In a surprise move, Tesla has publicly released all original design and engineering documents for its iconic first-generation Roadster sports car, essentially open-sourcing the vehicle’s underpinnings. CEO Elon Musk announced the decision on X, linking to downloadable R&D info from the two-seater that kickstarted Tesla.
While an exciting gift for Tesla fans, practically utilizing these blueprints poses challenges. Responding to someone asking about constructing their own Roadster replica, Musk injected a reality check: “*some assembly required.”
The now classic first-gen Roadster concluded its limited production run in 2012 after just over 2,000 units. Many of those have been lost over the years to accidents, bricking issues, or even a warehouse fire. Yet the electric two-seater still holds cult-like status as Tesla’s pioneering model.
By releasing the company’s foundational work as open-source files, Tesla pays homage to its roots while empowering DIYers. But successfully replicating or customizing based on the documents would require tremendous skill, effort, and resources.
While chassis dimensions, wiring schematics, and component layouts provide a solid head start, securing equivalent parts and battery packs presents difficulties due to scarcity and changes over the decade since Roadster production. Not to mention the complexity of actually building an entire electric vehicle from near scratch in a home workshop.
For those willing to invest blood, sweat, tears, and cash pursuing the challenge though, Tesla eliminates legal barriers that could have deterred copying the iconic roadster’s engineering. Just don’t expect the company to provide tech support or certify resulting vehicles as street legal.
In the disclaimer, Tesla is clear it holds no responsibility for utilizing the open-sourced files, offers no guarantees, and will not approve any homemade knockoffs as certified Tesla products. Roadster wannabe-builders embark on the quest fully solo.
So while the open-sourced documents make for fascinating historical insights into Tesla’s pioneering first car, practicallyspe king, hand-building a safe, functional DIY Roadster remains a herculean feat reserved only for the most devoted and expert hobbyists. But for them, the detailed schematics could make an intriguing starting point.