Given all of Musk’s claims in the past, it’s got a lot to live up to for sure

0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds. 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds. A quarter-mile run in 8.8 seconds and a top speed in excess of 250 mph. All with a car that can go over 620 miles on a single charge. These were Elon Musk’s claims about the second-generation Tesla Roadster two years ago. If you’re still impressed, don’t be because, apparently, the production version will blow to smithereens the prototype. Or so says its designer.

The Tesla Roadster will be "the ultimate vehicle"

Can the Tesla Roadster Really Be Faster Than Expected or Is This News Just Damage Control for Missed Targets?
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Forget about the Bugatti Chiron. Forget about the Koenigsegg Jesko or the Pininfarina Battista or just about any other hybrid, electric, or gas-guzzling hypercar because we’ll all have to turn our heads back around to the front when the second-generation Tesla Roadster finally arrives... sometime in the future.

All right, so we don't know when it will be ready but Tesla wants us to believe it's worth waiting for the 2+2 electric missile for the road.

According to Franz von Holzhausen, ex Mazda and Volkswagen designer who’s penned all Teslas since the Model S, the Roadster is "evolving" and "needs more time," but, on the upside, it will be "even better than what we’ve unveiled in every way." He’s referring to the prototype shown two years ago alongside Tesla’s equally futuristic Semi. The American designer made these audacious claims during a ’Ride the Lightning’ podcast but he was tight-lipped when it came to giving away any numbers.

Can the Tesla Roadster Really Be Faster Than Expected or Is This News Just Damage Control for Missed Targets?
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What we know is that the Roadster will feature the ’Plaid’ drivetrain with the triple electric motor setup, one in the front and two in the rear, allowing for all-wheel drive and torque vectoring mid-corner. We’ve already seen bits of what a Plaid-equipped Model S can do around the Nordschleife so you can only imagine what a Roadster’s capable of. After all, it’s not every day that we can talk about a car with a 200-kWh (720 MJ) battery that features one of the most amazing optional extras in the entire automotive industry: 10 cold gas thrusters that are said to slash the 0-60 mph time from 2.1 seconds to 1.9 seconds. Now, given von Holzhausen’s bold statements, we expect even more. But how much more is even possible?

2020 Tesla Roadster performance numbers
0-to-60 mph 1.9 seconds
0-to-100 mph 4.2 seconds
Quarter mile 8.9 seconds
Top speed 250+ mph
Range per charge 620 miles
Battery pack 200 kWh
Electric motors 3 (one in front, two in rear)
Torque 10,000 Nm

With 7,2000 pound-feet of torque sent to the wheels (in prototype form that is), Tesla thinks a lot is possible. "It’s an amazing machine. That car is like no other," Tesla’s Chief Designer also underlined.

"It showcases the ability of what an electric vehicle can do."

Let’s hope all this isn’t just dust in the wind and that the $200,000 MSRP won’t change but don’t bet your life on it just yet.

Can the Tesla Roadster Really Be Faster Than Expected or Is This News Just Damage Control for Missed Targets?
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We don’t mean to say that improving on the Roadster’s already mind-boggling performance figures is impossible but you got to admit it’s a tall order for anyone, given it’s supposed to crush everything in the hypercar realm. And we don’t use ’crush’ as a hyperbole. Consider the Pininfarina Battista. With 1,900 horsepower and 1696 pound-feet of torque from its Rimac-developed power bank, it will seem like a horse-drawn carriage next to the Roadster that’s supposed to dip below the Battista’s 1.8-second 0-60 mph time with over four times the torque. And it should also blow it out of the water when it comes to a top speed run since the Battista won’t surpass 217 mph, 33 mph slower than the suggested top speed for the Roadster in prototype guise.

Looking across to what ICE-powered cars can muster, it’s laughable. A Jesko needs some 2.5 seconds to hit 60 mph and a Chiron can’t go below 2.4 seconds. Tesla’s very own Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode and the latest updates is said to be capable of a sub-2.3-second 0-60 mph run but even that is about half a second slower than the Roadster.

We don't know exactly how powerful the Roadster will be but all of the cars we've mentioned up until now are genuine powerhouses with as much as 1,600 horsepower on tap, so we guess Tesla aims to surpass that number too.

In hindsight, after seeing how Musk strapped the first-gen Roadster to one of its rockets and sent it into space, we can only conclude that the sky is really the limit for Tesla - and it has to be given how high they’ve set the bar for themselves with all the statements made in the past two years.

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert -
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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