The Next Tesla Roadster: What's In Store?

If you keep up with Tesla, or you've read my fellow writer Aatish's update on the electric carmaker, you'll have heard about the already-mental Model S power increase. Tesla's all-electric luxury sedan now packs a silent-but-deadly 762 horsepower. That's more than any Lamborghini has ever had, all in a car many use for commuting. The electric motor's fuses were holding Tesla back from previously unleashing this ridiculous power, but that problem's been taken care of, and here we are. Now at this point you're probably thinking "wait a second, I thought this was about the successor to Tesla's roadster, not an update on their family sedan," so allow me to explain the connection. Tesla's founder Elon Musk recently spoke on what would come next after this mental upgrade (which included a driving mode called "ludicrous mode"), saying "there is of course only one thing beyond ludicrous, but that speed is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years." This has lead me to think about what exactly we can hope to see in Tesla's next electric sports car.

The last Tesla Roadster first appeared on the streets back in 2008, and was essentially an all-electric take on the Lotus Elise. The Roadster was powered by an electric motor capable of 248 horsepower to the rear wheels through an electrically-actuated, 2-speed transmission, which propelled the silent sports car from 0-60 in under 4 seconds. Due to limited battery technology at the time, the top speed of the little Tesla was a somewhat disappointing 125 miles per hour, and (if you drove it like a saint at all times) you could expect a range somewhere around 220 miles. But this was years ago and the technology has advanced significantly since then, as demonstrated by Tesla's supercar-beating Model S P85D. By 2019, 11 years after the original Roadster's introduction to the world, Tesla's engineers seem poised to deliver a successor with over triple the power. Triple. Triple! Can you imagine? A car as light and nimble as a Lotus with more horsepower than a Ferrari F12? To quote the movie 300, this is madness! Add into the equation that the electric motor will not only be more powerful, but more efficient, capable and light as well. A lighter, more aerodynamic body will likely make an appearance as well, which won't exactly hurt the performance.

Despite the fact that not much has really been confirmed whatsoever regarding the next Tesla Roadster, there seems to be a whole lot to look forward to. The prospect of a lightweight car with over 750 horsepower when the current one already does 0-60 in the 3's is a bit nuts to say the least. I've had the chance to take a ride in a Tesla Roadster Sport, which felt more than a little brisk, so I'm looking forward to seeing how much the next generation embarrasses the performance numbers of this one. But we'll have to wait a few more years before we see that. How unfortunate.