I remember the days when I was ignorant of what the stereotypes of being a ‘Tesla owner’ were. The good old days when I liked whatever I thought was cool. (I still do, but I’m making a point), I didn’t think something was extremely uncool because it had a Tesla logo on it.
In fairness to me, if you look at Tesla’s current line-up and you have working eyes, you’ll see they’re some of the worst looking cars on the road. But there was one, and boy, it was special. It was the Tesla Roadster. But firstly, in case you’re unaware, I need to answer the question…
What was the Tesla Roadster?
As the name suggests, Tesla produced a small, 2-seater roadster for a short period of time. It had the looks of the Lotus and performance to match. It was the car intended to save electric
power’s image after all the damage the Prius did in the early 2000s, with their extremely uncool, boring, slow hybrid, only owned by ‘pretentious celebrities’ and the most boring person you’ve ever met.Why did Tesla stop making the Roadster?
Well Mr. Musk, in all his wisdom, came out and said basing the Roadster on the Lotus Elise was a bad idea, simply because the Elise wouldn’t work with the technology that electric car manufacturer AC Propulsion wanted to use. For it to work, the little Roadster was modified so that only 7% of its parts were shared with the Lotus.
It’s also important to point out that the Tesla Roadster is a pretty rare vehicle. According to CNBC, the automaker only produced 2,450 units of the 2-seater. The car had a price tag of around $100,000 when new.
Will Tesla make another proper Roadster?
You’ve probably seen the rumored new Roadster, but I’m not talking about that. It has been delayed for about 300 years, and let’s be honest, Tesla has massively overpromised yet again before making a solid end product (see Cybertruck). In your imagination, the new Roadster will get to 60 miles per hour in 0 seconds (it’ll constantly be traveling at 60 miles per hour), it’ll have a Space X mode (it’ll grow two rockets and take you to the moon in 0.002 seconds) and it’ll have a 3000 million trillion mile range.
Pie in the sky ideas aside, the first question the electrified automaker needs to ask is if it wants its next Roadster to be a supercar, a fun cruiser, or a Lotus type weekend track car. My guess is they’ll somehow try and make it all three and give it an ‘X Mode’ where Elon Musk appears as a hologram in your car and begs you to buy a Twitter, sorry, an X subscription.
Sorry, I got sidetracked. If Tesla decides to go down the weekend track car route (aimed at people who already own a Model S or Y and want something fun for the weekend), I hope they involve Lotus again, given how good Lotus is at producing light chassis for fun cars. I know people will disagree, but I really don’t think the new Roadster needs to go from 0-60 in 1.9 milliseconds or whatever the quoted figure is. As long as it comes with a good chassis, good range, and good handling dynamics, I can see there being a place on the market for the Roadster. Again, if they make it affordable, mass-produced, etc. If they do, it might even find a place in the hearts of Tesla-hating car enthusiasts, as there basically isn’t a fun electric roadster.
I can’t directly answer if Tesla will make another Roadster for the mass market, but I really hope they do. It’d be the first electric vehicle that would appeal to me and perhaps many other car enthusiasts.