Musk: Tesla Roadster 'SpaceX option' adds 10 rocket thrusters
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Elon Musk has made yet another far-fetched promise to Tesla customers in a Twitter thread this week.
The billionaire tweeted that the new Tesla Roadster will come with the option to add a system of rocket thrusters to the sports car to 'dramatically' improve acceleration. And, he claims the upgrade could maybe 'even allow a Tesla to fly.'
The newly touted extra features, which he's dubbed the 'SpaceX option package,' are just the latest in a string of outlandish plans announced by the tech giant on social media in the last few years – some of which have actually come to fruition.
It remains to be seen, however, if the Roadster-SpaceX package will follow in the footsteps of Musk's Boring Company and 'zombie-killing' flamethrowers, both initially revealed on Twitter to widespread scepticism.
SpaceX option package for new Tesla Roadster will include ~10 small rocket thrusters arranged seamlessly around car. These rocket engines dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking & cornering. Maybe they will even allow a Tesla to fly …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2018
The four-seater sports car – which was already set to be the fastest production car ever built – will boast 10 small rocket thrusters around the body to help with cornering, breaking and improve top speeds, the 46-year-old Tesla CEO said on Twitter. It's a plan that will likely be met with several challenges if Musk is indeed serious.
Tesla has stayed tight-lipped on the specifics of the rockets, including whether the SpaceX variant of the Roadster will be road legal.
However, Elon Musk did confirm the rockets on the forthcoming Roadster will be ‘pure electric’, ruling out the use of any petrol-based booster technology in the all-electric sports car.
One Twitter user speculated that Tesla would use compressed air in the rocket boosters in order to keep its all-electric promise, and achieve the acceleration improvements touted by Musk.
The Tesla CEO confirmed the theory, tweeting in reply: ‘Using the config you describe, plus an electric pump to replenish air in COPV, when car power draw drops below max pack power output, makes sense. But we are going to go a lot further.’
COPV, or composite overwrapped pressure vessel, is a tank designed to hold a fluid under pressure.
The $365,000 sports car is an updated version of the 2005 Roadster – the first car ever built by the electric car company.
The all-new Roadster can travel 1,000km on a single charge – a new record for an all-electric vehicle.
The Roadster can go from 0 to 100km/h in 2.1 seconds and boasts 10,000Nm of torque and a top speed over 400km/h.
This would make it the quickest electric car ever sold to the public, beating the Chinese-made NIO EP9 all-electric hypercar, which has a top speed of 310km/h.
It also makes the vehicle the fastest production car ever, with a 0 to 100km/h acceleration quicker than any non-electric vehicles, including the record-breaking Bugatti Chiron, released this year.
It’s unclear whether the Roadster’s top speed was achieved using the so-called Space X option, or whether the rocket-assisted version of the vehicle will be even faster.
You’ll be able to travel from LA to San Francisco, and back, at highway speed without recharging,' Elon Musk said during the launch event last November.
‘These numbers sound nutty, but they’re real. The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars.
'Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.'
The first 1,000 cars will cost $365,000 each, paid in full up front. It will be available to buy in 2020.