Automotive

SpaceX package will add "small rocket thrusters" to 2020 Tesla Roadster

SpaceX package will add "small...
The next generation Tesla Roadster is due to go into production in 2020, but there's no timeframe available for the SpaceX thruster package
The next generation Tesla Roadster is due to go into production in 2020, but there's no timeframe available for the SpaceX thruster package
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The next generation Tesla Roadster is due to go into production in 2020, but there's no timeframe available for the SpaceX thruster package
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The next generation Tesla Roadster is due to go into production in 2020, but there's no timeframe available for the SpaceX thruster package
Elon Musk says that the SpaceX thruster package for the 2020 Tesla Roadster may even allow it to fly
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Elon Musk says that the SpaceX thruster package for the 2020 Tesla Roadster may even allow it to fly

Back in November 2017, a new generation of the Tesla Roadster was revealed, with production scheduled to start in 2020. Skip forward to February this year, and the Roadster made global headlines again. But this time it was Elon Musk's own Roadster, which was launched into space atop a Falcon Heavy rocket. Now Musk has announced that a special option package for the upcoming Roadster will see the electric sportster packing small "rocket" thrusters, adding that "maybe they will even allow a Tesla to fly ..."

Musk says that the SpaceX package could contain as many as 10 thrusters "arranged seamlessly around the car." These will not be actual rockets, but COPV bottles – essentially ultra high pressure air containers. The additions are promised to dramatically improve acceleration for the already insanely fast Roadster, which will be able to zip from standstill to 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds sans "rocket" boost.

To squeeze the air bottles into the sporty electric convertible, the rear seating would be sacrificed. But this is no great loss, since Musk is now calling them kids seats, confirming the tight fit for any adult passengers.

Spent air from the thrusters would be refilled immediately using the Roadster's batteries to power air pumps, which in lesser electric vehicles may be a reduced range concern. But since the 2020 Roadster is promised to have a single charge range of 620 miles, that's unlikely to bother owners too much.

Musk humor? It would appear not, as the SpaceX and Tesla CEO has already added some slim details to the original Tweet.

Source: Elon Musk

11 comments
Daishi
620 miles seems like a lot of range for something that far into diminishing returns on acceleration. It makes me wonder if they will offer a separate light weight high throughput performance pack with much shorter range.
aki009
For myself I'm waiting to see what types of tires this car will have. 0-60 in sub 2 seconds requires some impressive tire technology, which might not be street legal. It'd be a real bummer to have to settle for "only" sub 3 second performance because of tire limitations.
paul314
If you read the stuff about max discharge rate in the ultracapacitor piece from earlier, it makes at least a little sense. To get super acceleration, you need ridiculous amps of current. But if individual batteries are current-limited, then you need an enormous battery pack with batteries operating in parallel. The resulting range is merely a side effect.
Mr T
I think Elon is having a laugh at the expense of all the gullible people out there, rocket thrusters would never get past safety requirements in 99% of countries. Of course, in the US you seem to be able to put almost anything on the road, so who knows, maybe he is serious.
Leonard Foster Jr
And now we have the new Knight Rider Kitt ;-)
CAVUMark
I can finally get on to the Pasadena Fwy.
Tomzi
how many empty words. and people still finding him as a inventor. what a said moment for humanity.
Grunchy
I heard the real reason Elon shot his old roadster into space is because it was cheaper than fixing the failed battery ha ha. (Apparently, fixing an out-of-warranty Tesla is outrageously expensive). Speaking personally, I don't want a rocket car, I want a jet car. The batmobile. An onboard jet engine. What this probably means is some kind of diesel-electric system. That's ok with me. If it works for freight trains, and it's got a jet engine like batman, these are all positives for me, I would be a customer.
DavidB
Tomzi11 wrote: "how many empty words. and people still finding him as a inventor. what a said moment for humanity." First, who calls him an inventor? I've only ever heard him referred to as an entrepreneur or as an innovator. He's certainly both of those things and with great success. Second, what's "empty" about the announcement? Is there proof it's a joke or not technically feasible?
DavidB
Mr T wrote: "...rocket thrusters would never get past safety requirements in 99% of countries." As the article explicitly states, "These will not be actual rockets, but COPV bottles, essentially ultra-high–pressure air containers."