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Tesla’s Roadster 2.0: From ‘Insane Nightmare’ To Highly Anticipated

Elon Musk reflects on the original Roadster's challenges as the new model nears production.

As Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) gears up for the launch of its highly-anticipated Cybertruck, there is also some palpable excitement among dedicated fans for its second-generation Roadster, the EV maker’s first-ever car.

Visitors wearing face coverings view the Telsa Cybertruck at the recently reopened Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, July 1, 2020. (ROBYN BECK/GETTY)

The original Roadster made its debut back in 2008, and CEO Elon Musk, reflecting on its development, candidly described it as an “insane nightmare.” 

Acknowledging the numerous mistakes made during its production, Musk admitted, “We screwed the pooch six ways to Sunday and made so many mistakes it’s embarrassing.”

“First of all, we had no idea how to build a car,” Musk said. “And then no one really knew how to build a commercial lithium-ion battery car. No one had ever done it.”

Despite the initial hurdles, Tesla delivered the first Roadster to Musk himself, marking the beginning of a four-year production run that lasted until 2012, just a few months before the introduction of the Model S.

SpaceX, Twitter and electric carmaker Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends an event during the Vivatech technology startups and innovation fair at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, on June 16, 2023. (JOEL SAGET/AFP VIA GETTY)

In a jaw-dropping move, Musk sent a cherry-colored first-gen Roadster into space as part of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy mission in February 2018. According to Musk, the Roadster will remain in space even after the pyramids have eroded, and it’s not expected to collide with anything for the next 10 years. The current location of the Roadster, as tracked by, is a staggering 103.8 million miles from Earth.

The new Roadster is expected to reach production by the end of the next year while design and engineering will be completed this year, Musk said in May in a conversation with Ford CEO Jim Farley.

Musk called the new Tesla Roadster the “fastest production car ever made” during its unveiling in November 2017. It was expected to be available in 2020, but the timeline has been pushed several times since. “We are certainly testing the patience of our reservation holders,” Musk told Farley.

The base model of the Roadster is estimated to start around $200,000. However, it’s important to note that this figure is not final and is subject to change, as indicated in Tesla’s reservation agreement. 

Tesla resumed taking reservations for the Roadster in June, requiring customers to make an initial $5,000 payment via credit card and a $45,000 payment via wire transfer within 10 days. Rest assured, the payment is fully refundable.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Joseph Donald Gunderson and Jessi Rexroad Shull

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