For the Roadster to beat Model S Plaid's sub-2-second zero-to-60-mph time, Tesla will have to pull out all the stops.
When Tesla first revealed the next-gen Roadster, it boasted crazy performance specs. And, some people who attended the launch event got to experience them firsthand. CEO Elon Musk said the Roadster would be a "hardcore smackdown" to combustion cars with its 1.9-second zero-to-60-mph time.
Tesla also said the upcoming Roadster would tackle the quarter-mile in 8.8 seconds and have a top speed over 250 mph and a range of 620 miles. However, it has appeared the Roadster, like many of Tesla's future projects, has been tabled for a time. Instead, Tesla has been shifting attention to the upcoming Tesla Model S Plaid.
As part of yesterday's Tesla earnings report and conference call, the automaker announced details about the refreshed Model S, as well as the tri-motor Plaid and Plaid+ powertrains. It said the range-topping Plaid+ will sprint to 60 mph in less than 1.99 seconds. Its quarter-mile time is expected to be under 9 seconds. As you can see, these numbers are closely in line with the future Roadster's times.
So, what will set the Tesla Roadster apart from the Plaid?
Rockets, of course!
When Musk talked about Roadster rocket thrusters in the past, we questioned whether it was a joke. Is it even possible? Well, nearly anything is possible, but flames coming out of the back of a production car isn't probable. Instead, Musk told Jay Leno the Roadster's license plate would flip up allowing a burst of air to help propel the car.
After Musk replied to the tweet above, another Twitter member – Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley – asked, "Can it fly?" As you can see, Musk responded, "A little."
Clearly, some bursts of air at the back of the car won't send it up to the sky. However, perhaps airborne feats like those shown in The Dukes of Hazzard would be more realistic. Musk said in the past that the Roadster would be able to achieve "short hops."
The base Roadster will start at $200,000 (approx. £145,000), though the entry-level model isn't likely to be the one with the specs mentioned above, the air thrusters, or the ability to "fly." Meanwhile, the Model S Plaid+ is priced at £130,980.