Tesla often emphasizes that it works more like a Silicon Valley technology company than a traditional car company. And the company just proved it by delivering a model update to the Tesla Roadster for 2010. Remember, the Roadster has only been in production for one year, but in that time Tesla completely redesigned the interior, while at the same time adding new materials to reduce cabin noise. Model updates from other automakers often take five years.
We spent a day with the 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport, enjoying its unique driving experience and finding these updates made the previous generation car seem like something hacked together in a garage. Where the previous car had a fussy little lever for putting it in drive, the new car uses push buttons. To check battery statistics and change the drive mode, you had to use a touch screen by your left knee. That touch screen has been moved to the center of the dashboard. And in a real step toward convenience, the Tesla Roadster now comes with a glove box.
Externally, the casual observer won't see much difference. The Tesla Roadster uses the same Lotus-sourced body clad in carbon fiber. But the carbon fiber stands out more, as clear-coat panels make up the hood, spoiler, and even the insets in the rear air intakes. The suspension is now adjustable for comfort or sport, and the all-new Sport version of the Roadster uses an upgraded power train that rockets it to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, faster than the standard Roadster's 3.9 second time. … Read more