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Elon Musk signals another delay for the Tesla Roadster

Tesla chief Elon Musk has confirmed yet another delay for the next version of its Roadster sports car.

Musk said in a tweet on Wednesday, September 1, that as long as there’s no “mega drama” next year, the all-electric Roadster should ship in 2023.

The Tesla boss put the delay down to “super crazy supply chain shortages,” an apparent reference to the strained supply of semiconductor chips that are needed to power the automobile’s onboard computers. The same issue has also delayed the launch of Tesla’s new Cybertruck as automakers and tech firms around the world scramble to purchase the same components.

2021 has been the year of super crazy supply chain shortages, so it wouldn’t matter if we had 17 new products, as none would ship.

Assuming 2022 is not mega drama, new Roadster should ship in 2023.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 1, 2021

Tesla first revealed plans to update the Roadster in 2017, with subsequent announcements suggesting a 2020 launch. But in May of that year, Musk said the Roadster was unlikely to debut until late 2021. The following January, he announced another delay, saying production of the vehicle wouldn’t begin until 2022.

According to Tesla’s website, when it finally arrives, the Roadster will have a top speed of 250 mph, with 0 to 60 mph achievable in a lightning-fast 1.9 seconds. The car will seat up to four people, include a removable glass roof, and offer a range of 620 miles — getting on for double that of Tesla’s other electric vehicles.

The base price for the Roadster is $200,000, with buyers required to drop $50,000 to join the line.

The SpaceX package

Musk has also spoken on several occasions of a so-called “SpaceX package” that would see the Roadster equipped with rocket thrusters to enable it to hover above the ground.

“I thought, maybe we could make it hover, but not too high,” Musk said during a podcast chat earlier this year. “So maybe it could hover, like, a meter above the ground, or something. So if you plummet, you blow out the suspension but you’re not going to die.”

He also mentioned another possible feature “where the license plate flips down, James Bond-style, and there’d be a rocket thruster behind it that gives you three tons of thrust.”

It’s safe to say that regulators will ensure the rocket thrusters stay well away from the 2023 Roadster, though if Tesla can find a way to incorporate them into its factory to speed up the production line, its Roadster customers would surely be very happy indeed.

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