Taken in Bristol, UK. Photograph taken by Phil Bambridge. Used with Permission.Enlarge Photo
Tesla’s first electric car, the 2007-2011 Roadster, may have ceased production after its planned 2,500 (ish) car production run, but the Tesla Roadster will live on in an all-new car for 2014, Tesla has confirmed.
In an interview with Autocar, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed what we already suspected: that an all-new 2015 Tesla Roadster would come to market some time in 2014.
The news is hardly surprising. After all, Tesla has already detailed how it plans to use the chassis and power train from its 2012 Model S luxury sedan to spawn a whole new range of vehicles, including the Model X Crossover SUV, a van, and a cabriolet.
But the new roadster won’t be based on the Model S platform. Instead, it is most likely going to be built on a brand-new platform produced by shortening the existing Model S chassis.
2012 Tesla Model S beta vehicle, Fremont, CA, October 2011Enlarge Photo
And that shortened chassis, which Musk called a “Third generation platform”, will also give rise to a new range of mass-market [read affordable] cars which will go head-to-head with cars from mainstream automakers.
“This platform will spawn a range of cars in the next four to five years,” Musk told Autocar. “It’ll be a more mass-market platform for cars like a 3-series as well as the new Roadster. These cars will supplement the Model S range.”
In other words, Tesla is determined to break out of the niche market and into the mainstream auto industry in the next five years.
And with Tesla’s expansive former NUMMI factory currently operating at just a tiny fraction of its potential capacity, the firm certainly has the potential to simultaneously produce many different models at capacities to rival many other mainstream automakers.
There’s no word on what we can expect from Tesla’s reborn 2015 Roadster, nor is there any indication of cost. But given the 300+ mile capability of its 2012 Model S Sedan, as well as its sporty sub 4.5 second 0-60 time, we can expect the 2015 Tesla Roadster to feature both excellent performance and impressive range.