Tesla is releasing a new upgrade package for its Roadster that will almost double the car’s range.
The company announced today that the Roadster 3.0 package will include a new lithium-ion battery in the same dimensions as existing but 31-percent more efficient and with roughly 70 kilowatt-hours capacity.
The 3.0 package also includes more effective low rolling resistance tires to reduce rolling resistance by 20-percent and new more efficient wheel bearings.
Further, an aerodynamic kit has been developed to cut cd of 0.36 to 0.31 or about 15 percent.
By combining the incremental gains from all these efficiency tweaks, Tesla is projecting that the Roadster’s range will increase from 244 miles to over 400 miles under ideal driving conditions.
As always, range will vary depending on drive conditions, and harder use will see range below this maximum threshold after an easy drive.
Built from 2008 to 2012, the Roadster was the first production car to be powered by a lithium-ion battery. Developments in battery technology have grown considerably since then.
The Model S launched summer 2012 with 60-kwh and 85-kwh battery is rated between 208 and 265 miles respectively. Company CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet Christmas day that the sedan for now will not get a new battery upgrade though down the road it will, he said, without being more specific.
Tesla in a blog post sums things saying it’s pleased with the net result and will do more in time to keep the Roadsters updated.
“Combining all of these improvements we can achieve a predicted 40-50 percent improvement on range between the original Roadster and Roadster 3.0, said Tesla in its statement. “There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles. We will be demonstrating this in the real world during a non-stop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the early weeks of 2015. We are confident that this will not be the last update the Roadster will receive in the many years to come.”
However, and as was already the case, it doesn’t appear that the new battery will work with Superchargers, Tesla’s charging stations. Located throughout the U.S. and Europe, these stations can rapidly charge the Tesla Model S.
Tesla’s announcement also omits the price of all these improvements and doesn’t project if these upgrades will boost speed potential, not that that was lacking.
As it is, this Lotus Elise-based car can hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, with a top speed of 125 mph. The Roadster Sport shaves 0.2 seconds off that acceleration time.