Refreshed Tesla Roadster 2.5 Debuts with Small Changes

The electric-vehicle automaker known as Tesla has been on a roll as of late. After taking in $226 million through its initial public offering, Tesla has issued news of its lightly revised Roadster 2.5.

As we all know, the Tesla Roadster ushered the EV startup into the limelight, as the high-performance, high-dollar sports car set out to prove that all-electric vehicles need not be dull on the road. Based on the Lotus Elise, production of the current Roadster is pegged to run through December 2011. Tesla expects to fill orders for its current-gen Roadster until 2012. Then, the next-generation incarnation will take its place in dealer showrooms.

On paper, the Roadster 2.5 appears little different from its standard 2.0 counterpart. The front end adopts a new fascia with vents for a more aggressive look, and a redesigned diffuser joins a wider license plate holder on the 2.5’s rear end. The forged, seven-spoke wheels will be available in silver and a new seat design will feature increased bolstering — perfect for those who will be flogging their Roadster 2.5 at the track. A new front fender liner material will help decrease wind noise and what Tesla describes as new “power control hardware” will enable harder driving in hotter temperatures. In addition to these changes, an optional 7-inch touchscreen display with a rear-view camera can also be ordered.

“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 Elon Musk, Tesla CEO. “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.”

As detailed in Tesla’s IPO filing, the EV automaker’s future greatly hinges on the success of its next model, the Model S sedan. Profits have been bare, and Tesla needs a decent volume seller to continue funding operations and to help develop an even better Roadster and future battery-electric vehicles. Tesla is hoping that its highly publicized link-up with Toyota will help it to get the Model S into production by 2012.

Tesla has sold over 1200 Roadsters around the world and the Roadster 2.5 is currently available for order.

Source: Tesla