Tesla Asks The Full $250,000 Upfront For Special Roadster ‘Founder’s Edition’

Did you like the new Tesla Roadster so much that you want one of the first ones in 2020? That’ll be $250,000 up front, like right now, thank you very much. 

Tesla has opened the reservation books for both the Roadster and the Semi truck but unlike the Model 3 pre-order scheme, the deposits are understandably larger.

Pre-order reservations for the new Tesla Semi are available now for a $5,000 deposit, with Musk saying that production will start in less than two years.

As for the new Roadster, the deposit rises to $50,000. Nothing strange here, we’ve seen a lot of sports cars and supercars demanding a hefty deposit in order to get you in front of the line but that’s where Tesla is going a different route.

Tesla quotes $200,000 for the base version of the new Roadster, where the $50k deposit applies; if you truly want one of the first examples on the road in 2020, you’ll have to opt for the special ‘Founder’s Edition’ version which is applied for the first 1,000 Roadsters. The cost for that one is $250,000 but securing one means paying Tesla upfront the full price of the car right now.

Some might say that Tesla’s move to ask for the whole $250k for a car that theoretically will arrive in three years at best is a bit of a stretch, especially since the company has made a reputation of missing its targets consistently. Other might argue that this will be basically a free, zero-interest loan to a company that burns cash at an alarming rate. After all, if Tesla does sell all 1,000 Founder’s Edition Roadsters, it’ll be a $250 million capital raise for the company.

With the company currently struggling to kickstart mass production of the Model 3 -essentially the most crucial of their models- the new cash flow coming from the deposits of their two new models could be used towards solving some of their “production bottlenecks” while the hype of the two new models might drive once again the value of the company up in the stock market.

Is this a stretch? Or the very impressive numbers promised by the new Tesla Roadster are worth paying the full price three years ahead of its launch? Only time will tell.


  • John Smith

    Haters gonna hate.

    • Victor DB_2017

      they should just shake it off….shake it off

  • salamOOn
  • Matt Shea

    How does this have 4 seats?

    • Michael Karkafiris

      More like 2+2, you can tell that there’s rear seats from the last image

    • S3XY

      2 in the front, 2 in the back. I know, mind boggling.

  • Erzhik

    A stupid way to freeze up $250k of your cash.

    • S3XY

      A savvy way to invest $250k of your cash.

      • KenjiK

        Invest? If you seriously think those things are going to be a good investment, you are delusional.

        • Six Thousand Times

          Love is never rational.

          • KenjiK

            That’s not love, more like obsession.

        • Sounds like the people who said Tesla stock at $10 was to lose your investment and at $100 it was overpriced. Do you realize there is no car on earth that matches these specs? The ones get close to it have a price tag of over $1.5 million. $250k is peanuts.

        • Mike Sinyaboot

          Exactly. I assume this new roadster will depreciate similarly to the Huracan, which retains ~75% of its value after 3 years & 30,000 miles. The roadster isn’t going to be a limited production model when production starts in 5-7 years.

          S3XY is joking and being sarcastic and I applaud his humor. Even children know that 99% of cars are depreciating assets. This is especially relevant in today’s market where strong competition and rapidly advancing automotive technology has caused manufacturers to refresh their models every 2-3 years.

          • KenjiK

            Joking? Sounds more like a fanboy to me…

      • Erzhik

        Unless it’s some rare car, it’s not an investment. It’s a depreciating asset. You buy it for $250k, and sell it for $180k at most. Hardly an investment.

        • Show me a 250mph stock car that I can buy for $180k. (not even mentioning the other out-of-the-world specs)

          • Mike Sinyaboot

            While I agree that no 250mph models existed for $180k, that alone will not make the new roadster an appreciating asset. Very few owners will ever come close to reaching the top speed. There are very few places on earth where this can be done legally and safely.

            I really hope TESLA succeeds and is able to actually start production by 2020. In my opinion, the biggest news here is the 200kwh battery pack. The ability to travel 600+ miles on a single charge is potentially game changing.

          • The range is just a bonus that comes from the massive packs that they had to fit in the car in order to achieve these mind boggling figures. In my opinion much more people buy cars for their specs, than to go fast around the track. Otherwise supercars would be built with track-setup, but in reality even the Nissan GTR had to come with a softer suspension as owners were complaining. I also found it uncomfortable. The Roadster will be a success, because ICE cars cannot be produced for similar price with similar performance. Even if the Roadster would be slower around the track than a Golf GTI, it would still sell like hotcakes at this price level. I know that if I buy anything at this price I would not look further.

  • RDS Alphard

    I imagine lots of people would dump money to Elon Musk after they saw the headlines.

    • S3XY

      Only company doing what they’re doing so of course.

  • SteersUright

    The roof opening is so small that it just looks really bad, weird and pointless when the top is removed. Unacceptable on a $250k sports car competing in the price neighborhood with the likes of Lamboghini, etc. Also, while very sleek, it isn’t a very compelling design. At $90k, I’d say the claimed performance would compensate. At $250k? I’m sorry, its just too bland and generic in similar fashion to any McLaren these days, and we’ve seen how those depreciate instantly in a time where every special edition Porsche sells for multiple of MSRP. Back to the drawing board and come out with something far sexier please or just buy Mazda’s design from their latest concept RX coupe they’ve been displaying.

    • S3XY

      Tesla’s don’t compete with other cars. They are on a level of their own. This car is designed by Franz who designed the RX8. You’re a dee-tuh-dee.

      • Axiom Ethos

        Franz did not design the RX8, Ikuo Maeda did. Try again dee-tuh-dee.

      • Mike Sinyaboot

        Of course they don’t compete with other cars. They need to actually be produced to compete. The roadster is awesome but even a TESLA fanboy parody account like yours knows full well that this thing won’t be going into production by 2020.

        TESLA announcing that it is taking $50k/$250k deposits is nothing but an interest free cash grab by a company that posted a Q3 loss of $619million, Q2 loss of $401 million, and Q1 loss of $330 million. At least TESLA only posted losses of $888million in 2016. Despite hemorrhaging cash and failing to produce Model 3s in volume (hilariously because they can’t weld steel), TESLA stills has the audacity to take deposits for a car with an uncertain production timeframe.

        As SteersUright said, the roadster is too expensive. While the 1.9 seconds to 60mph is crazy, other ICE exoctics are not far off. A similarly priced stock Huracan can hit 60mph in 2.5 seconds now. The much more expensive 918 Spyder can do it in 2.2 seconds. By the time this roadster is actually being manufactured, the big boys could easily have matching performance. The addition of electric motors to assist the Huracans V10 could easily produce sub 2 second times.

  • europeon

    Even in the renders the rubber seals look cheap and low quality.

    • S3XY


  • nastinupe

    Looks like a $65,000 car, performs like a $2,000,000 car… costs $250,000.

  • EyalN

    what a crook. he doesn’t deliver model 3 that people gave him deposit and now he wants more deposit

    • Dustin

      Agreed. As the article says, even if this Roadster is more interesting and the Semi and truck are current talking points, the 3 is the most important model and the key to being sustainable. I wouldn’t give Tesla a penny until I see that can they can successfully complete the 3. It’s too important – and $250k is too much money – to not wait and find out first.

    • You mean 3 months delay is a disaster but all the mainstream car manufacturers with 100 years in the business not being able to come up with a Model 3 competitor sooner than 2021 (if all goes well…) is acceptable? Tesla is a new company, they are trying radical new ways of manufacturing (most work done by robots), this needs time and they will run into problems all the time. However when they will figure it all out they will have the same advantage as with the batteries: Tesla produces the most advanced batteries at the lowest price in the world. People always forget the incredible achievements of this company and jump on any small detail to criticize. Criticism is fine as long as it is constructive. Not being able to deliver on time is bad, however considering all the factors, this delay is meaningless compared to what they achieved with the Model 3.

  • Timon

    Rear view is very good looking the rest is…ok
    For ~60k the Design would be great, but for 200k it is way to generic.


    150 years ago most people was thinking. Train, what a stupid idea – you have to build a train, you have to lay thousands miles off rails (!!!!!), you have to build water refill tanks, you have to carry tons off coal and many strong mans with good salary, or you can use good old horse with chariot and pound of oats. So where those horses and chariots now?… All so now create and build electric truck is way easier than train then…

    • ErnieB

      Great point and was thinking the same earlier.. I really dig those trucks!

  • Dariush

    im not a fan of the simple targa solution…but its not bad, especially the back… It’s not very original and im still struggling accepting the lack of front facial features of most electric cars…but its good.

  • I like the look, its simple but purposeful; McLaren like.

    I wonder though, will those numbers for that price be as impressive when the car comes to production? I have a feeling someone at Nissan/ Mazda etc just accepted the challenge.

  • botornot387

    Asking for money up front cause all they have are quarterly losses and a failure to bring up production on their mainstem model with delays and a fear people will pull their reservations. This is a very good marketing attempt and deflection from their current reality of not being able to scale mass production. Focus on the 3 Tesla

    • Delay is not a failure. Tesla produces the Model X which in production complexity not comparable to the Model 3. Scaling up production is not easy for a company with no experience, but they have a winner product in their hand, so I would not be worried about them.

  • Auto

    Good looking, but they may not be able to do this. Besides, it will probably have the personality of a smartphone.

  • BlackPegasus

    I’ll take a Acura NSX right now for about half the price.

    • ErnieB

      This makes the NSX looks so much more kick ass! I would do the same or get a Mclaren..

      • nastinupe

        Not really. The NSX costs as much as the exotics yet is sub par on the performance end. This car cots the same and blows them out of the water, kind of how the first NSX was.

  • Jweisberg

    Musk needs to focus on getting his current line up mass produced in order to lower prices. I am all for innovation, but I think he should focus on perfecting the cars he already has. Their build quality are not that great.

  • Mark S

    First of all, It looks nothing like a Porsche! It is Boring in fact, like a 90’s clay model,maybe MR2ish and links to those Lotus cars that were never built.. Tesla Best deliver on the Model 3 first and fix their reliability problems before moving on. I wonder how long it will be before they are bankrupt and in the hands of a Chinese company.

  • TheBelltower

    I love ya Elon, but it doesn’t work that way. You might as well ask $1,000,000,000 upfront. Because #notgonnahappen

    • nastinupe

      You underestimate his following. Elon is to 2017 what Steve was to 2009.

      • TheBelltower

        Tis true. Though no one ever pre-paid for a MacBook two years before it was produced.

        • nastinupe

          I’m pretty sure if Apple showed one iPhone XX video and said that it’s coming out in 2020 and wanted $1,500 upfront to be one of the first 1000 with it,1000 suckers would gladly make their way to the front of the line demanding that some one take their money.

          • TheBelltower

            Maybe so. There are many similarities between Apple’s early days and Tesla’s ambition today. And today, after some missteps, Apple has more money than they know what to do with. And, like conventional car brands with Tesla, other computer brands still can’t figure out how to achieve what Apple has.

  • Fabio Fantone

    All Tesla does is trot out acceleration numbers. While undeniably impressive, most enthusiasts I talk to are more focused on handling and lap times. Unless their new sports car goes left and right like it accelerates, its basically just a more impressive Model S P100D.

    • LeStori

      As an “enthusiast” I am more interested in the drive experience. Outright performance and gear speed change and racetrack lap times times do not make a sports car. A two-door car designed for spirited performance and nimble handling. Spirited does not imply super fast in a straight line. It just means the car feels like it is alive when you press the throttle.

      This Targa topped car is still vapourware. From the manufacturer of the Tesla 3. Coming soooon…. (trademark)

    • Most enthusiasts don’t have the money to buy it. Ask people that actually have and you might hear very different things than “lap times”. I for one couldn’t care less about how fast it goes around the Green Hell. I know if it does a fast lap time there then I never want to take it for a weekend ride on normal roads.

      • Fabio Fantone

        I wasn’t talking about the Nurburgring. But I guess since this is a European based web site and manufacturers like to hang their hats on times there, that would be the first place in mind.

        I am curious though, why would a fast lap there discourage you from driving it on normal roads? This isn’t the 1990’s–there are many fast cars that can do impressive lap times and still be compliant on city streets. Technology has given us ranges of suspension settings so that many of the fastest (and best handling) cars today can do double duty.

        • Top Gear has been joking (mainly May) about the Nurburgring-tested cars that they are a pain in the ass, and it’s true – literally. The earlier Nissan GTR versions are just not nice to drive on public roads. I had more fun in a Ferrari 458, but I would not like to drive the hardcore track version Ferraris on normal roads. Porsche sells a ton of their cars for a simple reason: they are good to drive off-track too. On the other hand buyers like to brag about numbers like 1.9s to 100kmh, and this new Tesla will have the biggest bragging rights for relatively small money. I don’t see how it’s not a combination for success. After that online commenters can jump on how slow it’s on a track, but apart from them, nobody will care. If you do, you can buy a Nio Ep9 – I’m sure the Roadster will outsell this though.

  • Tabs Luther

    This would be the nail in the coffin for ice, besides the price. But how do you get that top speed without much visible aero? That torque is insane though.


    Just waiting for depreciation to hit in 2021 so I can have one for the cheap.

  • An Existing Person

    Interesting car and all, but shouldn’t Tesla be focusing on the many problems with their current cars instead of introducing new ones.

  • jaykit

    This is a debt offering disguised as a new car presale. If they get ‘subscriptions’ for the full 1,000 it will cover their cash burn for just over one month based upon their latest non-earnings report.

    • salamOOn

      and there is a chance, that it also could be interest-free, 3 year loan for Tesla…..

  • funny

  • if people are ready to spend 1000$ in screen with an Apple on it… why not 250 k for a bigger screen with seats that takes you from A to B? At least it makes a great powerbank for your Iphone.

  • Victor DB_2017

    Musk is a cool guy…but he has Zero presentation skills…

  • Six Thousand Times

    That’s far too much to pay for the privilege of doing Tesla’s R&D for them.

  • appleimmune

    I can’t wait to see this company tank.. The sheer arrogance of this jerk warrants some humbling.

  • jsz00

    This is great and all… but is Tesla ever going to be profitable? I am concerned about their long term viability.

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