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Tesla Roadster Will Really Use SpaceX Rocket Thrusters — Because Elon

The next-gen Tesla Roadster will be more than a work of drivable art. It will be an icon that represents Tesla in one multifaceted image.

The next-gen Tesla Roadster will be more than a work of drivable art. It will be an icon that represents Tesla in one multifaceted image. By multifaceted, I mean this particular vehicle will give one a visual representation of not just who Elon Musk is, a dreamer who makes things happen, but the essence of Tesla as well.

Elon Musk is known for his wild and crazy ideas, but note that I am summarizing mainstream thoughts here. I personally believe that wild and crazy are what is needed to make dreams come true. Wild and crazy mean doing something extreme — not just thinking outside of the proverbial box, but removing that box completely. The box is limiting. The next-gen Roadster is the removal of that box.

Tesla is a trendsetter when it comes to making not just hot new cars — but EVs. And when you have someone who is bold enough to say, “No, I want this implemented,” things begin to take on a shape that doesn’t resemble the box. The idea of a mass-market EV back in 2008 seemed unreal. Midway through 2020, EVs are becoming the norm and people are increasingly realizing that they are cool cars and trucks. Hello, Cybertruck!

SpaceX Thrusters

The idea of attaching rocket thrusters to a car seems straight out of an action-packed alien type of sci-fi movie, but it has been done before. Bosch not long ago presented a motorcycle that used sensor-activated micro-thrusters to help right the motorcycle before crashing on a slick surface.

The next-gen Tesla Roadster will have SpaceX thrusters, of the cold variety. This means that these types of thrusters work on compressed inert gases instead of a mix of volatiles. Forbes has noted that an onboard compressor and smallish compression tank could easily be built into the car. It may even regulate old air compressed into a tank similar to what scuba divers use.

The idea of a car with rocket thrusters seems silly or a bit crazy, but when you have a CEO that is well versed in rocket science, silly becomes scientifically proven to be possible.

On May 27, a new episode of Jay Leno’s Garage will air, and a short clip has already been released. In this short clip, Elon Musk, while standing next to a Tesla Model Y, excitedly tells Leno more details about the next-gen Roadster’s SpaceX thrusters.

Leno mentioned that Musk’s ideas are out of this world and that sometimes he can’t tell if the CEO is serious. Musk told him flat out that when it comes to the Roadster’s rocket thrusters, he’s serious.

“We’re gonna use ultra-high pressure compressed air. It’s a cold gas thruster. The main thruster will be behind the license plate. So, for acceleration, it drops the license plate, and behind the license plate is a rocket thruster. It’s like full-on James Bond.”

When Musk appeared on Ryan McCaffery’s Ride The Lightning podcast, he shared that the Roadster is intended to outperform the best “Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and McLarens.” What will enable this to happen is the SpaceX package.

Musk pointed out that these seemingly sci-fi modifications are actually possible since the technology is already available. “If you have, say, 3 Gs of thrust, you can go in any direction. You can go up and still accelerate upwards of 2 Gs,” he said. The NASA space shuttle pulled 3 Gs during launch. It will be exciting to see these new Roadsters when Tesla releases them.

Tesla Roadster & Roadster + Starman photos by Kyle Field/CleanTechnica.

Originally published on EV Obsession.

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Written By

Johnna Crider is a Louisiana native who likes crawfish, gems, minerals, EVs, and advocates for sustainability. Johnna is also the host of, a jewelry artisan and a $TSLA shareholder.


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