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Archive for the ‘Tesla Roadster’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Falcon Heavy Launch Sends Tesla Roadster And Starman Into The Great Beyond, But Now What?

Earlier this week, SpaceX lit the fuse on its biggest, baddest rocket to date. Dubbed the Falcon Heavy, the test flight was, more or less, a success. But the question remains – where do we go from here? Read on for a full rundown on what happened with the launch, as well as what to expect next.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

Three… Two… One… Blast Off!


On Tuesday, February 6th, at 3:45 PM EST, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket blasted off from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the same pad where the historic Apollo Moon missions took flight almost half a century prior. With all 27 of its individual Merlin engines lit, the Falcon Heavy produced over 5 million pounds of thrust, shooting into the sky in a brilliant display of fire and smoke.

Once the first stage was complete, the rocket’s side boosters were jettisoned and redirected back towards Earth, where they landed simultaneously on the ground on parallel landing pads in Florida. Then the core booster was detached and redirected towards a “drone ship” landing pad located in the Atlantic Ocean.


Unfortunately, the core failed to ignite all three of its re-entry engines, and as a result, it hit the ocean at a rate of approximately 300 mph. It also missed the drone ship by about 300 feet, but the impact was great enough to take out two of the ship’s engines, while also “[showering] the deck with shrapnel,” according to Musk.

The Roadster Is Deployed


Falcon Heavy Launch Sends Tesla Roadster And Starman Into The Great Beyond, But Now What? - image 765761
“SpaceX deployed the upper portion's fairing, revealing the Roadster and its Starman pilot and providing onlookers with a spectacular sight – one red drop-top sports car, plus humanoid figure in the driver's seat, both circling high above our Blue Dot as David Bowie's “Life On Mars?” twinkled in the background.”

Regardless of the failed core landing, the Falcon Heavy’s payload remained intact. After the core engine was disengaged, the upper stage engine was lit, propelling it into an even higher orbit around the Earth. Then SpaceX deployed the upper portion’s fairing, revealing the Roadster and its Starman pilot and providing onlookers with a spectacular sight – one red drop-top sports car, plus humanoid figure in the driver’s seat, both circling high above our Blue Dot as David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?” twinkled in the background. On the car’s infotainment screen was a plaque inscribed with “Don’t Panic!”, a reference to Douglas Adams’ famous novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” No word on whether or not Starman brought a towel.

What followed was a six-hour “drift” intended to demonstrate a particularly technical orbital maneuver for the U.S. Air Force, during which SpaceX streamed a live feed of Starman drifting through the cosmos, with Earth and the infinite beyond providing the backdrop.


After enduring the intense radiation of the Val Allen belts, Starman and his Tesla got one final nudge out towards space. This last burn was intended to put the Roadster into orbit around the Sun for a slingshot out towards Mars, but according to recent posts to Musk’s Twitter feed, it looks as though the payload will overshoot its target.

Rather than heading towards Mars as originally planned, it was initially believed that the burn would send Starman out as far as the Asteroid Belt, about 330 million miles from the Sun. However, the latest revised figures now put the orbit at roughly 160 million miles from the Sun, which is short of the asteroids, but still an overshoot on the original Mars target.

After breaking news of the overshoot on Twitter, Musk posted one final pic of Starman with Earth in the background.



Last pic of Starman in Roadster enroute to Mars orbit and then the Asteroid Belt

“It's not immediately obvious what will happen to Starman and his Tesla, but odds are it'll be obliterated by some kind of object (such as micrometeorites) as it travels through space at 25,000 mph.”

It’s not immediately obvious what will happen to Starman and his Tesla, but odds are it’ll be obliterated by some kind of object (such as micrometeorites) as it travels through space at 25,000 mph. Cosmic radiation will also wreak havoc on the various leather and plastic bits in the car. If Starman survives the journey through space, the Sun’s gravity will eventually loop him back towards the inner planets.

So What Next?


Will the First Humans to Step Foot on Mars have Internet Access? - image 738904
“With the Falcon Heavy, companies looking far beyond Earth orbit now have options on the table. The launch signifies nothing less than a new era in commercial rocketry, with payload potentials that haven't been seen since the U.S. first sent astronauts to the Moon half a century ago.”

Despite the fact the core booster was obliterated and the payload overshot its target, this test flight is still considered a monumental success. The fact that the Falcon Heavy simply got off the ground opens up new opportunities for deep -space exploration, and the fact that the side boosters landed faultlessly demonstrates that the reusable rocket concept is now a very real thing.

And that’s huge for the space industry. With the Falcon Heavy, companies looking far beyond Earth orbit now have options on the table. The launch signifies nothing less than a new era in commercial rocketry, with payload potentials that haven’t been seen since the U.S. first sent astronauts to the Moon half a century ago. Not only that, but the reusable rocket concept promises to drive down costs significantly. Think around $10 million per launch, as opposed to upwards of $1 billion per launch.

“I’m very excited about this launch because I think this is really gonna show we can do giant rockets again,” Musk said in interview with The Verge prior to the launch of Falcon Heavy. “Most space organizations, government or commercial, set their sights too low. They’ve really gotten, well, relatively small rockets, and Falcon Heavy is the first time that there’s something arguably even in the super-heavy class, or somewhere between heavy and super-heavy. And showing that you can launch a giant rocket and have it be commercially viable, carry satellites, potentially carry people.”

The next steps for SpaceX are clear – continue development of its rocket technology, while simultaneously ramping up the launch schedule. First on the to-do list: figure out what happened with the core booster’s landing burn. It’s also expected that the Falcon 9 rocket will see incremental improvements across the board.


Elon Musk's Latest Plans for SpaceX's Mars Trip Includes Cannibalization?!?!?! - image 736127
“The next steps for SpaceX are clear – continue development of its rocket technology, while simultaneously ramping up the launch schedule.”

Furthermore, SpaceX has a newer, even larger candle in the works. It’s called the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR for short, and it’s capable of putting a 330,000-pound payload into low-Earth orbit (the Falcon Heavy’s max payload for low-Earth orbit is set at 140,700 pounds).

SpaceX hopes the BFR will replace both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy by 2020, with the intention being its implementation for use in missions around the Earth, around the Moon, and eventually, all the way to Mars.

However, until the BFR is operational, the Falcon Heavy and the Falcon 9 will make up the entirety of SpaceX’s future missions. The private company is aiming to launch as many as a dozen flights in 2018, including a Saudi Arabian communications satellite and a payload for the U.S. military, plus cargo deliveries to the International Space Station.

All cool stuff, no doubt about it. But even crazier are SpaceX’s intentions to charter flights around the Moon for well-paying customers by the end of the year.

That’s right folks – the age of space tourism is very nearly upon us.

So what’s the end game? That much is clear – Elon Musk hopes to one day colonize Mars. However, getting there from here isn’t exactly a straight-forward enterprise.


Elon Musk's Latest Plans for SpaceX's Mars Trip Includes Cannibalization?!?!?! - image 736118
“So what's the end game? That much is clear – Elon Musk hopes to one day colonize Mars.”

For starters, the launch vehicle to get us there needs a little work. Overshooting the target is fine when the payload is a mannequin in a Tesla. Once human lives come into play, those kinds of issues will obviously need to be resolved.

The BFR is the most obvious candidate for the job, but if it’s not ready, Musk has stated that a Falcon Heavy topped with a Dragon spacecraft would work just as well.

However, once we’re headed in the right direction, a new host of problems present themselves. The journey to Mars should take between six and eight months, which is a long time to be in space. Never mind the issue of food and water – the simple lack of gravity will cause muscles to atrophy and bones to deteriorate, while the extended isolation and tight quarters will wreak havoc on an astronaut’s mind. Cosmic rays will also be an issue, causing cellular mutations and raising the risk of cancer.

Actually landing on Mars is an enormous undertaking in and of itself, but assuming everything falls into place, it’s not yet clear how humans will be able to set-up a livable environment. Actually sustaining a colony on the Red Planet would require an insane amount of resources, all of which would need to be packed into the spacecraft with the actual astronauts in tow. One possibility is to send a supply ship ahead of the humans or after they arrive, but again, everything would have to go perfectly, or else it’s game over for all involved.


Falcon Heavy Launch Sends Tesla Roadster And Starman Into The Great Beyond, But Now What? - image 766742
“All told, there's quite a few details that need to be ironed out before humanity can walk on Mars. That said, after watching Starman cruise around the Earth, arm propped casually on the window sill, it doesn't seem impossible.”

All told, there’s quite a few details that need to be ironed out before humanity can walk on Mars. That said, after watching Starman cruise around the Earth, arm propped casually on the window sill, it doesn’t seem impossible. Humanity is now closer to inter-planetary travel than ever before.

Unfortunately, we’ve still gotta throw a bit of a wet blanket on the enthusiasm, as it bears mentioning that Musk’s various ventures, from SpaceX to Tesla, have a habit of missing their deadlines. Granted, both companies are insanely ambitious with their timetables, but anyone expecting to book a flight to Olympus Mons next week probably shouldn’t hold their breath.

More realistically, we hope the Falcon Heavy launch inspires other space companies to ramp up the R&D, a sentiment shared by Musk. When it comes to space travel, we say the more the merrier.

References

Tesla Roadster


2007 Tesla Roadster - image 87437

Read our full review on the 2008 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch A Success; Tesla Roadster And Starman Begin Their Journey

Earlier this afternoon, as a multitude of anxious space exploration fans watched with bated breath, the Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. With all 27 individual Merlin engines lit, the trio of boosters providing more than 5 million pounds of thrust, the Falcon Heavy became the world’s most powerful rocket currently in service, officially launching us into a second Space Age.

Once the first stage was complete, the spent rockets were jettisoned and aimed back at Earth. Moments later, the two side boosters successfully touched down simultaneously on the ground in Florida. The third booster was supposed to land on a drone ship out in the Atlantic, but as it approached, the camera feed cut out due to the extreme vibrations. It’s not yet known if it landed successfully or not, but it’s believed to have crashed into the ocean.

The reusable rockets were designed to make space flight less expensive in the long run. Each Falcon Heavy launch is expected cost around $90 million, while similar flights from government organizations like NASA could cost upwards of $1 billion.

Most importantly though, the Falcon Heavy successfully delivered its payload into orbit. Strapped to the tip of the Falcon Heavy was a first-generation Tesla Roadster (painted in red, or course), complete with “Starman” strapped in at the wheel (Starman being a dummy wearing the SpaceX spacesuit). On the Roadster’s primary infotainment screen were the words “Don’t Panic!”, a reference to Douglas Adam’s classic novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

The goal is to get the Roadster and its Starman passenger into an orbit around the sun that’ll take it by Mars, with the intention being to eventually launch a manned mission to the Red Planet. This successful test launch is the first big step towards that goal. But before it slingshots through the solar system, the Roadster will need to pass through the radiation-filled Van Allen belts, after which there will be a final burn to send Starman towards our planetary neighbor.

Since the launch, social media has been filled with breathtaking imagery, including several shots taken live from the space-traveling drop-top. Make sure to check out the live feed of Starman on YouTube.


References

Tesla Roadster


2007 Tesla Roadster - image 87437

Read our full review on the 2008 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk is Launching His 2008 Tesla Roadster into Space Today

What does a CEO of both an automaker and a rocketmaker do to cross-promote? Why launch a sports car into space. That’s exactly what Elon Musk is doing with his personal 2008 Tesla Roadster during today’s first flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.

The rocket will launch from the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, February 6 with its flight computer programmed for Mars. “[It’s a] red car for a red planet,” Musk tweeted back in December. The module atop the Falcon Heavy will then enter a hyperbolic orbit between Mars and the Sun, which it could theoretically maintain for a billion years. Better yet, the car’s radio will be playing Zarathustra, the theme song from 2001: A Space Odyssey. A mannequin affectionately named “Starman” will also be behind the wheel a wearing a SpaceX spacesuit.

The Falcon Heavy rocket is a huge milestone for SpaceX. While the Tesla Roadster is more of a silly payload, this trial launch will prove SpaceX has its math right. The Falcon Heavy is currently the largest and most powerful rocket in operation and is second only to NASA’s mighty Saturn V rocket used during the Apollo series in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Falcon Heavy is said to have a payload capacity of 70 tons – roughly 2.6 times that of NASA’s shuttle orbiter.

Like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, the Falcon Heavy’s main stage will launch its payload toward space before separating and landing itself back on earth. The second stage will continue to run as it escapes earth’s atmosphere and gravitational pull. Of course, Musk isn’t planning to send a fleet of Tesla vehicles into space, but rather has plans for manned missions to the Moon and then onto Mars.

The launch is scheduled to happen between 1:30 and 4:30 pm EST from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A, the same one used for Apollo and Shuttle launches.

References

Tesla Roadster


2007 Tesla Roadster - image 87437

Read our full review on the 2008 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk is Launching His 2008 Tesla Roadster into Space Today

What does a CEO of both an automaker and a rocketmaker do to cross-promote? Why launch a sports car into space. That’s exactly what Elon Musk is doing with his personal 2008 Tesla Roadster during today’s first flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.

The rocket will launch from the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday, February 6 with its flight computer programmed for Mars. “[It’s a] red car for a red planet,” Musk tweeted back in December. The module atop the Falcon Heavy will then enter a hyperbolic orbit between Mars and the Sun, which it could theoretically maintain for a billion years. Better yet, the car’s radio will be playing Zarathustra, the theme song from 2001: A Space Odyssey. A mannequin affectionately named “Starman” will also be behind the wheel a wearing a SpaceX spacesuit.

The Falcon Heavy rocket is a huge milestone for SpaceX. While the Tesla Roadster is more of a silly payload, this trial launch will prove SpaceX has its math right. The Falcon Heavy is currently the largest and most powerful rocket in operation and is second only to NASA’s mighty Saturn V rocket used during the Apollo series in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Falcon Heavy is said to have a payload capacity of 70 tons – roughly 2.6 times that of NASA’s shuttle orbiter.

Like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, the Falcon Heavy’s main stage will launch its payload toward space before separating and landing itself back on earth. The second stage will continue to run as it escapes earth’s atmosphere and gravitational pull. Of course, Musk isn’t planning to send a fleet of Tesla vehicles into space, but rather has plans for manned missions to the Moon and then onto Mars.

The launch is scheduled to happen between 1:30 and 4:30 pm EST from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A, the same one used for Apollo and Shuttle launches.

References

Tesla Roadster


2007 Tesla Roadster - image 87437

Read our full review on the 2008 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk Demonstrates Falcon Heavy Launch With Tesla Roadster And Starman Payload

We here at TopSpeed are getting stoked for the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket tomorrow, and this latest animation is just fanning the flames. The Falcon Heavy is scheduled to blast off at 1:30 EST from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. Powered by 27 individual Merlin first-stage rockets doling out a combined 5 million pounds of thrust, the Falcon Heavy will be carrying a payload consisting of a first-gen Tesla Roadster, plus “Starman,” a dummy wearing the SpaceX spacesuit, in the driver’s seat.

At about 3-and-a-half minutes in length, the video is an animation that walks us through each stage of the mission, from initial takeoff, to the booster recovery, to the final sendoff for the payload, all of which is set to the audio backdrop of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?”. All very fitting, considering the endgame is a manned mission to the Red Planet some time in the future. The Roadster will be set on a heliocentric orbit that’ll take it between the Earth and Mars, possibly laying the groundwork for a future Martian colony supply line. While typically these sorts of test missions involve simple weights, the addition of a red sports drop-top manned by a dummy adds a certain artistic quality to it, don’t you think?


References

Tesla Roadster


2015 Tesla Roadster 3.0 - image 600358

Read our full review on the 2015 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk Demonstrates Falcon Heavy Launch With Tesla Roadster And Starman Payload

We here at TopSpeed are getting stoked for the launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket tomorrow, and this latest animation is just fanning the flames. The Falcon Heavy is scheduled to blast off at 1:30 EST from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. Powered by 27 individual Merlin first-stage rockets doling out a combined 5 million pounds of thrust, the Falcon Heavy will be carrying a payload consisting of a first-gen Tesla Roadster, plus “Starman,” a dummy wearing the SpaceX spacesuit, in the driver’s seat.

At about 3-and-a-half minutes in length, the video is an animation that walks us through each stage of the mission, from initial takeoff, to the booster recovery, to the final sendoff for the payload, all of which is set to the audio backdrop of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?”. All very fitting, considering the endgame is a manned mission to the Red Planet some time in the future. The Roadster will be set on a heliocentric orbit that’ll take it between the Earth and Mars, possibly laying the groundwork for a future Martian colony supply line. While typically these sorts of test missions involve simple weights, the addition of a red sports drop-top manned by a dummy adds a certain artistic quality to it, don’t you think?


References

Tesla Roadster


2015 Tesla Roadster 3.0 - image 600358

Read our full review on the 2015 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster

The final countdown is now imminent. Following a successful static test, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is now cleared for the real thing, with liftoff scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The payload will include a deep-red first-gen Tesla Roadster with “Starman” strapped into the driver’s seat.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

Starman in Red Roadster
https://www.instagram.com/p/BezcvpzAgYI/

Posted by Elon Musk on Monday, February 5, 2018

“The hope is that one day the Falcon Heavy will carry live human astronauts to Mars. But before we get there, the rocket will need to pass this next test mission with flying colors.”

After a bit of a delay courtesy of last month’s brief government shutdown, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket is back and ready to roll. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk promoted the launch through his various social media channels, posting pics and stoking the flames of space exploration enthusiasm. The mission will blast off tomorrow at 1:30 PM EST.

Output from the massive rocket is rated at over 5 million pounds of thrust, which is roughly equivalent to eighteen 747 aircraft at full bore. Thanks to its 27 Merlin first-stage rockets (which basically makes it three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together), the Falcon Heavy can put a 140,660-pound payload into low-Earth orbit, and is considered the most powerful rocket currently in service by a factor of two.

The hope is that one day the Falcon Heavy will carry live human astronauts to Mars.


SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster - image 754444
“Onboard will be a payload consisting of one first-gen Tesla Roadster, plus a new addition as revealed in recent tweets from Musk – a dummy going by the name of “Starman” strapped in at the controls of the drop-top.”

But before we get there, the rocket will need to pass this next test mission with flying colors. Onboard will be a payload consisting of one first-gen Tesla Roadster, plus a new addition as revealed in recent tweets from Musk –
a dummy going by the name of “Starman” strapped in at the controls of the drop-top. Named after the classic David Bowie song from the earl ’70s, Starman’s purpose in the mission isn’t entirely clear, but it appears as though he’s decked-out in SpaceX’s space suit, which could suggest some pressure testing in the vacuum of the great beyond.

The Falcon Heavy will launch tomorrow from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, taking off from pad 39A, the same slab that launched the Apollo moon missions. The finalization of the launch date should come as a relief to the upstart space company after it experienced multiple delays, with the original launch date scheduled between 2013 and 2014. But hey, better late than never, right?


SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster - image 754453
“The plan is to put the Roadster into a heliocentric orbit, which means it'll continuously circle the sun, with close approaches to both the Earth and Mars along the way.”

The plan is to put the Roadster into a heliocentric orbit, which means it’ll continuously circle the sun, with close approaches to both the Earth and Mars along the way. According to Popular Mechanics, this orbit would allow for an easy transition between the Earth and the Red Planet, and could provide a good framework for a Martian colony supply line sometime in the future. For now though, the Roadster will be careening around the solar system for about “a billion” years, give or take, with Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on repeat throughout the journey in continuation of the theme.

After sending the payload on its way, all three boosters will hopefully land safely back on earth, with two touching down on land and the third landing on SpaceX’s drone ship at sea. SpaceX hopes to make space travel more affordable by developing reusable rockets.

References

Tesla Roadster


2015 Tesla Roadster 3.0 - image 600358

Read our full review on the 2015 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster

The final countdown is now imminent. Following a successful static test, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is now cleared for the real thing, with liftoff scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The payload will include a deep-red first-gen Tesla Roadster with “Starman” strapped into the driver’s seat.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story

Starman in Red Roadster
https://www.instagram.com/p/BezcvpzAgYI/

Posted by Elon Musk on Monday, February 5, 2018

“The hope is that one day the Falcon Heavy will carry live human astronauts to Mars. But before we get there, the rocket will need to pass this next test mission with flying colors.”

After a bit of a delay courtesy of last month’s brief government shutdown, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket is back and ready to roll. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk promoted the launch through his various social media channels, posting pics and stoking the flames of space exploration enthusiasm. The mission will blast off tomorrow at 1:30 PM EST.

Output from the massive rocket is rated at over 5 million pounds of thrust, which is roughly equivalent to eighteen 747 aircraft at full bore. Thanks to its 27 Merlin first-stage rockets (which basically makes it three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together), the Falcon Heavy can put a 140,660-pound payload into low-Earth orbit, and is considered the most powerful rocket currently in service by a factor of two.

The hope is that one day the Falcon Heavy will carry live human astronauts to Mars.


SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster - image 754444
“Onboard will be a payload consisting of one first-gen Tesla Roadster, plus a new addition as revealed in recent tweets from Musk – a dummy going by the name of “Starman” strapped in at the controls of the drop-top.”

But before we get there, the rocket will need to pass this next test mission with flying colors. Onboard will be a payload consisting of one first-gen Tesla Roadster, plus a new addition as revealed in recent tweets from Musk –
a dummy going by the name of “Starman” strapped in at the controls of the drop-top. Named after the classic David Bowie song from the earl ’70s, Starman’s purpose in the mission isn’t entirely clear, but it appears as though he’s decked-out in SpaceX’s space suit, which could suggest some pressure testing in the vacuum of the great beyond.

The Falcon Heavy will launch tomorrow from the NASA Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, taking off from pad 39A, the same slab that launched the Apollo moon missions. The finalization of the launch date should come as a relief to the upstart space company after it experienced multiple delays, with the original launch date scheduled between 2013 and 2014. But hey, better late than never, right?


SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Tomorrow With Starman At The Helm Of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster - image 754453
“The plan is to put the Roadster into a heliocentric orbit, which means it'll continuously circle the sun, with close approaches to both the Earth and Mars along the way.”

The plan is to put the Roadster into a heliocentric orbit, which means it’ll continuously circle the sun, with close approaches to both the Earth and Mars along the way. According to Popular Mechanics, this orbit would allow for an easy transition between the Earth and the Red Planet, and could provide a good framework for a Martian colony supply line sometime in the future. For now though, the Roadster will be careening around the solar system for about “a billion” years, give or take, with Bowie’s “Space Oddity” on repeat throughout the journey in continuation of the theme.

After sending the payload on its way, all three boosters will hopefully land safely back on earth, with two touching down on land and the third landing on SpaceX’s drone ship at sea. SpaceX hopes to make space travel more affordable by developing reusable rockets.

References

Tesla Roadster


2015 Tesla Roadster 3.0 - image 600358

Read our full review on the 2015 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster Heads to Space Aboard Falcon Heavy on February 6th

Mark your calendars, people. February 6 is going to be a historic day for Elon Musk and SpaceX. After months of hype and speculation, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket space ship will finally make its maiden voyage to space. The launch is historic for so many reasons. It once again puts Musk in the spotlight as the real-life equivalent of Tony Stark, a man whose ego is as big as his goals in life. It so happens that one of Musk’s goals is to build the biggest operational rocket in human history at a third of the cost of more contemporary spaceships. As long as Falcon Heavy’s launch happens without a glitch, Musk will once again be on top of the world, bested only by his Cherry Red Tesla Roadster that’s joining Falcon Heavy in its launch to space.


No matter how you look at it, Falcon Heavy’s launch is a big deal for a lot of people. It has huge implications for Musk, his SpaceX company, and the entire U.S. aerospace industry. If Falcon Heavy’s launch is successful, it would not only be a celebration of human ingenuity, but it would also set an example that a vision as grandiose as this could be successful if the right people are behind it and it’s funded properly by private money.

On the other hand, a successful launch could also raise questions about why the federal government should spend billions of tax money to traditional contractors and NASA’s own Space Launch System. That partly explains why the office of Vice President Mike Pence is reportedly keen to find out how the launch goes. That much was divulged by Pence’s own chief of staff, Nick Ayers, who tweeted that the Falcon Heavy launch could have “major (positive) ramifications for US space industry if this goes according to plan.” The Veep has a vested interest in the launch because he now heads the National Space Council, and part of his responsibly is to oversee America’s space policy and commercial space efforts.


Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster Heads to Space Aboard Falcon Heavy on February 6th - image 754446
“SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy will launch on February 6 at 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm EST.”

A successful launch could change the trajectory and focus of the country’s space policy. That kind of effect will have long-term ramifications on a high-spending sector and agency that have largely relied on public money to get their projects — literally — off the ground. If all goes well, Musk may very well be on the cusp of changing the narrative on the U.S. space industry and the future policies that will define how it moves forward.

Once again, mark those calendars. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy will launch on February 6 at 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm EST. If for any reason that gets delayed, the backup date will be the next day, February 7. Godspeed, Falcon Heavy (and Tesla Roadster). Here’s to hoping the launch is a success!

References

Tesla Roadster


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746102

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket to Launch for the First Time in December; Could Carry Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster Into Space

7,376 pound-feet of torque

Back in July, we announced the new that Elon Musk might shoot off SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket for the first time before the turn of the year. Come December 1st and Musk has tweeted that the rocket will, indeed, launch soon, but it won’t be until next month, or as of the date of that post, sometime in January of 2018. That goes beyond the “this year” timeframe but is quite exciting considering the number of times that Falcon Heavy has been delayed in the past. According to Musk, it will have double the thrust of the next largest rocket and the launch is “guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another.” Not long after that, Musk tweeted what seems to be a joke, saying “Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars Orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”

Further Reading


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746101
“If the Roadster payload does happen, and it does make it to Mars, let’s hope that he also follows up with a Tesla charger”

Truth be told, you can’t really discredit Musk’s apparent joke about sending his Roadster into space. After all, the man did place a secret wheel of cheese on top of Dragon’s first flight, and he has said that he intends to stick “the silliest thing we can imagine” on top of Falcon Heavy for its first voyage. Well, a Tesla Roadster, one in midnight cherry, would be pretty damn silly. And he, in fact, loves the idea, responding to another tweet saying, “I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future.” And, for what it’s worth, other outlets have claimed that SpaceX has confirmed that the “roadster payload is real.”

If the roadster payload does happen, and it does make it to Mars, let’s hope that he also follows up with a Tesla charger so that the crew that does go to Mars might have something else to get around in. Or perhaps he can send some solar panels too, so it can charge that way. All of this, assuming that the Roadster could even make it to Mars’ surface. Something tells me that Musk would rather have one of his creations floating endlessly into the great unknown. Let’s just pray that, if it does really happen, that some aggressive alien species doesn’t find it and come rape us of our resources – lord knows we’ve been warned about that by Hollywood more than a few times.

Static Test of Falcon Heavy – May 2017

Falcon Heavy Flight Animated Rendering

SpaceX Vision for a Mission to Mars

References

Tesla Roadster


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746102

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk Claims The Tesla Roadster Can Go From 0 to 60 Mph in 1.9 Seconds?

2020 Tesla Roadster

Elon Musk is no stranger to making bombastic claims. This is the same man who once said that autonomous driving technology was at our fingertips. He’s also the same man who said that civilian space travel is possible and traveling at supersonic speeds inside a pressure-sealed tube is the future of public transportation. Don’t look now, but Musk is at it again with a new proclamation that has everyone in the auto industry buzzing. According to him, the new Tesla Roadster, which is scheduled to debut in 2020, is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, becoming the first production car in history to reach that mark in less than two seconds.

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t know enough about physics to properly answer that question. It’s only right then that I direct the question to Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained, a man who is far more qualified to talk about Musk’s latest claims about the Roadster’s acceleration speed.

Fenske didn’t exactly have the answer either, but that was more because of the lack of information from Tesla’s side. What he did explain was that it’s possible for the Roadster to do a 1.9-second, 0-to-60-mph, provided that it’s done under the right confluence of technology, all working together in perfect harmony. Fenske alludes to a number of important elements the Roadster needs to have to be able to live up to Musk’s claims, including the electric motor, the traction system, and most importantly, the tires.


Elon Musk Claims The Tesla Roadster Can Go From 0 to 60 Mph in 1.9 Seconds? - image 747537
“Fenske alludes to a number of important elements the Roadster needs to have to be able to live up to Musk’s claims, including the electric motor, the traction system, and most importantly, the tires”

Basically, the Roadster should have the latest versions of each of these elements if it’s going to break the two-second acceleration barrier. The electric motor, for example, will play an important role in ensuring that the car’s traction control system can get the tires closer to the threshold of their grip. Fenske explains that hydraulic ABS pumps aren’t capable of applying the exact amount pressure to help the tires reach the threshold of their grip. In theory, a traction control system that works in harmony with the tires is capable of doing that because it can adjust faster to the grip requirements of the tires that will allow them to burst off the line without losing energy in the process.

As an example, Fenske alluded to the Nitto drag radials that the tire maker co-developed with Dodge for the Challenger SRT Demon. Dodge says that the Demon can sprint from 0 to 30 mph in just one second so if those tires can keep up that kind of acceleration consistently over a longer period, a two-second, 0-to-60-mph is possible.

For good reason, even Fenske doesn’t have the answer to the question because Tesla itself hasn’t said anything about the Roadster apart from Musk’s claims. Until the Roadster is independently tested, all of Musk’s boasts about the Roadster’s ability to sprint from 0 to 60 mph are useless. Hopefully, the electric car maker can provide us with the answers sooner than later.

References

Tesla Roadster


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746102

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.



Read more Tesla news.

PostHeaderIcon The Tesla Roadster Looks like a Blurry Version of the Honda NSX

When the new Aston Martin Vantage came out, I criticized the brand for producing a car that looked like a serious rip off of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Now, as I was looking over the news from the past week, I see that there’s another look-alike out there, and this time, it looks like Tesla decided to copy the Honda NSX and slap a Tesla Roadster badge on it. Now, it isn’t a blatant and condemning rip-off, and maybe not even as bad as the Vantage vs. MX-5 copying scheme, but it’s pretty bad. I would say the Roadster looks like a blurry version of the NSX – almost like cars in 128-bit video games used to look compared to their real-life counterparts. Don’t believe me? Check out the quick comparison below.

Tesla Roadster vs Acura NSX

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right
“Even the lines below the headlights appear remarkably similar to the outer and lower edge of the corner vents”

As much as I hate to say it, as I usually give Tesla the benefit of the doubt, it really does look like the brand took the blueprints for the NSX, dulled them down a bit, and made some minor alterations. Now, it doesn’t have the fancy radiator grille (not like it needs it, anyway) but it has the same general body line. Even the lines below the headlights appear remarkably similar to the outer and lower edge of the corner vents. And, take a look at the hood (or where the hood would be on the Roadster) the swooping lines aren’t quite as muscular but there are there and even at the same pitch. The wheel arches at the front fenders – near identical for three-quarters of their length, at which points Tesla’s bodyline continues toward the headlights. Speak of which, the headlights are different shapes, but the recess for the roadsters headlight is the same shape as the NSX’s headlights. It’s so similar; it almost looks as if the NSX’s headlights would fit right in there if they didn’t come to such flat point at the inner edge.

left
right
“The rear quarts are nearly identical save for the air intake that the NSX requires for the engine to breath”

Moving to the side, look at the opening behind the rear quarter glass – it’s painfully obvious that it’s identical. What about the shape, pitch, and curve of the A-Pillar? Yup, it’s the same too. The rear quarts are nearly identical save for the air intake that the NSX requires for the engine to breath. The lower body line on the side is nearly the same, with the only difference being the variance in grade of about one percent. Even the wheels look almost Identical as do the little vents in the fender between the door and the front wheel well. Even in the rear. Take a look at the rear spoilers. The Roadster’s is a little flatter, but it’s nearly the same. The taillights are almost identical too, but because of their design, they are a little blurrier at a distance. The Roadster may not have the rear vents in the corners, but if you look at the diffuser-like element, it’s quite similar to the NSX’s opening in the rear fascia. Even the rear glass features the same general grade from top to rear.

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“Even the rear glass features the same general grade from top to rear.”

As I said, I normally give Musk and Tesla the benefit of the doubt, but there sure are a lot of similarities here, and I’m not the only one that is noticing them. What do you think? Did Tesla, which is burning through money like it’s going out of style, (link recent article) borrow its design from Honda to save a little cheddar on R&D or is it just a wild coincidence paired with my paranoia and annoyance that almost every car out there looks like a copy of one another, effectively killing the uniqueness that once made the automotive world so great? Let me know in the comments section below.

References

Tesla Roadster


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746110

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.

Acura NSX


2016 Acura NSX - image 652845

Read our full review on the 2017 Acura NSX.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Tesla Needs to Learn that Hype and Fast Cars don’t Pay the Bills

2020 Tesla Roadster

I don’t know about you, but I had way too much Tesla Roadster in my feed this week. If I read one more of those “oh my god, 1.9 seconds to 60 mph” I will probably puke. Heck, I actually feel like puking right now, but I popped in to say “I told you so!” In my previous rant, I slammed the second-generation Roadster and its incredible performance features for being Elon Musk’s desperate attempt to bring in some cash without actually giving something in return. Although the Roadster won’t be available until 2020, Tesla is asking $50,000 for preorders of the regular model and a full $250,000 down payment for the Founders Series. With the latter limited to 1,000 units, we’re talking at least $250 million from preorders for a car that’s three years away. And I’m not even including the Semi truck.

Tesla is in big trouble financially, and making matters worse is the fact that it can’t deliver new products. The Model 3 is behind schedule a few months, with orders for non-Tesla employees opened this month. But customers who have already ordered one won’t get it anytime soon, with full production to commence in March. If we are to believe Tesla of course because more delays are very likely. And the company is losing money big time. What’s more, according to Bloomberg, Tesla spent no less than $4.2 billion over the past 12 months. That’s $8,000 a minute or nearly half a million bucks an hour!

Keep reading for the full story.

The Massive Hemorrhage Behind the Hype


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746110
“Tesla may be all bells and whistles when it comes to performance figures, but a carmaker cannot survive on numbers”

Tesla may be all bells and whistles when it comes to performance figures, but a carmaker cannot survive on numbers. Likewise, it can’t survive on unveilings and rolling prototypes or concept cars. Tesla needs to roll out cars and needs to do it fast. And things are going as planned. While some customers complain about quality issues with the Model S and Model X, the Model 3, the company’s much-promised affordable EV, won’t be available until next year, despite initial plans to offer it in 2017.

And this is why Tesla is basically trying to survive with the hype that surrounds it and by previewing impressive, high-priced vehicles with expensive preorder tags. Elon Musk is effectively trying to keep the company afloat until the Model 3 arrives in dealerships and starts bringing in the much-needed cash. Sure, this strategy is far from unusual. It’s what most automakers do, and it’s precisely how many carmakers survive. But while giants like GM and Chrysler have managed to survive a bankruptcy, Tesla may not.


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746106
“Tesla's current cash reserves won't last beyond August 2018”

Another problem is that at the current spendings rate, Tesla’s current cash reserves won’t last beyond August 2018. Of course, the Model 3 might bring in more cash until then, as will preorders for the Roadster II and Semi truck, but if something goes wrong and the Model 3 is again delayed, Tesla may run into a lot of trouble financially. But assuming that things will go as planned over the next few months and the Model 3 rolls out on time and saves the company, Tesla may have similar issues when the Roadster and the Semi need to go into production. The company is obviously trying to do more than it can at this point, and this strategy could prove disastrous at some point.

Unless things pick up fast, Tesla may have the same fate as Fisker Automotive. And it would be tragic for the auto industry to lose a carmaker that has made tremendous progress in the EV field. But Musk needs to realize that hype and impressive performance figures won’t pay the bills.

References

Tesla Roadster


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 745807

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla is Hemorrhaging Money at an Alarming Rate

2020 Tesla Roadster

Elon Musk may have surprised the world by debuting the next Tesla Roadster side-by-side with the new Tesla Semi, but that’s not the biggest surprise to come out of the Tesla garage. The title of “biggest surprise” would be reserved for the fact that the company is burning through $8,000 per minute, $480,000 per hour, or $1 billion per quarter. And, at the current rate of expenditure, it is predicted that the company will run out of cash as soon as August of next year.

  • Company burns through $8,000 per minute, $480,000 an hour, or $1 billion per quarter
  • Current Cash will be Exhausted by Aug 6, 2017
  • Company expects Model 3 to cut back on cash hemorrhage
  • Despite cash burning, Tesla stocks continue to increase (up to $317.81 as of 11/21/17)
  • Some Analysts say at least $2 billion fresh capital needed by mid-2018
  • Tesla believes it can still produce 5,000 Model 3 sedans by the end of March 2018
  • Founders Series Roadster could generate $250 million in down payments
  • CFO Deepak Ahuja believes capital expenditures to decline with payoff of Model 3 expenses
  • Model 3 and Semi production will cost billions
  • Tesla using as much as 70% of revolving debt ever

2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 727972
“Some analysts are saying that Tesla will need at least $2 billion in fresh capital by the middle of 2018”

Tesla believes that paying off various Model 3 expenses and by ramping up Model 3 production, the cash hemorrhaging will come to a stop, but thus far the company hasn’t even come close to smelling a profit and rarely makes Musk’s overly ambitious timelines. At this point, some analysts are saying that Tesla will need at least $2 billion in fresh capital by the middle of 2018, which may or not be a problem. We all know that Elon Musk can sucker talk money out of investors better than anyone, but how long can the company continue to operate without profit and to the tune of $480,000 an hour?

For now, you can assume that folks will surely bite onto those 1,000 examples of the Founders Edition Roadster – each of which require a $250,000 down payment up front. That can bring in $250 million, but that’s a very small piece of the cheddar that the company will need to continue operating through the end of next year. The Model 3 has been bottlenecked for a while now and is falling behind schedule. Meanwhile, Musk is boasting his Semi and Roadster, both of which appear to be far from production ready and completely impossible to build considering the problems with the Model 3.


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746110
“Can anyone really justify shelling out $250,000 for a Founders Edition Roadster when there’s no possibility of it being delivered before the end of the decade?”

At some point, one has to wonder when people will quit believing in the word of Musk, and stop handing over money like it grows on trees. Can anyone really justify shelling out $250,000 for a Founders Edition Roadster when there’s no possibility of it being delivered before the end of the decade? And, let’s not talk about the Semi which will start being delivered by 2019 at best. Musk can’t even get the Model 3 production rolling right, and he wants to throw two more models into the mix? Yeah, Right! Sure, the man is ambitious, and it’s not a bad thing, but when a company fails to hit is predetermined goals time and time again, and hemorrhages money non-stop, can you really continue to put faith into it?

Nearly $500,000 per hour the company is spending, doesn’t make a profit and isn’t delivering on time. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a very raunchy turd in the punchbowl to me. What do you think? Is Musk all smoke and mirrors at this point, or will Tesla be able to pull it together in the next few years, deliver on its word, and turn a profit? Let us know in the comments section below.

References

Tesla Roadster


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746102

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.

Tesla Semi


2019 Tesla Semi - image 746088

Read our full review on the 2019 Tesla Semi.

Tesla Model 3


2018 Tesla Model 3 - image 727971

Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.



Read more Tesla news.

PostHeaderIcon Thanksgiving Day Special – 7 Cars We’re Thankful For

Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of daily life, and in the process, forget about all the good things you’ve got going for you. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on those blessings, providing an opportunity to be grateful for what you have. For us car lovers, 2017 brought all kinds of new stuff to be thankful for, with a bevy of outrageous hypercars to drool over and bench race. As such, we’ve put together a list of cars we’re thankful for right here for your enjoyment.

While 2017 certainly brought the goods in terms of high-end performance, we had to toss in a few other models as well, ya know, just to remind us how truly fortunate we are. And, per usual, we wanna know what cars you’re thankful for. It doesn’t have to be some top-shelf, 250-mph insane-o machine. Perhaps you’re thankful for your trusty daily driver, which reliably ferries you to and fro without issue. Let us know in the comments. And oh yeah – Happy Thanksgiving!

Continue reading to learn more about the cars we’re thankful for.

Hennessey Venom F5


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742052

Introduced late last month at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, the Venom F5 is a follow-up to Hennessey’s epic Venom GT, and like its predecessor, the F5 aims for no less than the title of fastest production car in the world. And while the specifics of that goal are a bit, uh, murky (will Hennessey make enough examples to qualify the F5 as a production car?), the specs on this thing are reason enough to make us grateful it exists. Power comes from a new twin-turbo V-8 (a Hennessey specialty), which throws down 1,600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. The Texas tuner is shooting for 300 mph at the top end, and although we have yet to see this thing running in the real world, we think it’s worthy of praise all the same.

Read our full review on the 2019 Hennessey Venom F5.

Tesla Roadster 2.0


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746101

Tesla has a habit of stirring the auto industry pot with its claims, and its latest debut is like a high-speed blender in that respect. Unwrapped in a surprise reveal alongside the automaker’s new electric semi truck, the Roadster 2.0 is a follow-up to Tesla’s very first model, and it’s upgraded in just about every way imaginable. Not only does it look fantastic, but under the sultry body panels is a 200-kWh battery and three electric motors, good enough for 620 miles of range between plug-ins. Impressive, no doubt, but the California automaker is also saying this thing will be the first production car to go from 0-to-60 mph in less than 2 seconds. Top speed is rated at over 250 mph, which would also make it the fastest production EV ever made. Granted, we’re still several years from seeing these claims verified, but we’re happy Tesla is back to shaking things up.

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster 2.0

Aston Martin Valkyrie


Aston Martin Valkyrie Is Getting Ready For Its Close-up - image 722990

Good things happen when motorsport tech finds its way onto the street. Case in point – the Aston Martin Valkyrie. Offered as a collaborative project between Aston and Red Bull racing, the Valkyrie was created with technical input from Adrian Newey, one of the most successful engineers from the world of Formula 1, and the results are staggering. Advanced aerodynamics and composite materials form the base, while a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V-12 hybrid makes over 1,000 horsepower, blessing the machine with a 1-to-1 power-to-weight ratio.

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Mercedes-AMG Project One


2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One - image 730644

Speaking of Formula 1, Mercedes-AMG has its own take on bringing top-echelon performance to the street. It’s called the Project One, and it’s got lots of the same stuff as Lewis Hamilton’s ride. That includes a mid-mounted turbo and hybrid 1.6-liter V-6 that zings all the way to 11,000 rpm, making over 1,000 horsepower along the way. It’s also got adaptive aero and adaptive suspension, while AMG carbon brakes haul it down.

Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One.

Aston Martin Vantage


2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 746486

Might as well toss in something a bit less outrageous in this list. While it might not have four-figure output numbers or record-setting speed, we’re still very thankful for the new second-generation Vantage. I mean, just look at it! It’s got the goods inside to match too, while under that lovely hood line lies a turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 making more than 500 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque to feed the rear wheels. This is the kind of car that’ll make you feel like a secret agent, and for that, we’re grateful.

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vantage.

Koenigsegg Agera RS Sets New Top Speed Record


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 657709

While bold claims from the manufacturer about what a car can do can be fun, the real good stuff happens on pavement. Koenigsegg knows this, and amidst claims of “300 mph” this and “0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds” that, the Agera RS proved its mettle by going 277.9 mph. On a public road, no less. Earlier this month, the Swedes got special permission from the Nevada Department of Transportation to test the top speed of the Agera RS, and in the end, Koenigsegg walked away with a new world title.

Read the full story here.

McLaren F1


1993 McLaren F1 - image 674548

When you break it down, most of the cars on this list owe much of their greatness to this – the McLaren F1. Released in the early ‘90s, the F1 blitzed the competition with a series of firsts. Not only was it the first production car to come equipped with a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and exotic materials like magnesium and titanium, but it also managed to go an astonishing 240 mph in the top end. It held the record of fastest production car on Earth for nearly a decade.

Read our full review on the 1993 McLaren F1.

PostHeaderIcon Is Tesla Working on a Flying Version of the Roadster?

2020 Tesla Roadster

Tesla just unveiled the next-generation Roadster and the preliminary (still theoretical) performance figures are downright shocking. From 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds and a top speed of over 250 mph to a range of at least 600 miles, the second-generation Roadster will move the electric car (and the entire automobile industry for that matter) into a whole new era. Assuming it will live up Elon Musk’s claims, that is! But things got even more interested over the weekend when Musk tweeted that the crazy numbers above are for the base model, with an upgrade to take things up a notch.

“Should clarify that this is the base model performance. There will be a special option package that takes it to the next level,” he said. Holy molly. What does that even mean? Will the Roadster get even quicker that 1.9 seconds to 60 mph? Will the range increase to 700 or 800 miles on a single charge? Are we getting some sort of track-spec model? Is Elon Musk on drugs or something?

But wait, there’s more. On Sunday, Must tweeted again, now saying that the special performance upgrade could enable the Roadster to fly “short hops.” I kid you not; these are his words: “Not saying the next-gen Roadster special upgrade package *will* definitely enable it to fly short hops, but maybe… Certainly possible. Just a question of safety. Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities.”

Is Musk Serious about This?

Continue reading for the full story.

SpaceX Tech for the
Roadster?


Is Tesla Working on a Flying Version of the Roadster? - image 746664
“Tesla already borrowed SpaceX technology for the Model S”

Before you cue the “I’d like some of whatever he’s smoking” jokes, you should know that Musk is also CEO of SpaceX. An aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company established in 2002, SpaceX has many achievements to brag about, including creating the first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit. It was also the first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft, and the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. It has already flown ten missions to the International Space Station and is currently developing a shuttle that would be used by NASA to transport astronauts to the ISS and back.

So needless to say, Musk has access to the “rocket tech” he mentioned. And he already borrowed SpaceX technology for the Model S. But is he serious or just trying to max up the hype around the Roadster? Tesla is already struggling with financial losses — some say the company won’t be able to launch the Roadster and the Semi as soon as it claims — and such a project would create additional strain. Maybe Musk is willing to sacrifice the pinch of stability Tesla has right now for one final shot at glory?

References

Tesla Roadster


Is Tesla Working on a Flying Version of the Roadster? - image 746102

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.


Is Tesla Working on a Flying Version of the Roadster? - image 746100

Read more Elon Musk news.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Tesla’s Uber-fast Roadster Is Proof that Elon Musk Is Desperate

Boy, these past two weeks have been all about high-speed and high-power action. I barely had time to get over Koenigsegg’s new world speed record and Chevrolet launched its monstrous Corvette ZR1 yet. Now, with the weekend upon us, Tesla took the wraps off its new semi truck and the second-generation Roadster. Neither are ready to go into production just yet, but the preliminary data hints at tremendous performance and new benchmarks for the electric car market. The Roadster’s 0-to-60 mph sprint only 1.9 seconds probably caused a few heart strokes over at Ferrari quarters. And I have a feeling that the guys working on the next-generation Nissan GT-R Nismo aren’t feeling better either. But behind Tesla’s new tour de force hides Elon Musk’s fear that his automobile brand may not succeed as planned.

It may seem that Tesla is simply pushing the envelope and presenting the world with revolutionary electric cars, but there’s more to this showcase. Tesla is actually struggling to keep its promises. The new Model 3, which is supposed to become the affordable electric car everyone is dreaming about, is late to the party. Production isn’t going as planned and it seems that the Model X fiasco is happening all over again. On top of that, the Model S isn’t getting the best reviews and Consumer Reports isn’t very optimistic about the Model 3’s reliability. So Tesla needs to find a way to keep all the hype alive, and the upcoming Roadster is the perfect car for this. The strategy is simple, unveiled a cool looking prototype, claim it will hit 60 mph in less than two seconds, set a big preorder price, and wait for the cash to fix ongoing problems.

Continue reading for the full story.

From Affordable to $200K


Pops' Rants: Tesla's Uber-fast Roadster Is Proof that Elon Musk Is Desperate - image 746100

Yup, that’s all it takes. A couple of incredible but fictional performance figures, and everyone will get excited. And some of them will even agree to pay $50,000 reservations for a car they won’t get to drive until 2020. Assuming that Tesla manages to roll the new Roadster out by then. If the Model X and Model 3 are any indication, it won’t happen sooner than 2021, or even 2022.

But that’s not the only issue. Let’s say that I’m wrong and Tesla will get production sorted and everything will be fine and on time. And quality control will improve and Consumer Reports won’t upset Elon Musk ever again. In this perfect scenario, the new Roadster is still a meaningless car. Let’s not forget that Musk’s objective was to deliver an affordable EV for the average Joe. It was supposed to be the Model 3. But it’s not. The Model 3 costs some $30,000 before options, and the nice extras will actually push the sticker beyond the $40,000. At this point, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Bolt are the better options.

And while I can understand that expensive, $200,000 supercars like the upcoming Roadster are used to fund affordable vehicles, it seems that Elon Musk is out to prove that Tesla can make the quickest production car before anything else. With this car, Tesla is basically moving farther away form its professed goal and slowly becoming a disappointment for the electric car industry. The fact that Tesla is the leading automaker in this field makes things that much more frustrating.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster – New vs. Old

Tesla just unveiled the second-generation Roadster and launched a big shock wave around the world. It’s not the Roadster’s return that took us by surprise, but the incredible specs that the car comes with. Not only set to become the quickest production vehicle ever with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of only 1.9 seconds, it also has a 250-mph top speed. The latter is downright spectacular for gasoline-powered supercar and I honestly didn’t think I’d live to see a production EV hit that much. But before we get overly excited, we must remember that the second-gen Roadster won’t become available until 2020. And given Tesla’s habit of delaying production, it may take a bit longer than that.

Many details are still under wraps, but Tesla made sure that all the new Roadster’s spectacular features hit the news. So we now have quite a few figures to compare with the first-generation Roadster. It takes just a quick glance to notice that Tesla made tremendous progress since 2008, and this is exactly why we need to put the numbers next to each other. While the first Roadster marked Tesla’s debut on the market and the beginning of a spectacular career for the California-based brand (albeit sprinkled with plenty of issues), the second Roadster could take Elon Musk’s firm to new heights. If all goes according to plan of course, because it may happen the other way around too.

This comparison is far from complete given that the latest Roadster is far from being a production model, but the aim is to look at Tesla’s progress rather than provide an comprehensive comparo.

Continue reading for the full story.

Exterior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster ”

The design features of the two Roadsters are the easiest to compare, because Tesla released shots of the new car from every angle and the renderings appears to be pretty close to the actual things. The design is definitely doable, includes many of the company’s trademark cues, and I can’t spot too many features that wouldn’t make in on the production model. Speaking of which, have you seen our rendering of the rumored Tesla supercar? We almost nailed it!

The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster. The first-gen car was pretty appealing when it was launched in 2008, but the new design is definitely more spectacular. But that’s far from surprising. The first Roadster had a unique design that did not carry over to the Model S, the company’s second car. It was the Model S that actually inspired the Model X and Model 3, a quick look at the new Roadster reveals quite a few familiar details.

“The new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders”

Also, while the the first Roadster had looks that usually define lightweight sports cars, the new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders, a wider stance, and overall more aggressive fascias. The light units are particularly interesting, sporting a thin, sleek design that’s different than anything else Tesla used so far.

Much like it’s predecessor, the new Roadster ha a targa-type roof layout. But instead of a canvas top, it has a glass roof that can be stowed in the trunk.

Interior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746105

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233851

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“As you'd expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future, the differences are huge”

As you’d expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future (almost 15 years apart), the differences are huge. Again, the first Roadster looked pretty fresh when launched, but it was also rather spartan, mostly because Tesla was aiming at the lightweight sports car segment. The new Roadster is just a rendering for now, but it’s pretty obvious that it will compete in a more premium market. The design is still plain and simple overall, but all that brutshed aluminum, the leather on the seats, and the massive screen in the center stack suggest a higher quality cabin.

The new Roadster will also come with heavily bolstered, modern looking front seats, as well as a pair of second-row seats. The latter is what makes it different compared to the first-gen car, which was a two-seater. This also makes the new Roadster a significantly different vehicle. Instead of an actual successor, this new sports car plays in a different league, offering space for two more passengers and more convenience. The renderings also show carbon-fiber dash and panels, as well as a flat-bottom steering wheel with no buttons and no upper rim, but it remains to be seen if these features make it on the production.

Drivetrain


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745806

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103581

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin”

Based on Tesla’s preliminary specs, the upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin. The first thing that sets them apart the platform. While the first-gen car was built on the same underpinnings as the Lotus Elise and Exige, the second-gen model will ride on a newer platform. There’s no word on whether it will be based on the Model S, but chances are it will be brand-new.

Tesla had nothing to say about the upcoming car’s electric motors, but it did mention all-wheel-drive, which means it will have at least one for each axle. The first Roadster was a rear-wheel-drive car. The new two-door will also be significantly more powerful. No word on output either, but Tesla mentions wheel torque of 7,375 pound-feet. It also claims that the car will be able to hit 60 mph in an incredible 1.9 seconds. That’s two seconds quicker than the standard Roadster (248 horsepower) and 1.8 clicks quicker than the Roadster Sport (288 horsepower). The sprint to 100 mph will be achieved in only 4.2 seconds, just three tenths slower than the first Roadster from 0 to 60 mph!

“At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world”

At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world. Assuming that a quicker vehicle from another automaker won’t be launched until then, but it’s very unlikely to be honest.

Tesla also claims that the new Roadster will have a top speed of 250 mph. That’s nearly as fast as the Bugatti Veyron and faster than any Ferrari, McLaren, or Lamborghini out there. And exactly twice as fast compared to the first-generation Roadster. The quarter mile will be achieved in 8.8 seconds, almost four seconds quicker than the old model. Want more juicy bits? The estimate range for the upcoming car is of 620 miles per charge, compared to up to 244 miles delivered by the old model. I guess it’s goodbye range anxiety in 2020!

Pricing


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745804

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103575

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

The first Roadster was pretty expensive when it was launched in 2008, retailing from around $100,000 (with preorders set at $50,000). But the second-gen car will cost twice as much. Tesla is asking $50,000 for reservations, but the second-gen model will cost $200,000 before options. There will also be a launched edition priced from a whopping $250,000. That’s Ferrari money right there, but somewhat justified given the incredible performance. And despite the high sticker, the second-gen Roadster will definitely sell better than its predecessor, which moved about 2,500 units in almost five years on the market.

Conclusion


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

It’s definitely too early to draw a conclusion in the absence of a production model for the second-gen car, but it’s safe to say that the new Roadster will be a massive improvement over its predecessor. Big improvements are visible in just about any department and the extra comfort features and the two additional seats could finally give Tesla a shot at the supercar market dominated by Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren. And we may even see a host of new world records in the performance and range departments.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Roadster

2020 Tesla Roadster

Back in 2008, a little upstart EV company named Tesla threw a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor into a Lotus Elise and called it the Roadster. It was the very first model to bear the Tesla badge, and it was the first highway-legal series production all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles in a single charge. Now, nearly 10 years and several remarkable models later, Tesla is at it again, revealing a second-generation Roadster in a surprise debut alongside its new all-electric semi truck. While it’s still several years away from hitting public roads, Tesla dropped a variety of specs and numbers for the Roadster 2.0, and long story short, this thing is shaping up to be an absolute monster. If it really can do everything that Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims it can, the second-gen Roadster will set numerous performance records, including quickest to 60 mph, quickest to 100 mph, and quickest in the quarter mile. And that includes internal combustion-based production vehicles, by the way. It’ll also set new standards for EVs in the realms of range per charge and top speed. This is faster than Insane Mode. This is faster than Ludicrous Mode. This, dear readers, is straight up Plaid.

While we knew Tesla had a new Roadster coming down the pipeline, few would have guessed what it might be capable of. We even put together a speculative piece about a potential Tesla supercar a while back, but it turns out the California automaker combined the two ideas into one incredible world-beater. “The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” says Musk. “Driving a gasoline sports car is gonna feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.” Indeed, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is framed as a bona fide halo car, an ultra-quick speed machine that’ll show Tesla’s true performance potential. Read on for the details.

Updated 11/17/2017: Tesla just revealed the new Roadster!

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Tesla Roadster.

Exterior


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746107
  • Most aggressive design Tesla has ever made
  • Compact dimensions
  • Active aerodynamic elements

While the original Roadster showed its Lotus bones through the bodywork, the Roadster 2.0 is all-new. It looks like the progeny of a Model 3 and modern Acura NSX, with the familiar Tesla fascia, now drawn back and pointy with slim arrow-like headlights that fall into hugely flared fenders. The stance is low and wide, with prominent cuts in the lower front bumper, side skirts, and rear end. The proportions move the cabin back, enhancing the front hoodline.

Yeah, you know it looks good. In fact, we’d say we pretty much nailed it with our original Tesla supercar rendering –


2020 Tesla Supercar - image 721328

Note: TopSpeed Tesla Supercar rendering pictured here.

Of course, it’s not the most streamlined Tesla we’ve ever seen, but we like it like that. Drag doesn’t seem to be a major problem here, as you’ll find out in the drivetrain section below. What’s more, it’s obvious the Tesla Roadster 2.0 comes equipped with active aero elements that will surely keep it planted while exploring the car’s absurd speed potential, then recede back to eke out a few more miles while cruising.

Interior


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746109
  • Large touchscreen provides the inputs
  • Highly bolstered sports seats
  • Clean layout and design
  • 2+2 seating arrangement
  • “Capacious” storage space
  • Targa top offers unlimited headroom

The space age aggression continues inside, where we find a simple dash and control layout. The user inputs are dominated by a large touchscreen, which stretches down through the center of the cabin to provide readouts on navigation, road speed, and similar stats. The seats are contoured and highly bolstered, while the color scheme incorporates large swaths of primary colors that enhance the natural “clean” feel of the layout.

The steering wheel is a tiny, rectangular thing that looks like it came straight out of Star Trek. Lots of brushed metal and carbon give it that premium sports vibe you’d want from the segment. There’s also a G meter to show you just how hard you’re bending the laws of physics.

“Lots of brushed metal and carbon give it that premium sports vibe you’d want from the segment. There’s also a G meter to show you just how hard you’re bending the laws of physics.”

However, while you might expect very little practicality from a machine like this, the Roadster 2.0 actually has a lot to offer as a simple means of transport. The seating arrangement accommodates up to four passengers in a 2+2 layout, and while Musk admits that “you can’t put giant people in the rear seat,” the fact is has one at all is pretty impressive. Add to that a “capacious” storage space, undoubtedly mostly thanks to the extended frunk (Tesla’s term for the spot under the hood left empty by the all-electric powertrain), and this thing should be able to swallow enough luggage for at least a weekend getaway.

Finally, a removable targa top opens up the Roadster 2.0 to unlimited headroom. And that’s great, because after all, anyone driving a Tesla obviously cares about enjoying lots of fresh air, right?

Drivetrain


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746108
  • Potentially sets multiple world records
  • 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds
  • 0-to-100 mph in 4.2 seconds
  • Quarter mile in 8.9 seconds
  • 250+ mph top speed
  • 620 miles of range per charge
  • 7,376 pound-feet of torque
  • Three motors, 200-kWh battery

So it looks awesome and the cabin makes you feel like firing off some photon torpedoes. That’s all well and good, but by far the most impressive thing about the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is its powertrain technology. The specs getting tossed around are almost absurd, but if they turn out to be real, the Roadster 2.0 will break multiple world records.

Here’s the score – 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, which would make this Tesla the first production car to break the 2-second barrier in the 0-to-60 mph test. A run from 0-to-100 mph takes 4.2 seconds, another record for production cars. Finally, the quarter mile takes just 8.9 seconds, which would make the all-electric the first production car to break the 9-second barrier in the benchmark.

And take note – these are records for all production cars, not just EVs. Impressed yet?

“These are records for all production cars, not just EVs. Impressed yet? ”

We sincerely hope Tesla can actually follow-through here, and based on the automaker’s resume, it most likely will. After all, the Model S P100D can already hit 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds.

Incredibly, these numbers represent the base model Roadster 2.0, which means Tesla is cooking up even quicker iterations for the future, with a possible reveal hinted at next year.

Now it’s time to talk about the EV-specific records this thing could set. First up – top speed, which is stated to exceed 250 mph top speed. That would make it the fastest production electric car ever made by a huge margin, and place the Roadster 2.0 amongst the fastest of the fast from the world of internal combustion. Range per charge is rated at 620 miles, which is again, the most of any electric car ever made, and a total game-changer for EVs. It would make the Roadster 2.0 the first production all-electric passenger vehicle to do more than 1,000 km at freeway speeds in a single charge. Say goodbye, range anxiety.


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746104
“Torque figures are rated 10,000 Nm, or 7,376 pound-feet, a figure that even Musk agrees is “stupid.””

Making it all work is a new 200-kWh battery pack, which sends its prodigious flow of electrons to three motors, one up front two in the rear, which means it’s also got AWD grip. Horsepower figures are still forthcoming, but apparently torque figures are rated 10,000 Nm, or 7,376 pound-feet, a figure that even Musk agrees is “stupid.”

Finally, torque vectoring helps it handle. We don’t know how much this thing weighs, but we’re guessing it’s probably pretty heavy for its size, so it’s likely not the liveliest thing ever in the corners. Still, 10,000 Nm of torque can fix a lot.

Tesla Roadster 2.0 Performance
0-to-60 mph 1.9 seconds
0-to-100 mph 4.2 seconds
Quarter mile 8.9 seconds
Top speed 250+ mph
Range per charge 620 miles
Battery pack 200 kWh
Electric motors 3 (one in front, two in rear)
Torque 10,000 Nm

Prices

Although previously scheduled for a release in 2019, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 has been pushed back a year to 2020. Tesla is taking reservations now at $50,000 a piece. The final sticker is expected to be around $200,000.

What’s more, Tesla is offering the first 1,000 units as part of the special edition Founder series. Perks for the Founder series are currently unknown, but pricing sees a rise to $250,000, and interested buyers are required to front the full quarter million bucks up front to reserve theirs.

Competition

NextEV NIO EP9


There's A New King Of The Nürburgring And It's Not Who You Think - image 716730

Based out of China, NextEV is already on the EV supercar scene with its NIO EP9. Crafted from carbon fiber, the NIO EP9 does its performance dance thanks to four electric motors producing a combined 1,314 horsepower. Acceleration and top speed can’t touch the Roadster 2.0, with 2.7 seconds to 62 mph and a maximum of 195 mph. However, this thing’s handling might have the Tesla beat, with active suspension and aero helping it pull up to 3 G’s in the twisties.

Rimac Concept_One


2017 Rimac Concept One - image 666768

Here’s another battery-driven slab of speed, this time coming from the Croatian-based manufacturer Rimac. Producing upwards of 1,072 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, the Concept_One can snap off a run to 62 mph in 2.6 seconds, while maxing out at 221 mph. AWD keeps it sticky.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746100

While it’s possible the Tesla Roadster 2.0 will look and go a bit differently when it finally hits the public streets in 2020, odds are this early preview is pretty close to the mark already. And that’s a truly incredible thing, if you think about it. Both competitors listed above are at least four times as expensive, and can’t come close in terms of sheer all-electric muscle. Throw in the fact the Tesla breaks 1,000 km per charge and even has space for luggage, and it quickly becomes obvious that the California automaker is launching a new epoch in the world of the automotive.

It looks like the future just got a whole lot brighter.

  • Leave it
    • Very expensive
    • Still three years out
    • Likely to be delayed multiple times

References


2007 Tesla Roadster - image 233849

Tesla Roadster


2015 Tesla Model S 70D - image 625893

Tesla Model S

Rendering


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 638858

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Makes Surprise Debut Of Next-Gen Roadster

2020 Tesla Roadster 2.0

Following the debut of its new semi truck, Tesla dropped a bombshell with the surprise reveal of its second-generation Roadster. The specs on this thing are simply outlandish – 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, which would make it the first production car to break the 2-second barrier in the test. The sprint to 100 mph will take 4.2 seconds, while the quarter mile is dispatched in 8.9 seconds. Top speed is rated at over 250 mph. Torque output comes to a mind-bending 10,000 Nm (that’s 7,376 pound-feet, by the way). This thing is a world-beater in every single sense, capable of setting multiple world records, and Musk knows it, quipping that the new Roadster is basically a “hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” and that after driving the Roadster 2.0, internal combustion would feel like “a steam engine with a side of quiche.”

No kidding. Not only do the acceleration specs blow away the current crop of dino juice sports cars, but the new Tesla Roadster also has the stamina to back its insane performance. Packing a 200-kWh battery and three motors (yep, its AWD), range-per-charge is an astonishing 620 miles on the highway, which means it would have the most range of any production electric car ever made. Throw in the 2+2 seating arrangement and some decent storage (frunk for the win?), and you can bet the big makes are feeling the heat right about now. And oh yeah, it also looks fantastic, rocking a targa top for extra headroom if you want it. The cherry on top? This is the base model, which means more range and more speed are on the way.

Availability for the second-gen Tesla Roadster is scheduled for 2020. Pricing will be around $200,000, although the first 1,000 units will be dubbed the Founder series and will cost at least $250,000. Reservations are open now, with a $50,000 deposit required for the standard model and the full $250,000 required to reserve a unit from the Founder series.

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