The special-edition launch models command a whopping $326,000 plus on-road costs – despite local pricing, specifications and delivery timing remaining unknown.
The Roadster 'Reserve' option has been available on the Tesla Australia website since November 2017, with buyers asked to make a "fully refundable" initial credit card payment of $7000 to claim a car, followed by a $59,000 bank transfer within 10 days of the first payment.
According to the Reservation agreement, the spend will be deducted from the total cost of the car, with the fine print explaining: "If you proceed with the order, we will apply your Reservation Payment towards the order payment.”
Buyers also have the option of reserving the Founders Series Roadster for the same initial $7000 credit card payment, but with an additional $319,000 bank deposit required within 10 days – totalling $326,000.
Only 1000 Founders Series reservations have been made available in our market, but Tesla is yet to stipulate the key specification differences the extra $260,000 reservation spend will bring.
Local pricing for the Roadster is yet to be announced, but in the United States the car is priced from US$200,000, or roughly AU$288,133, with a reservation fee of US$50,000.
If you consider that the US reservation fee is 25 per cent of the purchase price, that would place the Australian pricing at around $264,000 or above – potentially making it more expensive than the competing Porsche Taycan, which starts at $191,000 plus on-road costs.
"While this Reservation secures your approximate delivery priority, it does not constitute the purchase or order of a vehicle," Tesla's Reservation Agreement states.
"When the start of production for your Reservation nears, we will ask you to configure your vehicle. Tesla will create an order for your vehicle and you will receive a Purchase Agreement indicating the purchase price of the vehicle, plus estimates of any applicable taxes, duties, transport and delivery charges, and any other applicable fees.
"If you proceed with the order, we will apply your Reservation Payment towards the order payment. Until you enter into a Purchase Agreement, your Reservation may be cancelled at any time, in which case you will receive a full refund of your Reservation Payment."
Tesla typically takes online reservations for upcoming models, but the $66,000 fee for the Roadster is substantially higher than any that have come before it – Tesla asked for $150 from Australian Cybertruck buyers, while the Model 3 reservation fee was $1500.
These deposits are put towards development and production of the vehicles as well as generating an indication of future demand. In 2016, when Model 3 pre-orders surpassed $10 billion in two days, CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company was "going to need to rethink production planning".
Roadster production is yet to commence, with Tesla delaying its start in order to prioritise the Cybertruck pick-up – meaning we likely won't see the new-generation sports car before 2021 or possibly even 2022.
The American electric car maker claims the rocket-propelled Roadster will offer a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 2.1 seconds, with a top speed of over 400km/h, an all-wheel-drive powertrain offering 10,000Nm of wheel torque and seating for four people.
Musk has previously claimed the car's range will be "over 1000km".