Tesla RoadsterTesla has, in a surprise Boxing Day blog post, announced a retro-fit series of upgrades that will improve the range of its original Roadster by up to 50%. 

The new Roadster 3.0 package, which will be available from spring 2015, will see a new battery pack installed that has 31% more energy than the original Roadster pack.

The company will also fit new tyres with a lower rolling resistance, plus new wheel bearings and a tweaked brake system.

The final part of the Roadster 3.0 upgrade pack will be a new aerodynamic kit that reduces the car’s drag coefficient Cd from 0.36 to 0.31 – a 15 per cent improvement.

All the upgrades will boost range by 40-50 per cent which, Tesla says, will see the Roadster 3.0 drive 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.”

Roadster 2008: groundbreaking

The original Tesla Roadster was launched in 2008. It was derived from a Lotus Elise (Lotus built it too, but the two only shared 6 per cent parts) and was, at launch, the world’s first electric car with a lithium ion battery pack.

Both performance and range were revolutionary but as Tesla says, “cell technology has improved substantially since then”.

Tesla will start taking orders for the new Roadster 3.0 upgrade pack in the spring “once the new battery pack finishes safety validation”.

Intriguingly, there is almost certainly more to come in the future for the Roadster too: “We are confident that this will not be the last update the Roadster will receive in the many years to come”…