Elon Musk’s appearance at Tesla owner-enthusiast Ryan McCaffrey’s Ride the Lightning podcast revealed a number of new details about the electric car maker’s upcoming halo vehicle, the next-generation Roadster. While addressing the all-electric supercar, Musk discussed the vehicle’s estimated yearly production numbers, its purpose, and some details about its “SpaceX package.”
Ever the candid interviewee, Musk admitted that the next-generation Roadster is really more like a dessert to the Model S, 3, X, and Y’s main course, in the way that its existence will probably not provide much of an impact to Tesla’s overall mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Nevertheless, the Roadster still has a lot of merits, in the way that it could establish the superiority of pure electric propulsion compared to the internal combustion engine, bar none.
Musk noted that the Roadster is intended to outperform the best “Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and McLarens” on every dimension, on every level, including the track, thereby erasing the halo effect of gas cars. “We’re going to do things with the new Roadster that are kind of unfair to other cars. (It’s) crushingly good relative to the next best gasoline sports car,” Musk said.
One of the ways that Tesla intends to do this is to utilize the technologies of Musk’s other company, SpaceX, for the all-electric supercar’s optimizations. Dubbed the “SpaceX package,” this particular trim of the next-generation Roadster will feature cold gas thrusters to enable the vehicle to perform in ways that are practically unthought of in the past. Musk noted that these arguably sci-fi modifications to the Roadster are very feasible since all the technology is already there.
“If you have, say 3 Gs of thrust, you can go in any direction. You can go up and still accelerate upwards of 2 Gs,” Musk said.
Such levels of thrust will place the next-generation Roadster’s SpaceX package at a completely different level compared to the ’market’s most insane vehicles. The Dodge Demon, for one, made headlines when it was revealed that it was capable of pulling 1.8 Gs. The Buggati Veyron, one of the fastest cars in the market, pulls 1.55 Gs. Quite notably, the Roadster SpaceX package’s thrust will match that of the space shuttle, which also pulls 3 Gs during launch.
Inasmuch as the next-generation Roadster will be Tesla’s halo car, the CEO noted that the vehicle would likely see a production of only about 10,000 units per year. Considering the vehicle’s somewhat accessible entry-level price point at $200,000 (at least in the supercar segment), this could mean that the supply of next-gen Roadsters would likely be constrained for years to come.
As an added note:
When asked about the next-gen Roadster’s “Augmented Mode” that he announced last year, Musk (jokingly) stated that the vehicle could just have a jack that could connect to a person’s Neuralink, a reference to one of his other ventures. This sounds entirely in the realm of science fiction, of course, but years down the road, who’s to say such a thing will be impossible?