US electric sportscar maker Tesla has unveiled a significant upgrade to its Roadster vehicle July 1, in a surprise announcement just days after the company raised some $225 million (€206 million) in a flotation.
The Tesla Roadster 2.5, a name that gives a nod to the company's Silicon Valley roots (CEO Elon Musk was a cofounder of PayPal), is an overhaul in both the design of the vehicle and the technology inside it.
On the outside, the Roadster 2.5 has been given a new front fascia sporting a more aggressive look and a revised rear diffuser, also designed to give the car a little more bite compare to its gas-powered competitors.
The car interior features new seats, which Tesla says are more comfortable and supportive, along with better sound reduction in the form of additional insulation at the front.
Technology-wise, the car has been upgraded with new hardware that allows better driving in exceptionally hot climates and some significant changes to the onboard gadgets and sound system.
The center console now features a 7 inch touchscreen display, complete with a rear-view camera system to ease parking, a CD/DVD playback facility and iPod/iPhone connectivity.
In yet another hint at the company's technology background, Musk said that where possible, existing Tesla owners will be able to upgrade their vehicles with the new enhancements.
The strategy echoes the software release programs of smartphone manufacturers, who allow customers to retrofit their devices with upgrades wherever possible.
Until the launch of the Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi iMiEV and Chevrolet Volt later this year, Tesla is the only automaker with a mass produced fully electric car on the market.
Recent reports from the US suggest that customers who pre-ordered the Nissan LEAF may have to wait even longer before getting their hands on the vehicle.
Several US customers who have pre-ordered reported receiving an email from Nissan saying that the firm was still finalizing details on the order process in some areas and that further details would not be provided until later this summer.
The company was due to update customers on the delivery rollout and how to begin preparing their homes for the LEAF by June 30 but appears to have missed the deadline.