While the continued likening of Tesla Motors to other Silicon Valley tech companies is somewhat inevitable, there is at least one big, fundamental way in which the electric-car maker differs: Tesla is continuing to show support for consumers of its earliest product.
That support comes by way of the “Tesla Roadster 3.0” upgrade package (we must have missed version 2.0). According to a release from Tesla Motors, the upgrades that will be included therewithin ought to render the Roadster good for a range exceeding 400 miles. That’s about 30-some percent better than the Model S fitted with the 85 kWh battery pack.
The Tesla Roadster 3.0 upgrades will encompass everything from improved battery cells, to streamlined aerodynamics. Tesla Motors’ release says that new battery technology can yield a 31 percent increase in capacity – though it’s unspecified whether that increase is in volume- or mass-specific energy density. Regardless, the new battery pack in this upgrade will accommodate 70 kWh of juice, while maintaining an unchanged size and shape. The original battery was rated at 53 kWh.
Meanwhile, a retro fit aerodynamics kit is expected to bring the drag coefficient of the Tesla Roadster down substantially – from 0.36, to 0.31. For reference, Tesla claims a drag coefficient of 0.24 for the Model S sedan, which was the lowest of any production car of the time. A drag coefficient of 0.31 would put the Roadster about on-par with a Mazda RX-8.
Finally, the Tesla Roadster 3.0 package will include provisions for reducing rolling resistance on the electric car. Wheel bearings and residual brake drag are being considered for improvement, while Tesla Motors is claiming a 20 percent reduction on the rolling resistance of the tires.
No word yet on pricing for the Tesla Roadster 3.0 upgrade pack, but appointments for factory retro fit are expected to begin in Spring, 2015. First, of course, the Tesla Roadster 3.0 will have to make an obligatory many-miles journey, to verify the package’s street cred.