Elon Musk Wants the Upcoming Tesla Roadster to Hover
Tesla boss Elon Musk revealed a couple of years ago that he wants to stick some rocket thrusters on the second-generation Roadster as part of a special “SpaceX package” when the electric sports car launches in 2022.
And now he says he wants it to hover, too.
Chatting with Joe Rogan in a podcast released this week, Musk said that his team of crack engineers is currently trying to work out how the Tesla Roadster can be made to hover “without, you know, killing people.”
“I thought, maybe we could make it hover, but not too high,” Musk told Rogan during the chat. “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.”
He added that he thought his team could add a thruster “where the license plate flips down, James Bond-style, and there’d be a rocket thruster behind it that gives you three tons of thrust.”
Regulators’ eyebrows will surely be hovering above their heads in horror at Musk’s suggested feature. No, it won’t be greenlighted for public roads even if the technology allows, but with Musk’s penchant for pushing the boundaries, maybe it’s a feature Tesla can incorporate as part of a future flying car … or maybe not.
During the conversation, which, despite his surprise suggestion, didn’t involve Musk partaking in any weed-smoking shenanigans (as far as we know), the Tesla chief also offered some more details on the embarrassing moment in 2019 when the electric-car company’s lead designer, Franz von Holzhausen, threw a large steel ball at a side window of the just-unveiled Cybertruck to prove that the glass was unbreakable — only to see it break.
“Production glass is much more robust than demo glass,” Musk told Rogan. “You have to have massive tools and ovens to make production glass, and that takes a while to do. Production glass is always better than demo glass.”
He said that before the on-stage flub they’d spent hours throwing steel balls at the window to test its strength, which, along with a sledgehammer being smashed against the door beneath the window as another demonstration of the vehicle’s strength, may have created a hairline fracture that caused the glass to break.
The classic moment put Tesla straight in the hall of fame for the biggest on-stage screwups in tech history.