While Tesla sorts out its Model 3 production bottlenecks and begins on-road testing of its new Semi truck, the new second-generation Roadster has made its on-road debut, in the hands of the firm’s design head.

Tesla’s Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen took to Twitter two days ago boasting a photo of him driving a prototype Mk2 Roadster. It’s garnered considerable social media attention, with plenty of pictures of the Roadster out and about on America’s west coast hitting the web.

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Tesla shocked the automotive industry at the launch of its new Semi Truck in November last year, by unveiling an all-new version of its electric Roadster, claiming it is the fastest accelerating car in the world. Tesla cheif exec Elon Musk has since announced a “Space X option package” will be offered with the Roadster, to celebrate its launch into space.

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, has said that the new Roadster has been built to “give a hardcore smack down to gasoline cars.” The ‘base’ version of the Roadster covers 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds, says Tesla; 0-100mph is completed in 4.2 seconds, quicker than a BMW M4 coupe gets from 0-62mph.

Power comes from a 200kWh battery pack and three electric motors. Two motors power each of the rear wheels, while a single motor powers the front wheels, making it four-wheel-drive. Tesla says the new Roadster produces 10,000Nm of ‘wheel torque’ and has a range of 1,000km (620 miles). Musk didn’t announce the official top speed but said it’s around the 250mph mark.

A standing quarter mile is claimed to be possible in 8.9 seconds, which makes it the first production car to do the quarter mile in less than nine seconds. Musk also hinted at a version “beyond the base model,” which could deliver even more performance. 

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The Roadster features a 2+2 seating layout, although Musk conceded that “giant people” couldn’t fit in the back; he did however boast about the Roadster’s plentiful storage areas despite its focus on performance.

The second-generation Roadster will begin production in 2020, with reservations being taken now. Prices for the base Roadster in the US start at $200,000 (£151,000), with customers being asked to place a $50,000 (£34,000) deposit. A Founders Series model – limited to just 1,000 examples – cost from $250,000 (£189,000).

Has the new Tesla Roadster caught you by surprise? Let us know what you think of it in the comments…

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