During last week’s announcement of the new Ludicrous mode for certain versions of the Model S electric sedan, Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] CEO Elon Musk let slip that the launch of a second-generation Roadster has been pushed back to 2019.

He said Tesla has a performance level higher than Ludicrous that he referred to as “Maximum Plaid”, a nod to hilarious 1987 film Space Balls, and he added that this level of performance will be reserved for the new Roadster due in four years.

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Considering Ludicrous mode already sees the mid-size Model S accelerate to 60 mph from rest in 2.8 seconds, we imagine the new Roadster will be capable of even quicker acceleration, meaning it may end up being the quickest car to 60 mph in production. The time to beat is currently 2.5 seconds, which the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport and Porsche 918 Spyder supercars need to reach 60 mph.

Four years is a long wait for the new Roadster, especially considering the original model went out of production in 2011. However, the wait time is understandable given the size of Tesla and its ambitious plans to launch the Model X mid-size SUV later this year and follow it up with the Model 3 small sedan and a small SUV in the ensuing years.

Instead of using a donor platform like the original Roadster, the new one will be based on Tesla’s own ‘Gen 3’ architecture, which makes its debut in the Model 3. In addition to neck-snapping acceleration, driving range will be another of the car’s strong points. The most recent update for the original Roadster, version 3.0, increased the car’s range to 400 miles in the right conditions, and the new Roadster will almost certainly improve on that figure considering the advancements being made in battery tech each year.


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