Tesla may be in a bit of a rough patch at the moment, but it would be unfair to deny how important the automaker has been in the rapid development and deployment of electric vehicles. If it wasn’t for Elon Musk’s unshakable belief that electric power is the future of the automobile, it’s quite likely that the industry wouldn’t be where it is at the moment.
It wasn’t always like this, however. A decade ago, the (then small) startup launched the Lotus Elise-based Tesla Roadster. While it wasn’t perfect, it showed to the world that electric vehicles could look good, be fast, and provide decent driving thrills and involvement.
Jay Leno, an owner of the original Roadster, recently took a look back at the company’s first production model before getting some seat time in the new Tesla Model 3 with company chief designer Franz Von Holzhausen riding shotgun. The clip, featured on Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC, concludes with a brief overview and test ride in the next-generation Tesla Roadster, set to be introduced for the 2020 model year.
Unveiled late last year, the new Roadster is being developed as the fastest supercar on the market and will cost $200,000. In a world of multi-million-dollar Paganis, Koenigseggs, and Bugattis, the Roadster’s promised price is undeniably ambitious.
Tesla asserts that the production model will be powered by three electric motors delivering a combined 10,000 Nm (7375 lb-ft) of torque. This promises to be enough to rocket the supercar to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a blistering 1.9 seconds and through to a top speed beyond 250 mph (402 km/h). Makes $200k look like a bargain, doesn’t it?