Click above for high-res image gallery of Jason's Tesla Roadster

Along with the news that Tesla Motors is offering an array of new high-margin optional extras for the Roadster comes news that the company is looking at other means of increasing revenues. All of this comes with an eye toward reaching a cash flow positive position by the middle of 2009 as promised by CEO Elon Musk. Unfortunately, it appears that some of that profit is coming on the backs of early adopters. When you put down a deposit on a car two years before it hits the streets, it shouldn't come as surprise that the specs would change somewhat before it arrives. But when the actual build time comes close, customers have to lock in the options they want on the car such as colors, interior finish, etc. about three months ahead to give the company time to line up special parts.

It turns out that customers who already locked in orders recently have been unlocked and asked to reselect options. Some of the previously selected options are now higher priced and other previously standard features are now extra cost options. Among those are the wheels that we've seen on every Roadster up until now. They have been replaced by a new, presumably less expensive design with the original design now fetching an extra $3,000. Audio system upgrades are now also more expensive. Perhaps most annoying is that the cable that allows the car to be plugged into the high power home charger for a three-hour charge has become a pricey add-on. Until now, these have been included in the cars. Drivers who want three-hour charges going forward will have to fork over an extra $3,000 to get this hefty extension cord.

  • No. 2 - Tesla Roadsters are in production, albeit in small numbers still, and the company is still with us (for now at least). We've driven it and it's a wonderful sports car - even disregarding the powertrain. Factor in that electric drive and it's amazing. Unfortunately, recent financial issues have threatened the company's future. The investors seem committed to making Tesla survival so far.

Photos copyright ©2008 Drew Phillips, Sam Abuelsamid, Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.

Tom Saxton, Tesla Motors Club]

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