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Elon Musk details Tesla Roadster hovering capability with Joe Rogan

The next-generation Tesla Roadster at the Grand Basel Auto Show.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast for the third time, with the episode releasing earlier today. In the episode, Musk detailed some more specifics regarding the production of the next-gen Roadster, shedding more light on Tesla’s incomplete but highly-anticipated project. Musk dove into the possibility of the Roadster’s ability to hover with Rogan, indicating it could be limited to reduce the risk of injury.

Musk’s third appearance with Joe Rogan

Musk joined Joe Rogan once again for his third appearance on the JRE Podcast. Rogan tweeted the podcast episode’s release on February 11th, available exclusively on Spotify, which Rogan signed a massive contract with in 2020.

Musk has joined Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast on two previous occasions: once on September 7th, 2018, and another on May 7th, 2020. The first appearance in 2018 is Rogan’s most viewed podcast episode on YouTube with over 40.7 million views. The second appearance from Musk yielded slightly fewer views at 20.5 million but still stands at the fourth-most popular episode in the history of the JRE Podcast.

Musk and Rogan skimmed over various important topics in the latest episode. One of the most notable was Musk’s comments regarding the next-generation Tesla Roadster, which has been in development for several years.


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Next-Gen Tesla Roadster Hovering Ability

Musk told Rogan that Tesla is “finishing the engineering of the Roadster this year” and will “hopefully” begin shipping the car sometime next year. “We’re going to throw some rocket technology in that car,” Musk stated, speaking of the speculative SpaceX package that is expected to be released. Musk and Tesla plan to put cold-gas SpaceX thrusters on the car, giving it improved acceleration (as if it needed any). The CEO also stated that he would like to put thrusters underneath the car for hovering capabilities, but it hasn’t been figured out yet.

Musk said:

“I want it to hover. I’m trying to figure out how to make this thing hover, without, you know, killing people. I thought, maybe we could make it hover, but not too high. So maybe it could hover, like, a meter above the ground, or something. So, if you plummet, you blow out the suspension, but you’re not going to die. Maybe, I don’t know, six feet. If we put a height limit on it, it will probably be fine.”


Tesla Roadster will be “part rocket” to beat Model S Plaid+ specs

Rogan then asked if the Roadster will be able to travel while it is suspended in mid-air. Musk simply replied, “Yeah.”

Musk told Rogan that the rate of travel while hovering will be “pretty fast,” but that it would be subjected to time limits to restrict operators from being off of the ground for too long. However, it comes with some catches.

If a Roadster owner wants the SpaceX package, it will remove the back two passenger seats, meaning only two people will be able to sit in the car at one time. Instead, the rear seats will be replaced by a high-pressure carbon overwrap pressure vessel, which would be “around 10,000 PSI,” Musk says. A series of thrusters will join the vessel.

Musk acknowledges that this may not be possible, though. He talked about what could be released instead.

“At a minimum, I’m confident we could do a thruster where the license plate flips down, James Bond-style, and there would be a rocket thruster behind it, and that gives you three tons of thrust.”

Roadster Production and Release

Musk plans to have engineering finished on the Roadster this year, a detail he released after the 2020 Q4 Earnings Call in late January.

Additionally, Roadster release candidates could be on the road this Summer. “Tri-motor drive system & advanced battery work were important precursors,” Musk also said. Now, the work could turn to whether Tesla engineers can figure out how to make the next-gen Roadster hover and travel at the same time, a far cry from the vehicle Tesla released initially in 2008.

Musk’s full interview with Rogan is available here.

Elon Musk details Tesla Roadster hovering capability with Joe Rogan
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