The roadster’s gestation has been a turbulent one. Not only did the engineering team suffer some major technical problems, forcing the original specifications to be changed, but the company also underwent a major management reshuffle as well. According to Tesla, to overcome the previous technical problems, the first batch of cars, dubbed ‘P1,’ will come with an interim two-speed transmission that meets durability requirements but limits acceleration to a disappointing 5.7 seconds for the 0-60mph sprint.
Future models will come with a new one-speed gearbox mated to a more powerful drivetrain than the power unit in the P1 cars. The existing motor will be modified to have advanced cooling capabilities to handle the additional power and the permanent transmission unit will be engineered to handle the higher torque of the powertrain. This second version will meet the original promise of 0-60mph acceleration in four seconds.
The first P1 car will be delivered to the Chairman of Tesla Motors Elon Musk next week before heading into full production on March 17. The upgrade from the interim solution to the higher power, permanent solution will be provided to customers free of charge when available later this year.