A “hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars” has arrived
It was an unexpected arrival and one that nobody was expecting but, then, Elon Musk hasn’t exactly cultivated a reputation for doing things the traditional way.
The launch was meant to be for Tesla’s brand new semi-autonomous driving lorry, dubbed the Tesla Semi, at a Los Angeles airport hangar. Musk said the electric trucks were behind the car manufacturer's latest efforts to move industries away from using fossil fuels.
The truck can, apparently, travel 500 miles with a full cargo on a single charge, in comparison to the diesel alternative which can travel for 1000 miles on a single tank of fuel. According to the press release, without cargo, the Semi can do 0 to 60mph in five seconds or reach 60mph in 20 seconds while carrying the maximum weight allowed on US highways - more than 36,000kg.
Despite the event scheduled to cover the release of the impressive new project truck, Musk then had a prototype of the Roadster, a new version of Tesla’s first car, drive out of the back of the truck amidst some very big claims about the car.
Announcing the car as a “hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars”, Musk revealed that the new sports cars are able to hit 60mph from a standstill in 1.9 seconds and that a production version of the car may be able to accelerate even faster. The current fastest car in production is the hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder, reaching 0-60 in 2.2 seconds.
Further to that ludicrous claim, though, Tesla also reckon the car will be able to achieve 0-100mph in 4.2 seconds once it hits production, meaning that it can travel a quarter-of-a-mile in just 8.9 seconds. The top speed, Musk says, will be a staggering 250mph.
The car will have three motors, with one in the front to drive the front wheels and two in the rear to power the back wheels. This is similar to the current Model S P100D.
Packing a 200kWh battery, Musk says that the car will be able to drive a very impressive 630 miles on a full charge before needing to be refuelled. Their current best is 424 miles which can be achieved by the Model S 100D but at 20 Celsius driving at 55mph constantly, marking a significant improvement.
The car will seat four and set you back a not insignificant $200,000, or just over £150,000. This may sound expensive at first but comparable competitors such as the aforementioned Porsche Spyder would set you back over £700,000 whilst a Bugatti may set you back £2.5 million.
The car will be released in 2020, but until then we can only marvel at the potential breakthrough for high performance electric cars and wonder whether Musk can put his money where his mouth is.