Here’s When Elon Musk Says to Expect a New Tesla Roadster

a red two door tesla sports car is shown from above sitting on black tarmac
Here’s When Musk Says to Expect New Tesla RoadsterTesla
  • Second-generation Tesla Roadster expected to be shown later in 2024, according to Elon Musk, with a 2025 production debut as a 2026 model-year car.

  • The Roadster still promises a range of 620 miles, room for four, and some kind of optional rocket-assisted launch/handling system developed in collaboration with SpaceX, likely to be shown during the model's reveal later in 2024.

  • The Roadster is expected to start at $200,000 in base form, according to Tesla's website, but this could change closer to its production debut.

It has been a long time, to put it mildly, since we first saw images of the next-gen Tesla Roadster.


So long, in fact, that in the meantime we have now seen a once-in-a-century pandemic, a major land war in Europe, and several new iPhones. We also now know what Pluto looks like up close. China held its second Olympic Games, and Christopher Nolan has released a time-travel film with a lot of expository dialogue that not many viewers actually understood, but one that possibly featured a Saab 9-5 driving backwards at 88 mph to go back through time.

For some further perspective, the second-generation Tesla Roadster was first shown in November 2017 when the new Model 3 was still in "production hell," moving in fits and starts, having begun months prior.

Tesla's Model Y would not enter production for another two years and two months, promising three rows of seats (at least on paper), and the reveal of the Cybertruck, complete with an awkward window breaking ceremony, was still two years away.

The one thing that hasn't changed since 2017 is that we are still in the grips of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Industrial Complex. Also, your smartphone is now marginally larger and faster.

At the time of the concept's debut, Elon Musk floated a starting price of $200,000, indicating that delivery would start by the year 2020. The automaker proceeded to accept $50,000 deposits for the yet-unbuilt model. Later on, Musk said the second-gen Roadster would have rocket-assisted handling—a system that was deemed possible by engineering experts, albeit at the cost of some weight along with some other asterisks.

a red sports car
The next-gen Roadster is now tentatively expected to go on sale in 2025, as a 2026 model, with an exterior design that may or may not match the one that currently appears on Tesla’s website.Tesla

Relatively little was said about the second-gen Roadster after 2020, as Tesla chased Model 3 and Model Y volume, while also temporarily shelving its $25,000 car project. In fact, the Roadster was not even mentioned at all in the third part of Tesla's Master Plan, leading some industry observers to wonder if it had been canceled.

After all, a vehicle with a $200,000 starting price would realistically see only so many orders, while also necessitating something close to assembly by hand, for which Tesla was already criticized during the rampup of the Model 3.

Now, in early 2024, the Roadster appears to be on track, at least according to Musk, with a production debut slated for later this year. And it is still promised with a rocket-assisted system of some sort, courtesy of SpaceX.

"Tonight, we radically increased the design goals for the new Tesla Roadster," Musk tweeted on February 28, 2024.

"There will never be another car like this, if you could even call it a car."

To sum up, the current plan is for a reveal to happen this year but for the first units to be delivered in 2025.

Something else has changed, at least when it comes to performance specs.

"0-60mph < 1 sec," Musk tweeted when asked about the launch time.

"And that is the least interesting part," he added.

While the design goals have allegedly changed since we last saw the roadster, according to Musk's latest tweet, we haven't gotten any indication that the price has changed. This means potential buyers could still be on the hook for $200,000, or $250,000 for the Founders' Series.

The Tesla website still lists the Roadster as having a 0-to-60 launch time of 1.9 seconds, a range of 620 miles, and a top speed in excess of 250 mph (where permitted by road signage). It also promises room for four, a removable glass roof, a 0-to-100 mph sprint time of 4.2 seconds, and a quarter mile time of 8.8 seconds (though probably not with four people on board).

When it come to the discrepancy in the promised launch times, we expect the debut ceremony will show off the long-promised rocket-assisted handling of the planned model, which could well allow it to reach 60 mph simply because the wheels alone might not have enough traction to pull that off, unless it was wearing NHRA-sized top-fuel-style tires.

the interior of a car
Tesla’s official image of the interior still shows a yoke-style steering setup.Tesla

Therefore, we are betting on some kind of compressed gas-assisted launch system to be shown off under controlled conditions.

And if Tesla's latest shot of the interior is any indication, it will also have a yoke steering setup, which we hope will be part of a steer-by-wire system rather than simply being different hardware for conventional steering.

The new Roadster, whenever it arrives, also promises to be... something of a smaller-volume effort given its announced price—one that could play the role of the halo car but hardly see production numbers equivalent to the Cybertruck, production of which has begun only recently.

Business-wise, the model will certainly be more of a niche item than a drop-top two-door Model 3—something we're honestly surprised the company hasn't considered—perhaps because it's too late in the Model 3's product cycle to create another spinoff at this point.

Just how much the planned 2026 Roadster will help Tesla's bottom line, even with a sticker price of $200,000, remains to be seen, because it seems like it will be a relatively niche item even in Tesla's lineup. Such efforts rarely make money for automakers, despite the high sticker prices, and Tesla has been keen on simplifying its lineup while chasing volume for the past few years.

It also appears that the Roadster, given its unique body style and promised range, will require its own platform and battery pack—items that are not currently on Tesla's shelves. So it may require quite a few unique parts, and that's not even counting the promised rocket-assisted handling.

Will there be significant demand for a $200,000 electric Roadster with these promised specs, or will this be more of a low-volume halo car for Tesla? Let us know in the comments below.