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Surprises

Discussion in 'Roadster 2020' started by TEG, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I think nearly everyone was caught by surprise at the 2020 Roadster prototype reveal at the end of the semi event.

    In some ways I want to say it seemed early (given 2020 is many years away), but looking back on Tesla history they have said that they intended to do another Roadster for a long while now, so maybe we shouldn't have been so surprised about that. I guess they did a good job of stopping public talk about next gen Roadster so we stopped thinking about it so much and then they "pulled a fast one" on us by revealing it when we thought it may have just been a shelved project.

    In terms of what they revealed with the prototype, I found these things surprising:
    #1: The removable roof panel. (I think many were assuming it would be a more typical 'convertible' 'drop top' mechanism.)
    #2: No frunk? (It looks like the front end has no opening for a frunk. How does one service components in the front?)
    #3: 600+ mile range. Didn't see that one coming.
    #4: 250+ MPH top speed. Didn't anticipate that either.

    The fact that they intend to do another Roadster is not a surprise.
    The 0-60 in under 2 seconds is not a surprise because it was hinted at before, and Model S P100DL doing 0-60 in under 2.5 led many to conclude a Roadster ought to be able to get under 2s.

    The 2+2 configuration was half way expected, although I think many were hoping they would stick with a pure 2 seater and keep the size down. I think many were assuming/fearing that it would go the way of "cushy luxury" and end up as some sort of "highway cruiser" comfort-mobile, and not be an edgy / pure sports car like the original Roadster. From the looks of the Prototype and the way Franz was tossing it around, it seems those fears were unfounded and they are intending to build a vehicle that has an extremely sporty driving experience.
     
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  2. Tiger

    Tiger Active Member

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  3. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah, thanks for the link. I had been helping ecarfan a bit with that page.
     
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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  5. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Great comments, TEG. In order to keep "Verified" thread clean, maybe this is one (of too many, of course) locations for items not verified.

    As in, for example, what are the exterior dimensions of the new Roadster, at least as compared to the original? With the 2+2, are we looking at on OAL of 4" greater? 6"? Is it a bit broader in beam? Height?

    My own druthers, as first long expressed and then kept mum for now how many years, is for Tesla to pull this same kind of trick with a compelling pickup....
     
  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I had been guessing that it would be a more sophisticated feature, a powered folding retractable roof. That is a complex engineering challenge, but many other companies have done it. The disadvantages are that it adds cost and complexity and you lose trunk storage space. So I’m okay with a simple removable roof section like the original Roadster, and at least now there is a place to keep it in the car (which of course will cut into trunk storage space).
    I think all service will be done from below. I think the lack of a front hood panel makes the car look even better: no seams! Quote from a Tesla employee in the recent Rolling Stone article about Elon, “He hates seams.” :)

    Neither did I. But I think it is actually more a happy byproduct of the need for power for the targeted top speed and acceleration figures as opposed to a primary design directive for that much range.

    To me, in a street car that is just silliness, no, make that insanity. Even on the Autobahn, going that fast would be insane and I hope would be prohibited. Are there even in race tracks where that kind of speed could be attained?

    I was one of those people. I know that some owners will use the +2 seats for their kids, but I suspect most owners will never use them. I suspect that the requirement for a very high capacity battery pack meant that the wheelbase had to be much longer than the original Roadster, so the designers decided to include a rear seat row just because it would fit and would make the car directly comparable to a 911, Mission E, and other vehicles. Just my speculation.
     
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  7. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    So I wasn't really all that surprised that Tesla rolled out the new Roadster along with the Semi. All the clues were there ahead of time - the tease of it being a mind-blowing event, earlier hints of something special. But most convincing of all, was me getting an invite a week before. Unfortunately, I couldn't go, but why me? Random chance, sure, but was it a coincidence that there's a 2010 Roadster sitting 20' from me in the garage? Targeted demographic? Hmmm...

    As you say, the 1.9 seconds 0-60 is both expected and mind-blowing at the same time. That the new car takes many design clues from the original, such as the removable roof, is appropriate and satisfying. Top speed, sure; pure bragging rights there. 2+2 seating is actually kind of "normal" for sports cars since, well, the mid-70's. The rest of the interior was expected, though I still disagree with their choice of steering wheel. That they were giving test rides was unexpected, though in hindsight, very important to prove that the car is not vaporware. But the real surprise to me was the 200kwh battery and 620 mile range. I almost got tempted enough to get a reservation over just that, except from a practical standpoint, the 3.0 battery would do just about as well for 1/10 the cost. At some point, the coffee doesn't get any sweeter by adding even more sugar. BTW, Google says it's 383 miles between SF and LA, so there and back is more than a stretch unless he's really talking about San Jose to Santa Monica - 340 miles - like they did with the 3.0 prototype.

    There's one surprise for me that has not been noted by others. Plaid. Not Maximum Plaid, just Plaid. They were very consistent with that term, to the point that it seemed scripted. What super-mind-blowing improvement are they leaving room for?
     
  8. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    From what I know, they really are pushing the limits of what can be done with street (legal) tires. The tires on the prototype were practically race tires. It seems that the firmware is designed to do wheelspin on launch I assume to heat the rubber to extract maximum acceleration. I wonder if that "tires spinning in place" is counted in the 0-60 time?

    I wonder if they will do something new to get to "maximum plaid"? Some custom new tires? Downforce fans? Maybe their engineers are getting creative here to be the king of acceleration...
     
  9. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    Yeah, wheel spin was kind of another surprise. Tesla's traction control has been really good at eliminating it, as any spin is usually seen as bad for maximum acceleration. Perhaps you're right about heating the tires. Hadn't thought of that.

    But if all 4 wheels are slipping, how can TC work? Perhaps only the rears? (I'm envisioning the car being a giant optical mouse, watching the ground below for motion...)
     
  10. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I suppose the dual rear motors is a surprise too. They mention the "torque vectoring" possibilities now. Perhaps this is somewhat a response to what Rimac did.
     
  11. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Very perceptive of you. I got an event invite about 6 days prior. I was surprised to get an invite. Sure, I’m curious about the Tesla Semi but obviously I am unlikely to personally purchase one (and I’m not in the trucking industry). So why invite me? Now I understand.

    Well, kind of. The Miata was a very successful two seater. Obviously not in the supercar category. The Porsche 914 was two seats, and not nearly as successful. ;) The Porsche Boxster was and is a very successful two seater sports car. The Porsche Cayman two seater is nearly as successful.

    Obviously, I only want two seats in my next Roadster. Oh well...

    Calling it “plaid” was consistent with the Spaceballs reference, and the audio clip from the film that was played at the event as the Roadster was rolling out of the Semi trailer: “They’ve gone to plaid!”. I really LOLed when I heard that on the livestream. :p

    I think the “maximum” modifier came from an Elon tweet about a year ago. I could be something he came up with, and it may in fact be reserved for a future even quicker/faster version of the new Roadster.
     
  12. animorph

    animorph Active Member

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    The range should come in handy on the track. The energy will be drained quickly.
     
  13. Colasec

    Colasec Member

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    The Corvette, too (with sales of 30K+/yr). I'd also prefer only two seats, though someone mentioned insurance should be a lot cheaper? Is that really true? In any case, I expect that I'll have the rear seats folded down all the time.
     
  14. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    What is maximum plaid?
    An electric compressor and gas thrusters.
     
  15. strider

    strider Active Member

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    #15 strider, Dec 1, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
    Fun thread. As for Maximum Plaid. Remember Elon said that what they showed was the base model which implies that there will be a higher performance model. So they are likely reserving the Maximum Plaid moniker for that car.

    You won't get any appreciable tire heating spinning the tires for that short of time. If you go to a drag strip they will spin the tires for 4-5 seconds to clean them off and get some heat into them. It's possible Tesla programmed in some wheelspin to clean off the tires (since they are very sticky DOT race rubber and will pick up lots of crap just driving around) but I think the tire spinning is lack of processing power and/or immature software. This car has to coordinate 2 rear motors (and the front motor) at the same time which is new for Tesla. It's also more powerful than a P100DL so their existing code/hardware may be too slow to respond in the new car. Not to mention with 2 rear motors if they get out of sync it would be disastrous. It will take some time to get everything dialed in just so - that's what prototypes are for.

    To answer your question about the 0-60 and 1/4 mile times and wheelspin... The way a drag strip works is that there is a laser or infra-red beam across the track (there are actually 2 beams but we won't worry about that here). As soon as the front tire interrupts the beam the car is staged. The Elapsed Time (ET) clock that is used for your 0-60 and 1/4 mile times does not start until the front tire leaves the beam. This is where the 1ft rollout comes from as it takes around 1 foot for the wheel to move far enough for the beam to resume and the clock to start. With the huge tires on the Roadster is may be even more than a foot. All that to say, after the light goes green you could sit at the starting line spinning your tires (or just sitting there) as long as you want but until that light beam resumes the clock won't start. Of course if you are racing against someone in the other lane you would lose the race but that is separate from your ETs.

    On the 2+2... I have been calling for the new Roadster to go directly for the 911 market for awhile now. I had also heard that the back seat lowered insurance but I've never verified this. I think for most people it's just extra storage space like in a 911. In any case I have small children so this could help me. Look! It's more practical than our current Roadster!

    On the roof... Elon had said awhile back that it was going to be a convertible so I too was surprised but I think the Targa makes more sense. That's how my Corvette was. Targa roof that stowed in the trunk on little standoffs to hold it. It held it about 6 inches or so off the floor of the trunk so you could stash things here and there even with the roof in but yeah, it took up a lot of space. I think they did it for 2 reasons, weight and space. Those folding hardtops are heavy and they take up a lot of room to stow that Tesla likely needs for batteries. If they had done a 2-seater the roof could have been smaller and they probably could have done it.
     
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  16. Colasec

    Colasec Member

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    I'm happy with the Targa roof, too. No power folding keeps the weight down while still allowing for open-top cruising and is still track-legal. I love my soft top Corvette, but it's frustrating to not be able to do any HPDE / Laguna Seca / Willow Springs tracking. I may end up installing a roll bar.
     
  17. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #17 TEG, Dec 1, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
    There should be a performance metric based on how long it takes to get to 60mph after you put your foot on the pedal. EVs have that advantage. What matters to the driver is how quickly it gets to 60 after the request is made. If the car sits there spinning up turbos, loading up torque converters, spinning tires and then eventually starts moving it is disappointment to the driver, but doesn't get counted against it in the light timed 0-60. (Meanwhile the EV in the other lane has already left the gates and is underway.)

    A 0-60 time under 2s for 2020 Roadster is even more impressive if it has forward motion the moment you stab the accelerator pedal. Take that clunky ICE so-called supercars !
     
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