By Nick Aziz
Monday, Aug 16th, 2010 @ 1:47 pm
During a presentation to shareholders a few weeks ago, Tesla revealed plans for a new sports car, an SUV, and a utility van based on its forthcoming 2012 Model S. At the event, CEO Elon Musk gave the audience a brief glimpse of what's to come with three sketches -- one of each model.

Ultra-low-res images from Musk's slideshow found their way online, but the grainy quality and blurry details leave a lot to be desired. Lucky for you, we went to the trouble of putting together an exclusive illustration of the most exciting car of the bunch: the 2013 Tesla Model R.

Admittedly, it might not be named Model R, but the sedan is called Model S, so "R" seems fitting for a Roadster. In any case, Tesla has indicated it plans to replace its current Roadster model with an all-new vehicle some time after the launch of the Model S sedan, and it's sure to look something like our rendering, which is based on the official sketch.

Like the S, the Model R is expected to be offered with a choice of three possible battery packs, the best of which will have a range of 300 miles. Whether the R will match the Roadster in terms of performance remains unknown. While the current car can sprint to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, the Model S sedan is expected to have a 5.5 second zero to sixty time. We're sure the R will be faster and lighter than its sedan sibling, but it's hard to say if it can match the Roadster with what's sure to be a heavier curb weight.

Production of the current Roadster -- which is based on the design of the Lotus Elise -- will end in December of 2011. That's around the same time the Model S will start to roll down the assembly line. Unfortunately, the Roadster replacement won't be ready to fill its shoes immediately. Sources say the Model R won't arrive until at least a year after the Model S hits the market.

Based on all of this, we suspect the R to be available as soon as late 2012, as a 2013 model. That might be a little ambitious -- there are bound to be delays -- but with PayPal and SpaceX on his resumé, we wouldn't put anything past Mr. Musk.

Illustration by Lars Saltzer.

Here at Leftlane, we believe the contributions of the community are just as valuable as those of our staff. The Web, at its core, is a medium for information sharing and communication. We strive to provide good information, but without you—the community member—there is no communication. Read More>>