Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old
Tesla just unveiled the second-generation Roadster and launched a big shock wave around the world. It’s not the Roadster’s return that took us by surprise, but the incredible specs that the car comes with. Not only set to become the quickest production vehicle ever with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of only 1.9 seconds, it also has a 250-mph top speed. The latter is downright spectacular for gasoline-powered supercar and I honestly didn’t think I’d live to see a production EV hit that much. But before we get overly excited, we must remember that the second-gen Roadster won’t become available until 2020. And given Tesla’s habit of delaying production, it may take a bit longer than that.
Many details are still under wraps, but Tesla made sure that all the new Roadster’s spectacular features hit the news. So we now have quite a few figures to compare with the first-generation Roadster. It takes just a quick glance to notice that Tesla made tremendous progress since 2008, and this is exactly why we need to put the numbers next to each other. While the first Roadster marked Tesla’s debut on the market and the beginning of a spectacular career for the California-based brand (albeit sprinkled with plenty of issues), the second Roadster could take Elon Musk’s firm to new heights. If all goes according to plan of course, because it may happen the other way around too.
This comparison is far from complete given that the latest Roadster is far from being a production model, but the aim is to look at Tesla’s progress rather than provide an comprehensive comparo.
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2020 Tesla Roadster
Back in 2008, a little upstart EV company named Tesla threw a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor into a Lotus Elise and called it the Roadster. It was the very first model to bear the Tesla badge, and it was the first highway-legal series production all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles in a single charge. Now, nearly 10 years and several remarkable models later, Tesla is at it again, revealing a second-generation Roadster in a surprise debut alongside its new all-electric semi truck. While it’s still several years away from hitting public roads, Tesla dropped a variety of specs and numbers for the Roadster 2.0, and long story short, this thing is shaping up to be an absolute monster. If it really can do everything that Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims it can, the second-gen Roadster will set numerous performance records, including quickest to 60 mph, quickest to 100 mph, and quickest in the quarter mile. And that includes internal combustion-based production vehicles, by the way. It’ll also set new standards for EVs in the realms of range per charge and top speed. This is faster than Insane Mode. This is faster than Ludicrous Mode. This, dear readers, is straight up Plaid.
While we knew Tesla had a new Roadster coming down the pipeline, few would have guessed what it might be capable of. We even put together a speculative piece about a potential Tesla supercar a while back, but it turns out the California automaker combined the two ideas into one incredible world-beater. “The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” says Musk. “Driving a gasoline sports car is gonna feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.” Indeed, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is framed as a bona fide halo car, an ultra-quick speed machine that’ll show Tesla’s true performance potential. Read on for the details.
Updated 11/17/2017: Tesla just revealed the new Roadster!
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Tesla Roadster.
2019 Tesla Semi
Elon Musk and Tesla have defied the odds by finally debuting the automaker’s first stab at the commercial trucking industry. It’s called simply the Tesla Semi and it finally broke cover at a media event on November 16, 2017, after years of teasing. Debuting alongside the hot 2020 Tesla Roadster, the Semi is designed to reinvent the way trucking is done. Tesla says its all-electric drivetrain will give more than 500 miles of range on a single charge while towing 80,000 pounds, be far less difficult to maintain, and outperform convention semi trucks in both performance and safety – all at a lower operating cost. That’s a tall order. Oh, and it’ll hit 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds when unloaded.
Along with the Semi, Tesla will be releasing a new charging system. It’s called the Megacharger and it’s a high-speed DC charging station capable of adding roughly 400 miles of range in only 30 minutes. Tesla says the Megachargers can be installed by fleet operators anywhere along their routes and will be common at truck stops in heavily trafficked areas.
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Tesla Debuts New Semi Truck
Tesla just unveiled the next major undertaking in its ongoing mission to bring electric motivation to every corner of the transportation universe. This time around, the California-based automaker is targeting semi trucks, revealing its brand-new vehicle at a special event in Los Angeles. Tesla’s aim is to not only make the job of truck driving easier, but also make it less expensive to move cargo while also increasing safety.
Of course, Tesla’s various models are well known for their high-performance, and the new semi is no different. It’s got a total of four independent electric motors, and can go 0-to-60 mph in 5 seconds without a trailer. With a full 80,000-pound payload, the semi can hit 60 mph in just 20 seconds, while also climbing a 5-percent grade at 65 mph. Heading downhill, the onboard regenerative braking can covert 98 percent of the kinetic energy back into juice for the battery pack, yielding “infinite” brake life. Most importantly, Tesla says it’ll go 500 miles per charge with a full payload at highway speeds, which means this thing is ready to roll.
Almost, at least. Tesla is taking reservations now at $5,000 a pop, with production scheduled to kick off in 2019. Read on for more details.
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Tesla Makes Surprise Debut Of Next-Gen Roadster
Following the debut of its new semi truck, Tesla dropped a bombshell with the surprise reveal of its second-generation Roadster. The specs on this thing are simply outlandish – 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, which would make it the first production car to break the 2-second barrier in the test. The sprint to 100 mph will take 4.2 seconds, while the quarter mile is dispatched in 8.9 seconds. Top speed is rated at over 250 mph. Torque output comes to a mind-bending 10,000 Nm (that’s 7,376 pound-feet, by the way). This thing is a world-beater in every single sense, capable of setting multiple world records, and Musk knows it, quipping that the new Roadster is basically a “hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” and that after driving the Roadster 2.0, internal combustion would feel like “a steam engine with a side of quiche.”
No kidding. Not only do the acceleration specs blow away the current crop of dino juice sports cars, but the new Tesla Roadster also has the stamina to back its insane performance. Packing a 200-kWh battery and three motors (yep, its AWD), range-per-charge is an astonishing 620 miles on the highway, which means it would have the most range of any production electric car ever made. Throw in the 2+2 seating arrangement and some decent storage (frunk for the win?), and you can bet the big makes are feeling the heat right about now. And oh yeah, it also looks fantastic, rocking a targa top for extra headroom if you want it. The cherry on top? This is the base model, which means more range and more speed are on the way.
Availability for the second-gen Tesla Roadster is scheduled for 2020. Pricing will be around $200,000, although the first 1,000 units will be dubbed the Founder series and will cost at least $250,000. Reservations are open now, with a $50,000 deposit required for the standard model and the full $250,000 required to reserve a unit from the Founder series.
Elon Musk Pulls a Donald Trump; Criticizes the Media
So, once Donald Trump took office, we definitely saw what it was like to see someone be criticized by the media and, in turn, we have also seen what can be said when that person being criticized fires back – the Trump\Media war against each other has been and still is going strong. Well, Trump is the only one who has a dissenting view of the media these days, and – big surprise here – the other crybaby is also a billionaire wonderboy that goes by the name Elon Musk. Of course, Musk didn’t take to social media to complain about the fake news and phony media but instead whined about it to all of the people on the conference call made to discuss Tesla’s scary loss of $619 million over the last quarter. The truth is that, like Donald Trump, Musk didn’t really have anything good to say about the media – even saying that the recent stories about firings at Tesla we taken completely out of context. It turns out fake news is everywhere.
According to Business Insider, Musk actually went on a bit of a rant, saying “Journalists and editors with low integrity failed to provide any context. The actual article would have read, ’Tesla fires 2% of employee base for performance-based reasons….’ Of course, that would be a meaningless article so, of course, they forget to include that. Shame.” And, so this isn’t taken out of context, it’s be reported that Musk actually yelled the word “Shame!”
For what it’s worth, musk has clarified that the number of people who lost their jobs was just 700, or – you know – that two-percent of his workforce. Of course, this isn’t the end of the story by a longshot. Lately, Tesla has been the focus of a number of lawsuits including racial discrimination, being anti-LGBT, the delay of the Model 3, cheating Stephen Platt out of shares, and it is even being sued by the UAW as the UAW believes Tesla fired some employees that were pro-union, just because they were pro-union. Of course, Tesla alleges that it is all based on the fact that they all (700 of them) were fired for poor performance, but you know how that story goes.
Pops’ Rants: Volvo Shamelessly Reheated an Old Concept to Revive Polestar
As much as I’m in love with the 1950s and 1960s when it comes to car designs, the automotive industry is living a golden era as we speak. The variety is incredible, there are plenty of attractive offers at dealerships, and nearly every car, no matter how affordable, packs a ton of tech that makes life behind the steering wheel easier. But this golden era also comes with a lot of bullshit, ranging from fancy and unnecessary PR talk to bragging about performance figures that aren’t that great. And of course, trying to justify overpriced special-edition model with extra features that are either barely noticeable or useless. Which brings me to the latest car that’s getting everyone excited: the Polestar 1.
A while back Volvo decided that Polestar should also make its own cars besides tuning what’s already available in dealerships. Polestar delivered and announced the 1. I mean the Polestar 1, because the "1" nameplate doesn’t make much sense by itself. Everyone got excited! Oh my God, pretty coupe, powerful hybrid drivetrain, shut up and take my money! Well no, the Polestar 1 doesn’t deserve all the attention. And it doesn’t deserve your hard-earned money. Let me explain.
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Shocker! Elon Musk May Delay Tesla Model 3 Production
Elon Musk is, undeniably, a very busy and ambitious man. But, it comes at a cost. In this case, that cost is the reliability of his word when it comes to timetables. It almost seems as if every time we turn around Tesla is missing one of its targets, and now, that’s about to happen again. Not only did Elon Musk tweet that its semi-truck unveiling would be pushed back, but that the Model 3 was “deep in production hell.” You know what that means? It means you’re probably not going to get your Model 3 when the company said you would. When a customer asked Musk if he would get his Model 3 this year, Musk’s reply was a little sketchy: “December will be a big month, so probably, but it is impossible to be certain right now.”
The truth is, Tesla is in some hot water as far as Model 3 production goes. Musk had originally projected that Tesla would produce 1,500 examples of the Model 3 in the third quarter but fell far short, with official numbers stopping at 260. To add to that, of those 260, only 220 of them were actually delivered. Apparently, there is a huge bottleneck happening, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that some parts for the Model 3 were being made by hand back in September. Of course, this isn’t the only thing holding the company back, as Musk now has a deal with Puerto Rico to help bring power back to the island after it was ravaged by mother nature . As such, some sources have also been diverted to increasing Tesla battery production.
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Is This Tesla’s Upcoming Semi-Truck?
Talk of Tesla’s all-electric semi-truck is gaining steam thanks to a Reddit user who posted a photo that appears to show an uncamouflaged prototype loaded on a flatbed trailer. The photo, first reported by electrik, is in an undisclosed and unknown location in California, though the Reddit user says it’s an area Tesla is known to conduct testing. Beyond that, the details are few. However, this still remains the world’s first view of what’s likely Tesla’s latest project.
Adding fuel to the flame (or charge to the batteries), the truck looks very similar to the teaser photo Tesla’s Elon Musk tweeted back in April. Front its tall height to its shapely finders and LED headlights, this truck is certainly similar to Elon’s dimly lit teaser image. Assuming this is the Tesla truck, its unconventional shape is definitely not similar to any semi-truck on the road today. Of course, that’s because the Tesla semi doesn’t have an internal combustion engine and therefore doesn’t need a huge hood or massive grille. Rather, Tesla’s truck features a long, sloping windshield that matches the sloping nose. Naturally, the truck is designed to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible. The truck even has an aerodynamic cab topper that helps divert air around the trailer. It’s seen sitting a few yards behind.
While Tesla has not released any specs on its upcoming heavy hauler, we know it will use large banks of batteries to power multiple electric motors. Its torque rating is expected to be well in excess of a conventional semi truck’s turbodiesel (which is usually between 1,000 and 1,4000 pound-feet), giving it more than enough grunt to pull the standard 80,000-pound trailer. Range will be the Tesla Semi’s biggest factor. Insideevs.com speculated the Tesla will need a 1,200-kWh battery in order to travel 600 miles. That’s roughly 12 times the size in a P100D and double its range.
Thankfully, we won’t have to speculate much longer. Tesla is scheduled to debut its semi-truck on October 26, 2017, so long as it doesn’t postpone the event as it did for the September debut. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for the latest.
We’re Just Going to Call China Home of the EV
Everyone knows that Tesla calls California home – and why shouldn’t it, it’s the hardest state in the country and home to, arguably, the hardest emissions regulations on the planet. It’s the perfect home for a company that hopes to eventually kill off the ICE to make way for an entire world of all-electric cars that silently zoom from city to city without nothing more than a destination mentioned by its human owner. One would think that the home of an automaker like Tesla would also be the place that sees the biggest push for the infrastructure required to keep those EVs going down the road, right? Well, with the announcement of the two new, 4-stall Supercharger stations in California (which would be the biggest in the world) we thought that was true. Until now, that is.
See, our friends over at Electrek have managed to procure a number of photos from an underground construction site in Shangai that promises 50 stalls (10 more the current record holder.) If that system happens to suck in as much power as the other systems around the world, the power output could surpass 3 megawatts of power. After all, it takes a lot of power to charge 50 Teslas at once. And, while this is pretty big news, it’s really not that exciting. After all, China has always been a major part of Tesla’s plan to have more than 10,000 Supercharges in service globally. And, China sales in 2016 managed to topple more than $1 billion and the first quarter of 2017 was a massive carryover in performance.
Eventually, Tesla will establish its own manufacturing front somewhere in China, which should help to push EV sales in the market even further than before. For a country so infatuated with the EV all of this is really good news. But, will 50 more Superchargers, or the 1,000 Tesla hopes to have in place by the turn of the year be enough to meet the current charger demand in the country or does 2018 need to be an even bigger year? Let us know in the comments section below.
Porsche CEO Makes a Classic Mistake that Could Cost the Brand Dearly
So, when it comes to long-range electric cars, Elon Musk is the pretty much the godfather, the don mega, and the man that pretty much made it happen with models like the Tesla Roadster, and even more so with the Tesla Model S. Fast forward to today and there’s now the Tesla Model X and the Tesla Model 3, with a Semi truck on the way and a smaller SUV that will mirror the Model 3 in pricing. Despite Tesla’s slow but continuous move to become an automaker for the masses (and it has come a long way) it’s still not able to keep up with the big boys quite yet – profits are still virtually non-existent and it takes an excessive amount of time to cut down the initial waiting list for new cars. But, in time, Tesla could be just as busy and successful as any of the big boys, including Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, Audi, BMW, and yes, even Porsche. As electric cars become more standard around the world, the effect will increase drastically until Tesla is practically a household name (not that it isn’t in mine already)
Now that the big boys are all about to step into Elon’s self-made niche, it’s time to start thinking about automakers that should be worried a brand like Tesla that already has an insanely massive cult following and is getting more affordable as time goes on. All of the major brands are about 30 seconds away from unleashing a serious EV offensive. Meanwhile, Porsche is over here, about to knock some heads with the Porsche Mission E and about to make a huge, huge mistake. CEO, Oliver Blume – the man that replaced Matthias Muller and was once Porsche’s head of production – doesn’t think that Tesla is a competitor.
Talking to The Financial Times in a recent interview, he even went so far as to say that the production version of the Mission E, which is due for production by 2019, “is not a Tesla fighter.” He went on to say that “it’s not so important what Tesla does. Porsche is going to follow its own way.” He chalks off his lack of concern for the brand that practically dispatched range anxiety for the masses by assuming that he doesn’t have to worry about it because Porsche’s main concern is making profit. OF course, we all know that he’s at least partially right, as Tesla doesn’t really know what profit is in the grand scheme of things, but just because the brand operates as more of a tech startup than a true-to-life, mass-production automaker doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be concerned.
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Unexpected Applications? Elon Musk has a Big Surprise for us at IAC2017
For those of you who don’t know the Space Industry Association of Australia kicks off a special event every year – just like we have with SEMA and CES, only in this case the event – known as IAC or International Astronautical Congress – is used to bring together space professionals from all around the world to showcase new innovations in space travel, and every other space-related segment. With the IAC happening annually since 1950 without skipping a beat, IAC2017 is sure to bring some of the biggest players in the space game. Naturally, Elon Musk is going to be there, and while we’re not sure exactly what he will be doing, we have a feeling that it’s going to be big.
The man behind companies like Neuralink, Tesla, The Boring Company, and Hyperloop took to his Twitter page earlier this week saying, “Major improvements & some unexpected applications to be unveiled on Friday at @IAC2017 in Australia.” As for what this means, it’s hard to say, and we all know that Musk likes to remain precarious in the eyes of the public, so it could really mean anything. But, one thing is for sure – when Musk says he has some big news to share, he always delivers, so this is going to be good. Even though the Red Dragon program has been back burnered, Musk has also said that IAC could be the place that he announces the next big update about SpaceX and the Mars expedition. But, there are also these “unexpected applications.”
Musk’s companies have been known to work together from time to time. SpaceX has even saved Tesla big time in the production department in the past. As for what these unexpected applications could be, remains a mystery, but it wouldn’t be surprising if at least one company other than SpaceX has stepped into the race to Mars by helping out in one way or another. Maybe Tesla batteries will serve as a source of energy storage on the ship, or perhaps Tesla’s AutoPilot system, combined with Neuralink’s goal of connecting computers to brains will allow the first travelers to remain in something similar to suspended animation while still maintaining full control of the ship. Of course, that’s reaching a bit, but what do you think? We’ll be sure to update you when the big day gets here, and with any luck, we’ll have some prime information about our future colonization of Mars.