New Tesla Roadster revealed: world's fastest-accelerating car

New two-seat Tesla Roadster electric car unveiled in surprise move, with Tesla claiming 0-60mph in 1.9sec and a 620-mile range

Words By Steve Huntingford

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Price from $250,000 Release date 2020 (in US)

A new Tesla Roadster has been revealed, with the electric car maker's CEO, Elon Musk, promising it will be "the fastest production car ever".

The two-seat convertible is said to accelerate from 0-60mph in 1.9sec, which would make it the first production car to break the 2.0sec barrier, plus it's claimed to hit 100mph from rest in just 4.2sec and have a top speed of more than 250mph.

In addition, the new Tesla Roadster, which is styled to look like a coupΓ© but features a removable roof panel, is said to have a range of 620 miles on a single charge – almost 300 miles more than any electric car on sale today.

"The point of doing this is to give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” Musk said at the reveal. "Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche."

The Tesla Roadster is set to go on sale in the US in 2020, with the first examples costing $250,000, although the price will fall to $200,000 for later cars. There is no word yet on when the car will come to the UK.

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While electric cars remain comparatively rare, demand is growing, and it's not just Tesla that's offering some impressive options. Here, we count down the top 10 electric cars on sale today, plus we name the models that are best avoided and reveal those that are coming soon.

10. Volkswagen e-Up

The regular Volkswagen Up is one of our favourite city cars, and this electric version is just as practical and good to drive; it feels almost entirely uncompromised by its conversion to electric power. The only problem is that it costs twice as much as the petrol models.

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9. Nissan Leaf

One of the more affordable electric models on sale, the Leaf is about the same size as a Vauxhall Astra and similarly easy to drive. There are two battery options to choose from: a 24kWh one that allows a theoretical range between charges of 124 miles, and a 30kWh one that extends this to 155 miles. The latter is available only on the more expensive trim levels, though.

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8. Toyota Mirai

The Mirai is a hydrogen-fuelled car, which means that you'll need to fill it up with hydrogen at specially chosen filling stations, of which there are currently very few. It's powered by a single 152bhp electric motor and can travel for up to 400 miles between refills. We found it to be quiet and well controlled, but it's pricey at around Β£66,000 and, with limited volumes coming to the UK, it's likely to be a rare sight.

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