Musk Says New Tesla Roadster Will Use Rocket Thrusters

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.

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  • Adilos Nave

    I just spit out my coffee on the computer screen after reading the article headline. No joke.

    • S3XY

      Understandable response. It is that crazy. Wonder how you’ll react when you actually see it

  • Spyder Hole Fantome

    Musk has lost it!

    • ProtectOurHeritage

      Did he ever have it in the first place?

    • S3XY

      Nope he’s working on it

  • pjl35

    I’m sorry, what?

    • Jay

      My exact words too.

    • S3XY

      You’d have to have a physics background to understand the actual absurdity. And the fact that Elon’s not joking.

  • Mill0048

    Let’s see where this goes… If he doesn’t get ousted.

    • S3XY

      Down the drag strip smoking Bugatti’s, 918’s, 3,000 HP Huracans, all cars, etc

  • javier

    so an extremely fast jet of air that could take a child’s arm off if it misfires in the driveway

    • S3XY

      It’s not a children’s toy.

  • Status

    Talk is cheap.

    • ProtectOurHeritage

      He only makes these announcements to fools losers into continually investing in his fantasy project.

      • Status

        I don’t doubt that’s part of Tesla’s marketing and funding plans. Pie in the sky ideas are intoxicating, but you need to be sober to make them work. Investors (smart investors that is) are free to indulge on the same idea as Musk is presenting, but wouldn’t sign away any capital on the balance of a GC video of a car taking off from a stretch of road.

        It’s not costing me anything for his tweets, and tomorrow he could say that he will build an EV that can transform into a giant bipedal mech. If he can rope in a new wave of investors, fine, it’s not my money. But until something concrete is shown, I’m just as skeptical as you are.

    • S3XY

      Nothing Elon says ever happens. He’s all talk.

      • Status

        He promised the world a flame thrower and gave out repackaged roofing torches. That is the product of talk and hype.

  • Harry Nimmergut

    Maybe Elon can use those rocket thrusters to blast himself into space. Never to return.

    • S3XY

      You first.

  • Maximilian Norlande Rabbitt

    You guys are so harsh. Lol I’m not one to judge a book by its cover. Tbh, its about time someone showed some creativity. I know slapping a few rocket boosters onto a car isn’t the most original idea, but it does sound pretty cool

  • Alfa Giulia QV

    Yeah, sure, whatever you say Elon. Keep this up and there is nice padded cell and a straight jacket awaiting you.


  • fabri99

    Rockets aside, how pretentious do you have to be to claim that the car you are about to make will be the “finest in history”? You’re not Enzo Ferrari, fly down (pun intended) Elon.

    • S3XY

      No car in Ferrari’s entire historical line up comes close to the Model S. And Roadster will be better than Model S.

      So yes, it will be the finest in history.

  • ProtectOurHeritage

    There are three very likely possibilities:
    1. Musk will be ousted from his job.
    2. Tesla will remain unprofitable and go bust with.
    3. Musk’s fantasy models will never get built!

    • Status

      4. It could actually be done, but it won’t be exactly as advertised due to engineering challenges.

      Sorry, but someone has to play the devils advocate.

      • ProtectOurHeritage

        Oh, it could be done, but the way they are hemorrhaging money is beyond the joke now!

    • S3XY

      Actually the reality is you will live a generic life and do nothing to contribute to humanity like Elon,

      • ProtectOurHeritage

        How sweet! Nice to see you took time away from your Elon shrine to comment. Go light some more candles and stare longingly at his photos.

    • Philip George

      Sounds like you’re being hopeful. Many like you have been saying this for a decade now yet that company is growing. Mercedes owns a 5% stake in it and rather than Tesla going bust and folding up, Daimler (Mercedes), BMW, and VW group will simply team up to buy Tesla and its technologies and keep it going. Don’t mean to burst your bubble but none of your three listed “possibilities” will happen. Sorry but that’s how it goes.

      • ProtectOurHeritage

        Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen would be more likely to take the technology and leave the company to go bust, just like BMW did with MG Rover.

  • EyalN

    i’m almost sure rockets use fuel and this is an electric car

    • James Denz

      Read the article then comment is my humble suggestion. It would help to know that these “rocket thrusters” use highly compressed air, not fuel for propulsion.

  • sidewaysspin

    Amazing, but the car still looks bland.

    • James Denz

      The article states that there are significant changes to enhance the look of the production model.

  • karmat

    Bosch recently released a video of them testing an uncrashable motorcycle that has rockets on the side to blast the bike upright if the tires slide out on you.

  • SteersUright

    No Tesla can properly yet go around corners like a true sports sedan and they are all far too heavy. This electric “sports” car looks huge in the photos and will very likely be quite heavy too meaning it will simply be more of the same – awesome straight-line acceleration and thats it.

    • James Denz

      That extra weight is very low in the chassis giving the car a very low center of gravity and incredible chassis dynamics and handling.

      • SteersUright

        So if a car had 16 tons placed very low in its chassis it would have “incredible chassis dynamics and handling”?
        Simply wrong. Less weight is ALWAYS ideal for better handling. IF you must place weight somewhere, low and center is optimal, not just low. Teslas are simply too heavy and no, their handling isnt great, its simply par or decent for the class.

    • Philip George

      I don’t think you know what you’re talking about mate.

      • SteersUright

        Funny, you and I share the same sentiment, mate.

  • S3XY

    Roadster power = Time warp

    The end all car.

    R.I.P. “Hypercars”

    • Auf Wiedersehen

      Sadly, I think a lot of people have seen that Tesla has been their end all.

  • Philip George

    Now imagine if the car shape was now designed to be round and they made it with carbon fibre and other lightweight material and installed 100 or 200 rocket thrusters underneath the chassis….
    Flying cars, rather, flying crafts are coming to roads and in the air sooner than we think.

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    And yet you read and comment here….what does that say about you?

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