New Tesla Roadster Coming in 2017 … Maybe


Lotus Elise Concept

Tesla launched its brand with a simply styled, brutally fast convertible called the Tesla Roadster. It was based heavily on the featherweight Lotus Elise roadster, which may or may not become the car you see, above: the on-again, off-again 2015 Lotus Elise concept.

Now, rumors are starting to circulate about an all-new Tesla Roadster coming in 2017. All of which begs the question, “Will Tesla’s next Roadster, then, be based on Lotus’ next Elise?”

Probably not.

All the same, an updated Tesla Roadster is expected to be one of four – four! – all-new Tesla models that (the usually reliable) Autobild magazine claims will be released by 2017, just in time to carry a “2018” model year designation. We already know about the hot-selling Model X SUV/crossover and Model 3 “mainstream” sedan made to take on the Chevy Volt PHEV and Nissan Leaf, but Autobild is claiming that, along with the new Tesla Roadster, a new compact city car – similar in size and concept to the BMW i3 – will be joining the lineup, as well.

With a compact, a pair of sedans, an SUV, and – now – an updated sports car, Tesla could become the first full-line, all-electric carmaker in … maybe 100 years? Something like that.

Let us know what you think of Tesla’s big plans, and whether or not you think they’d be better off with a Lotus-tuned chassis (my take: they would be) in the comments, below.


Source: Autobild, via World Car Fans.

About the Author

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.
  • J_JamesM

    The Elise-based Roadster was totally bonkers as-is. The new Roadster, assuming there is one, would probably be Tesla’s own design. And it will undoubtedly be even more bonkers. Like sticking your face into a blender.

    • jeffhre

      The original Roadster was Tesla’s own design. They held a contest to design the concept, Barney Hat of Lotus nailed it – and Tesla hired him to follow through on the concept to production.

      • J_JamesM

        It used Lotus parts. It was designed by a guy from Lotus. Ipso facto, it was Lotus-based.

        • jeffhre

          I actually said it was a Tesla design. “The new Roadster, assuming there is one, would probably be Tesla’s own design.”

          No latin required…

  • Seth Pascale

    The next Roadster will have all the batteries at the lowest point in the car, so the handling should be superb. Maybe they’ll just consult with Lotus on the chassis setup, pretty much like what everyone else does…lol.

  • Steve Grinwis

    This is the first time I have questioned my desire for a model III

  • CMCNestT .

    Elon has said multiple times that if he had to do it over again the Roadster would not be Lotus based. They had to re-engineer over 95% of the parts.

    There is nothing Lotus can teach Tesla about BEVs. The next Tesla Roadster will be a pure 100% Tesla. The battery pack will be under the floor like the Model S.

  • Jon

    I would buy a Tesla roadster!! I think they should design it and not use the Lotus body. Tesla designs cars with simply stunning bodystyles. Let us see what they can offer.

    • jeffhre

      As far as I can recall, Lotus has never designed a car with carbon fiber body, which is what Tesla used for the original Roadster.

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  • Calculatorium

    The question of the hour is: Will the gears grind, and if they do, who will Tesla blame?