Science fiction is coming to life.
Tesla has every intention for its second-generation Roadster to be a hypercar killer. With a claimed 0-62 mph time of just 1.9 seconds and more than 7,000 lb-ft of torque, the next Roadster, due by 2021, will also reportedly have a top speed exceeding 250 mph. On paper, this thing sounds more like a rocket ship than a land vehicle, and perhaps that's exactly the point. As we already know, the next Roadster will incorporate some SpaceX tech by way of a "SpaceX package" that'll include cold air thrusters.
According to Elon Musk, these thrusters, which are essentially small rocket engines, will "dramatically improve acceleration, top speed, braking, and cornering." Heck, Musk even hinted the Roadster could hover over the ground, similar to the DeLorean time machine. It sure as hell sounds cool.
What also sounds cool is the hidden location of those thrusters. As first reported by Electrek, Musk just replied to a Twitter user who shared some fan art of the Tesla Roadster fused with a "Back to the Future"-inspired SpaceX package. All Musk would state is that the "SpaceX thruster packager will be subtle. Hidden behind license plate." Okay, so no Mr. Fusion. We can live with that. Rocket thrusters hidden behind the license plate? That's actually more James Bond than Doc Brown.
An earlier report claimed the SpaceX package would involve the removal of the rear seat in order to make space for the air tank and compressor. While that's certainly still possible, Tesla has yet to officially clarify anything.
What Tesla will be more than happy to do is take customer deposits. Anyone who wants the "base" 2021 Roadster will need to fork over $50,000 towards the $200,000 total purchase price. The limited edition Founder's Series carries a base price of $250,000, but Tesla is requesting payment in full for all pre-orders. No word yet how much the SpaceX package will cost but it could be totally worth it for those hidden thrusters alone.