Are We Really Doing This Again, Elon?

Are We Really Doing This Again, Elon?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is back at it, flapping his gums about a new Tesla Roadster he first mentioned (and began collecting deposits for) seven years ago. Well it’s back, and apparently coming out next year. Yeah, sure, OK.

One thousand people gave Tesla $US250,000 to order a Roadster, only to be left waiting now seven years with no car to show for it. Musk repeated his belief that the Roadster will be coming in 2025 and, just last week, stated in a presumably tongue-in-cheek way that the upcoming Roadster would be able to fly:

 

This isn’t even the first time he’s claimed the Roadster, promised to hit the market in 2020, would fly. On The Don Lemon podcast, Musk said (according to Automotive News):

“The only way to do something cooler than the Cybertruck is to combine SpaceX and Tesla technology to create something that’s not really a car,” Musk said of the Roadster. “It’s going to be really cool. It’s going to have some rocket technology in it.”

When Lemon asked if it would be a flying car, Musk said “maybe, it’s not out of the question.” Musk said it will not have “big wings” but will feature a yoke-style steering wheel similar to controllers used in modern jets.

“I’ve got to reserve the cool stuff for when we actually unveil it,” Musk said as Lemon asked for more details. Musk said the Roadster will have “totally Jetsons vibes,” referring to the 1960s cartoon with iconic flying cars.

As a reminder, here’s what Tesla has been promising for its Roadster over the years, as complied by our friends at InsideEVs:

Initial Claimed Specs Announced In 2017

Clearly, there are a lot of questions about those claims, including what kind of tires can even handle speeds so far north of 200 mph.Elon Musk’s Tweets And Comments On New Specs

In 2019, Musk said the sports car would be available with 10 rocket thrusters that would “dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking, and cornering. Maybe they will even allow a Tesla to fly.” according to the company boss. In 2021, Musk said the car would hit 60 mph in 1.1 seconds with the optional rockets.

During a 2021 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Musk stated:

“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.”

More recently, Musk promised a 0 to 60 mph time of under one second

The internet has a short memory, but surely some of you may remember the many broken promises of the Cybertruck. In case you have blocked out the end of 2019 and start of 2020 (and, honestly, who could blame you) here’s a few of the promised innovations lost on the Cybertruck.

-A horizontal-only electromagnetic wiper based on laser technology…which ended up as a big floppy blade that’s already required a recall and stop-sale on all Cybertruck for not working.

-An exoskeleton body meant to be cast as one big solid piece, with side panels serving as part of the load bearing structure, rather than just some sheets of stainless steal bolted on to a unibody. This would have not only made the Cybertruck more durable, but lighter as well. Instead we have a traditionally built unibody truck with stainless steel panels poorly bolted on, as stainless steel is extremely difficult to fit and work with in a manufacturing setting.

-Bullet proof body panels and impact resistant glass which, after a hilarious fail at the Cybertruck’s unveiling in 2019 left huge impact cracks on the windows, was quickly downgraded to bullet resistant. Musk himself said a crossbow bolt could get through. Don’t bring a Cybertruck to the Battle of Hastings, apparently.

-Pricing that would have at least made this stupid looking truck affordable. In 2019, Musk said the truck would start under $US50,000, with the highest end model going for $US69,900. This is certainly not the case, with the only trucks being built so far focusing on $US100,000+ models.

-Range for the top-of-the-line truck fell from 500 miles per full charge to just 340 miles.

-Musk promised the Cybertruck would out perform a Porsche 911…but the Cybertruck can’t even beat the 911 Carrera, despite a ridiculous (and repeatedly debunked) claim from the automaker that the Cybertruck is faster than a 911 while hauling a 911.

-Even the truck bed size was a lie. While listed as 6 foot, 1 inch long, the actual usable space in the bed is much smaller due to the weird bulkhead at the rear of the cabin. Anything taller than six inches will see the room it has to stretch out in the back severely reduced.

-A 14,000-pound tow claim became 11,000 pounds, a 3,500-pound payload claim is now 2,500. That’s not even listing all the other promises that have failed to take root, including the company’s full self driving ambitions now 11 years in the making.

All of this is to say, when Elon Musk talks about a new Tesla’s specs, it’s usually not even wishful thinking, it’s more fever dream.


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