Tesla Roadster Options Will Be “Crazy” Says Elon — Rocket Thrusters For SpaceX Package

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Elon Musk doesn’t want to just kill the fossil-fueled car. He wants to destroy it, shred it, rip it apart, and then bury its miserable carcass deep beneath a flaming volcano to spend all eternity in a fiery hell. At least, that seems to be the message behind his latest statements and tweets about the upcoming Tesla Roadster, Part Deux.

How serious is he about this? “Very serious,” would be the correct answer. He told Tesla shareholders last week, “It’s important for us to show with the Roadster that an electric vehicle can outperform a gasoline car in every way. Because gasoline cars still have sort of a halo effect, and I think if we can show an electric car can outperform a gasoline car in every way, then we sort of get rid of that halo effect of gasoline cars.”

It began with some remarks Elon made last November when he said, “There will be a special option package that takes it to the next level.” Then came the tweets. “Not saying the next gen Roadster special upgrade package *will* definitely enable it to fly short hops, but maybe ….” To that he added, “Certainly possible. Just a question of safety. Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities.” Yeah, one would think so.

On June 7, Musk tweeted about the upcoming super duper car again: “Will also have Augmented Mode that will massively enhance human driving ability. Like a flying metal suit, but in car form.” Now he has expanded on that a bit as well:

Things are getting crazy in a hurry here. Musk claims the base model Roadster will hit 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, do the quarter mile in 8 seconds, have a top speed in excess of 250 miles per hour, and have a range of 600 miles or more. Now, apparently, where other cars have torque vectoring and electronic stability control to help them negotiate the twisty bits, Roadster drivers will be able to utilize tiny rockets arrayed around the exterior of the car to make it go, turn, and stop faster than any automobile ever made.

And all this for $250,000? There are cars out there that sell for a million dollars or more that will be embarrassed by the Roadster if everything Musk promises is true. But is it? Is there any chance cars with rocket engines will be street legal? What sort of fuel will they use and how many times will they fire before that fuel supply is exhausted? Will the Roadster have an onboard storage tank for liquid oxygen just like the Falcon 9 rockets? Apparently not. Here’s Elon’s latest tweet on that subject:

Musk has used the word “crazy” to describe the SpaceX option package and that certainly seems to be the right description for this madness. Is it possible there is a touch of hyperbole in all this? Musk certainly knows how to get headlines and keep the world’s attention focused on Tesla. Those other car companies? Pffft. Who cares about them? “Watch me, folks, my cars will fly!

To round things out on this episode of “Roadster Insanity,” Musk has provided some insight into his fascination with ultra-high-performance cars:

The McLaren F1 is considered by those in the know to be the finest automobile ever made. It sold for $1 million 25 years ago when it was new. Today, one of these cars can fetch up to $15 million — if you can find someone who is willing to part with one. If you want to know more about the car and its history, Road & Track did an excellent story on the McLaren F1 last August.

If the Tesla Roadster indeed surpasses the McLaren F1, it will be the greatest automobile ever made and put an end to the gasoline engine halo effect, bringing the curtain down on the era of the internal combustion engine era.

Update: “Roadster Insanity” continues. Here are three new tweets on the topic:

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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