Elon Musk has taken a break from tweeting about cryptocurrency to answer a fan's question about Tesla's planned second-generation Roadster.
When asked via Twitter last week whether it's true the new Roadster will be able to hit 60 mph from rest in just 1.1 seconds, the Tesla CEO answered “yes,” adding that the car will require a “SpaceX rocket thruster option package” to do so.
Yes, with the SpaceX rocket thruster option package. It will be safe, but very intense. Probably not wise for those with a medical condition – same as a hardcore roller coaster.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 20, 2021
At the new Roadster's reveal in 2017, Tesla said the car will be able to hit 60 mph in 1.9 seconds. However, shortly after the reveal Musk took to Twitter to up the hype by claiming there would be a performance upgrade—a performance upgrade possibly involving rockets.
Based on Musk's latest tweet, it appears the rocket upgrade has been confirmed. Whether it actually makes production remains to be seen, however.
But how might it work? Musk has provided clues in various tweets made in the four years since the new Roadster's reveal. Rather than use chemical rockets like those developed by Musk's SpaceX venture, Musk has hinted that the Roadster's rocket would rely on compressed air generated by an onboard pump and stored in tanks replacing the rear seats. The thruster would point out from the rear of the vehicle, possibly behind a flip-down license plate.
2020 Tesla Roadster
We'd have to imagine that such a system might be dangerous for anyone walking past the thruster, making it questionable that it would even be allowed on a street-legal vehicle. It's likely any rocket upgrade will be limited to track use only.
Anyone still waiting for the new Roadster should be prepared to wait much longer. The car was originally promised for 2020, and when that year rolled around Musk said Tesla is focused on more pressing issues, like getting its German plant up and running and the Cybertruck pickup truck in production at a new plant in Texas. There's also the Semi transport truck tucked away somewhere in Tesla's plans.