Bugatti's Rimac says Musk's Tesla Roadster acceleration claim 'is possible with thrusters'


  • The new Tesla Roadster will be able to go from 0-60 mph in record time, according to Elon Musk.
  • That’s technically possible, says Bugatti CEO Mate Rimac, but there might be some design compromises.
  • The Rimac Nevera owns the current 0-60 acceleration record for production-line vehicles.

Elon Musk’s ambitious new promises for the long-awaited Tesla Roadster have raised eyebrows — including Bugatti’s CEO’s.

Last week, Musk announced on X, formerly Twitter, that Tesla had “radically increased the design goals for the new Tesla Roadster.” Among the new benchmarks: acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in less than one second — which would be a world record.

Those numbers, while eye-popping, are technically feasible, according to Mate Rimac, CEO of Bugatti Rimac.

Rimac’s own electric sports car, the Nevera, set the current 0 to 60 acceleration record — 1.71 seconds — last year, according to Road & Track.

“It is possible with thrusters,” Rimac acknowledged in a response to a Facebook comment under a photo of the engine for Bugatti’s new Chiron sports car. “We did the simulation.”

However, the Croatian auto executive added that there may be some drawbacks to accelerating that fast.

“Problem is,” he said, “you release the air in 2-3 seconds, and then you have a lot of dead weight that you are carrying around (tanks, compressor, valves, nozzles, etc.)”

Nevertheless, the Bugatti CEO said that thrusters “are really the only way to go” since alternative methods of acceleration, like suction fan technology, would be too impractical. Though a few sports cars have incorporated suction fans, Rimac dismissed the technology due to the Roadster’s weight and the “massive” equipment required.

Musk didn’t elaborate on how the Roadster would be equipped to break Rimac’s record, saying only that the acceleration was “the least interesting part.” Tesla did not return a request for comment before publication.

Previously, the Tesla Roadster was billed as reaching 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, a figure that is still up on Tesla’s website.

Production design on Tesla’s second-generation Roadster is complete, Musk posted, adding that the company expects to formally unveil the vehicle by the end of the year. Tesla aims to start shipping the first production models in 2025.

“I think it has a shot at being the most mind-blowing product demo of all time,” he added.

It’s not the first time the Tesla CEO has made big promises. Tesla weathered criticism last year after Cybertruck drivers pointed out that many of its specifications, including its range and price point, were not what had been initially announced.

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