Over three years have passed since the all-new Tesla Roadster was revealed. At the time, it was promised that production would start in 2020, which as keen calendar enthusiasts will tell you, is a year that has been and gone.
It turns out Tesla won’t be building it in 2021 either. We know this not through an official announcement (the US PR team was infamously shuttered last year, remember), but in typical Tesla fashion, via CEO Elon Musk replying to a Tweet. In this case, his response to ‘Earl of Frunkpuppy’ notes that the company is “Finishing engineering this year” before production starts in 2022.
“Aiming to have release candidate design drivable late summer,” Musk also said, adding, “Tri-motor drive system & advanced battery work were important precursors.”
Paving the way in that regard is the refreshed Model S, with features a 1006bhp tri-motor ‘Plaid’ powertrain. Its battery size is still 100kWh, however. The original intention was for the Roadster to have a whopping 200kWh pack, a capacity we’ve thus far only seen from the very big and very heavy Hummer EV.. Big strives in battery technology will be needed to keep the weight and size low enough for a car like the Roadster.
Delays aren’t a surprise, then, and with Tesla’s habit of breaking the deadlines set by itself, the Roadster could be further away than 2022. The arguably even wilder Cybertruck could apparently beat the Roadster to production, with Musk claiming in this week’s investor earnings call, “If we get lucky, we’ll be able to do a few deliveries toward the end of this year, but I expect volume productions to begin in 2022.”
He also noted that the vehicle engineering was almost finished, with the necessary manufacturing equipment due to be ordered ‘soon’. The angular concept was, Musk claimed at the time of its reveal, close to being production-ready, but if the vehicle eventually sold doesn’t deviate massively, it wouldn’t be road-legal in Europe due to falling foul of multiple safety regulations.
As with the Roadster, though, that 2021/2022 target is one to take with a Cybertruck load bed full of salt.