Tesla Roadster Will Remain on the Market until December 2011

Tesla Motors Inc., the manufacturer of the electric sportscar Roadster, announced that it has reached an agreement with British automaker Lotus to help bridge a gap in the production and sale of its drop-top electric vehicle. According to Automotive News, Lotus will continue to provide the Elise platform until December 2011, instead of March 2011, as the original contract stated.

Although reports were announcing that Tesla would stop making the Roadster in early 2011, the company convinced Lotus to continue the production of the Elise platform, on which the Roadster is based. Lotus supplies Tesla with partially assembled vehicles, on which the electric drivetrain is mounted in Tesla's facility located in Silicon Valley, California.

However, until the arrival of the Model S Sedan, scheduled to appear sometime in 2012, Tesla will face a year or more of production shutdown, due to tooling changes at an unnamed supplier, Reuters reported. The next-generation of the Roadster will not arrive until "at least one year after the launch of the Model S", read a statement of the company. The timing is not random: in 2012, Lotus will spawn a new Elise/Exige platform, that Tesla hopes to use later for its second-generation Roadster.

Priced at $109,000, the Tesla Roadster is powered by an electric motor developing 248 horsepower. The standard car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, but there is also a Sport Model that hits 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. It has a maximum range of 244 miles on a single charge and it's fuel efficiency has been rated at 120 mpg (2 litres/100 km).
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