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Tesla aims for Roadster ‘hover’ test with SpaceX package late next year, Elon Musk says

Tesla’s timeline for the new Roadster appears to be slipping and we got another indication of that as CEO Elon Musk says that Tesla plans to ‘maybe’ do a ‘hover’ test of the new Roadster with SpaceX package ‘late next year’.

When first unveiling the vehicle, Tesla claimed a list of impressive specs for its new Roadster, including 0-60 mph in 1.9 sec, 620-mile of range, and more.

The CEO has been also teasing those specs as the “base specs” and other versions should have even crazier performance.

Later, he even said that Tesla will offer a ‘SpaceX package’ that will include cold air thrusters.

At first, the CEO said that these thrusters, which basically amount to small rocket engines, will “dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking and cornering”, but he also said that it would “maybe even allow a Tesla to fly.”

He talked about the Tesla Roadster even being able to hover over the ground.

We asked Musk when we could see a demonstration of that capability and the CEO said that it likely won’t happen until the end of next year:

When he first unveiled the new Tesla Roadster, he set a timeline to production for 2020, but he recently hinted at that timeline is possibly slipping.

Recently, Musk tempered expectations when it comes to the timing of the release of the new Tesla Roadster – saying that it is not a priority.

Yet, the CEO has been open to talking about the vehicle and its ‘SpaceX’ package. Earlier this week, he said that Tesla Roadster’s SpaceX thruster will be hidden behind the license plate.

Electrek’s Take

I really want to see a demonstration of the SpaceX package on the new Tesla Roadster.

As far as I know, no automaker has ever released a car with cold air thrusters and I want to see what it would look like and how it would affect performance.

However, by asking about a test of the hardware, I was also trying to get an idea of the new timeline for the Roadster.

If they are not planning to test the SpaceX package until the end of 2020, we shouldn’t be expecting production until 2021, which I think was already the expectation after Elon’s most recent comments.

As previously stated, I agree with Elon that the new Roadster shouldn’t be a priority for Tesla since it can’t move the needle on electrification as much as other vehicles like the Model Y or Tesla Pickup, but I also think that they should try to respect their commitments if they want to take reservations with deposits, which they have been doing for the new Roadster.

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