Home » ‘0-60 MPH < 1 Sec' And Other Absurd Claims Elon Musk Has Made About The Tesla Roadster

‘0-60 MPH < 1 Sec' And Other Absurd Claims Elon Musk Has Made About The Tesla Roadster

Musk Promises Tesla Roadster Ts3
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Elon Musk, Tesla boss and modern-day Joe Isuzu, has made some grand claims about the forthcoming second-generation Tesla Roadster that are difficult to take at face value, and he just made another one. With this latest claim involving a zero-to-60 mph time of less than one second in top-spec, let’s round up various claims Musk has made about the next-generation Tesla Roadster and see what’s plausible and what’s reasonable to doubt.

While the original Tesla Roadster consisted of a Lotus-built aluminum chassis with Tesla’s own powertrain, the second-generation car is expected to be Tesla’s own creation. It’s also slated to offer a few extra seats, a few extra motors, and many more batteries than the original. It’s also been delayed, and comes with promises of fantastical acceleration and spaceship-like thrust. Hmm.

Vidframe Min Top
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Anyway, today we’re writing about all this because last night Musk wrote this on X, formerly known as Twitter:

Screen Shot 2024 02 28 At 7.51.48 Am

“Radically increased the design goals,” writes Musk, going on to say the vehicle debut “has a shot at being the most mind-blowing product demo of all time.”

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Woh. Talk about getting hopes up!

Zero-to-60 MPH In Less Than A Second

Tesla Roadster Zero To 60 Mph

Another claim that Musk made last night was a response to someone asking about the vehicle’s zero to 60 mph acceleration time — Musk says the new Roadster will get to the acceleration benchmark speed in under a second.

Let’s get generous here and assume that the Roadster will be running on a prepped surface and have one foot of rollout deducted. Since virtually all North American car magazines including Motor Trend delete that foot of drag-strip rollout from their published zero-to-60 mph times, we can use the magazine’s Model S Plaid testing to see the delta between a sticky prepared track surface and an unprepared surface on street tires. In the case of the Model S, it’s a delta of 0.09 seconds. That’s not much time at all. So to nab a 0.99-second zero-to-60 mph time on even a prepped surface, the Roadster will have to run from zero-to-60 mph in just a hair over one second on the street — that’s substantially less time than the 1.74 seconds required for a Rimac Nevera electric hypercar to get from zero-to-60 mph. That’s really testing the limits of tire technology. Of course, none of this applies of the vehicle isn’t relying on tractive force for acceleration…

Available Rockets

Tesla Roadster Rocket Tweet

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Of course, Musk isn’t expecting to rely solely on tires for wild acceleration. The tweet last night mentioning “Tesla/SpaceX collab” likely refers to rockets; back in 2018, the self-proclaimed Technoking tweeted this:

SpaceX option package for new Tesla Roadster will include ~10 small rocket thrusters arranged seamlessly around car. These rocket engines dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking & cornering. Maybe they will even allow a Tesla to fly …

Musk has specifically been talking about cold gas thrusters on the Roadster, and while those rocket engines don’t rely on combustion, they still use fuel, and that fuel can come with downsides. Nitrogen is inert, but nitrogen gas can displace oxygen in confined spaces. Helium is inert but increasingly more rare on earth, even if you remember it filling your party balloons when you were younger. Hydrogen gas is highly combustible. Freon-12 can be used as cold gas thruster propellant just like how asbestos can be used to season an overdone steak (i.e it’s a bad idea). Clearly there are risks. Given that SpaceX uses a cold nitrogen gas altitude control system in the Falcon Payload, it’s likely that cold gas thrusters on the Tesla Roadster may also use nitrogen as a fuel. While one of the safer choices and one you might think you’re familiar with if you’ve had your tires filled with it (that’s a much smaller amount at a lower pressure than we’re talking about here), Nitrogen can be hazardous if a leak develops in a confined space. Plus, nitrogen infrastructure isn’t obvious. For that level of pressurization and temperature, Roadster owners may have to visit air supply companies for refills, and that comes with its own learning curve of safety parameters.

It Will Be Available In 2020

0x0 Tesla Roadster 04

We’re sitting here in February, 2024, and the second-generation Tesla Roadster isn’t on sale yet, despite Tesla’s initial claim the car would come out in 2020. It’s faced repeated delays, but that isn’t unusual in the world of Tesla. In 2020, Electrek reported that Musk claimed the Roadster would enter production in “12 to 18 months” after Q2 of 2020. Well, on Jan. 28, 2021, Musk tweeted “Finishing engineering this year, production starts next year. Aiming to have release candidate design drivable late summer.” Another delay. On Sept. 1, 2021, Musk said in a tweet, “Assuming 2022 is not mega drama, new Roadster should ship in 2023.” Finally, in May 2023, Teslarati reported that Musk said “Hopefully, start production—and this is not a commitment—but hopefully start production next year.” As of today, the purported timeline hasn’t changed from this year. With the Cybertruck in production, it should give Tesla a chance to get a move on with this new flagship.

So What’s Actually Plausible?

0x0 Roadster 01

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While some of Elon Musk’s claims around the second-generation Roadster seem questionable, that doesn’t mean the Tesla Roadster is a complete pipe-dream. I like the idea of a targa-topped 2+2, the tri-motor setup is feasible based on existing Tesla technology, and I don’t see why an 8.88-second quarter-mile time isn’t possible, given how YouTubers BoostedBoiz managed an actual 8.71-second quarter-mile time in a cut-down, stripped-out Model S Plaid on sticky tires. I’d also argue that any attempt at an electric sportscar is worth pursuing, as it’s the segment of car that will likely change the most in the shift to electrification.

Even with some questionable claims, the upcoming Tesla Roadster is still worth getting excited about once deliveries start. Whether powered by gasoline, electricity, diesel, or hydrogen, a world with more sports cars is better than a world with fewer. The premise is intriguing, even if some of the plot twists don’t immediately pass the sniff test.

(Photo credits: Tesla, X)

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Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
1 month ago

Air Supply companies?
“Makin love out of nothin at all”
“I’m all out of love”

Pedro
Pedro
1 month ago

” (Nitrogen) While one of the safer choices and one you might think you’re familiar with if you’ve had your tires filled with it”. Oh you are familiar with it alright – it makes up around 78% of our atmosphere – the non-explody part. LOL

Pedro
Pedro
1 month ago

Trouble is, Musk isn’t a car guy. When they had to produce a mass market model or 2, Musk probably kept his snout out of the design and engineering room, and let them get on with it. Now things are becoming a bizarre extension of his nether region, or increasingly needy ego.

They have a great drive train in the Model S plaid, casting tech to make manufacture lighter and more efficient, good battery and control tech, and with a GT you can focus on aero efficiency since packaging is not so much of a restraint.

All told – sewing those together, they could produce a beautiful 2 second GT, and get on with the serious business of making a true world car. But all we get is this blather which, like an old guy wearing his high school outfit, is not aging well.

Last edited 1 month ago by Pedro
Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago

So Elon really is the top stand-up philosopher of our times.

That one is for the Mel Brooks/Bea Arthur fans.

VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago

Mr. Regular drove a Plaid with that already-insane 0-60 of 1.9 seconds (or something like that) and said his vision blurred. Can’t imagine what faster would do, and I’d rather not know…especially on public roads, or adjacent to others finding out on public roads.

Grippy Caballeros
Grippy Caballeros
1 month ago

Please make this self-driving, while also including a handgun rack and whiskey dispenser on the dash so that it can kill us in many, many ways.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago

On a scale from Elton John to Richard Pryor, how much coke was involved when this happened?

> Radically increased the design goals

Mr E
Mr E
1 month ago

Tony Montana

Ineffable
Ineffable
1 month ago

If musk didn’t support free speech, would you think this is a cool car ?

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
1 month ago
Reply to  Ineffable

Musk *doesn’t* support free speech. He supports hate speech. He shuts down accounts critical of him constantly.

Yes it’s a cool car that many will never buy because he’s a dipshit

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

“…. it’s a cool car that many will never buy see produced because he’s a dipshit an overpromising, underdelivering, distracted, narcissistic, drug-addled huckster.

David Puckett
David Puckett
1 month ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

True ‘dat

Ineffable
Ineffable
1 month ago
Reply to  David Puckett

fascinating how outrage addled most of the commenters are.
has musk delivered more than you?

Ineffable
Ineffable
1 month ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

a bunch of neurotic whiners, all of you. i would buy very few things if I had to agree with the political views (however radical) and personalities (however bland) of the average CEO.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
1 month ago
Reply to  Ineffable

There’s a difference between a CEO having personal political beliefs and a CEO who is so closely associated with the product loudly spouting anti trans bigotry that does very real damage to vulnerable populations (and his own child), and someone who pushes conspiracies that quite literally get people killed (i.e. covid conspiracies).

Like it or not, I don’t *have* to give anyone my money.

Mister Win
Mister Win
1 month ago
Reply to  Ineffable

“Supporting free speech” is when you ban independent journalists and promote partisan talking points? Since when?

This isn’t a politics website, I don’t think it matters what Elon says or does outside of Tesla and SpaceX… And there’s plenty to clown there already!

Here’s a question, why do YOU care about what we say about this billionaire? Has he done anything for you, to earn your undying loyalty in website comments?

Space
Space
1 month ago

What is that 3G’s of acceleration?

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 month ago

I really wish they would focus on project Redwood, but that’s obviously not going to happen

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
1 month ago

Con man.

Thebloody_shitposter
Thebloody_shitposter
1 month ago

Jesus, it’s like they made Swayer Merritt in a midtown uniform lab. I’m shocked he’s a tesla fanboi, SHOCKED I say…

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago

I talk to a lot of SaaS and other tech vendors for work, and I swear every single sales or implementation person is Sawyer Merritt, down to the first name.

DialMforMiata
DialMforMiata
1 month ago

I’d say Sawyer is in for a disappointment, but I’m guessing he’d be excited about anything Elon does.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Yeah bug lies from mussburger, but what marketing statements from any manufacturer are true? The best selling pickups can tow the moon, have supercar excelleration. All marketing now is lies.

Greensoul
Greensoul
1 month ago

Joe Isuzu did say that the Impulse Turbo was faster than a speeding bullet…. I think he told the bigger lie in this situation

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago

Elon is a child.

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 month ago

Maybe it comes with a 42 foot long stretch of tooth belt to install on your driveway, so that you have sort of a cog railway set up for merging with traffic at the end of your own driveway?
Maybe just a really big rubber band?

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Just a tunnel under the 405. Because Boring.

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