Which is better, the Tesla Roadster or a banana? This is the question electric car enthusiasts have been grappling with this week, after Elon Musk took the wraps off the upcoming high-end sports car.
Announced at the same event as the Tesla Semi electric truck last Thursday, the Roadster is expected to set a number of records when it launches in 2019. It offers acceleration speeds of 0-60 miles per hour in just 1.9 seconds, 0-100 miles per hour in just 4.2 seconds, and a range of 620 miles per charge thanks to a 200 kilowatt-hour battery. All this comes at a price, though, with a base price of $200,000. There’s even talk that one day, it could fly.
Musk used a lot of superlatives during his speech, describing it as the fastest car with the furthest range, all with the latest technology. Soon after the event was over, the internet started making humorous comparisons to remind us that the new car isn’t really all that.
These kinds of jokes, aimed at stripping away the hype around a product, have a long history online. After the iPhone 3G was announced in 2008, a meme circulated comparing the phone to a stone from 40,000 B.C., with the iPhone only just winning because it has a touchscreen:
A similar meme started this year that compared the iPhone X price to items like the entire Cracker Barrel menu, or 640 chicken wings from KFC.
The Roadster meme seems to have started from a post in the Tesla subreddit. A user called BasharK shared an image on Sunday entitled “Tesla vs Bugatti,” comparing the new Roadster to the Bugatti Chiron. The post received over 43,000 upvotes:
Although the above image shows the car winning, this trend was quickly reversed. In this image uploaded to KnowYourMeme, the Roadster loses in a comparison with the 1996 Toyota Previa:
It also doesn’t stack up that well against the Mazda MX-5:
On Tuesday, a Reddit user called DutyCorp shared a Tesla Roadster comparison on the “MemeEconomy” subreddit, a subsection dedicated to discussing memes as if they were stock market investments — obviously. The post, titled “Tesla Roadster memes are rising. Invest!” has over 21,000 upvotes:
The vehicle also fails to hold its own against the Blu-ray edition of Shrek the Third:
The car also struggles against an old battle foe:
The new Roadster does wipe the floor in a face-off with 200 iPhone X devices:
The Roadster is still pretty impressive, but it’s not immune from internet snark.