Tesla has a sort of pattern when it comes to talking about its upcoming launches. Most of the times, it seems like they are playing up the performance of their upcoming cars. But they have a reputation for releasing production vehicles with better specs than initial prototypes. The continuous improvement model that they follow ensures that not only the newly delivered but also the older cars that they sell remain relevant in the market.
Tesla Roadster Standard Vs SpaceX Edition 1.1 Sec Launch Simulation
Hence, when the company announced that the next-generation Roadster will have a 0 to 60 mph (96.5 kph) timing of 1.9 seconds, people got excited. Because, going by the trend, the Roadster may end up achieving an acceleration timing of less than 1.9 seconds. Not long after, CEO Elon Musk mentioned a version of the Roadster better than the already-stunning prototype. Musk, already famous for his crazy ideas, had an out-of-this-world idea for this version of the Roadster. He described a supercar that would be equipped with cold gas thrusters. This would be similar to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The Tesla Roadster SpaceX Package
People call this Roadster with cold gas thrusters the “Tesla Roadster SpaceX Package”. Tesla had put the Roadster SpaceX Package on display at the Petersen Auto Museum in California a few weeks ago. The company teased the 0 to 60 mph (96.5 kph) timing for this special package in the display, revealing a mind-boggling 1.1-second figure.
This puts the Roadster in a whole different league. That is the kind of performance approaching the level of NHRA Top Fuel Dragsters and vehicles used for land speed records, like the Bloodhound SSC. The base variant (yes, the base variant with a 1.9-second acceleration) will exert approximately 1.44G force while accelerating. With the SpaceX package, this goes up to a force of 2.5G. Just for reference, the force that rockets generate at launch is 3G.
The Roadster, even at 1.9 seconds, will be one of the fastest accelerating cars in the world. This SpaceX package would make it even crazier. And if you want to know how crazy it would be, don’t worry – you don’t need to leave it to your imagination.
The 1.1-Second Roadster SpaceX Package Simulation
Former avionics engineer and VFX artist Slav Popovski recently rendered the launch of the Roadster SpaceX Package and simulated it in a stunning 3D video. He shared the simulation comparing the performance of a Roadster SpaceX Package with a base Roadster in a quarter-mile drag race. He simulated the thrusters being on only for 1.1 seconds.
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Here’s an animation I created of a drag race between the Standard Tesla Roadster vs the SpaceX thruster version. Using online figures I simulate the difference between them visually if the thruster is only active for the 1.1 seconds 0-60mph as claimed by Tesla vs the standard 1.9 seconds. The cones at the end of the animation are 1/4 mile markers.. Physics used.. Enjoy and have a great weekend my friends
According to the simulation, the base Roadster completed its quarter-mile in 8.8 seconds. This was somewhat expected according to calculations made for the 1.1-second acceleration. The SpaceX Package, however, completed the distance in just 7.95 seconds. Now, if just 1.1 seconds of rocket thrusters can give this result, think about what it could do with thrusters on for the entire distance.
Tesla Roadster SpaceX Package – Exciting or Scary?
Pushing the limits of what a road-legal supercar can do is very exciting. But if Tesla manages anything even close to this simulation, they may have to implement some serious safety measures. A 1.1-second 0-60 mph launch is not a joke. Elon Musk himself has noted that occupants of the vehicle would likely feel like they are in a “hardcore” roller coaster.
Seeing the Roadster with cold gas thrusters really makes one wonder – will it really come to be? It’s not impossible, with Musk saying that you can put the thrusters in place of the rear row of seats. Musk has repeatedly said that the Roadster will be very close to what you can achieve in a road-legal car. Are gas thrusters the next thing for hyper-performance cars? It’s common for Musk’s visions to adapt over time, and something like this will surely have some regulatory challenges.
For now, we can only wait till we get any more updates from Tesla regarding the launch of this insane vehicle.