Tesla is no stranger to wild designs and insane specs that become even crazier in production. The Cybertruck is the perfect representation of this, as the vehicle is designed quite unlike any other pickup in the market. But that’s just Tesla. The company is never one to shy away from a crazy idea, and among today’s carmakers, it is one of the few that actually follows through.
The next-generation Roadster is poised to become Tesla’s halo car, a vehicle that is the physical representation of why electric propulsion is indisputably superior to the internal combustion engine. During its unveiling, the new Roadster shocked the auto industry with its insane specs, which are headlined by its 0-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds, its top speed of over 250 mph, and its range of 620 miles per charge. But then CEO Elon Musk stated something even crazier: these are the specs of the Roadster’s base model.
This meant that there are even more extreme versions of the next-generation Roadster. Among these is something that Musk has dubbed as the “SpaceX Package,” on account of the vehicle using the private space firm’s Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel (COPV), which are also used in the Falcon 9. The idea of using such components in a road-going vehicle is nothing short of insane, but as noted by Elon Musk in a recent preview of the Cybertruck’s appearance at Jay Leno’s Garage, he actually is very serious.
Standing by the flagship supercar and the newly-released Model Y crossover, Musk and Leno were recently featured in a promo video talking about the next-generation Roadster. Leno, for one, noted that sometimes, Musk’s ideas are so out of this world that he can’t really tell if the CEO is joking or not. Musk responded that when it comes to the Roadster’s rocket thrusters, he actually is serious. He then described exactly how the “main” thruster of the next-generation Roadster works.
“We’re gonna use ultra high pressure compressed air. It’s a cold gas thruster. The main thruster will be behind the license plate. So for acceleration, it drops the license plate, and behind the license plate is a rocket thruster. It’s like full-on James Bond,” Musk said.
With its SpaceX Package, the next-generation Roadster will likely be a very difficult vehicle to match in a straight line and on the track. Musk has already stated that the all-electric supercar will set new records in the Nurburgring, and that the Roadster’s acceleration will feel like the Space Shuttle, pulling 3 Gs when it launches.
That being said, Musk has also stated that the Roadster will only be produced in limited quantities. He expects the vehicle to see a production of about 10,000 units per year. That’s just a fraction of the volume of the company’s other vehicles, including the flagship Model S and Model X. Yet, in the world of supercars and machines that almost bend physics with their sheer insanity, 10,000 units per year may be enough to disrupt the entire supercar industry.