Do you know the first Tesla that turned 15 years old?
The original Roadster brought Tesla’s image back to this iconic model.
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Yesterday, Tesla celebrated its first Tesla delivery 15 years ago. What seems like an eternity on the Internet is actually a very small period of time in automotive history.
15 years ago today we introduced the first Tesla Roadster → https://t.co/O8FipJIjAc pic.twitter.com/A0EfkufDbS
-Tesla (@Tesla) February 1, 2023
It was February 1, 2008, an event that now belongs to the history of Tesla and the electric car. You can still read Tesla’s official blog post from the time, Elon Musk styling the first Roadster called the P1. The account shows that this first delivery was complicated in several ways. The P1 was stuck at customs in Los Angeles, and there was no guarantee that Tesla would be able to get it back in time. Finally, the car arrived, with Tesla Elon Musk installing the Energy Storage System (ESS) before hitting the roads of Palo Alto accompanied by four Tesla Roadster prototypes.
First generation Roadster
Tesla’s first car was the Tesla Roadster, produced from 2008 to 2012, with a starting price of $98,950 (Tesla Roadster 1.5 Standard) to $128,500 (Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport). With only 2,450 units produced, this electric car has become a definite collector’s item. Its price has increased a lot in recent months.
The initial model offered a range of 392 kilometers with a 248-horsepower electric motor. The chassis and body were based on the architecture of the Lotus Elise S2, without the heat engine, of course. Therefore, this first model was a sports car, which was declared to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. Then came the Roadster 2.0, the second version of the model with a 292 hp engine (0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds) and a range of 540 kilometers. In total, there were four versions of this Roadster.
The first Roadsters had bodies (made by Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes in France Sotira 35), including bumpers made of carbon fiber. This ultra-light and expensive material was needed to increase mileage and optimize the weight of the car. Over time, Tesla was able to improve battery technology and use less carbon fiber, while also reducing costs and increasing range. These Roadsters are equipped with a soft top that can be rolled up and stowed in the trunk. If you are wondering where the electrical architecture of the car is (design AC drive), under the back cover. The Roadster’s battery is therefore not located under the floor of the car like the vast majority of current electric cars.
The Roadster’s infotainment system looked more like an iPod than an iPad, which stands out compared to the current Tesla, but still has a central location for controlling essential EV functions. Nevertheless, this small screen had many features. Perhaps Tesla would have liked to make it bigger, but the American automaker was limited to the architecture of the Lotus Elise, so there is not much room in the cockpit.
The story of the Tesla Roadster is considered a turning point for the automotive industry, showing consumers that electric vehicles can be attractive and capable. He also helped establish Tesla Motors as a world leader in the development of high-performance electric vehicles.
It should be noted that Elon Musk sent a Roadster to Mars during the first flight of the Falcon Heavy rocket in 2018. This makes it the first vehicle to orbit the Sun between Earth and Mars.
Second generation Roadster
A new Roadster is not available from Tesla today, but it can still be ordered. The second-generation Roadster, promised in 2020, has nothing else to share with the first model: it should go from 0 to 100 km/h in 1.9 seconds, a top speed of 400 km/h, a wheel torque of 10,000 Nm and a range from 1,000 km too far.
The recently introduced Tesla Model S Plaid is also capable of breaking acceleration records, you might say, but the Roadster must also carry mini-rocket engines to reduce that distance to 1.9 seconds.
This the new Roadster will be equipped with three electric motors, two in the rear and one in the front, with a 200 kWh battery. It is no longer a two-seater, but a four-seater, with an opening panoramic roof. And again, these features are the ones announced in 2017.
This model was introduced in 2017 and its marketing has been repeatedly delayed. It’s not a priority for Tesla, and it’s unlikely to even hit the market in 2023. The American company prefers to focus on the construction of its Gigafactory in Shanghai and Berlin, the expansion of another Gigafactory, and the commercialization of the Model Y. , the introduction of the Cybertruck pickup truck, autonomous driving, and more recently the restyling of its Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X. Perhaps the upcoming Model 2, whatever the name, even predates the Second-generation roadster.
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