2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5

2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5

With the pioneering Tesla Roadster bowing out of the market place, Californian startup Tesla will be without a model until its Model S electric sedan arrives in the first half of next year.

Beyond the Model S, however, Tesla has plans for a whole new array of zero emission electric cars, including a successor to its original Roadster.

But before a new Roadster comes along Tesla plans to launch its Model X crossover, due in early 2013, as well as a luxurious convertible model due around the same time.

Importantly, all of these models will be based on the flexible and lightweight chassis debuting with the Model S. They will also use a variation of the electric drivetrain found in the current Roadster and upcoming Model S.

The Roadster uses a 288 horsepower AC motor and lithium-ion battery to deliver numbers such as its 3.7-second 0-to-60 mph time and claimed 245-mile range. The Model S will come in three different lithium-ion options, each separated by $10,000 and 70 miles of range--from 160 to 300 miles.

Once production of these models is underway, Tesla will ready its second-generation Roadster. Speaking with Autocar recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that a new Roadster will be launched sometime in 2014.

He also said that the car will be based on a new platform, a third-generation design to be used beyond the Model S and its derivatives though it’s likely to share much in common with the previous architectures.

It will be shorter and cheaper to production, allowing Tesla to finally launch a volume model, a compact sedan designed to take on the likes of the BMW 3-Series and the upcoming Project Nina from closest rival Fisker.