CEO Elon Musk says replacement car will arrive in 2013, with two new plug-in cars before that
3 June 2009

The current Tesla Roadster will be replaced by a a large, four-seat sports car in 2013, company chairman, product architect and CEO Elon Musk has said.

He has also revealed that the company will launch two plug-in electric vehicles in the near future, in partnership with partner Daimler AG.

The new Tesla Roadster will be available in hard-top and convertible models, and with rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, according to Musk, who added that work on the car had not yet begun.

Musk revealed, however, that the new Roadster will be built on the Model S platform, and that it will have four seats so that it can compete with the likes of the Porsche Turbo Carrera. He added that the rear seats will be 20 per cent bigger than the Porsche's.

"The back seats will be capable of handling someone up to 5ft 6in tall in comfort," Musk told Edmunds, "and the trunk (boot) space will be almost twice the size."

The first Tesla and Daimler joint venture will be the already-announced Smart EV roadster late this year. It will be followed by another affordable zero-emissions electric vehicle, but Musk has refused to elaborate beyond that.

Musk says the final pricing on the battery-electric Smart car "is up to Daimler", but he added, "I know that this car will cost a lot less than $30,000 (£18,100) once it achieves mass production. The reason we originally started working with Daimler was because we saw this as the fastest path to putting affordable electric cars on the road."

Daimler has been real-world testing Smart EVs in London for 18 months.

Musk added: "There is also another major vehicle programme that we will be doing with Daimler and that was part of the investment deal and would also fit into the 'everyman' category. Details will probably be announced around the end of this year."

Daimler acquired a 10 per cent equity stake in Tesla earlier this year. Under the terms of the deal, Tesla will provide Daimler with advanced lithium batteries, a seat on Tesla's board of directors and the know-how needed to bring an electric car to market as quickly as possible.

James Stiff

Our Verdict

Tesla Roadster 2008-2012

Is the Tesla Roadster a short-lived novelty or the future of performance motoring?

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