priority-delivery (first 1,000 units) Founder’s Series trim. While reservations are still open, Tesla has removed the prices from its website. In the U.S., customers need to place a deposit of USD 50,000; an initial USD 5,000 credit card payment, and then a USD 45,000 wire transfer payment due in 10 days. Perhaps, Tesla removed prices because it can no longer promise the initially announced prices for new reservations. The company could announce a price hike closer to the launch.

In China, local reports say Tesla resumed accepting Roadster reservations on May 30, 2023. As we understand, customers in China can place a new Roadster reservation deposit of CNY 332,000, which converts to approximately USD 46,471. The first payment for the new Roadster booking is fully refundable at any time during the purchase process.

Right-hand drive markets like Japan and the UK, which have some of the most discerning sports car customers even though they don’t come close to the U.S. in terms of volume, will also get the new Roadster.

Rivals

The next-gen Tesla Roadster will compete with the likes of Maserati GranTurismo Folgore and Fisker Ronin initially. By mid-decade, it will also have to contend with exciting new electric cars like the Polestar 6, the possibly delayed Lotus Type 135, and the Chevrolet Corvette Electric. A variety of conventional sports cars, in the current and future iterations, will also be its competitors, such as the Porsche 911 Cabriolet, Ferrari 296 GTS, McLaren 720S Spider, and the Lamborghini Huracan EVO Spyder.

Most anticipated EV

According to a search volume data analysis conducted by Lease Fetcher on Google searches, the Tesla Roadster came out as the most anticipated EV of 2023, on a global level. Data showed that users searched for the model a total of 6,960,000 times in 2022, which means an average of 580,000 searches per month. On a per-country level, the Roadster garnered a total of 2,424,000 searches on Google in the U.S. for 2022, with the U.K. coming in a distant second place due to its total search volume being only 360,000 over the same period.

The Roadster remains one of Tesla’s most anticipated models. Tesla fans and performance enthusiasts are equally excited about the future sports car. On March 29, 2023, Consumer Reports released a list of “hot” upcoming EVs, and one of these future zero-emission models was the next-gen Roadster.

TopElectricSUV says

The all-new Tesla Roadster may be long overdue now, but when it finally arrives in 2024 (we hope), it should prove the wait was worth it. Packing aerospace-derived technologies and a bevy of innovations, the 2024 model will likely revolutionize the sports car market.

The next-generation Roadster will be as intense as a hardcore roller coaster, meaning it won’t be for the faint-hearted enthusiast. In all likeliness, it would be more extreme than what Tesla promised with Plaid at the convertible concept’s debut in 2017. The team working on the project is hinting at performance levels that lift the car off the ground!

New Tesla Roadster FAQs

What is the new Tesla Roadster release date?

We expect the launch of the new Tesla Roadster’s premiere in late 2024. Customer deliveries are expected in 2025.

What will be the new Tesla Roadster price?

The new Tesla Roadster will likely cost USD 200,000 onwards.

Which are the Tesla Roadster competitors?

Featured image: Tesla