"Not saying the next gen Roadster special upgrade package *will* definitely enable it to fly short hops, but maybe..." the executive says.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is apparently considering rocket technology for the next-gen Roadster
The executive has clarified that the Roadster's unprecedented acceleration target of zero-to-62 mph in 1.9 seconds represents the base configuration. The company will offer a special option package "that takes it to the next level."
With his attention shared between Tesla and SpaceX, Musk seems to be dreaming of a Roadster that employs some type of thruster to overcome the limitations of tire adhesion under acceleration.
"Not saying the next gen Roadster special upgrade package *will* definitely enable it to fly short hops, but maybe ... " he wrote on Twitter. "Certainly possible. Just a question of safety. Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities."
The comment hints at a technology inspired by jet/rocket assisted take-off systems used in aircraft to reduce runway length requirements. Use of such systems in cars has already been subject to an urban legend and explored on MythBusters.
It would be easy to dismiss such comments as fantasy, however Musk has a record of turning his jokes into serious business. 'Flying cars' have experienced a resurgence in recent years, benefiting from improvements in batteries and electric propulsion systems. In theory, an electric ducted fan could also be employed by a terrestrial automobile increase g-force under acceleration or while cornering.