Musk Reads: Tesla Model Y Rumors Reach Overdrive

Plus, SpaceX survives a big landing and The Boring Company's new machine draws closer.

Musk sparks Tesla Model Y speculation; SpaceX’s Falcon 9 survives a challenging landing; and The Boring Company’s second machine is about to come online. It’s Musk Reads #67.

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Musk Quote of the Week

“The past couple of years have been … particular last year was meme city”

Read more about Musk’s trip to meme city here.

Tesla alloy wheels

Tesla

Is Tesla about to launch the Model Y? Tesla’s entry-level SUV, first detailed in the company’s second master plan, may be on the verge of some news, as Musk teased a new Tesla announcement coming later this week. The company was previously expected to unveil the Model Y some time in March, ahead of a production start in the first half of 2020. Read more.

Volvo’s electric car brand Polestar announced its first all-electric vehicle this week, designed to directly compete with the Tesla Model 3. Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar, said during the company’s unveiling that “the buzz around the Tesla Model 3 showed where electromobility is relevant for society today.” The $63,000 car will face an uphill battle against the Model 3, which set sales records in the United States. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is set to make its mysterious announcement at 2 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday, February 28.

More Tesla reads from this week:

  • Tesla’s Latest Product Uses Solar Energy to Protect Against Power Cuts. Read more.
  • VW’s New Electric Van Is a Chunky Boi. Read more.
SpaceX landing

SpaceX

Musk’s space-faring firm completed its highest re-entry heating ever last week as its Falcon 9 came in to land after sending up the world’s first private lunar lander. The touchdown on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship was completed despite “challenging conditions.” The same rocket previously flew on missions in July and October. Read more.

Musk also provided more details this week about how humans may grow food on Mars. The CEO advocates the use of hydroponics, growth without soil, which is a technique previously used to efficiently grow plants in New York City and prepare for the apocalypse. Beyond growing plants, the first humans on Mars will also need to set up a propellant production plant. Read more.

What’s Next for SpaceX: The firm is expected to test its Crew Dragon pod for the first time ever as part of an unmanned demonstration. It will take off at 2:49 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday, March 2, on board a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The plan is to send 400 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station.

Godot Boring Company Boring Machine
Godot Boring Company Boring Machine

The Boring Company

The firm’s next tunnel-digging machine could arrive as early as next month. “Line-Storm,” named after a Robert Frost poem, follows on from the company’s first machine, the equally literary “Godot.” A third machine, which Musk described as “aspirationally 10X better,” is set to debut later this year. Musk explained, however, that the top priority is “getting to [up to 150 mph] high speed, tight follow distance in test tunnel” rather than completing the new machine. After a report this week claimed Chicago is cooling to the idea of letting the firm build a link to the airport, it may be a while before “Line-Storm” sees any action. Read more.

Elon Musk meme review

Musk in Pop Culture

Musk made his long-awaited debut on Meme Review this week, joined by Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland. The pair appeared on the PewDiePie-hosted show and ranked memes out of 10, with Musk laughing hysterically at a meme involving a deer in a pool. This appearance was followed by an update to stankmemes.com, the Musk-owned website that now displays an image of a chicken on an ax. Read more.

Photo of the Week

Tesla’s “Dog Mode” gets a warm reception:

More Musk reads from this week:

  • Elon Musk Says Bitcoin’s “Brilliant” Structure Has One Key Flaw. Read more.

The Ultra-Fine Print

This has been Musk Reads #67, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

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A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Tesla Unveils Dog Mode for Electric Cars
Media via Flickr / cchana, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Elon Musk, mahkus11, Tesla