Tesla’s Roadster sports car to make its debut next year

Driveable prototype will be ready by late summer, Elon Musk says

Tesla's second-generation sports car, the Roadster, is set to make its debut next year.

The electric car maker's billionaire chief executive Elon Musk said in a tweet the prototype would be ready by the end of summer this year.

“Finishing engineering this year, production starts next year,” said Mr Musk.

“Aiming to have release candidate design drivable [by] late summer. Tri-motor drive system and advanced battery work were important precursors.”

Tesla, which first unveiled plans for the four-seater Roadster in November 2017, said it would be the world's fastest car.

Mr Musk said at the time that the company intended to build the new Roadster from 2020. However, the plans were delayed.

The first-generation Roadster was produced between 2008 and 2012, with the selling price starting at $80,000.

Tesla said the second-generation model can accelerate from zero to 100 kilometres per hour in 2.1 seconds, hit a top speed of 400kph and travel up to 1,000km on a single recharge.

“You will be able to travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and back, at highway speed without recharging," said Mr Musk earlier.

"The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smackdown to [petrol] cars. Driving a [petrol] sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”

The base model is expected to start from $200,000 while the Founder Series, which will be limited to only 1,000 cars, will be about $250,000.

The UAE customers can book their their orders by paying a deposit of Dh18,000 ($4,900), followed by a payment of Dh165,000 over the next 10 days.

Customers can also pay Dh18,000 to book the Founders Series Roadster and send Dh900,000 by wire transfer after 10 days.

“The light-weight Roadster is an all-electric supercar ... [it] maximises the potential of aerodynamic engineering ... with record-setting performance and efficiency,” said Tesla.

It will come with a removable glass roof that can be stored in the boot for an open-air driving experience, the company said.

Tesla, which joined the S&P 500 index last month, delivered about 500,000 vehicles worldwide last year. It intends to increase production to more than 750,000 units this year.

The electric car maker delivered 57,039 Model X and Model S units, about 11 per cent of its total handovers, last year.

It sold 442,511 units of the Model 3 and Model Y last year.

The growing popularity of electric vehicles fuelled Tesla's fourth-quarter profit by 157 per cent.

Net profit rose to $270 million in the three months through to December 31, 2020.

Revenue rose by 46 per cent to $10.74 billion to surpass the average analyst estimate of $10.38bn.

This was the first time the company reported at least $10bn worth of sales.