Elon Musk‘s Twitter presence made the news again on August 19, 2020, when he replied to a tweet saying, “New Roadster wheels will only have one nut.” Roadster fans were in a frenzy over this new information. 

Musk is known for his eccentric updates on twitter, and this time he was replying to a tweet from a space-related page which said, “Old engineer’s saying: “What holds with 4 screws, holds with 3 too.” 

Adding to the thread, Musk mentioned that the upcoming (second-generation) Tesla Roadster wheels would feature a single nut only. Adding to the twitter thread were fans who tried to explain the technology, and other people trying to make below-the-belt jokes. 

Replying to one such explanatory tweet, Musk said, “Yes, it will have huge nuts haha” in a rather humorous fashion. 

Single-nut wheel technology

Known formally as the ‘center lock system,’ the single-nut wheel technology is used by professional racing automobiles like Formula1 and NASCAR. It was first introduced in the early 1900s by Rudge-Whitworth and was called “QD” for being quickly-disconnectable. 

Compared to lug nuts, center-lock wheels and hubs are better suited for racing because they can be removed and attached faster during pit stops, allow hub designs with more space for large brake discs and have greater strength when properly installed. 

Due to the center locks’ continued association with racing and high performance, some automobile manufacturers and tuners install center lock wheel and hub systems on road-going sports cars.