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.
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.
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SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket to Launch for the First Time in December; Could Carry Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster Into Space
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.”
Elon Musk Claims The Tesla Roadster Can Go From 0 to 60 Mph in 1.9 Seconds?
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.
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.
Is Tesla Working on a Flying Version of the 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?
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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.
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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.
Tesla Makes Surprise Debut Of Next-Gen Roadster
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.
Is Tesla Bringing Back The Model That Started It All?
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter account is a great follow, largely because he uses it as a tool to drop some pretty important information about the company. Remember that “big announcement” that turned out to be the next-generation Autopilot system? Well, Musk’s at it again when he replied to a question posed by Uber Design Manager Jelle Prins, who asked Musk if Tesla had plans to bring back the Tesla Roadster.
Musk’s reply? “Some years away, but yes.”
The revelation isn’t exactly “new” news because talk of a new Tesla Roadster has been inside the oven for quite some time. In fact, Tesla’s Nordic Countries manager Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen made similar comments back in May when he said that the Roadster will not only make a return, but it would also look “a little different, little faster, and little bigger” than the original model that was sold from 2008 to 2012.
Bardenfleth-Hansen’s comments were significant, but not as important as coming from the man that runs the whole company. With Musk essentially confirming that the Roadster will return, the speculation surrounding the car will undoubtedly pick up steam as more information about it becomes available.
For better or worse though, such information is unlikely to come soon, since, as Musk put it, the model is still “some years away.” In addition, talk of a Roadster wasn’t even included in Tesla’s second “Master Plan” that Musk outlined back in July 2016. Recent rumors about the new Roadster event pegged it for a 2019 debut so that’s still a full two years away.
A lot can happen in that time and while Musk’s comments are the clearest response we’ve had of the new Roadster’s status, additional details about it are obviously most welcome.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
This Tesla Roadster Prototype Could Be Yours For $1 Million
Valued at more than $4 billion, Tesla Motors is among the 100 most valuable brands in the world as of 2016. This spectacular achievement is the result of the success the company had with the Model S and Model X, but it’s also due to the massive investments the company made to create innovative technology that made owning an electric car a much simpler experience. With Tesla experiencing its greatest period yet, some owners are now trying to make a few extra bucks off the company’s increasingly popular name. Specifically, someone listed an early Tesla Roadster prototype on eBay for no less than $1 million.
The vehicle in question was built in 2008 and based on its VIN, is the 32nd Roadster ever made. This makes it one of approximately 33 prototypes built, some of which were destroyed for crash testing. Not only rare, the electric drop-top also features the early gear shift knob not found on most production model and it’s in tip-top condition, with just 18,100 miles on the clock.
Now with its third owner, the Roadster is registered in California and it’s in perfect working condition with a battery range of about 160 miles. The owner claims to have detailed service records, including documentation from when the power module replaced by Tesla’s service center, and says that this specific model was originally used as a marketing vehicle. The car comes with a hard top, soft top, portable charger, and 240V wall charger.
The ad will expire Monday, October 17, unless someone actually pays one million bucks. The "Make Offer" button suggests that the owner is willing to negotiate.
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Teslas ain’t cheap, especially the top-shelf 2015 Tesla Model S P85D. Thankfully, anyone with a few hundred bucks and strong imagination can live the dream with this new 1:18 scale diecast model.
For a scant $210, even folks like you and I can pick up an example of this handheld Model S. Officially commissioned by Tesla, the automaker’s Design Team in California made sure each detail was faithful to the real thing.
It uses the same 3D CAD data that Tesla used to manufacture the full-size Model S, accurately recreating each line and surface with exacting precision. Included is a panorama roof, rear spoiler, “21-inch” steerable wheels and rubber tires. Even the cabin space looks spot-on, with a carpeted trunk and interior, seatbelts made from fabric, a fully detailed dash, central touchscreen and rear third-row seats. Articulation points include opening doors, trunk and hood.
The model is assembled from roughly 270 individual plastic and metal parts. It’s 10.82 inches long and 4.72 inches wide and weighs 2.75 pounds. Two configurations are offered, with either a Midnight Silver Metallic exterior and Grey Turbine wheels with a black interior and carbon-fiber trim, or a Red Multi-Coat exterior and Silver Turbine wheels with a tan interior and Obeche trim.
The 1:18 scale model is sold exclusively through Tesla. Unfortunately, supplies are currently sold out as of this writing. Look for overpriced and overhyped examples to trickle down to online auctions soon.
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It’s a question that both electric car and RC car fans have been asking for decades: "If we’ve already got all these great electric radio-control race cars, why are auto manufacturers constantly trying to reinvent the wheel in terms of electric car design? Why doesn’t someone just take a 1/10th scale electric racer, and make it 10 times bigger?" Seems like a simple enough solution, doesn’t it? But making small things bigger often takes someone who isn’t afraid to think big: enter Elon Musk.
In this article, we’re going to compare two cars that at first blush seem very different — but look a bit closer, and you’ll find that they have a lot more in common than not. Both are high-dollar, top-echelon electric cars with surprisingly similar chassis architecture. Both use all-wheel drive, stupid-powerful electric motors, lithium batteries, sophisticated electronic controls and advanced aerodynamics, and both are far and away the fastest, coolest and most desirable vehicles in their niches. They even share the same iPhone compatibility, and eerily similar "digital dashboards."
So, is the 2015 Tesla Model S P85D a scaled-up Traxxas XO-1 Supercar, or is the Traxxas a 1/7th scale Tesla? How different and how similar are these cars, exactly? The answers might surprise you.
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Power comes in many forms, but it’s hard to find two cars that epitomize horsepower and performance quite like the 2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat and the 2015 Tesla Model S P85D. And though the two represent the fastest American-made sedans, you couldn’t find two cars more different in their deliveries of their power.
To see how different they are and celebrate their pure awesomeness, MotorTrend has pitted the pair on the drag strip and on some curvy California back roads. Who’s the winner? You’ll have to watch the video for that.
The cars? Yeah, we’ll cover that here.
The Tesla Model S P85D represents the baddest Model S money can buy, and hands-down, the quickest (and fastest) production electric car on the planet. Unlike the standard Model S, the P85D comes with dual electric motors – one on each axle – with a combined 691 horsepower and 687 pound-feet of torque. That translates to a 3.2-second sprint to 60 mph, all while not releasing one ounce of emissions. You could say it gets the green in more ways than one.
The Hellcat, on the other hand, is a snarling, rip-roaring, V-8, monster of a beast with a whopping 707 horsepower and a staggering 650 pound-feet of torque. Its supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 sends power to the rear wheels through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The Hellcat does the sprint to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. Sure, there’s a 0.5-second difference in times between the two, but who cares when there’s that ferocious V-8 thundering from the dual exhaust?
This is a great Head 2 Head from the boys at MT.