Tesla’s big surprise at Grand Basel was the same Roadster we’ve seen before

Tesla surprise for Grand Basel

Since its inception, Tesla has mostly ignored the annual international auto shows the rest of the industry participates in, but it broke that trend to appear at an event held in Basel, Switzerland, where it promised a surprise. On Tuesday, September 4, the company unveiled its next-generation Roadster at the Grand Basel show — a car we’ve actually seen before.

Touching the next-gen @Tesla Roadster for the first time at the @grandbasel exhibition. Exterieur only. pic.twitter.com/9THWR35hLo

— Hank Scribner (@haukeschrieber) September 4, 2018

Instead of doing a standard major product announcement in stand-alone, Apple-style events held at or near its headquarters in California, Tesla reserved floor space at an exhibition called Grand Basel that, according to the organizers, “showcases a limited number of carefully selected, top-of-the-range automobiles.”

The list of rare, high-end cars that will hog the spotlight during the multi-day event includes a 1968 Lamborghini Miura, a 1947 Cisitalia 202 SC, a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, and a 1956 Porsche 550 1500 RS Spyder — some of the most expensive cars in the world.

Where does Tesla fit in this roster of timeless sheet metal? The firm simply hasn’t been around long enough to display classic cars. Company CEO and co-founder Elon Musk wasn’t even born when the aforementioned cars were produced. Tesla didn’t go retro, but instead revealed the production version of the hotly anticipated second-generation Roadster it first announced in late 2017.

Hi Elon congrats on the presentation of the white Roadster at Grand Basel. Here are some pics. I filmed your press conference in Frankfurt back in 2009 when you delivered the 700th roadster and look where you are now: over 200'000 cars. So pride of you!! Siggy pic.twitter.com/bEEPHlEtGG

— SПQ (@SQ32280872) September 4, 2018

The Roadster concept that Tesla first unveiled last year shed valuable insight into the production model. It boasts a huge, 200kWh lithium-ion battery pack and it performs the benchmark 0-to-60-mph sprint in 1.9 seconds, a figure that, if verified, makes it the quickest series-produced car on the planet. Driving range checks in at 620 miles.

Tesla invited its most loyal fans and customers to participate in a raffle for the chance to win a pair of VIP tickets to the show. The company sent out an invitation accompanied by a close-up of a car. It shows a curved metal panel (presumably a car body) painted in a deep shade of red and a dark-tinted window. While there was some speculation that the firm would unveil a truck like the Semi or a crossover like the Model Y at the event, it instead officially brought out the next-generation Roadster.

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