Surprise! Tesla Announces New Roadster Amid Electric Truck Reveal

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday night sprung a surprise on the world, using the launch of a new electric semi-truck to announce what he said will be the fastest production car in the world, a new Tesla Roadster.

"I won't say what the actual speed is, but it's above 250 miles per hour," Musk told a crowd assembled at the company's design studio just southwest of Los Angeles in Hawthorne. "The point of this is to give a hard-core smack down to gasoline cars."

Musk showed off a prototype of the new vehicle [seen here], a convertible which he said will go from zero to 60 in 1.9 seconds and from zero to 100 in 4.2 seconds, as well as covering a quarter mile in 8.9 seconds.

"These are all world records," Musk said.

The battery pack will allow the three-motor, four-seat car to travel 620 miles on one charge, enough to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back, Musk said. That will make the vehicle the first production electric car to cover 1,000 kilometers on a single charge, he said.

The Roadster, a new edition of the Palo Alto electric car maker's first vehicle, will be available in 2020, Musk said. He boasted of roomy luggage storage, but warned that "you can't put giant people in the rear seat."

Tesla had kept quiet about the Roadster, with Musk reappearing after announcing the new electric semi-truck.

Musk touted the sleek, slope-nosed semi -- guaranteed to go a million miles without breaking down -- as better than diesel in every way.

With the launch, Tesla goes after a market for traditional and mostly diesel-powered trucks estimated to be approaching $34 billion a year.

"From day one having a Tesla semi will beat a diesel truck on economics," Musk claimed. "It's got a better drag coefficient than a...

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