Tesla Delays Release of Roadster, New Plaid Versions Show Comparable Performance

Tesla has pushed the release of the Roadster back to 2022, citing the need to complete engineering for the vehicle. The Roadster had been announced in 2017 and was originally due to begin delivery in 2020.

Tesla is currently focused on ramping up production of already released models like the Model 3 and design updates for the Model X and Model S. It has also been focused on international expansions like the start of production of the Model Y in China and the search for a Chief Designer for the Asian market. Despite roadblocks that included a legal challenge from German environmentalist groups, construction on the Gigafactory in the Berlin area continues at a brisk clip, with Musk now saying that it will be filled with graffiti art. The flurry of activity may have been a major reason that the Roadster was put on the back burner.

Model S, Model X Get Plaid Versions

When the Roadster was first announced, CEO Elon Musk said that it would have a triple motor system that would produce more horsepower than Tesla’s existing models. The triple model system has recently been released as a feature in the new Plaid version of the Model S and Model X.

The Model S Plaid+ can produce 1,100 horsepower and the Plaid version is no slacker at 1,020 horsepower. Both the Plaid and Plaid+ versions of the Model S can go from 0 to 60 mph in 1.99 seconds. This is slightly better than the 2.0-second 0-60 time promised for the Roadster.

With the right tires, Musk said, the Model S Plaid could hit 200 mph. The maximum range for a single charge is 390 miles.

Tesla seems intent on making the Plaid one of the first vehicles to have an onboard gaming console, too. The Model S Plaid’s onboard computer capable of 10 teraflops of processing power, which is more than sufficient for playing popular video games like Cyberpunk 2077 and watching shows like The Witcher. This seems to be in line with Musk’s recent Twitter comments implying that he is a gamer in his scanty free time.

Don’t expect Plaid to be cheap, though: The Model S Plaid has a price tag of $119,990.

By way of comparison, Musk has said that the Roadster will be capable of a top speed of 250 mph and a range of 620 miles. Musk has made comments on Twitter indicating that work on the tri-motor drive system and work on a 200-kWh battery pack was the holdup.

When the Roadster is finally released, it is expected to be the Tesla’s highest price model. Preorders require an up-front deposit of $50,000 and buyers could land a Founders Series version of the Roadster by putting up the full $250,000 price tag. It would be no surprise if placers of early preorders of the Roadster may start to become impatient with all the delays and opt for the $119,990 Model S Plaid instead.