The previous generation Roadster was available in two grades, Roadster and Roadster Sport, with the Roadster Sport model sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds. Produced in limited numbers, only 17 vehicles ever made it to Australian and New Zealand roads — possibly due to the prices of $206,188 plus on-road costs and $241,938 on-road costs respectively.
The announcement by Tesla Motors suggests that Ludicrous Mode, the sub 3.0-second 0-60 miles per hour mode currently available with the Model S P85D, won't be the fastest setting available in its range of vehicles.
“There is of course one speed faster than Ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next-generation Roadster in four years: maximum plaid,” Tesla’s statement reveals.
When quizzed about the upcoming Tesla Roadster, Tesla Motors' local marketing and communications manager Heath Walker suggested the Roadster could be available in two performance grades to appease each type of customer.
"It's highly dependent on what the customer wants. We always try and create a couple of versions depending on what the customer needs. We go here's a product that provides range or here's a product that provides performance. The battery can do both really well combined and there's usually a middle ground, but there's a desire to have one or the other essentially," Walker said.
"With the dual-motor for example, it's the 85D or P85D. They are the two. The 85D is a true allrounder because it gives you speed as well. With the Roadster, when we launched that originally, we had the normal and we had the Sport. That methodology won't necessarily be any different. We will try and appease both because we want to continue to overcome the perceived barriers to owning an electric vehicle."
This train of thought would, in theory, offer customers the ability to purchase a Roadster with high levels of performance and extended battery range, or a Roadster honed just for performance that sheds weight in favour of battery range.
Speaking at the local Model S dual-motor launch, Tesla Motors communications and public relations specialist Alexis Georgeson told CarAdvice that the brand would find a middle ground that works for customers.
"No, we never want to sacrifice range. We want to bring a super compelling vehicle to market and to us that means engineering the safest, engineering cars with incredible range and engineering a car that is a mind blowing performance and driving experience for people. We have done that with Model S and we'll do that with Model X and we'll do that even with Model 3 at a starting price of [US] $35,000 when that car comes to market," Georgeson said.
The previous generation Roadster had a cruising range of 550 kilometres with its most recent update. It's expected that the next Roadster will match and extend that range, offering better performance in multiple grades and a unique Tesla owned chassis platform, as opposed to the platform shared with Lotus previously.
Read our review of the Tesla Roadster.