A little over half a year after indicating that the Tesla Roadster would enter production in 2022, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted this week that the model is now expected to ship in 2023.
Elon Musk cited the supply chain pressures linked with the pandemic in his tweet, but in previous years he has also hinted on a number of occasions that Tesla had also prioritized other models along with newer battery tech ahead of the Roadster.
Among other things, the Roadster has been promised with a range of 621 miles, a top speed of 250 mph, and 1.9-second launches from 0 to 60 mph—and a price tag around $200,000. Rocket-assisted handling has also been promised for the model as an option, even though there are expected to be some weight tradeoffs to make such a system happen.
2021 has been the year of super crazy supply chain shortages, so it wouldn’t matter if we had 17 new products, as none would ship.
Assuming 2022 is not mega drama, new Roadster should ship in 2023.
The second-gen Roadster was first mentioned in 2017, so a 2023 delivery start time would certainly make it one of the longer-anticipated models.
Industry watchers have also raised the question of just how much Tesla needs the Roadster in the next few years to shore up its bottom line. A pricey and exclusive model even by Tesla standards, the Roadster may not offer much volume at a time when the automaker is seeking to simplify its battery and lineup. The Roadster could also tie up production resources needed elsewhere, as it would not share all that much with other vehicles in Tesla’s lineup, except perhaps with the top-range Model S, which is now a decade old.
While the first-gen Roadster was Tesla’s first model, the company and the industry are in a much different place now, where the competition is largely focused on volume models aimed at the mass market, rather than exotic offerings aimed at deep-pocketed early adopters. So as much as the original Roadster may have been the right car at the right time and for the right buyers, its narrower appeal could now divert resources needed elsewhere.
At the moment Tesla is focused on starting Model Y production at its Austin, Texas, plant, and is finishing building its Berlin-Brandenburg plant.
The other upcoming passenger model—the Cybertruck—is also expected to face a narrower market than other Tesla offerings, due to the expectation of a smaller share of export sales to Europe and China. This is another issue that is troubling Tesla watchers at the moment: The Cybertruck may have only a North American audience to rely on, with several direct competitors going on sale months ahead of it.
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