Elon Musk is tweeting again, which most of us automatically associate with some sort of news, controversy, or just plain weirdness at this point. This time he tried to poke fun at the name of Porsche’s new electric sports car, the Taycan Turbo, and quickly found himself on the receiving end of some rather comedic backlash yesterday. It is not often that we see Elon Musk get a good roast, but it can certainly be entertaining when it happens.
It all started when the Tesla CEO dropped a short tweet directed straight to Porsche.
Apparently Musk has a problem with Porsche’s use of the word ‘Turbo’ as a part of the name of their new electric sports car.
The Problem with ‘Turbo’
So what exactly is the problem? The issue Musk (and many others) finds with the word is that it is generally used to describe a function that has nothing to do with electric cars.
‘Turbo’ is short for ‘turbocharger’, which is a specialized air pump that uses an engine’s exhaust gases to drive a turbine, and that turbine packs more of the fresh air/fuel mixture back into the engine. More of that air/fuel mix in the engine means more power, and the exhaust created keeps the cycle going. The whole concept is built around an internal combustion engine, and an electric motor has none of the necessary parts or operations which a turbocharger would need to work.
There are some who argue that ‘turbo’ has evolved to mean something fast or that has a lot of power, at least colloquially. These folks feel that the term implies that the Taycan Turbo is fast, and that Porsche is not doing anything wrong by using it.
Then there are others, those who are offended that Porsche would dare use the abbreviation for ‘turbocharger’ to describe a car without a combustion engine, let alone an actual turbocharger.
Trolls Emerge for an Elon Musk Roast
Regardless of where one stands on the ‘turbo’ issue, it is hard to take someone’s criticism of the use of loosely defined words seriously when they regularly do the same. And the Twitterverse was quick to point that out.
Thousands arrived to remind Musk what terms such as ‘autopilot’, ‘supercharger’, ‘funding secure’, ‘profit’, ‘full self-driving’, and others actually mean.
The reasoning behind Musk’s attempted roast of Porsche is unknown. It could have just been for the attention it garnered since the man honestly seems to enjoy stirring the pot just to see what sorts of reactions he can get sometimes. It could have been an honest defense of the dictionary definition of a word. Or maybe he felt a little threatened by his competitor and wanted to make himself feel superior to them in some way. Whatever the reason, he got the chance to put on a Twitter show once again.
There are better uses of your time, though, Mr. Musk.