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Tesla to kill the Roadster in 2011, new Lotus Elise/Exige on the way

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Filed under: Convertible, Tesla, Electric

Tesla Roadster - Click above for high-res image gallery

You read that right. Tesla Motors will stop building the Roadster in 2011.

Wired's Autopia was digging through the papers filed by Tesla to the Securities and Exchange Commission for its IPO and came across with this nugget:
"We do not plan to sell our current generation Tesla Roadster after 2011 due to planned tooling changes at a supplier for the Tesla Roadster."

As everyone's aware, the current iteration of the Tesla Roadster is built in Hethel, England by Lotus using Elise/Exige underpinnings. Judging by the quote above, that means the Elise/Exige is due to be replaced by a new model (good news for enthusiasts), but that leaves Tesla up a creek without the proverbial paddle.

The other telling line is this:

"As a result, we anticipate that we may generate limited, if any, revenue from selling electric vehicles after 2011 until the launch of the planned model S..."

The Model S is due to come out in 2012, which means Tesla might not have any revenue coming in until the all-electric sedan goes on sale. If there's a snag with anything in the launch of the sedan - design, production, engineering, you name it - then Tesla's in serious trouble. That might make investors wary when the upstart automaker finally begins offering shares.

So, bottom line: If you want the current Roadster, order now, or wait until the all-new Roadster goes on sale in 2013.

[source: Autopia]

Tesla to kill the Roadster in 2011, new Lotus Elise/Exige on the way originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Jan 2010 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Doesn't surprise me. The Roadster seemed to me like a test, proof-of-concept sort of car then anything else. Hopefully they will take what they learned about their experience with it and implant them into the Model S.

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I think they'll need to eventually redesign the roadster on the new Lotus.

And I think the Model S will eventually ride on a Mercedes platform. Daimler has a stake in Tesla, and the Model S appears to share parts with the CLS.

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