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Tesla sparks surprise with unveil of 'fastest production car ever'

Tesla Roadster

Tesla continued to tease potential customers with the surprise launch of a new roadster, claiming that the new addition will be “fastest production car ever made” when launched in 2020.

Elon Musk surprised attendees at an event centred around the Silicon Valley-based EV manufacturer’s move into HGVs when the compact sports car emerged from the back of the new lorry’s trailer.

Musk claimed that the roadster would be capable of accelerating to 60mph in under two seconds, and covering a range of almost 1,000km.

He said that the “The point of this is just to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars.”

The Financial Times reported that Tesla had already begun taking deposits for the new Roadster, which harks back to the Lotus Elise-based car that launched the Tesla brand.

It reported that the new addition to the Tesla range would cost around £151,000, with prospective buyers expected to lay down a deposit of around £34,000.

The first 1,000 produced will be a limited-edition “Founders Series” costing $250,000 upfront, it said.

Many buyers who placed deposits for Tesla’s Model 3 back in March 2016 have yet to receive their vehicles as the manufacturer struggles with production bottlenecks which led to an announcement that it would not hit a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 per week until March - not December, as initially planned.

In August AM reported that Tesla has delivered the first 30 of its Model 3s as Elon Musk admitted there would be "production hell" as it attempted to ramp up from 5,000 cars a week this year to a total volume goal of 500,000.

Musk said: "There are going to be major challenges over the next six to nine months over how we're going to build this huge number of cars. We're going to be in production hell.

"I get questions on Twitter quite a lot asking about when customers will get their Model 3 and sometimes it's not phrased as nicely as that. We are going to drive this production ramp as fast as we can."

Back in August Tesla estimated that there were over 11,500 pre-orders for the Model 3 from the UK, with each customer putting down a £1,000 deposit.

Customers have been enticed by the car’s promised range of 310 miles and a £22,165 asking price after government grants.

Tesla’s new HGV claims a range of almost 500 miles and should go into production towards the end of 2019.

Musk said the range was more than enough to fulfil most haulage companies average delivery routes, stating: “You can deliver a load out to the middle of nowhere and come back.”

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