A true surprise in the automotive world just doesn’t happen any more, with unofficial spy shots, official spy shots, accidental leaks, and intentional leaks, and especially not when every carmaker in the industry is shouting over each yelling out the due dates for their upcoming EVs.
Even motor shows spring up few surprises these days, and it says a heck of a lot that this year’s biggest show stars were a tiny Honda hatchback in Frankfurt and a tiny Honda sportscar in Tokyo. Why? Only because we didn’t expect them.
So imagine everyone’s surprise when an outsider surprised us. The outsider being Tesla, having long been a thorn in the established players’ sides and somewhat excluded from the traditional carmakers’ realm of operation. Maybe it’s jealousy?
What else could it be? Here’s a CEO, Elon Musk, who at the global reveal of an electric semi truck casually called onto the stage the world’s fastest car. The Tesla Roadster concept silently whooshed up in front of the crowd to a standing ovation and whistles and cheers. When’s the last time any carmaker launched a car to crowd frenzy?
“When we started Tesla we started with a sportscar,” Musk began in LA at the reveal before having to pause for more cheers and whistles.
Stuttering and innocently stumbling for words, in jeans and a t-shirt Musk went on: “It was the foundation of the whole company - people kept asking when we’re gonna make a new Roadster? Well, we’re making it now.” And the room went wild…
The car probably deserves the hysteria. I mean, 10,000Nm of torque? I’ll clap to that. The claimed specifications certainly raise an eyebrow: For your $250,000 (you can try reserve one today), you get the quickest accelerating production car in the world capable of zero to 100kph in two seconds. With all-corner traction, the Roadster puts that unbelievable torque figure of 10,000Nm to the wheels making it additionally by far the most powerful car on the road (when it reaches the road), and yet Tesla claims it’ll still be capable of a zero-emissions driving range of 1,000km on a single charge.
These specs are bewildering and leave a heck of a lot of catching-up room for Porsche, Mercedes and the rest of the old boys to catch up with their upcoming electric coupés and sportscars.
Besides the unprecedented motor strength and battery capacity from Tesla, the newly announced Roadster model also promises clever aerodynamics for low drag and downforce, so that the car is capable of reaching a top speed of over 400kph. Yes, Musk certainly didn’t hold back.
Tesla is experiencing difficulties with its Model 3 volume-seller, manufacturing about a handful of cars a day instead of one car per minute. In fact in LA, Musk just raised the hype stakes so high, Tesla’s encore to that ovation will have to be one pretty amazing production Roadster. No pressure.
Tesla Semi Truck
True to form, the much anticipated Tesla Semi Truck promises acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in just five seconds, although truck drivers will probably appreciate the ability to haul a maximum of 36,000kg and still reach 100kph in around 20 seconds, with a driving range of at least 800km according to Musk. Tesla is also revolutionising the truck industry with loads of composite carbon fibre panels and an ultra low-drag body that’s more slippery through the air than the Bugatti Chiron.