Rimac Validates Tesla Roadster's Ambitious Thruster Goals: A New Hypercar Benchmark?

By Kevin Armstrong
Roadster Vs Nevera Soon!
Roadster Vs Nevera Soon!

The electric hypercar realm is witnessing the beginning of an unbelievable hypercar rivalry. Up for grabs is the fastest production car in the world, which is also electric. In one corner is the reigning, defending hypercar champion, Rimac’s Nevera. In the other corner is Tesla's forthcoming Roadster SpaceX Edition.

The Battle for Hypercar Hegemony

Elon Musk's late-night revelations earlier this week have promised a next-generation Roadster that defies conventional automotive norms, particularly with hints at rocket thruster-enhanced performance that will launch the car from 0-60 mph in less than one second. His posts caught much attention, including those of Mate Rimac, CEO of Rimac Automobili.

..it is possible with thrusters. We did the simulation… - Mate Rimac

Rimac is a pivotal figure in the hypercar world, renowned for blending high performance with electric propulsion. When asked about Tesla's audacious acceleration claim, he weighed in with a blend of technical insight and real-world pragmatism. His perspective is not just academic; it's grounded in the tangible realities of engineering and physics that govern high-performance vehicles.

Fast but Heavy, Light but “Slow”

Rimac acknowledged the feasibility of Tesla's target, citing thrusters as a viable means to surpass traditional acceleration benchmarks. However, he underscored the inherent trade-offs, noting the considerable weight of the necessary equipment—tanks, compressors, valves, and nozzles—that, while contributing to initial acceleration, become dead weight after that.

Rimac also points out another flaw: “Plus, the car has to be super light as otherwise, you can’t create a lot of excess downforce with the fans as the tires would be overloaded very fast with any kind of car with “normal supercar” weight, especially electric. And then again, you are carrying the weight with you when you are not doing 0-100. So thrusters are really the only way to go. But it brings a lot of downsides as well.”

Nevera, costing approximately $2.5 million, dominates the scene with more than 1,800 horsepower and its record-shattering performances, including an extraordinary 0-60 mph time of 1.74 seconds and a 0-400 km/h sprint in 21.31 seconds. When Nivera posted these incredible numbers, Musk was asked if the Roadster could beat the time and responded: lol.

Beyond the Numbers

Rimac's acknowledgment of the technical hurdles associated with Tesla's approach does not detract from the potential impact of the Roadster. Instead, it adds a layer of credibility to the discussion, grounding it in the realities of automotive engineering. It's a reminder that the quest for unparalleled acceleration involves balancing the thrill of speed with the practicalities of vehicle design and functionality.

This dialogue between Tesla and Rimac marks a significant moment in the EV industry. Tesla's pursuit of the ultimate performance EV with the new Roadster places it in direct conversation with Rimac. This company has consistently pushed the boundaries of what electric hypercars can achieve. The interaction underscores a broader theme in the automotive world: the relentless pursuit of innovation, where companies like Tesla and Rimac are not just competing but also learning from each other.

With both companies poised to innovate further and redefine what's possible, the rivalry between Tesla's Roadster and Rimac's Nevera is more than a contest of speed—it's a testament to the relentless pursuit of innovation that drives the electric vehicle industry forward. The Roadster is to start deliveries in 2025. Odds are the first place it will be is on the track beside a Nevera!

Tesla Is Removing Steam Gaming in New Model S and Model X Vehicles

By Karan Singh

Tesla is no longer including Steam support in any of its newer Model S and Model X vehicles, according to messages received by customers who are awaiting deliveries of the flagship vehicles.

Tesla previously introduced the Steam beta to newer versions of the Model S and Model X refreshes which had 16GB of RAM as part of the 2022 Holiday Update. This update didn’t support slightly older vehicles with only 8GB of RAM, but a retrofit was available for $2,000 USD.

Tesla No Longer Supporting Dedicated GPUs?

The Cybertruck also did not receive a dedicated graphic processing unit (GPU), with many people noting that they did not have access to Steam on their Foundation-series Cybertrucks and GreenTheOnly later confirmed the Cybertruck did not include a GPU. The Cybertruck also shipped with only 8GB of RAM, matching the Model 3 and Model Y MCU 3 versions based on AMD Ryzen chips.

This could be an indication that Tesla is phasing out the GPUs, as well as the larger RAM packages that came bundled with their top-end vehicles, likely due to cost-cutting, hardware streamlining, and optimization.

Tesla is removing Steam support on newer vehicles
Tesla is removing Steam support on newer vehicles
Randall

Future of Steam Support

While the AMD Ryzen RDNA-2 APUs that are built into every Tesla MCU are quite powerful and very capable of rendering 3D or 2D graphics when in mobile configurations, there has been a distinct lack of Steam support on other vehicles, due to the 8GB of RAM.

Given the removal of GPUs from the flagship vehicles, there is also a chance that the RAM on newer Model S and X vehicles will also be facing a reduction similar to the Cybertruck. The Steam Beta could very well be on its way out.

The other possible alternative would be an updated Steam Beta that supports 8GB of RAM, and does not require a powerful GPU, as people may not do too much hardcore gaming on their vehicles.

Gaming Alternatives

Some gaming applications still live on in Tesla’s Arcade Mode, including the ever-popular Cuphead, Sky Force Reload, and Vampire Survivors. We previously discussed Tesla’s lack of Google Casting and Apple Airplay, but a fantastic alternative would be providing HDMI pass-through support on the Glovebox USB-C port.

Imagine being able to connect your phone to Tesla’s displays and gaming on a much larger 19” screen (screen size comparison) as seen on the Cybertruck.

The Future of Tesla Compute

Elon Musk mentioned in the 2024 Tesla Earnings Call that the unused compute power of Tesla vehicles not being driven was equivalent to a larger computing system like Amazon’s AWS. One idea floated by Musk was to use the computers of parked vehicles to conduct inference, data processing, and other tasks – selling the compute capabilities of vehicles to external organizations, while also paying back the owner.

Tesla Releases FSD v12.4: New Vision Attention Monitoring, Improved Strike System With Update 2024.9.5

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla has just rolled out its latest FSD software, v12.4 to employees. Elon Musk announced that this update would be available to employees this past weekend, with plans to release it to the public in small numbers later this week.

Surprisingly, the new update is version 2024.9.5, which is likely based on the earlier 2024.8 branch and not Tesla's latest 2024.14. The spring update (2024.14) brings various new features such as a new media player, a new parked visualization, Audible support, and a Preview of Sentry Mode events, among others.

However, FSD v12.4 brings its own excitement with two new major changes.

Vision-Based Attention Monitoring

The release notes show a new Vision-Based Attention Monitoring feature that replaces the steering wheel nag as Musk previously mentioned.

However, as we predicted, Tesla will still leverage the steering wheel to detect attentiveness when the cabin camera is inconclusive.

The car can only rely on the vehicle's cabin camera, and therefore remove the steering wheel nag under certain conditions:

  • the camera is not occluded

  • there is sufficient lighting

  • the driver is looking forward

  • the driver is not wearing sunglasses

  • the driver is not wearing a low-brim hat or another object that covers their eyes

If any of these situations occur, or if the vehicle doesn't have a cabin camera, then the vehicle will continue to use the steering wheel to determine driver attention.

Tesla is careful to state that images and video from the cabin camera are not saved or transmitted unless you enable data sharing.

Updated Strike System

With FSD v12.4, Tesla has also updated its Autopilot Suspension feature which is designed to enforce the responsible use of FSD.

The current system lets the driver receive up to five strikes (three strikes for vehicles without a cabin camera) before Autopilot and FSD become unavailable. If that happens, then FSD is unavailable for one week. Strikes are only removed once the driver has accrued five strikes, or when Tesla wipes out strikes for everyone, which happens about twice a year.

The new system is more gracious about removing strikes. The vehicle will continue to issue strikes whenever the driver isn't paying attention, however, now the vehicle will gradually remove strikes for the driver after a certain period of time.

Tesla states that one strike will be removed for each 7-day period the driver goes without receiving a strike. So if FSD gets disabled due to strikes, the driver will still go one week without FSD, although now strikes are removed on an ongoing basis. This new strike system is expected to apply to vehicles with and without a cabin camera.

Other New Features

Other new features are expected in FSD 12.4 as well, which we outlined in our look at Tesla's FSD v12.4 article.

They include a focus on improved driver comfort by reducing the amount of hard braking, automatically seeking a parking spot when arriving at a destination and more. Driver interventions are also expected to be drastically reduced with Musk stating that Tesla expects to see a 5-10x improvement in interventions.

Eligibility

Unfortunately, due to FSD v12.4 being on branch 2024.9, it's expected to only be available to owners on update 2024.8 and below, which includes everyone currently on update 2024.3.25.

If no major issues are found with FSD v12.4, we could see it start to roll out to the public later this week.

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