Tesla isn’t done with its iconic Roadster. The company just took the wraps off the next generation of the sport car. Chief among the updates is a new 400 mile range, which will allow drives from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a single charge. Tesla notes that it expects a 40-50% improvement on driving range between the original Roadster and Roadster 3.0.
Tesla plans on demonstrating the Roadster 3.0 in the early weeks of 2015, but pricing and expected release date has yet to be released.
The range increase is thanks to a new cell technology that resulted in a battery that provides 70kWh in the same package as the original Roadster’s 53kWh pack. That’s an additional 31% of energy. In addition to the more power-packed battery, Tesla also shaved 15% off the Roadster’s drag coefficient and installed new tires that result in a 20% improvement on the car’s rolling resistance.
Elon Musk stated two days ago that the Model S will eventually see a similar battery update, but not anytime soon.
Strangely, the Tesla press release detailing the upgrades does not indicate if the Roadster 3.0 can recharge using the Supercharger network even though it’s highly likely. We’ve reached out to Tesla for clarification.
Clearly, Tesla is still operating as a lean startup by constantly improving existing products. The Roadster was the car that got Tesla off the line, yet it was hardly perfect; the Roadster was Tesla’s minimum viable product. Tesla kept at it and constantly rolled out updates to the vehicle through its production life. Now the company is ready to roll the sports car back out to the market with even more improvements likely discovered throughout the development of its new vehicles.