by: Elizabeth Balboa, Benzinga Staff Writer
Tesla Inc TSLA 1.04% revealed Thursday yet another project in its ever-expanding portfolio.
Behind the scenes, even as it worked out Model 3 production kinks, directed resources to Puerto Rican solar projects and delayed its Semi reveal, Tesla had secretly revived the Roadster, its first electric vehicle.
What You Need To Know: With a top speed above 250 miles per hour, the Roadster base model goes zero-to-60 in 1.9 seconds and zero-to-100 in 4.2 seconds. One charge of its 200 kilowatt-per-hour battery sustains a 630-mile trek.
“The point of doing this is just to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” CEO Elon Musk said. “Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”
The four-seater includes three motors, torque steering and all-wheel drive. Musk plans to begin production in 2019 for 2020 sales at $200,000 per unit, except for the first 1,000 limited editions priced at $250,000.
What Analysts Think: The new Roadster could capture 25 percent of the exotic car market and bring in nearly $1 billion per year, according to Loup Ventures managing partner Gene Munster. But that’s not necessarily the point.
“Musk’s comment that the point of building the Roadster was to ‘give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars’ highlights the fact that Roadster is more about making a statement to the industry around the performance of EVs […] and less about making money,” Munster wrote in a Friday note.
Others on the Street interpreted the unveiling with marked concern.
“We can't help worrying that Tesla may be taking on too much organizationally – which could distract it from ensuring Model 3's commercial success, which we believe is the critical driver of the company's fortunes,” Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi Jr. wrote in a Friday note.
Munster anticipates potential delays leading to a 2021 rollout.
The Stock’s Reaction: Tesla’s stock had been on the rise all week as Musk teased the new Semi. At time of publication, shares were up 3 percent at $321.71.
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