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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tesla Refines its Breakthrough Electric Roadster

USA Today

For a company that hasn't sold that many cars, you wouldn't expect Tesla would be ready for an upgrade. But now comes what it says is its fourth-generation roadster, the 2.5. The timing couldn't be better, coming the same week as Tesla's initial stock offering.

The model features some cosmetic changes, interior improvements and a larger touch-screen. The front clip and rear diffuser have been refreshed, supposedly to resemble stylistic cues on the upcoming Model S. Other exterior changes include new forged wheel designs.

Under the hood, the 2.5 Roadster gets improved sound-deadening materials and something called "power control hardware" that allows the driver to maintain a vigorous driving style even under severely hot temperatures. And inside?:

Inside, the Roadster gets improved seats that include larger bolsters and a new lumbar system for better comfort. The optional navigation system has been upgraded to a 7-inch screen with a backup camera; last year's was a tiny in-dash unit.

The 2.5 Roadster will be available at Tesla stores shortly. If you're already one of the 1,000-plus owners of a Roadster, you can get many of the new features on your vehicle if you are willing to upgrade, according to Tesla.