The main course was expected: a pair of sleek silver Tesla semi-trucks that get 500 miles per charge, go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds and – if the hype is to be believed – promise to single-handedly transform the commercial trucking industry.

But dessert was a surprise: A bright red prototype of the newest Tesla Roadster, a revamped version of the company’s debut vehicle that can travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco and back on a single charge and go from zero to 60 mph in under two seconds.

If true, that would make the $200,000 sports car the fastest production car ever made.

On Thursday night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered both dishes to a packed crowd at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, California.

After weeks of disappointing headlines about allegations of racism at the company’s main factory and the nearly stalled rollout of the Tesla’s first mass market sedan, Musk was back to doing the one thing he does better than perhaps anyone else in Silicon Valley now: making big, dreamy, promotion-filled promises that have a way of bringing his dynamic vision of the future to life.

“What does it feel like to drive this truck?” Musk asked the audience, shortly after his latest creations rolled onto the stage. “It’s amazing! It’s smooth, just like driving a Tesla.”

“It’s unlike any truck that you’ve ever driven,” he added, noting that Tesla’s big rig puts the driver at the center of the vehicle like a race car, but surrounded with touchscreen displays like those found in the Model 3. “I can drive this thing and I have no idea how to drive a semi.”

Range anxiety has always been a key concern for anyone who is weighing the purchase of an electric vehicle. Musk sought to reassure potential buyers that the company’s big rigs can match – and surpass – the performance of a diesel engine, which he referred to as “economic suicide.”

Musk did not reveal the truck’s exact price, but argued that a diesel truck would be 20 cents more expensive per mile than Tesla’s electric counterpart, which will be available for purchase in 2019.

A fully loaded, Tesla truck moving 60 mph can travel 500 miles on a single battery charge, Musk said. The vast majority of truck routes are less than 250 miles, he said. The truck includes four independent motors, Musk said, and has no gears or transmission, meaning that it will require much less maintenance. He guaranteed the truck will not break down for 1 million miles.

Musk said his trucks can reach 65 mph up a 5 percent grade, compared to 45 mph with a diesel engine truck.

“While you’re unloading your cargo, you can charge,” he said, arguing that drivers will need to take a break after six or seven hours of driving, giving them a chance to charge the truck. “By the time you’re done with your break, the truck will be ready to go. You will not be waiting for your truck.”

Not everyone was sold on the vision Musk laid out Thursday night.

According to USA Today, Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, issued a statement arguing that “diesel is the most energy-efficient internal combustion engine. . . . Aspirations and predictions for new fuels and technologies are high, but must be evaluated in the context of reality.”

Near the end of Thursday’s event, Musk surprised the attendees by revealing the latest iteration of the Roadster, which will include a 200-kilowatt hour battery pack and travel 620 miles on a single charge, Musk said. Tesla produced the Roadster from 2008 to 2012 and the latest version will be available to consumers in 2020.

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

Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds.com said that Thursday’s event reminds analysts that very few brands have the ability to emotionally connect with consumers like Tesla.

“While Tesla doesn’t necessarily need a $200,000 halo vehicle, Elon Musk has never been one to do things simply for practical reasons,” she said. “Tesla’s new roadster is only the latest salvo at what could end up being a hotly contested EV supercar battle in the coming years. The major luxury automakers are getting serious about EVs, and a lot can happen between now and 2020.”