The Tesla Roadster is going out with a flourish. After selling more than 2100 of the $109,000 all-electric sports cars in 31 countries, Tesla is, at least for now, winding down its iconic mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive car that helped make green cars cool.
However, Tesla still has some Roadsters destined for Europe, Asia and Australia, and the California-based company recently announced that these last few cars will get a special “limited edition” treatment. And according to the company, they’ve saved the best for the very last. “These Roadsters,” said Tesla honcho Ricardo Reyes, “are our best ever.”
The new updates include the choice of three “exclusive encore” colors — including black, gray and orange. Tesla also enhanced the front windscreen seals to make the cabin quieter, beefed up the air conditioning system and added Xenon headlamps for better night driving vision.
The company also added some improvements to help the sports car deal with cold weather and snowy conditions. The new edition Roadster now comes with a rear snow cover and and improved motor and inverter systems for better performance in snow and ice. Additionally, the company is including new mobile connectors for charging in Europe and Japan.
The bad news is that this edition, because it’s lacking two-stage passenger airbags, won’t be road legal in the States.
Tesla, it is said, may have a new version of the Roadster ready by 2014. For now though, as the first highway-capable all-electric vehicle in serial production available in the United States, the Roadster leaves quite a legacy. We’ve seen the vehicle win some green car races, lose others, be used as a fashion accessory and cross some great distances in the Australian outback.
It will be interesting to see how the Model S goes for Tesla, though with the departure of two executives and stock drop off as a result, things could be tough for the luxury EV pioneer as it tries to go more mainstream.