The original Roadster launched the Tesla image, throwback to this iconic model.
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Tesla celebrated the first Tesla delivery yesterday, 15 years ago. What seems like an eternity on the web is, in fact, a very small period in automotive history.
15 years ago today we delivered the first Tesla Roadster → pic.twitter.com/A0EfkufDbS
—Tesla (@Tesla) February 1, 2023
It was February 1, 2008, the fact now belongs to the history of Tesla and that of the electric car. You can still read Tesla’s official blog post from that time, featuring Elon Musk in the livery of the first Roadster, called the P1. The story shows that this first installment was complicated in several aspects. The P1 was stuck in Los Angeles customs and there was no guarantee that Tesla would be able to retrieve it in time. Finally, the car arrived, Tesla installed the Energy Storage System (ESS) before Elon Musk hit the road with it on the highways of Palo Alto, accompanied by four Tesla Roadster prototypes.
The first generation Roadster
Tesla’s first car, then, is the Tesla Roadster, produced in 2008-2012, initially costing $98,950 (Tesla Roadster 1.5 Standard) up to $128,500 (Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport). This electric car was produced in only 2,450 copies, it has obviously become a collector’s item. Its price has skyrocketed in recent months.
The initial model offered a range of 392 kilometers with a 248 hp electric motor. The chassis and bodywork were based on a Lotus Elise S2 architecture, without the heat engine of course. This first model was therefore a sports car, whose acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h was announced in 4.6 seconds. Then there was the Roadster 2.0, the second version of the model, with a 292 hp engine (3.7 seconds for 0-100 km/h) as well as a range of 540 kilometers. In total, there were four versions of this Roadster.
The first Roadsters had their bodywork (made in Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes in France by Sotire 35), including the bumpers, made of carbon fiber. This ultra-light and expensive material was necessary to maximize range and optimize the weight of the vehicle. Over time, Tesla was able to improve battery technology and use less carbon fiber, increasing range and lowering costs. These Roadsters were equipped with a soft top that could be rolled up and placed in a trunk. If you are wondering where the electrical architecture of the car (designed by AC drive), is located under the rear cover. The Roadster’s battery, therefore, does not rest under the floor of the car like the vast majority of current electric cars.
The Roadster’s infotainment was more like an iPod than an iPad, which stands out compared to current Teslas, but it’s still the central place to control important EV functions. Even so, there were plenty of features built into this small screen. Perhaps Tesla would have liked to make it bigger, but the American automaker was constrained by the Lotus Elise’s architecture, so there isn’t much room inside the cabin.
The story of the Tesla Roadster is considered a turning point for the automotive industry, showing consumers that electric vehicles can be both attractive and capable. He also helped establish Tesla Motors as a world leader in the development of high-performance electric vehicles.
For the anecdote, Elon Musk sent a Roadster dans l’espace, vers Mars, lors du premier vol de la fusée Falcon Heavy en 2018. Cela en fait, donc, la première voiture en orbite autour du Soleil, entre la Terre et March.
The second generation Roadster
Today, it is not possible to buy a new Tesla Roadster, however, one can order one. The second-generation Roadster, promised for 2020, has nothing more to share with the first model: 0 to 100 km/h should rocket in 1.9 seconds, with a top speed of 400 km/h, a pair of wheels of 10,000 Nm and a range of more than 1,000 km.
The recently unveiled Tesla Model S Plaid is also capable of breaking acceleration records, you’d say, but the Roadster would also have to sport mini rocket engines to close that distance in the space of 1.9 seconds.
EC The new Roadster will be powered by three electric motors, two at the rear and one at the front, powered by a 200 kWh battery. It is no longer a two-seater vehicle, but a four-seater, with a retractable panoramic roof. And again, these features are as announced in 2017.
This model was presented in 2017 and its marketing has been delayed several times. This is not a priority for Tesla, it is even unlikely that it will be commercialized in 2023. The American company prefers to concentrate on the construction of its Gigafactory in Shanghai and Berlin, the expansion of the other Gigafactory, the commercialization of the Model Y, the presentation of the Cybertruck pick-up, autonomous driving, and more recently the restyling of its Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X. Perhaps the future Model 2, whatever its name, will arrive even before the second-generation roadster.
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