Tesla Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen gave a long-anticipated update on the electric carmaker’s Roadster hypercar on the Spike Car Radio podcast on Thursday.
According to von Holzhausen, the company is “feverishly” working on the vehicle, which will be an “exciting flying machine.”
“We are working on the Roadster. I wish we were working faster, but I also wanted to say that, in the time we have been developing it, we have also been learning a lot…
All those experiences will, you know, make their way back into a much better Roadster than had we launched right after we debuted it. No products can come fast enough from us for the public, but rest assured we are working on it feverishly,” the designer said.
According to him, the highly anticipated hypercar will have an improved (with no further details given) version of Tesla’s new tri-motor powertrain launched in the updated Tesla Model S and Model X last year. And much more.
“It will be an amazing, exciting flying machine with the SpaceX package,” von Holzhausen stated. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the carmaker plans to add a “SpaceX package” to the Roadster, but the designer has now confirmed these plans.
The ‘package’ refers to cold air rocket thrusters around the vehicle which are aimed at boosting performance. According to Musk, the technology will allow the Roadster to accelerate from 0 to 100kph in 1.1 seconds, and even allow it to fly, albeit briefly, as the CEO bragged on Twitter. The vehicle will also have a range of nearly 1,000km on one charge.
However, the new generation of the Roadster is one of Tesla’s most delayed programs. First unveiled in 2017, it was scheduled to come to the market in 2020. The carmaker delayed the program on more than one occasion, with Musk stressing that the Roadster was not a priority for Tesla.
This will actually be able to fly very briefly. I always laughed at flying cars & now making one. Fate 🖤 irony haha.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 21, 2021
In 2020, Musk said the hypercar would be delayed until at least 2022 while the company focused on the release of the Tesla Cybertruck, which is also delayed. There has not been any news regarding the Roadster since September 2021, when Musk said the launch would be delayed even further – until at least 2023. The CEO also stated that the hypercar’s arrival will depend entirely on how much “drama” Tesla goes through in 2022, pointing to worries surrounding the lingering semiconductor chip shortage, which has already led to production delays at some Tesla factories.
Despite the delays, 2021 was Tesla’s most successful year in its history, with full-year profits reaching $5.5 billion, up from $721 million in 2020, while sales soared 71% to $53.8 billion, compared to $31.5 billion in 2020. Tesla nearly monopolized the American electric car market in 2021, with over 72% of all electric cars sold in the US last quarter made by Tesla.
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