For 2009, Tesla will add another model to its lineup, but it’s not the all-new sedan it’s been tinkering with – it’s the 2009 Tesla Roadster Sport.
Tesla is trying to build off the Roadster’s success by adding a ‘Sport’ model for the true enthusiast. The 2009 Tesla Roadster Sport produces 288 hp (up from 248 hp) from a version of the motor used in the Roadster. The bump in power helps the Roadster Sport achieve a 0-to-60 time of 3.7 seconds. The Roadster Sport represents the first derivative of Tesla’s electric powertrain. The next derivative will debut in Tesla’s 2011 Model S sedan.
Tesla has taken a page out of Lotus’s book (or a chassis if you prefer) and tuned the Roadster Sport for hardcore drivers, much like Lotus did with the Exige. The Roadster Sport receives a firmer suspension, adjustable dampers, and anti-roll bars that will be tuned to the driver’s preference. The 2009 Tesla Roadster Sport could be a formidable track machine with close to full torque available anywhere in the RPM range.
With the release of the Roadster Sport, Tesla is continuing to show that the customer comes first by allowing anyone on the waiting list for a Roadster to upgrade to a Roadster Sport. The upgrade will cost about $20,000 as the Roadster Sport costs $128,500 versus the $109,000 for the base Roadster.