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Tesla To Launch Non-Lotus 'Roadster II' In 2014

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On: Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 1:14PM | By: Chris Weiss


Tesla To Launch Non-Lotus 'Roadster II' In 2014

When the Tesla Roadster debuted, it opened a new chapter in automotive history. While the $110,000 Roadster was never a commercial success—Tesla actually lost money on every one sold—it really opened the eyes of automakers, analysts, and the general public in terms of the potential of electric vehicles. Not only was the Roadster emissions-free, it was a sexy, performance-oriented sports coupe, an entirely different animal from the awkwardly shaped electric city car. What was not to like?

Well, the expensive price tag and impractical nature of a two-seat convertible coupled with extensive R&D costs were among the reasons that the Roadster was an instant icon but an unsuccessful product. The Roadster was simply a foothold for Tesla, which will help it launch a variety of less expensive, more practical EVs over the next few years. But it won't abandon its Roadster roots.

Roadster production will end in a few short weeks, but Tesla told Autocar that it will launch a redesigned Roadster in 2014. We expect the model will offer the same performance-meets-clean package as the original, but it won't use a Lotus underpinnings. Instead, Tesla will use a new platform expected to be a shortened version of its Model S platform.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained the importance of the Roadster: "Bob Lutz has said the Roadster prompted General Motors to do the Chevrolet Volt. We’re trying to change the industry."

In addition to inspiring industry insiders and consumers, the Roadster also served as the springboard for Tesla to earn its way into the minds and hearts of the industry. It's hard to think of a better branding tool than a revolutionary, bright red sports car. Despite being the new fish in a century-old pool of automakers, Tesla is now a leading brand name in the electric vehicle segment. And that should help it in launching its newer vehicles.

Next year, Tesla will bring the Model S sedan to market. With a base price of $57,000 and seating for five, the Model S will be a higher volume product for Tesla.

Before year-end, Tesla will debut a concept version of its third car, a crossover called the Model X.




Comments

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Stephy21 | 9:05AM (Wed, Nov 2, 2011)

The Roadster is a very flashy car! I wonder what kinda changes they are going to make. Especially if they are going to try and make there new cars more economy friendly.. And its great to know that they are trying to help improve there cars to help with the environment.



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