Elon Musk Says Tesla’s Rocket-Powered Roadster Is Launching Soon

‘Tonight, we radically increased the design goals for the new Tesla Roadster,’ Mr. Musk posted on X. ‘There will never be another car like it, if you can even call it a car.’

Courtesy Tesla
The new Tesla Roadster. Courtesy Tesla

The new Tesla Roadster is a very fast car that’s taking the slow road to showrooms.

Tesla first unveiled the open-top two-door in 2017 with plans to put it on sale by 2020. But it’s late to the party, as the brand’s new models often are.

Courtesy Tesla

Elon Musk has admitted that he has an “issue with time” and often sets overly optimistic targets for product releases. But they do usually make it to market … eventually.

The Tesla Semi is a perfect example. It debuted alongside the Roadster and the first trucks were delivered to customers last year. Meanwhile, the Cybertruck that shocked the world as it rolled onstage in 2019 missed its original 2021 delivery date, but is now in production and shocking people on the road.

Courtesy Tesla

With the launch of high volume vehicles like the Model 3 and Model Y to worry about, the Roadster was never a high priority. Tesla apparently has finally found some spare time to get it done and Mr. Musk said this week that he’ll be taking the wraps off the final production version later this year.

The Roadster is a long-awaited follow-up to Tesla’s original model, which was something of a hack job that combined a chassis supplied by Lotus with Tesla’s nascent electric drivetrain tech. It was quick as a whip, however, and got Wall Street excited enough about electric cars to back the company’s expansion into sedans and SUVs. The new Roadster is all Tesla and sounds like a fantasy car.

Courtesy Tesla

When it was announced, Mr. Musk said the Roadster would be able to accelerate to 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds, reach a top speed in excess of 250 mph and cover 620 miles between charges. All impossible to believe at the time. The price was advertised at $200,000, or $250,000 if you wanted to be one of the first in line for the limited Founders Series model, which required the full price up front as a refundable deposit.

The bar has moved a bit over the years, in various directions. The current $89,990 Tesla Model S Plaid can reach 60 mph in 1.99 seconds, making the pricey Roadster’s performance look less impressive. The Croatian-made Rimac Nevera electric supercar only needs 1.74 seconds and is the quickest production car ever sold. It can also reach 256 mph, but starts at $2.2 million.

Courtesy Tesla

Tesla is stepping things up a notch to keep pace.

“Tonight, we radically increased the design goals for the new Tesla Roadster,” Mr. Musk posted on X. “There will never be another car like it, if you can even call it a car.”

The plan is to make it rocket-fast with the help of actual rockets.

Tesla is working with Mr. Musk’s SpaceX to develop an optional package that will add cold gas thrusters to the battery-powered car, like those used for positioning satellites in space.

Courtesy Tesla

A pressurized tank will replace the rear seats of the 2+2 Roadster and ten thrusters will be installed around the vehicle that will help it accelerate, brake, turn and even fly.

Not far or high, but in short hops. It doesn’t seem very useful for transportation, but could put on a good show.

“I think it has a shot at being the most mind-blowing product demo of all time,” Mr. Musk said of the planned reveal.

Courtesy Tesla

With the updated SpaceX tech, Mr. Musk claims the car will now be able to sprint to 60 mph in less than a second, which would leave anything short of a 12,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragster in its wake.

The tank will store enough gas for short bursts of maximum performance, then be refilled by a compressor as the vehicle drives for a while in all-electric mode. At least that’s the plan.

Mr. Musk added on X that he is “aiming to ship next year,” but he’s not exactly a marksman when it comes to hitting targets.

The New York Sun

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