With 150 Roadsters delivered to customers and another 1,100 people on the waiting list, Tesla decided now's the time to release a more performance-oriented version its Elise-based EV. The Tesla Roadster Sport features a hand-wound stator that increases winding density to help eliminate resistance while increasing peak torque. In conjunction with a set of Yokohama Ultra High Performance tires (likely the same Advan A048s fitted to the Elise/Exige), Tesla claims a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds – 0.2-seconds faster than the standard Roadster. The Roadster Sport also benefits from a few other Lotus-derived components, including adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars that can be tweaked to suit the driver's tastes.

Deliveries of the Roadster Sport will begin in late June, with a starting price of $128,500 in the US and €112,000 (excluding VAT) in Europe. Customers on the waiting list for their "base" Roadster have the option to upgrade to the Sport model, but if you're looking for more stick, a nice set of Ohlins, some aftermarket sway bars and a new set of tires could be had for considerably less than the $28,000 premium of the Sport model.

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PRESS RELEASE

SAN CARLOS, Calif.--Tesla Motors Inc. began taking orders today for the Roadster Sport, a high-performance sports car based on the world's leading all-electric, zero-emission vehicle.

The Roadster Sport does 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, compared with 3.9 seconds for the standard Roadster. It comes with a hand-wound stator and increased winding density for lower resistance and higher peak torque. In addition to Yokohama's Ultra High Performance tires, the Roadster Sport has improved suspension with adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars that will be tuned to the driver's preference.

The Roadster Sport starts at $128,500 in the United States and €112,000 (excluding VAT) in Europe. Deliveries begin in late June.

"This car can beat nearly anything in its price class – yet it is twice as efficient as compact hybrid sedans," said Michael van der Sande, Tesla's senior vice president of global sales, service and marketing. "If you refuse to compromise on performance or the environment, the Roadster Sport is your only option."

The Roadster Sport is the first derivative of Tesla's proprietary, patented powertrain. San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla plans to begin producing the all-electric, zero-emission Model S five-passenger sedan in 2011.

Tesla has delivered more than 150 Roadsters to customers, and about 1,100 people are on the waiting list. Customers who haven't taken delivery may upgrade to the Roadster Sport.

"The Roadster Sport embodies Tesla's spirit of continuous improvement," said CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk. "The Roadster has been a great success, but no one at this company remains satisfied with the status quo."