Despite the fact that Tesla is still trying figure out how to mass produce a regular car, Elon Musk, in his infinite wisdom, has decided to take on the project of making a semi-truck and a Roadster. I’ll save the hot takes about the truck for someone else, but even if the Roadster actually gets made, it won’t be a roadster.


According to most automotive aficionados and Wikipedia, a “roadster” is broadly defined as “open two-seat car with emphasis on sporting appearance or character. Initially, an American term for a two-seat car with no weather protection, usage has spread internationally and has evolved to include two-seat convertibles.”

Here are some well-known roadsters from various time periods:

The Roadster, according to Tesla, will have four seats. Whether or not the rear seats will be usable by actual humans is another story, but the addition of those seats alone disqualifies it from the roadster nomenclature.

Furthermore, even if it didn’t have rear seats, the Roadster is really a sports car with a Targa top, like the Corvette. No one refers to the Stingray as a roadster, just like no one refers to the Porsche 911 Targa as a roadster.


Now Porsche has trademarked the “Targa” name, so despite the accuracy, Tesla won’t be using that unless they want a legal fight.

A Mazda Miata. This is a roadster.
C7 Corvette Stingray. Not a roadster
Porsche 911 Targa. Not a roadster
Also, not a roadster.

It may not be totally fair to give Tesla a hard time about the Roadster name especially since the Germans have been peddling the “four-door coupe” garbage for few years, but a line has to be drawn somewhere, dammit.


Elon, pick a different name. Maybe Model TR or something.

Tom is a contributing writer for Jalopnik and runs He saves people money and takes the hassle out of buying or leasing a car. (

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