Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled a new electric Roadster in a surprise twist at the end of the company’s planned reveal of its new semi-truck known as Tesla Semi.
It was a such a surprise that the vast majority of Tesla’s 30,000 employees didn’t know that a new Roadster was even under development. A small group of Tesla designers and engineers, led by chief designer Franz von Holzhausen worked on the new Roadster out of the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, Calif., the same location of Musk’s other company, SpaceX.
Von Holzhausen drove the Roadster out from the back of the Tesla Semi, at what appeared to be the end of Musk’s presentation. After the vehicle’s entrance, von Holzhausen stopped, then sped away, only to come cruising back at high speed—the Hawthorne Airport’s runway in the background.
This is not just a refresh of the company’s very first electric vehicle, which was a low-volume high-priced sportscar made between 2008 and 2010. Tesla made about 2,500 of the original Roadsters before the company began producing what would become its flagship electric car, the Model S.
The new Roadster is roomier at four seats, comes with a removable top, and is faster. A lot faster. The car will travel a whopping 0 to 60 miles per hour in 1.9 seconds and a top speed of 250 mph (or even more Musk said).
The Roadster, which won’t be available until 2020, will have three motors and be able to drive 620 miles on a single charge. For those keeping track, that’s double what Tesla’s other vehicles the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 currently get.
It has a base price of $200,000. And yes, there’s already a reservations page. You just need $50,000 to make a deposit. Tesla was giving rides to those who made a reservation immediately.
The company also plans to produce a founder’s series for $250,000—you’ll need a $250,000 deposit to make a reservation for one of these.