Tesla Inc.’s (TSLA) Thursday evening event in Los Angeles was supposed to be all about its first electric semi truck. Instead, it was a sports car, described by the company’s founder Elon Musk as the “fastest production car ever made,” that stole many of the headlines. Tesla stock was almost 2 percent higher in pre-market trading on Friday.
The new Roadster, named after the first electric vehicle produced by Tesla, emerged from the back of one of the trucks that the company was showcasing. Tesla said the sports car can go from 0-60 mph in under two seconds and has a range of almost 621.4 miles.
“The point of this is just to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” Musk said during the event. “Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”
Tesla has already begun to accept $45,000 deposits to reserve the new Roadster, which will be released in at least three years' time at a cost of $200,000. The company added that the first 1,000 Roadsters will be a limited-edition “Founder Series” costing $250,000 upfront.
The surprising appearance of the new Roadster at the event, which was originally billed as an occasion to pitch Tesla’s new semi truck to the trucking industry, provided the theatrical element Musk is so well known for. He dedicated most of the week leading up to the event hyping the truck on Twitter, but made sure there were enough new surprises in store to keep the buzz alive. (See also: Tesla to Unveil Semi Truck on Thursday.)
During the event, Musk claimed that it would be “economic suicide” to continue using diesel trucks as Tesla’s version will cost 20 percent less per mile to run. He also promised faster acceleration, better uphill performance, 500-mile range at maximum weight at highway speed and thermonuclear explosion-proof glass in the windshield.
Other safety features on the truck, which will begin production in 2019, include enhanced autopilot, lane-keeping technology and a design that makes jackknifing “impossible.” The company also plans to build a network of “Megachargers” that produce a 400-mile charge in 30 minutes.
Tesla’s product assault is likely to once again raise questions about its production capabilities. In the third quarter of 2017, the company produced just 260 of its first mass-market sedans, the Model 3, despite a target of 1,500. (See also: Can Tesla Stock Hold $300?)