“If somebody doesn’t maintain their flying car, it could drop a hubcap and guillotine you,” Musk said in a February interview with Bloomberg. “Your anxiety level will not decrease as a result of things that weigh a lot buzzing around your head.”
In April, Musk repeated the “guillotine” line TED conference in Vancouver.
“This is not some inherent bias against flying things but there is a challenge with flying cars in that they’ll be quite noisy, the wind force generated will be very high, let’s just say that if something’s flying over your head, if there are a a whole bunch of flying cars all over the place, that is not an anxiety-reducing situation.
“You don’t think to yourself, ‘well, I feel better about today.’ You’re thinking, ‘did they service their hubcap? Or is it going to come off and guillotine me as they’re flying past?’”
“‘Did they service their hubcap? Or is it going to come off and guillotine me as they’re flying past?’”
It offers acceleration times of 0-100 in 4.2 seconds, a quarter mile in 8.8 seconds, and a 200kWh battery pack capable of running for 620 miles on a single charge.
The new Roadster — unveiled at the Tesla Semi truck launch — promises a staggering list of record-beating specs when it launches in 2019 at a starting price of $200,000.
“We started Tesla with a sports car, the Tesla Roadster. That baby got us going. It was the foundation of the whole company,” Musk said. “People have asked us for a long time, ‘When are you going to make a new roadster?’ We are making it now.”
The earliest this new Roadster will arrive isn’t for a few years, though. Musk said the sports car won’t hit the streets until 2020, but naturally, one can reserve one today, via a “Founders Series” vehicle will sells for $250,000. More details about that quarter-million-dollar Roadster won’t be out until next year, Musk said: “We’re gonna talk about things beyond base maybe next year sometime.”
“‘When are you going to make a new roadster?’ We are making it now.”
Not everyone was too pleased about Musk’s attempt to drum up hype on Twitter around the forthcoming electric car.
“Settings expectations high again I see,” the Model 3 Owners Club fansite responded, going on to name various promised features of the $35,000 Tesla Model 3 that launched this summer which were missing from the final design, like a “spaceship” steering wheel.
Quite how Musk plans to develop a “short hop” Roadster while avoiding the “guillotine hubcap” issue remains to be seen, but it seems that safety is the main reason why Tesla has avoided joining the likes of Google co-founder Sergey Brin in exploring the technology. There’s also the distinct possibility that Musk, ever the salesman, is trying to drum up reservations in the days following the debut of the Roadster.
Either way, we probably shouldn’t expect a flying Tesla taxi along the lines of what Uber’s developing.