In 2011, at the end of the production run of the original Tesla Roadster, Elon Musk suggested that a new version of the Roadster, without the Lotus chassis, would return to production by 2014. The new Roadster was first teased in 2014.
In 2015, Musk suggested a new Roadster in 2019, capable of faster acceleration A tweet by Elon Musk in December 2016 reconfirmed a second Roadster was in the works, but still "some years away". The second Roadster was designed by Franz von Holzhausen.
The 2020 version of the Roadster was shown in a surprise moment at the end of the Tesla Semi event on November 16, 2017—during which a Roadster was driven out of the back of one of the semi-truck trailers to the song "Sabotage". Musk explained the concept as: "The point of doing this is to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars. Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche." The car will retail for upward of $200,000; test rides were given at the event for those who immediately paid the first $5,000 of a $50,000 deposit to pre-order the vehicle. Additional information followed after the teaser, such as the various world-record speeds Tesla said it will break.
In June 2018, Elon Musk revealed a potential feature called "SpaceX option package" for the Roadster. This would add around ten cold gas thrusters to the car to improve maneuverability; it would comprise an electric pump to recharge an air tank used to provide compressed air flowing through propelling nozzles to generate a cold jet thrust. The air tanks, based on "composite overwrapped pressure vessel" (COPV) also used in the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, would replace the back seats. The thrusters would be used to improve cornering, acceleration, top speed, and braking. Working pressure would be 10,000 psi (700 bar).
Pre-orders of the Roadster began in 2017, with a US $50,000 deposit required. Tesla owners taking part in the referral promotion program began accumulating discounts toward the purchase of a Roadster based on the number of referrals. Those reaching 55 confirmed referrals obtained a 100% rebate toward a future Roadster purchase.
The base model was expected to sell for US $200,000 but the first 1,000 to be produced, the so-called Founder's Series, will be priced at $250,000. Full payment would be required to pre-order the latter vehicle.