The Tesla Roadster, the electric car that SpaceX sent into space alongside the ‘Starman’ mannequin in 2018, has been developing for some years with possible deliveries of the second generation version expected in 2022.
“Finishing engineering this year, production starts next year. Aiming to have release candidate design drivable late summer. Tri-motor drive system and advanced battery work were important precursors”, Mr Musk tweeted about the car.
On the most recent episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast, the Tesla CEO also set forth his vision for development of the car.
“We’re going to throw some rocket technology at that car,” Mr 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,” he continued.
Mr Musk said the car could go “pretty fast” but it would be limited by time; there could be a high pressure “air bottle” of perhaps 10,000psi at the back of the car, where the rear seats would be. The license plate would then drop down “James Bond style”, providing three tonnes of thrust for acceleration.
Mr Musk also recently revealed other details about his latest Tesla car; its new Model S sedan has 10-teraflop gaming computer in the middle of the car’s interior that can compete with the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.
A screen next to the steering wheel displaying a range of games including Fallout Shelter, Cuphead, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
That steering wheel has proved controversial in the US, as its U-shaped ‘yoke’ design could prove to be a safety risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is apparently investigating the design, although it is legal in European markets including the UK.
When asked about the wheel, Mr Musk said that they “use a yoke in Formula One.” Joe Rogan responded that drivers are “not on the highway in a Formula One car,” adding that he likes driving while “resting my hand on the top of the wheel.”
Mr Musk replied that Tesla’s “Autopilot is getting good enough that you won’t need to drive most of the time. I find you can rest your hand on your knee” and that it “works great.”
Tesla is not the only company developing their electric cars. Peter Rawlinson, the chief executive of Lucid and former Tesla engineer, has claimed the Lucid Air vehicle will be a breakthrough for the electric car market in the same way the Model S was.
The new Lucid Air, called the “Dream” edition, claims 517 miles per charge, faster recharging, and can go from start to 60 mph in little over two seconds - although Mr Musk has claimed that the new Tesla Model S is even faster and can drive for longer.
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