Following the unveiling of the 1000bhp-plus Model S Plaid and Model X Plaid yesterday, Tesla boss Elon Musk has confirmed the long-awaited Roadster supercar has been delayed until 2022.
Responding to a user on Twitter who enquired about progress on the Porsche Taycan rival, Musk said Tesla will be "finishing engineering this year" ahead of a planned production start date next year. Completion of a driveable prototype is hoped to take place at the end of summer.
The delay is attributed to the development of Tesla's new tri-motor powertrain and advanced battery technology, which will make their market debut in the new saloon and SUV variants.
The second-generation Roadster was first shown in late 2017 and was expected to enter production this year.
It won't be the first Tesla to miss its intended production date: the launch of the Model 3 saloon was plagued by production setbacks, the Semi lorry - originally planned to launch in 2019 - didn't appear on the market as planned last year and Musk has already warned that Tesla will be "lucky" to begin production of the radical Cybertruck pick-up before 2022.
Tesla says the launch version of the Roadster will pack 7376lb ft from three electric motors and be able to do 0-60mph in 1.9sec – a similar feat to that claimed for the Model S Plaid.
At its unveiling, Musk said the successor to Tesla’s first production car, which went off sale nine years ago, can accelerate from 0-100mph in 4.2sec and complete a quarter-mile sprint in 8.9sec. He did suggest that producing a faster version of the car could cause some safety concerns.
"[An upgrade is] just a question of safety," he said. "Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities."
It's also claimed that the Roadster – which features a removable glass lid and wraparound rear section to give it a look similar to the Mazda MX-5 RF – will have a top speed of more than 250mph.
Musk revealed that the car’s 200kWh battery pack enables it to have a 620-mile range, which would break the record for a production electric vehicle. The top-rung Model S Plaid+ is claimed to offer 520 miles of range on the American EPA cycle.
"The point of doing this is to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” said Musk. “Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”
The Roadster was originally pegged to arrive on roads in 2020, initially priced from $250,000 (about £189,000) for the first 1000 cars, which will be sold as Founders Edition models.