Tesla readies a surprise in Europe
|Jay Ramey is an associate editor with Autoweek, an affiliate of Automotive News Europe.|
Tesla is expected to reveal a new vehicle at the Grand Basel auto show this week in Basel, Switzerland, according to an invitation sent to Tesla owners. The trip contest invitation shows a close-up view of a pillar, believed to be of the next-generation Roadster that Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed last year in prototype form.
Billed as "a surprise," Tesla's event set for Wednesday may be the debut of the production version of the Roadster or a special version of the car.
The next-generation Roadster was first shown in November 2017, promising a range of 998 kilometers (620 miles) and nothing short of hypercar stats: 0-100 kph (62 mph) in 1.9 seconds, quarter-mile runs in 8.8 seconds and a top speed of 402 kph (250 mph).
The Roadster is expected to enter production in 2020, though Tesla had started accepting deposits for the latest halo model, which Musk suggested may use rockets to improve performance.
Perhaps the Basel event will give a preview of this technology, which may boil down to jets of compressed air helping the car fight G-forces when going through curves.
It remains to be seen whether the model to be revealed in Basel will be the production Roadster, a performance version of the car or a version with a full-retractable hardtop or soft top.
The variant that Tesla has shown so far has a removable roof panel, making it more of a targa than a true open-top. Musk mentioned that we had only seen a "base" model when he revealed the preproduction version in November, so another variant of the Roadster is a strong possibility.
The Grand Basel auto show runs Sept. 6-9.