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Tesla's Roadster delayed again, Musk says

According to Elon, the Roadster won't be ready for yet another year.

The curious case of the new Tesla Roadster continues. On Wednesday, CEO Elon Musk replied to a Twitter user confirming what seemed inevitable: The Roadster is delayed. Again.

According to Musk's tweet, "2021 has been the year of super crazy supply chain shortages, so it wouldn't matter if we had 17 new products, as none would ship." This essentially gives us a formal statement in response to the earlier Cybertruck and Semi delays as well. But the enigmatic executive may already be signaling that we should take this new, later 2023 production timeframe for the Roadster with a big grain of salt. Musk added the Roadster "should ship in 2023" as long as 2022 isn't "mega drama."

So, if 2022 ends up being a headache of a year for Tesla on any front, it sounds like Musk has essentially left the door open to future delays. It's been four years since the Roadster made its surprise debut, and if the super electric sports car does come to market in 2023, it will mark a five-year window from prototype to production. That's not really an abnormally long gestation period for a new automobile, but it is definitely on the long side for a vehicle that's already been shown and promised for delivery much earlier. Furthermore, this all has to be particularly frustrating for those reservation holders who previously coughed up $50,000 deposits.

What remains unclear is if Tesla will still have a drivable prototype of the production car prepared this year. This past January, also speaking on Twitter, Musk said engineering for the new Roadster was done and aimed for a drivable beta car in late summer. Then again, late summer is here and now. Tesla doesn't operate a public relations department to field requests for comment.

At this point, it's not at all clear what will change on the Roadster en route to production. Perhaps Tesla will use the lengthy delays to ensure the production car meets the concept's outrageous performance claims, which includes a 0-60 mph time of under 2 seconds and 620 miles of range. I just hope those with $50,000 deposits have a lot of patience.