Elon Musk wants Tesla’s new sports car to make 007 proud.
The billionaire electric-car tycoon said he’s working on tricking out the forthcoming Tesla Roadster with rocket technology so it can hover above the ground.
“I’m trying to figure out how to make this thing hover without, you know, killing people,” Musk said on an episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast released Thursday.
“I thought like maybe we could make it hover but, like, not too high, so like maybe it can hover like a meter above the ground or something like that,” he added. “If you plummet, you blow out the suspension but you’re not gonna die.”
Tesla has been working on an updated version of the Roadster — the company’s first mass-market electric car — for several years.
The Silicon Valley company expects to finish engineering the model this year and hopes to start shipping it in 2022, according to Musk.
The Roadster would be able to move through the air while floating above the ground if Musk’s hovering experiments are successful, he said. He claimed Tesla will offer a “SpaceX option package,” apparently named for Musk’s rocket company, that will equip the car with a highly pressurized fuel vessel and “a bunch of thrusters.”
If the hovering doesn’t work out, the Roadster could still have rear thrusters that would make it “move like a bat out of hell” on the road, Musk said.
“At minimum I’m confident we could do a thruster where the license plate flips down, you know, James Bond-style, and then the rocket thruster behind it, and that gives you three tons of thrust,” he said.
Tesla first unveiled the new Roadster in 2017. The following year, SpaceX launched Musk’s personal Roadster into space. The car passed Mars for the first time last fall.
Tesla shares were down 0.6 percent in premarket trading at $807.09 as of 7 a.m. Friday.