Now, a little over two years after Musk's post, we get a first-person look on what it's like to experience dizzying acceleration in the planet's quickest production auto. Plus don't forget that Tesla also has the new Semi to get into production before the new Roadster. "Driving a gasoline sports vehicle is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche", he told the audience.
From there, the specs diverge.
The Tesla Semi checks a lot of boxes in terms of addressing bottom line considerations, offering 500 miles of range to avoid too much compromise vs. diesel truck travel capability, and providing a way for a company to decrease its net Carbon dioxide emissions without having to undertake expensive endeavors like sponsoring the construction of renewable power plants. Torque sensors on the individual wheels, along with software that can correct steering, will make jackknifing impossible, Musk said.
Tesla also showed a second, smaller truck model they described as a "pickup". Its top speed is "above 250 miles per hour", Musk said.
The Roadster will be available in 2020.
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Tesla didn't release exact pricing information but said operating costs-including power, lease payments and insurance would be 20 percent lower for the Semi than a diesel truck. "We believe we can learn how this technology performs within our supply chains, as well as how it could help us meet some of our long-term sustainability goals, such as lowering emissions".
For those looking to get the new Roadster early, the cost will be $250,000. Tesla estimates a two-year payback for the added cost of the truck, meaning more than $200,000 in saved fuel. The Semi also comes with regenerative braking for improved brake life, while there is no need to shift gears on this truck, which should make it convenient for drivers.
Also unique to the Semi is the driver's seating position. Tesla is still having issues getting the Model 3 up and running, plus the new Model Y crossover is expected soon. The auto, coming in 2020, will have a base price of $200,000. The anemic number fell far short of expectations; the company had received 140,000 advance orders for the vehicle within hours of it being announced in the spring of 2016.
Remember the original Tesla Roadster - looked a bit like a Lotus Exige, costed a lot more and went like stink?
Indeed, Tesla CEO's Elon Musk swung between the sort of performance numbers that have traditionally enthused the automaker's consumer buyers, and figures more palatable for fleet operators.
As Andrew J. Hawkins wrote of the new Roadster and Semi for The Verge, "These are just concept vehicles, really, but it's Tesla, and nothing is really ever as it seems".