We've been poring over Tesla's IPO filing with the SEC and hidden within the indecipherable legalese is a little gem for those of us more interested in product then federal oversight.
As reported previously, the Roadster's reign is set to end in December of 2011, although Tesla will continue to take orders for the current Roadster into 2012 if its supply of "gliders" – the rolling chassis provided by Lotus and built on the same platform as the Elise/Exige – isn't exhausted.
Tesla has contracted Lotus for a total of 2,400 gliders and if the price is right, it could extend that contract to meet demand.
More importantly, Tesla confirms that the next Roadster won't arrive until production of the Model S begins in 2012, so a revised Roadster isn't in the cards until 2013 – at the earliest. Interestingly, the upstart EV automaker says that it intends to build the "next generation Tesla Roadster entirely in our own facilities." Which leads us to believe that an all-new platform could underpin the next generation model, possibly based on the Model S' architecture and shared by a range of new products. How much of the current Roadster carries over remains to be seen, but if Tesla wants to continue to assert its independence, it's fair to assume that it won't be sourcing its next chassis from another automaker.