Tesla announces Roadster 3.0, an upgrade package with massive range

As CEO Elon Musk first announced yesterday, Tesla is detailing a new extended-range upgrade for its seminal Roadster — the Lotus-based two-door that preceded today’s Model S sedan. It turns out that the upgrade is far more than a battery swap: yes, that’s part of it, but a retrofit aerodynamics kit will improve the car’s drag by some 15 percent, while new tires, wheel bearings, and changes to brake drag will decreasing rolling resistance by 20 percent. In all, the upgrades are expected to yield a 40 to 50 percent improvement in range, breaking the 400-mile mark. The package is currently called a “prototype,” but the company says that it’ll demonstrate the improvements in early 2015 with a non-stop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

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