It's been quite a week for Tesla. After the company's initial public offering on Tuesday, its stock shot up more than 40 percent on Wednesday, making it NASDAQ's greatest gainer on an otherwise disappointing market day. Now the company is turning more heads by introducing an updated version of its high-performance electric 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5.
Available for delivery soon, the car has been shown off at Tesla's stores in Copenhagen, Denmark and Newport Beach, California, the Roadster 2.5 is slated to replace the well-known Roadster, albeit with just a few minor changes. Perhaps the most noticeable is a new front end and faintly restyled rear bumper, giving the car a slightly more aggressive look.
Other changes include redesigned seats featuring a lumbar support system, new forged wheels with a glossy finish available in either black or silver, more sound-deadening insulation, and – perhaps most important to buyers due to the car's blind spots – an optional backup camera, bundled with a new optional touch screen display.
"Although development of the Model S is our main focus, this shows that we still care a great deal about improving the Tesla Roadster." While the Roadster has been Tesla's only product since deliveries began in 2008, the California-based automaker is gearing up for an all-new product, the four-door Model S sedan, scheduled to debut in 2012. But according to Tesla chief executive – and PayPal founder – Elon Musk, Tesla didn't want buyers to think the Roadster had been forgotten.
"Although development of the Model S is our main focus, this shows that we still care a great deal about improving the Tesla Roadster," said Musk, in a statement. In a recent presentation to investors, executives showed plans to expand the Tesla model lineup by adding a new SUV or crossover, convertible, and van in the coming years.
According to Tesla, all the changes to the Roadster won't increase the price from its current level – just under $110,000 before applicable tax credits. Musk says Tesla will also offer existing Roadster customers the ability to purchase upgrades from the Roadster 2.5 for their cars, noting that the improvements "are a direct result of customer feedback."