Rocket technology will allow the 2020 Tesla Roadster to hover above the road

Tesla doesn’t have a long story, but it has a complicated one. The company got its start in 2003 with the mission to “accelerate the day of electric vehicles,” but 16 years later, the brand’s portfolio has grown far beyond that. Tesla now makes electric cars, home and commercial energy storage systems, solar panels, roof tiles, and yes, even semi-trucks. It all started with the Roadster, though, so its successor must push the boundaries even further, and boy, does it ever. It will be one of the quickest cars on the planet, and company co-founder Elon Musk promised it will be capable of hovering above the road thanks to technology normally found in rockets.

Expected to arrive in 2020, the all-wheel drive Roadster boasts a spec sheet that would make a superbike jealous: A 200kWh battery pack, 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 0 to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and the quarter-mile dealt with in 8.9 seconds. These are record-shattering (albeit unconfirmed) performance numbers, but that’s not all; Musk mentioned the Roadster was capable of reaching 250 mph in testing. According to the CEO himself, “the point of all this is just to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars.”

Outside of boasting incredible acceleration, the Roadster will technically seat four, and it will feature a removable glass roof that fits snugly in the trunk. There will be plenty of storage as we’ve come to expect from Teslas, too, as well as the latest and greatest in driver-assist systems. Range is always a concern with electric cars, but with the second-generation Roadster, there’s almost no reason to stress. That’s because Tesla claims the vehicle will be able to travel a whopping 620 miles between charges, which is more than some diesel cars can do.

“These numbers sound nutty, but they’re real,” Musk said at the event.

Tesla Roadster

Replying to a photo of the DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future posted on Twitter, Musk Musk said “the new Roadster will actually do something like this.” Details remain few and far between, but he explained the Roadster will “use SpaceX cold gas thruster system with ultra high pressure air in a composite over-wrapped pressure vessel in place of the two rear seats.” Precisely how and when the feature will work is unclear, but motorists will be able to “accelerate at the limit of human endurance.”

Of course, all these nutty figures and features come at a cost, which brings us to the Roadster’s price. The base model will start at $200,000 with a $50,000 deposit required up front, but the first 1,000 examples will be dubbed the Founder’s Series and will require the full $250,000 up front. That may sound like a lot (and it is), but if you consider how much faster the Roadster is than, say, the $1.15 million McLaren P1, it’s actually quite the bargain.

The new Tesla Roadster is due in 2020.

Updated on January 11, 2019: Added information about the Roadster’s hovering feature.

Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is ready to strike with over 700 hp

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 revives one of the greatest names in American muscle cars, and gives Ford some ammunition in the horsepower war with Chevy and Dodge. Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the GT500 boasts over 700 hp.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.