The all-electric Roadster was Tesla’s first production automobile, but that doesn’t mean the company is letting it rest on its laurels.
Following an announcement late last year, the American brand has finally released details of the Roadster 3.0 upgrade, which involves switching out the old 53kWh battery in favor of a larger, beefier unit measured at around 70kWh. For Roadster drivers, that means 40 percent more energy and roughly 35 percent more range, equating to a mileage capacity of 330 miles or more on a full charge. With the previous battery, the Lotus-based Roadster could travel approximately 245 miles.
There are some penalties however. The new pack is slightly heavier than its predecessor — exactly how much Tesla hasn’t said — and the upgrade itself costs $29,000. That’s definitely a good chunk of change, but the brand assures there is no markup included in the price.
“The price of the battery upgrade is $29,000, including all labor and logistics, which is equal to Tesla’s expected cost,” said the automaker. “It is not our intention to make a profit on the battery pack.”
Upgrades aside, Tesla stopped building new Roadsters back in 2012, which brings us to the car’s replacement. According to CEO Elon Musk, the next-generation electric car will arrive by 2019, and it will likely be one of the fastest vehicles on the road.
“There is of course only one thing beyond ludicrous,” he wrote in a blog post, referring to the Tesla Model S’s Ludicrous Mode. “But that speed is reserved for the next generation Roadster in four years: maximum plaid.”
Just how fast is maximum plaid? Fans of the 1987 film Spaceballs will recall a scene where heroes Lone Starr and Barf attempt to evade capture by activating the secret hyperjets on their Eagle 5 Winnebago, which propels them well past light speed. The enemy ship, Spaceball One, gives chase, but goes too fast, entering a nigh-omnipresent velocity known simply as plaid. So pretty fast.