Tesla appears set to use rocket thrusters to improve the performance of the range-topping, second-generation Tesla Roadster.
Taking to Twitter, Musk stated that the recently-announced ‘SpaceX option package’ for the Roadster will include roughly 10 small rocket thrusters around the vehicle’s exterior. Musk claims that “these rocket engines dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking & cornering. Maybe they will even allow a Tesla to fly…”
Shortly after unveiling the new Roadster last year, Musk hinted at a future variant using rocket technology. However, it appeared as though he was joking. That no longer seems to be the case.
While the rocket thrusters most of us are familiar with use fuel and would be at odds with the all-electric Roadster, Musk says the thrusters will use the same technology as those developed by SpaceX. Consequently, they will be powered by compressed atmospheric air that’s made by a compressor and stored in a tank.
If Tesla mounts the thrusters on the sides as well as the front and rear of the Roadster, it’s easy to imagine how they could improve acceleration, braking, and cornering. For example, those facing rearward could fire during acceleration while those at the front could fire under braking, acting as a high-pressure air brake.
The new Tesla Roadster will be even crazier than last year’s show car
In further tweets, Musk said “Next gen Roadster will be absolutely out of this world. For those who love to drive, there is no finer car in history and we don’t think there will be another.”
When announced, the second-gen Roadster had a sticker price of $200,000. Adding rocket thrusters could easily double that price but if the car delivers performance to rival multi-million-dollar hypercars, it could still be excellent value for money.
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
You have my word, Marques. Next gen Roadster will be absolutely out of this world. For those who love to drive, there is no finer car in history and we don’t think there will be another.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 10, 2018