• Jul 1st 2010 at 11:29AM
  • 42
Tesla Roadster 2.5 – Click above for high-res image gallery

In conjunction with the opening of its two newest stores in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Newport Beach, California, Tesla has unveiled the fourth major production iteration of its only current product, the Roadster. Dubbed the Roadster 2.5, in proper Southern California fashion, the revised electric sports car gets a nose job and fanny lift.

Up front, the latest Roadster gets a reshaped grille similar to the one found on the Model S that reflects Tesla's design language going forward. At the back, a new rear bumper now incorporates a diffuser element, although it's not known if it actually generates any downforce. Inside, the seats have again been reworked to improve comfort, and the finish of surfaces has been improved to better reflect the car's price tag. A seven-inch touchscreen display with a backup camera is available as an option, and it should viewed as a welcome addition for Roadster drivers to protect that new rear end.

There don't appear to be any powertrain changes to the 2.5 and no information about pricing has been revealed. Some of the upgrades will apparently be available to current owners that want to retrofit their cars, however. Want to learn more? Pour over our high-res gallery below and then head past the jump for the official press release.

[Source: Tesla]

Show full PR text
Tesla Unveils Roadster 2.5 at Newest Stores in Europe and North America
New Roadster Demonstrates Tesla's Commitment to Innovation
Thursday, July 1, 2010

Palo Alto, CA -- Tesla Motors today announced Roadster 2.5, the latest version of its revolutionary electric sports car. It will debut simultaneously with the opening of Tesla's two new stores in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Newport Beach, California.

The Roadster 2.5 reflects Tesla's commitment to innovation and the company's close feedback loop with its customers. The new Roadster includes improvements in both design and technology, including a new front fascia, rear diffuser, improved seat comfort & internal finishes, sound dampening and a large touch screen navigation system.

"Although development of the Model S is our main focus, this shows that we still care a great deal about improving the Tesla Roadster," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. "These improvements are a direct result of customer feedback and come only a year after release of Roadster 2.0, showing an exceptionally rapid pace of innovation. Where feasible, we will also offer existing customers the ability to purchase the upgrades now available in version 2.5."

New features in Roadster 2.5 include:

* A new look, which includes a new front fascia with diffusing vents, and rear diffuser reflecting the future of Tesla design
* Directional forged wheels available in both silver and black
* New seats with improved comfort, larger more supportive bolsters and a new lumbar support system
* Power control hardware that enables spirited driving in exceptionally hot climates
* An optional 7" touchscreen display with back-up camera
* Improved interior sound reduction including new front fender liner material make the cabin even quieter

Tesla will unveil the new Roadster at its two newest stores worldwide in Copenhagen and Newport Beach, CA. Journalists can see the car during media open houses at both stores throughout the day. Customers, prospective customers and other guests will celebrate the opening of the newest stores this evening.

The enhancements in the Roadster 2.5 are the direct result of accumulated customer feedback. Tesla's unique, company-owned retail network allows Tesla's engineers to receive customer feedback directly and iterate rapidly. More than 1,200 current owners in at least 23 countries have logged over five million electric miles.

Roadster 2.5 is currently available for order and soon will be available at Tesla stores worldwide.
About Tesla

Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars to mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. Palo Alto, CA-based Tesla has delivered more than 1200 Roadsters to customers in North America, Europe and Asia. Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components. It is currently the only automaker in the U.S. that builds and sells highway-capable EVs in serial production. The Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than most sports cars yet produces no emissions. Tesla Service Rangers make house calls to service Roadsters.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Come on Elon, bring the damn thing to Canada already. We have more Greenpeace activists in the great north than cash you could count in your savings account.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Am I missing something in this "new" design language? This is just a Lotus Elise with batteries right?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're spot on!
        • 5 Years Ago
        That makes more sense, it came off like you thought it was a conversion of an Elise...which it is not.

        When you're using the same platform, it's very difficult to add/delete distinct features to distinguish one from the other (see Pontiac Vibe vs Toyota Matrix for an example). Even more so on cars like the Elise and Roadster since both are designed to minimize weight as much as possible, since you won't want to add a ton of bodywork that only makes things heavier. Really the only bodywork that you can change significantly is the front and rear bumpers, which I think they've done a good job with.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't get discouraged Red 5, not even worth defending your view. When one opens his/her eyes to the pure design of this ride, it's totally mistakable for a Lotus. The shared components %age level makes absolutely no difference to the "look" of it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The new design language is reflected in the updated grill, which shares a similar shap to that of the Model S. As little else has changed, and the grill is not similar to anything Lotus has, what you said makes little to no sense.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why Fail? I wasn't having a go at them; but to me this looks just like an Elise that has been electrified. I'm sure it is very impressive from a technology standpoint but from a design language point of view this isn't very far removed from an Elise.

        The fact that is shares only 6% of it's parts with the Elise is an even bigger "Fail" in my eyes if it still looks basically like an Elise.

        • 5 Years Ago

        Fail. The Roadster only shares about 6% of its parts with the Elise.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually I am a product designer; so I am very familiar with the challenge of getting different looks from design while sharing components.
        If there is only approx 6% shared parts here then it should be very easy to get a different language. The hardpoints are the only parts that must be shared so as long as the body design hits those specified points then the plastic/metal can be any manufacturable shape inbetween them.
        Again, I'm not knocking them (I'm sure they have their reasons) I'm just saying that if I were going to be marketing this vehicle I would want it to have it's very own unique look. Perhaps the initial Roadster had a much higher Elise content and they are trying to make it look more of an evolution of their original roadster.
        To my eyes even their Model S looks like an amalgam of other companies designs.
        Just my $.02 though
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks good, though that color scheme screams viper acr and doesn't work as well on a car this size.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How anyone can prefer the wind-mill forest over bazillion times more effective and less space-demanding nuclear power-plant is just beyond my comprehension. Not speaking about how birds of prey "love" this rotating crap. :(
        • 5 Years Ago
        @spin cycle: And who's talking about half-life?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I would prefer a windfarm over nuclear, but then again, I think wind turbines are beautiful examples of engineering. Then there's the fact that when a wind turbine has reached the end of its life, it doesn't have to be buried or stored in a mountain-- it can be recycled.

        By the way-- house cats kill more birds year-to-year than wind turbines do.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thats what happens when people act first b4 thinking things through....wild times ahead lol.....
        • 5 Years Ago
        1) What is nuclear waste today won't be waste in 5-10 years.
        2) Do you think cats do kill birds of prey very often? Wind turbines on the other hand do. And they actually attract them for obvious reasons. And when such bird dies his territory with this 'great observation points' becomes available.....
        • 5 Years Ago
        5-10 years is terribly optimistic. The half-lives of waste products from fission reactors is much longer than 5-10 years. And after one half-life it's still half as strong as before. There is fission waste that has been stored on site at plants for 30 years and is still considered radioactive waste!
        • 5 Years Ago
        So move the NEXRAD. Or build another one on the other side of the ridge.

        Not every problem means you have to completely abandon your your plans. Sometimes you just adapt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not to mention the havoc wind farms are wreaking with weather surveillance radars. "Sorry folks, we can't issue any weather warnings for your area - the wind farm is interfering with our NEXRAD."


      • 5 Years Ago
      Very nice update! Wish they did something about those tail lights though. They should maybe paint the tail light housings the body color.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If they just tinted them red they would look fine...but they don't want to get knocked for looking too Ferrari/Lotus-like. But then there's those front air scoops that mimic the F430 Scuderia so...

        It also pisses me off that no one in this company sweats the details. The pictures they use for their (very few) advertisements are horrible and look like they could have been photoshopped by a 5 year old. Too bad the marketing dept is so full of themselves that they don't even take the time to listen to suggestions.

        Lastly, I love how they vowed to make the switch to the "T" logo as used on the Model S for the refresh of the Roadster, yet kept the "shield" logo on the steering wheel medallion and instrument cluster. Again, way to sweat the details guys. Must have been the bean counters call, since I'm sure they ordered too many of the old-style logos for the steering wheel/IP, but really I believe they just didn't even think of it. Cool. New T logo on the front bumper. Old shield logo on the interior. Pitiful.

        I'm happy that they have gotten this far, and ANYone who has spent any time around one of these cars can't be ANYthing but impressed in the technology, but they really really really need to get some more REAL car people in the design team to come up with better ideas. The silicon valley geeks aren't cutting it, and Franz can only think of so much.

        To all the haters who say this is just a Lotus with batteries...1) you're idiots because it's far from that; 2) PLEASE, show me your car that is better made, last longer, performs better, and is available for immediate purchase/delivery almost worldwide. Oh that's right. You can't. You're 15 and don't even have a driver's license yet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Man that garage shot makes the bumper panel gap seem like a canyon. What's up with that?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I like Tesla, but i'd like to see this car become a little edgier. That 4 door sedan is great looking, but Roadster is a little bland.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow it looks really like crap inside, the craftsmanship is very lacking.
      • 5 Years Ago
      the side vent on the front bumper spells F430 to me >.> huh..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lotus styling, not Tesla.

      Lotus builds the cars, not Tesla. Tesla is responsible for the powertrain.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey if you're going to correct people, make sure you're absolutely right. Tesla penned the design of the car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What was the roadster 2?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I saw my first Tesla Roadster last week. I was driving up a canyon to Park City Utah. I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with the canyon that connects the Salt Lake Valley to Park City (2000 Winter Olympics), but there's a perfect highway with awesome turns and twists, although it is EXTREMELY steep in places and can be very hard on a car.

      Looks like the $100,000.00 hair-dryer couldn't handle the incline. I witnessed a gentlemen on his cellphone walking away from his Tesla after almost making it to the point of the mountain. Dead battery? Who knows.

      I hate to be the pessimist, but battery powered cars need to go away. I'm sure the cold weather and steep incline wore his battery down in no time. Long live ICE's!

      I don't care if its Natural Gas, Petrol, Hydrogen, Hybrid, BioFuel, Ethanol, Diesel... just give me something with a damn heartbeat!

        • 5 Years Ago
        lol I agree,,,,
        • 5 Years Ago
        So the guy didn't know his car's limitations. How would it be better if the car had an ICE and he ran out of gas?
        • 5 Years Ago
        their ability to climb hills is quite good considering the amount of torque the motor makes, and there is no power loss due to elevation like an ICE has. sure, climbing a hill in any car requires more energy, electric cars however can recoup some of those losses on the downhill with regenerative braking.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Amen, I think that’s the only thing going for the Volt, it can keep going. I’m going to get real tired of dodging depleted Ev's on the road in a few years. People are going to be stranded and pissed. This Tesla looks nice, but without some type of engine = FAIL.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, Tikki, it's not like you can walk to the nearest charging station and get a couple of gallons of electrons. What we'll wind up with are AAA-like trucks with generators, running around giving EV owners quick charges, to get them to some place where they can plug in. It ain't gonna be pretty.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why did you assume his battery was dead?

        I have taken my Tesla over several snowy mountain passes. It handles them extremely well. Tons of power. And it's got way more battery than it needs to get over any pass. Unless you start low; but any idiot can do that in a gas car too.

        I haven't recorded distances, elevation, battery usage, etc but a friend did once when he went from his house to a visitor's center on Mt Rainier. It was 84 miles and 6200 feet of elevation gain; it only took about half the battery to get there. Coming back (downhill) only took about a quarter of the battery.

        So after 168 miles and a HUGE pass, he had only used 3/4 of his 244-mile range.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe some day there will be the technology to fast charge batteries with industrial 3-phase power. Then you could have gas stations that are connected with 3-phase power and people could juice up their cars in minutes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Refreshing means throwing Scuderia fenders on it? Really?
      • 5 Years Ago
      What, they've built like 1,000 cars, at $100,000 a pop? Yeah, they're a real manufacturer. Peter De Lorenzo has an interesting take on Tesla in this week's Rant at AE:

      Caution: You’re entering the Notgonnahappen.com Zone
        • 5 Years Ago
        An IPO proves you're at least as real as pets.com or toys.com were.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Except they're the first American automaker to go public since Ford in 1956. That has to say something for their credibility as a "real" manufacturer.
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