Every Tesla Sports Car You Should Know

Take a closer look at the best Tesla sports cars over the years.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
Tesla, perhaps you’ve heard of it? Well, the world’s arguably-most-famous electric car maker has produced a sports car or two in its time, and it’s set to unveil the second-generation Tesla Roadster in 2023. 
If you’re thinking that all Teslas are sports cars, you could be right—all have breathtaking speed and power, but technically only two, the first-generation and soon-to-arrive second-generation Roadsters are actually sports cars. Still, the Model S Plaid is one fast, sporty sedan, so we’ll include it here on our list of Tesla sports cars. Hope you’re okay with that.
We're here to give you the lowdown on three of Tesla’s fastest and sportiest rides.
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Does Tesla make sports cars?

Both generations of Tesla’s Roadster are most definitely sports cars. Again, some of you might consider every Tesla a sports car, but we made the difficult choice of focusing on three of Elon Musk’s automotive children—one that’s here already, one that’s soon to arrive, and one that’s dispatched to the dustbin of history.
So without further ado, here are Tesla’s best sports cars!

2023 2nd-generation Tesla Roadster

If you like sports cars, get ready for 2023!
Why, you ask? Because that's when the second-generation Tesla Roadster is set to go on sale, starting at $200,000. (The Founders Edition Roadster will start at $250,000.)Just 1,000 of the Founders Edition Roadsters will be made.
But back to this quiet, assassin-of-an-electric-sports car—the new Roadster is set to be a doozy, featuring two electric motors (one powering the front wheels, the other powering the rear ones) and a 200 kWh battery that will (possibly) produce a gravity-defying 1,300 horsepower and 885 lb-ft of torque. 
In 2017, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said to expect the Roadster to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a spine-splitting 1.9 seconds, not to mention an expected top speed of 250 miles per hour. If 1.9 seconds isn’t fast enough for you, we expect you’ll pony up for the optional SpaceX package. This will feature cold air thrusters to boost the Roadster’s speed, power, cornering, and braking, not to mention shaving the 0 to 60 mph time down to a brain-detonating 1.5 seconds.
If you’ve become breathless at the saucy details of the new Roadster, sit down and inhale, because there is more. Tesla’s newest sports car will also feature 620 miles of range, and all-wheel drive will come standard. There are also rumors that the new Roadster will have a removable roof, making it a convertible.

2008 1st-generation Tesla Roadster

Now that we’ve all had a chance to collect ourselves, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Tesla’s first sports car, the 1st-generation Tesla Roadster, which retailed for $98,000 when it was released in 2008.
Of course, you might not care about this merely mortal electric sports car, but it was an important indicator of what was to come from Tesla. The first Tesla Roadster was based on the Lotus Elise, but unlike the Elise, the first Roadster had a 700-lb. electric battery that, with all the additional wiring, sensors, and cooling tubes, weighed almost half a ton. 
The original roadster also boasted 248 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque, as well as a 2-speed manual transmission.
Still, this is 2008 we’re talking about, right? The first Tesla Roadster was no slouch in the speed department, posting a very sporting 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of just 4.4 seconds. Its effortless acceleration was revelatory, going from 30 to 50 mph and 50 to 70 mph in just 2.3 seconds. 
All that speed and power was certainly newsworthy back in 2008, as was the fact that this was not just a speed machine—the original Roadster handled incredibly well despite its weight, offered a responsive and balanced ride, and was especially smooth on straightaways. Not too shabby.
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2022 Tesla Model S Plaid

Tesla’s sporty sedan, the Model S Plaid, which starts at $137,940, is no slouch. For starters, the Model S Plaid boasts a faint-inducing top speed of 200 mph, not to mention hot flash-causing acceleration, going from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.99 seconds. Yes, this car is actually allowed to be driven on the road.
The Model S Plaid’s battery and three electric motors produce an astonishing 1,020 horsepower, and the Model S Plaid has a range of 396 miles on a full charge. There is a single-speed, direct-drive transmission, along with a 26-cubic-foot trunk.
As a pure driver, besides the speed and power, there is plenty to love about the Model S Plaid. It is incredibly quick and agile with excellent body control, the steering is responsive, and the handling is crisp. The Model S Plaid is so smooth on the highway that it might feel like you’re gliding. 
Oh, we almost forgot—the Tesla Model S Plaid features
semi-autonomous drive mode
, too.

A history of the Tesla sports car

Tesla’s history has been pretty well documented by the media since the company’s founding way back in 2003. But let’s take a brief look back at Tesla’s most important sports car moments.
  • 2003:Tesla Motors is founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, with former PayPal CEO Elon Musk contributing $30 million to the venture and becoming the company’s chairman in 2004.
  • 2008:Tesla’s first completely electric car, the Roadster, is unveiled, and just 2,400 Roadsters are produced; Musk becomes Tesla CEO that same year.
  • 2010:Tesla goes public.
  • 2012:The Model S sports sedan is unveiled, and Tesla begins work on its Supercharging network that same year.
  • 2016:The first Gigafactory is built in Reno, Nevada, to produce electric batteries and vehicles.

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