Battery and tri-motor work needed to be completed.
Tesla just released the “new” Model S with both technologies.
A prototype is expected this summer.
Although Tesla is a relatively small automaker, delivering nearly 500,000 units in 2020, they are keeping extremely busy. Be it with their German or Texan factories, the Model S’ updates, the impending Cybertruck, and Semi, there’s always something going on. This time, it’s a confirmation that the Roadster will be rolling the assembly line next year.
It’s not unusual for an automaker to introduce a concept years ahead of its actual production so we can’t fault Tesla for delaying the return of the Roadster. The last delay was due to the need to further develop the tri-motor setup as well as battery development, as reported by Road Show. Only two days ago, the new Model S Plaid trim was introduced with the tri-motor configuration good for at least 1,020 horsepower.
Finishing engineering this year, production starts next year. Aiming to have release candidate design drivable late summer. Tri-motor drive system & advanced battery work were important precursors.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2021
Back when the 2nd-generation Roadster was revealed, in late 2017, Tesla claimed that it was going to be a sub-2-second 0-60mph car with up to 620 miles of range. Interestingly, the larger and likely heavier Model S Plaid+, expected later in 2021, is rated for a sub-2-second 0-60 but with a range closer to 520 miles.
In his Tweet confirming plans for the Roadster, Musk mentions that a working prototype is expected for late summer.